Posted by: Steven Harris | October 2, 2013

Kindling the Fire

The Kindle Fire is a pretty good device for consuming Amazon products, whether we’re talking Amazon music or Kindle e-books. But it’s not very friendly towards using e-books from other sources. If you look for some common e-book reading apps like Aldiko, Bluefire, or txtr in the Amazon app store, you won’t find them. You can get all of those apps in the Google Play store and install them on other Android devices, but not so on the Fire. Even if you navigate to the Play store with the web browser on the Kindle itself, you won’t be able to download and install these third-party e-book reading apps. Amazon is blocking you. “Please only read our e-books.”

But don’t despair. We can get around this barrier with some of the apps. You don’t even have to “jailbreak” your Kindle, but you have to make sure you have enabled installation of apps from non-Amazon sources:

  • Touch the gear icon (“Settings”)
  • Touch “More”
  • Touch “Device” (scroll down a bit)
  • Set “Allow installation of Applications” to ON, and touch OK when prompted

Then you need to find the app install or APK file for the reader that you want (NOT through the Play store). Bluefire was one of the first apps to publicize a location where you could download their APK. But if you hunt around a little you can find others. I have successfully installed Aldiko, Bluefire, Nook, and txtr. There are probably others.

So, on your Kindle Fire web browser, go to one of the links below.

  • Touch the download link.
  • You will see a number in the notification area at the top of the browser screen.
  • If you touch and pull the notification bar down, you will see the progress of the APK download.
  • Once the download is complete touch that item in the notification list. You should be prompted to start the installation.
  • When it is complete, you should now have the app in your app list.
  • You may need to configure the app with your ID  (or Adobe ID) when you open it.

Links to APKs:

There you go. You can now read e-books on some other apps. These are especially useful for e-books with Adobe DRM. You can configure these apps with your Adobe ID. And thus you can read e-books from sources like EBL and Ebsco. Happy reading.



  1. There’s more. I added the Nook app to the list above.

  2. Interestingly, Amazon *does* allow the Overdrive Media Console as a download from their app store. So you can install it as you normally would through the Kindle Fire app function.

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