21 November 2011

Android Apps for Kindle Fire Versus Android Phones and Tablets

Will the Kindle Firebe my new favorite tablet for on the go genealogy, social media and reading? It's a bit (read smidgeon) lighter weight than the Dell Streak and I have been able to add many apps that I was not able to add to the Nook Color. Plus, and this is a biggie, there will be a lot of cute accessories for the Kindle Fire, like the Verso Kindle Fire Cover. If you ignore the bling, what matters in the long run is whether the apps I am accustomed to using on the Dell Streak tablet and my Android phone can be used on the Kindle Fire.

My top apps & how I added them to the Kindle Fire:
Adobe Reader - Amazon download 
Ancestry - Beta version, sideload*

*29 Sep 2012 Update: Ancestry now available in the Amazon app store.
ColorNote Notepad Notes - Amazon download 
Documents to Go - Amazon download
Dropbox - Sideload*
*29 Sep 2012 Update: Dropbox now available in the Amazon app store.
Easy Installer - Amazon download and needed to install sideloaded apps
Evernote - Amazon download 
The Genealogy Gems Podcast: Bought it, again. I've now bought it multiple times, but I love it and want it available no matter which device is at hand. 
Hootsuite - Amazon download
Nook -  Sideload
Roboform - Sideload
Zinio - Downloaded from the Zinio.com website. 

Apps on my Android phone and/or Dell Streak that I will not or cannot download to the Kindle Fire:
Blogger - Unavailable on Amazon. It seems that most Google apps are not available. This could be a deal breaker for the Kindle Fire.
Skype - Not compatible with Kindle Fire. Kindle Fire does not have a camera, so this app would not be useful as I only use Skype for video chat.
Facebook - Unavailable on Amazon except as a doorway app to the Facebook mobile site. I use Hootsuite to follow my Facebook friends.
GedStar - Unavailable on Amazon. Not installing yet, as I do not use this that often.
Gmail - Google apps with sign in unavailable. 
Google+ and Google Huddle - Google+ installed, but did not work on the Kindle Fire. It got stuck connecting. Currently Google+ is available to superior (paying megabucks) customers on Hootsuite. It is unavailable in the Amazon store, but available in the Android market. I was not able to side load it. Guess I will wait for Hootsuite to make it available for the lesser paying customers.
Google Reader - Unavailable. This is a big one for me. I can go onto the web to read directly from Google Reader, but everyone loves an app, don't they?
Google Translate - Unvailable. 
Time Recording - Timesheet App - Unavailable in Amazon. It's on the Dell Streak, so I will have to learn to sideload from this device too.
*Update 29 Sep 2012 Timesheet now available in the Amazon App store.

Twitter - Available on Amazon but incompatible with Kindle Fire. The Twitter Mobile Web app gives you access to the Twitter mobile web page, but is not a user app. Plus I use Hootsuite to interact on Twitter.*
*29 Sep 2012 Update: Available for Kindle Fire, but I still use Hootsuite.
YouTube: Unvavailable

What's the verdict; tablet or Kindle Fire?
Looking at the long list of apps, which I use regularly that are not currently available for the Fire, makes me think that the Dell Streak will stay my tablet of choice. Over the next week or so I am going to keep researching what is and what becomes available. The Dell Streak tablet includes a camera, microphone and blue tooth, all items not included in the Kindle Fire. 

Would the Kindle Fire make a good gift?
This is an emphatic yes! My kids and my husband are all interested in one. I am thinking too that my Dad would really like one for traveling. 

Tablet or IPad? 
Do you have an Ipad? Are you able to use all of the Google apps on it? What about YouTube and Skype? 

Hope this was helpful. Not sure which way I am going with this, but I will keep you updated! 

Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!

Update: 21 Nov 2011 Many magazines from Amazon are suddenly unavailable for download through the Kindle app (on my Android phone and Dell Streak) and will only be available on the Kindle Fire. Barnes & Noble continues to make magazines available for both the Color Nook and the Nook Android app.


  1. Thanks for this list, Jennifer.

    My impression so far is that the Tablet has more features available, and is easier to use to interact with the Internet, than the kindle fire. Is that your conclusion too?

    I have neither, and want one, but really need to be able to read and interact with the web (Google Reader, Google+, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, webinars, Ancestry, etc.). A Tablet or netbook with a camera, webcam, and microphone is attractive.

    The Kindle seems to be a reader not an interactor.

  2. Randy,

    Yes, I agree with your impression. The Kindle is a reader than can read the web and interact a bit, but in order to be able to fully interact, a tablet (or netbook) is the way to go. The plus of the tablet over the netbook is that it (at least mine) is much faster and turns on instantly.

    For someone mainly interested in reading and watching Amazon prime material, then Kindle Fire is the definite choice.

    Thank you for helping to clarify my thought process!


  3. I'm still debating a Nook Color Reader (not the new tablet) with one of the SD cards that lets you boot to Android if you wish.... Seems like the best of both worlds.

  4. Hi Jackie, I just received the N2A card today and will be trying the Nook as a tablet. Jen

  5. Hi Jennifer,

    I came across your post while searching for a list of apps that can be sideloaded on the Fire and I wanted to share my experiences.

    Twitter: You can sideload the official app and it works brilliantly on the fire.

    YouTube: The official YouTube app can be sideloaded on the Fire. You won't be able to upload videos or use login based features such as viewing your channel. However, you can search for videos on YouTube and view them in full screen mode.

    Google Reader: The official Google Reader app will not work. However, you can sideload other readers and sync them to your Google Reader account. I have sideloaded the gReader app and it works fine.

    I hope these tips help you enjoy the Kindle Fire as much as I'm enjoying it!


  6. I got a great Cyber deal on the Acer Iconia 10" tablet, so I'm waiting for delivery. A little on the heavy side according to reviews, but I can live with that.

  7. Alvin, Thank you for the update on the apps. I am sure it will be very helpful.

    Jackie, Love to hear how you like the Acer for genealogy.



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