• How to Make Your Amazon Fire Tablet Look Like Stock Android

    The Amazon Fire tablets are a force of nature. Cheap, flexible, and with decent battery life, they provide a good low-cost introduction to tablets. If there’s a key flaw, it’s the lack of a traditional Android experience in favor of the Android-based Fire OS

    Fortunately, you don’t have to use your Amazon Fire tablet with the software restrictions that Amazon forces on you. Several apps and customizations can be added that will give you a more traditional Android experience. Let’s take a look at how you can make an Amazon Fire tablet look like stock Android.

    Make Fire OS Look Like Stock Android Without Root

    Many customizations for Android-based devices rely on unlocking the phone and gaining root access. This is tricky with Amazon Fire tablets because they are regularly updated by Amazon. Consequently, the retail giant can potentially fix any vulnerabilities that allowed you to gain root access in the first place.

    This tends to be frustrating, which is why we’re looking at Amazon Fire tweaks that don’t require root access.

    Below are five ways you can make an Amazon Fire tablet look and feel like a regular Android tablet:

    Install Google Play

    Add an Android style launcher

    Remove the Amazon ads

    Disable Amazon features

    Tweak notifications

    We’ll unpack each of these ideas below.

    Install Google Play on the Fire Tablet

    Browsing for apps in the Amazon Appstore you’ll notice a great selection of tools and games. Many premium titles are available free, while others are often cheaper than on Google Play. But for the best Android experience, you really need access to the Google Play Store.

    This comes with a bunch of advantages, not least access to a wider library of apps and games. Furthermore, you’ll also be able to install the Google Play Movies & TV app and access any films and shows you’ve purchased.

    Installing Play Store on an Amazon Fire tablet does not require you to root your device or fiddle with ADB. See our full guide to installing Google Play on your Amazon Fire tablet.

    Related: Install Google Play on Fire OS

    Abandon the Silk Browser and Install Google Chrome

    With the Play Store installed on your Fire tablet, you can stop relying on the effective-but-slow Amazon Silk browser.

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    Switching to Google Chrome is simple. Browse Google Play, select Chrome, and install it. This will take a few minutes on older Fire tablets, so wait while it completes.

    After launching, when prompted to sync select No thanks then tap Settings and sign in. Syncing should now happen by default.

    Refresh Fire OS With an Android-Style Launcher

    The Fire OS home screen is designed to promote Amazon products. Don’t want this constant reminder? With the Play Store installed, you’ll be able to browse through the various Android-style launchers available.

    Related: Alternative Android Launchers

    However, by default your chosen launcher won’t work. While there are various hacks you can use for this, these are often undone by Amazon. The solution, then, is Fire Toolbox (AKA FTB), a collection of utilities for customizing an Amazon Fire tablet. It’s available for most models of Fire tablet since 2014—so those called "Fire" or "Fire HD" rather than "Kindle Fire".

    For Fire Toolbox to work, first enable ADB on your tablet:

    Open Device Options

    Tap Serial Number (or About Fire Tablet) repeatedly

    The Developer Options menu item will appear

    Tap Developer Options

    Find Enable ADB and tap the switch to activate

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    Next, grab your copy of Fire Toolbox, which is available for Windows 10.

    Download: Fire Toolbox

    Connect your Amazon Fire tablet to your computer with the provided USB cable, then install and run Fire Toolbox. Upon launch, follow the steps to Authorize Your Device then close the welcome screen.

    Instead, switch to the main window and select Custom Launcher.

    Then:

    Use the dropdown menu to choose a Custom Launcher to Install

    Next, choose between Downgrade Fire Launcher (slower restart) and Launcher Hijack (slower Home button)

    Decide whether to Enable Widgets

    Click Yes when you’re ready to install your preferred launcher

    Moments later the default Amazon Fire OS home screen will have been replaced with your chosen launcher.

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    Tidy the Amazon Fire Launcher

    Alternatively, if you like the Amazon Fire launcher, you can always tidy it up a bit.

    Open Apps & Games

    Select Home Screen

    Here you can view items you might want to adjust. We recommend disabling

    Recommendations

    Show New Items on the Home Page

    Meanwhile, you might enable Paginated Scrolling for a more Android-esque feel.

    More Amazon Features You Can Disable

    Amazon’s Fire OS has a few annoying "features" that you’ll want to remove for a more authentic Android experience. Head to Amazon Application Settings, where you’ll find a collection of options that you can disable.

    These are:

    Push Notifications Sent to This Device. Here you can disable notifications you don’t want.

    Special Offers. Enable Content filtering to hide offers containing images that might be unsuitable to younger users

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    Remove Amazon Ads on the Fire Tablet

    The cheapest versions of the Fire tablets will come with ads enabled. To disable these reliably, you need to pay to unlock them

    Various hacks have been tried, but these ultimately fail when Amazon pushes an update. Furthermore, if you’ve bought a device with ads from Amazon, you did so at a discount. There is a chance that Amazon will charge for you disabling ads using a software hack.

    Open a browser and head to Amazon’s Manage Your Content and Devices page. You can find under Your Account. Select Content & Devices, highlight the tablet, then find Special Offers and click Remove Offers.

    Now Your Amazon Fire Tablet Is More Like Android!

    The Amazon Fire tablet is Android underneath, but Amazon does a good job to hide this. As you’ve seen, making your Fire tablet more Android-like isn’t difficult.

    Enjoy these tweaks? There are many more ways to customize your Amazon Fire tablet.

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