Following the technique outlined in the XDA Developers Forum and linked to by David Rothman, I’ve managed to install the full Google Play Store on my new Kindle Fire 7. I’ve been able to install all my preferred Google stock apps on the Kindle Fire: Google Docs, Google Drive, YouTube, etc. And so far I haven’t found an app that doesn’t work.
Be warned, though: sd_shadow’s solution is tricky, and only one of the several methods he outlines worked for me. The script he put together, for whatever reason, didn’t work. In the end, I used the alternative, longer method he recommends and downloaded the various .apk files for the Google Play Store and Google Play Services from this link here. Then I swapped these onto the Kindle Fire’s microSD card and manually installed them one by one, using EZ File Explorer.
The .apks installed easily enough, but getting Google Play to run was a different story. For this, I had to update the ADB drivers on the Kindle Fire, using the technique and downloads detailed here. Other methods didn’t work. Once that was done, I then had to return to sd_shadow’s original post, and run the Troubleshooting method he described using a command prompt interface on my PC. That counts as far beyond click-and-play to me, and well beyond the everyday non-technical user. But it worked, and finally the Google Play Store would run on my Kindle Fire.
After that, signing in to my Google account on the Play Store and installing other apps was a cinch. Google Docs did ask to updated Google Play Services to the latest version, but this is common enough anyway. And as you can see from the pictures, my Kindle Fire 7 is now functioning in many respects like a generic Android tablet – a cheap, fast one with a good screen. I haven’t tried replacing the Fire OS launcher or the other specialized Amazon tweaks, but in most other respects, it’s now giving me the usual Android experience. So if you want it, it can be done – but you’ll need goodish computer skillz, and some patience.
More reports on my enhanced experience soon. Meantime, I’m off to play Dead Trigger 2 do some more serious research for readers on using the new Kindle Fire …