Earlier this week, I grilled Amazon for attempting to control web browsing activities on its Kindle Fire. Any attempts to browse Google’s Android Market website were redirected to Amazon’s own AppStore on the tablet. I understand why Amazon did so: It wants to have Android apps installed on the Fire directly from its own curated application store. And it doesn’t want to field support calls when users have issues with Android Market apps on the Kindle Fire. Still, I feel the browser is sacred and no browsing activities should be hijacked like this.
The good news is that Amazon has rethought its approach: With the new Kindle Fire software update, made available on Wednesday, you can now browse to the Google Android Market website. After I installed the software update to the Fire – we have complete instructions on the 5-minute process here — I verified that the browsing block was gone. I did get a security certificate warning, but was able to continue in the Fire’s browser with no other issues.
Does this mean you can now install Android Market apps to the Kindle Fire over the web? Not exactly, because there’s no simple way to associate the Kindle Fire with a Google account, which is how Google’s web-based Android Market links to devices. Regardless, this step was the right one for Amazon to take because it allows people to see what Android apps Google does offer, and it no longer hijacks the web page a user wants to view.