My Amazon Kindle Fire experience from outside the US

Kindle Fire
Kindle Fire (http://www.bloomberg.com/image/i6nACZ9aRxeI.jpg)

Kindle Fire a new tablet?

Does the Kindle Fire fall under the tablet category? In my humble opinion I believe not. Kindle was and still is an e-Reader, designed to provide an intuitive platform to easily download and read books in digital format. However, one cannot deny that the Kindle Fire does provide some very sweet perks! The Amazon app store is filled with hundreds even thousands of popular Android apps.

Amazon applications store is not available in your country?!

When I first read this message I was like, WTF?! I bought my Kindle for nothing? Well no one to blame but myself, I didn’t do much research to see that Amazon still hasn’t launched Kindle outside the US; which also means that you cannot buy books if you do not have a US credit card and a US billing address.

Umm.. So what now?!

No worries, there is always a way to make the best out of your Kindle even from outside the States. But it means that you have to acquire some basic technical skills first.

“How to hack?”

It’s very simple; all you need to download applications on your kindle is apk files of these applications. These apk files are executables that your Kindle or more exactly the Android OS running on it fires to install the desired application. Luckily you can use your Kindle’s browser to google these apk files and launch them from the download section instantly. Any Android app should in theory work properly on your kindle.

1. Download File expert application (which is free) from the developer’s website: [Download Link]. You can use your Kindle’s browser to do so.

2. Once the download is complete, launch and install the application.

3. In your Kindle, click on the top bar to slide down the settings bar.

4. Click on “More”

5. Click on “Device”

6. “Allow Installation of Applications” is set by default to “Off” set it to “On”.

7. Download the apk file for the application you want on your PC, use your USB cable to copy the file to your kindle. Place it anywhere you want.

8. Using File Expert go to that directory in your Kindle and launch the apk file.

Using the above I showed you 2 ways to download applications on your kindle. Just make sure you are not violating any distribution laws by downloading non-free applications.

File Expert download page
File Expert download page
File Expert Snapshot
File Expert Snapshot
Apps Location on the Kindle Connected via USB cable
Apps Location on the Kindle Connected via USB cable

What about books?

Kindle supports the following e-book formats: .mobi  .azw   .pdf . If you have bought books in any of those formats you can copy them instantly to your Kindle using your USB cable and you’ll be able to read them on the fly. Kindle does not support .epub! So be careful.

I copied a .mobi book to my kindle and I can’t see it!

It happened to me, all you need to is to restart your Kindle. Press on the power button and hold, it will ask you if you want to shutdown your kindle, approve. Start your Kindle again using that button and once it launches you will see the .mobi book in the books section, if not it will in the docs section.

PDF is annoying to read on Kindle can it be converted to a Kindle native format?

Yes and there are many ways to do so. The best and simplest is provided by this website:

http://ebook.online-convert.com/convert-to-mobi

Converting .PDF to .MOBI online
Converting .PDF to .MOBI online

Conclusion

All in all, Kindle Fire is a great product, I’ve read 5 books on it so far and it has been a good experience. Kindle Fire will fulfill your needs as long as you do not forget that the main purpose of the device is to be an e-reader, the rest is just a bonus!

 

If you’re interested in similar posts you should probably follow me on Twitter: [twitter-follow screen_name=’BassemDy’]

 
 

21 thoughts on “My Amazon Kindle Fire experience from outside the US”

    1. Yes you could root your Kindle and void your warranty! I wouldn’t recommend doing it if you’re do understand the repercussions. In my opinion one who is knowledgeable enough to root his kindle would not be reading this post 🙂

  1. Wow, this is something that I have not come across before. I am trying to decide what to do since my kindle charger cable broke while I was in the middle or reading an exciting book, The Man Who Rode the Tiger by Charles Sailor: http://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Rode-Tiger-ebook/dp/B0064RB53Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325718520&sr=8-1.

    I did not want to stop reading or rather I just couldn’t so I read on my iPhone. While I tolerated it for the excitement of this one book I can not do that as a habit.

    So essentially if I am leaving the country I should buy several books before leaving. Thanks for the cool trick. I shall tweet about this.

    -Renee’

    1. In case you have a US credit card and a US billing address you can still download books even if you are outside the United States! However people who do not have a US credit card will not be able to purchase anything from the Amazon stores. In addition regarding charging your Kindle you can use any charger that provides 5V output and 500mA, I’m using a blackberry charger for example instead of the original one 🙂

      Thank you for your comment and support!

      – Bassem

      1. Bassem,

        Well, I had no idea about the charger. Funny thing that I wound up doing after the holiday was bringing it to the office and sending it home with a co-worker to charge for me. Darn thing stays charged for days. However, I don’t have a new book yet, so I should shop tonight that I have it back.

        Great idea about the blackberry but now you may have taken away my excuse for buying something new, so I may be a bit mad at ya now. 🙂

        -Renee’

      2. I buy all kinds of stuff from Amazon, including eBooks (no Kindle device, only Kindle for PC) and I don’t have a US credit card or billing address. I live in Costa Rica.

  2. thanks for this post. just received the kindle fire yesterday and it was a gift from an in-law from the US and im living in the Phil., I’d tried to use my Amazon account to download apps but it said they’re not available in our region. I tried my KF on my pc to transfer the apk files but i found out there’s no way i can launch the apk file without an application installer. Im just hoping this tricks will work for me.. 🙂

  3. This is the right blog for anyone who wants to search out out about this topic. You notice a lot its virtually laborious to argue with you (not that I really would need…HaHa). You undoubtedly put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Nice stuff, just nice!

  4. I realise that the apps are US only but if I have an Amazon account, can I still buy books and send them to the Fire?

    1. Hi, all you do is buy them from your desktop and use USB to transfer to Kindle. I mentioned before, I don’t have a US CC or billing address and I buy Kindle books all the time from my desktop.

      1. Hi Alexandra, you are correct.
        But the discussion in this blog post is the usage of the Kindle store application to buy books and apps instantly from it and not manually transfer the files.

  5. This is madness the world has gone insane with nanny state thinking.

    I would be curious to hear from anyone who can furnish me with a cognitive reason why Kindle can’t be used across all locations and I am expecting the grey marketing argument as a response.

    I find it amazing that amazon isn’t progressive enough to bring books into the digital form but can’t workout the contract aspects of taking this broadly into the internet across all regions on the planet.

    1. It’s indefinitely frustrating how copyright issues and business profit always supersede the global benefit and knowledge spreading. I highly doubt that book authors would be annoyed by the viral spread of their contributions worldwide..

  6. I am a Nigerian, and I am interested in getting the kindle fire, primarily as an e-reader. Though I can get it through a friend in the US, I’m beginning to find the challenges of use outside of the US rather discouraging. If however, I can purchase books with a non-US credit card, then I may take the plunge. Pls confirm the above. I may find it difficult getting a US credit card with which to make book purchases.

    1. Hi Sam, so far I don’t think things have changed much.. However, what you can do is to buy the kindle version of your books (there are other providers than amazon), and put them via usb on your kindle. There are many other options to purchase books outside the kindle store.

  7. I have a Kindle Keyboard 3G and my husband has a Kindle Fire – we live in South Africa

    Books for both Kindles can be bought and downloaded outside the USA – (might pay a little more in tax though) Free books from Amazon can be downloaded to both even though outside the USA

    The Apps for Kindle Fire even if free can’t be downloaded from Amazon outside the USA at the moment – (Date today 19th July 2012) – It is thought that Amazon might change this in the future – pure speculation at the moment but my husband took a gamble.

    Thanks for the hack advice

    1. Hey Diane,
      This post was written on January 5, 2012 by then the only place where you could purchase books and apps was the U.S. I should probably update the post to accommodate amazon’s market updates. Thank you for your comment and I’m glad the post served its purpose and was helpful for Kindle users in need 🙂

      1. Hi Bassem

        I bought my Kindle Keyboard 3G about 3 years ago and have always been able to download and buy books from Amazon even though I live in South Africa. The Kindle Fire is a recent purchase and my husband hopes that some of the Free Apps for Kindle Fire might become available. 🙂

        Diane

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