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’]

 
 

Pokki – HTML5, CSS3, Javascript Desktop applications!

Pokki - Build HTML5, CSS3, Javascript desktop apps
Pokki - Build HTML5, CSS3, Javascript desktop apps

What is Pokki?

The time to harness the full capabilities of HTML5, CSS3, AJAX and Javascript has come. Pokki.com is a new desktop application that sits in your taskbar from which you can download small applications that are beautiful and useful at the same  time! It’s very fast, clean and easy to use. Currently there is a good bunch of apps you can use, Facebook, Tweeki, Gmail, productivity applications as well as other social apps.

Pokki Sits in your taskbar
Pokki Sits in your taskbar
Pokki Apps
Pokki Apps
Pokki App: Tweeki
Pokki App: Tweeki

Pokki Developer’s platform

Pokki’s developer’s platform allows you to develop your own apps, which you can submit to Pokki’s app store and if approved it will be available for all users to download. I still didn’t go through the code yet, but it seems very promising and well documented.

Pokki are now throwing a 50,000$ challenge for whoever can create a new application.

More info about the challenge:

http://www.pokki.com/contest/

Conclusion

Even though the concept is not new, Pokki does a great job at portraying it with a very flexible, easy to use interface. The user experience for this product as a whole has been great so far. In addition, even though it’s still in Beta I haven’t found any severe or major bugs yet.