I recently received a Kindle Fire HD 10.1 5th Generation tablet for Christmas. I love the device and the price put it in the range of a nice Christmas gift to me.
I immediately wanted to start setting up a few things and customizing it. The kindle however locks you out of just about everything. I'm sure that is due to all the baked in advertising. Even with the version that doesn't have the ads on the lockscreen I still see tons of advertisements in the launcher. I can turn off the ads but I cant change the launcher. Reading around it seems the way to go is rooting the device. I'm familiar with doing that but really preferred to not have to do that since this is really for casual surfing, books and media entertainment.
So putting the launch screen and lock screens aside I started to load in my standard apps. Most were on Amazon however at least 30% of them were not. Seriously Instagram is not available for the Kindle HD? I also can't load Vudu? This pissed me off. So I started reading about how to download the APK using these shady websites, etc. Not cool. I needed a better way and I found one that works great.
You will need to have a smartphone or other device with access to google play. This was simple I used my phone.
Now you need to download 2 applications to your smartphone or other google play accessible device.
Next go to your kindle and install Send Anywhere on the Kindle. Once you do that you need to enable APK's from 3rd party sources. Google the instructions for this there must be 20 of the same articles about that already out there. Once you have that enabled you're all set for installing any Google Play app on your Kindle.
Use APK Extractor to extract all the apps you want to transfer. I found that almost everything worked right out of the gate. The extractor will not harm any installations. It just builds the APK file.
Once you have your apps all extracted fire up Send Anywhere. Click send on the app and swipe over to the "files" tab. Select that and you'll see your files. Scroll down to apks (the default directory for APK Extractor). Navigate into the folder and select all of them to send.
Once you click Next in Send Anywhere you'll get a code. Fire up send anywhere on the kindle and enter that code. You'll see the files instantly start transfering to your kindle.
Once it is done simply click the APK file right inside Send Anywhere. It will fire up the installer and presto, you install the app.
This was VERY simple and repeating this process is easy. I found almost every application worked. The few that didn't were ones like lock screen replacements or launchers. Instagram, Vudu and nearly everything else worked great.
Hope this is helpful for those of you who like the kindle but wish the appstore had more to offer. Now it does through the Google Play market. ;)