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Kobo and Nook apps on the Kindle Fire

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18 Dec 2012, 12:18 AM
Post: #1
Amazon have included firmware in the second generation Kindle Fires that prevents users from installing third-party launchers and so stops the Amazon "Carousel" from being disabled and a normal Android UI being used. So I was interested to find out whether the Nook and Kobo Android apps would run on the Fire. Of course neither app is in the Amazon app store, but it turns out they can be installed easily without rooting the Kindle and they work well.

There are probably a number of different ways to achieve this, but I found the following method quick and easy, and it worked for both Nook and Kobo. However you will need a generic Android device, such as smartphone, that can access the Google App Store.

  1. Install the Astro File Manager (it's free) on the generic Android device.
  2. Install the Nook and/or Kobo applications on the generic Android device.
  3. Run Astro File Manager. Swipe to the left and a grey "Tools" menu will be displayed. Tap on "Application Manager".
  4. The list of installed applications are displayed. Tap on the checkboxes on the right to select "Kobo" and "NOOK".
  5. Then tap on the [Backup] button at the top of the list. The applications are saved as .apk files.
  6. Plug the generic Android device into a PC and open as a USB mass storage device.
  7. You will find a "backups" folder in the device memory. Open it and then open the "apps" sub-folder.
  8. You will find two .apk files in the apps sub-folder - bn.ereader-1.apk and com.kobobooks.android-1.apk - drag them to the PC desktop.
  9. Unplug the generic Android device and plug the Kindle Fire into the USB.
  10. Create an "Apps" folder on the Kindle Fire and drag the two .apk files from the PC into the new folder.
  11. Disconnect the Kindle Fire from the PC.
  12. You'll then need a File Manager on the Kindle Fire. If not already there, install "ES File Explorer" from the Amazon App Store (it's free).
  13. In ES File Explorer navigate to the "Apps" folder and tap on one of the .apk files. It will go through the normal install process.
  14. Tap on the other .apk file, if needed, and that will install the second reader app.


At that point you will have both Nook and Kobo ereader apps installed. They appear in the Apps library and Carousel and appear to work perfectly. The only problem I've found is that the icons look low-resolution and fuzzy in the Carousel, but I guess I can live with that.
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18 Dec 2012, 10:37 AM
Post: #2
That's a brilliant piece of advice and a good way to counteract the lock-ins forced by the hardware vendors.

I'm going to have a look at this myself a bit later and post my findings.
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27 Dec 2012, 05:45 PM
Post: #3
My son put Kobo onto my Kindle Fire for me and it works just fine. Not sure what process he used (probably similar to above) - but he actually skyped the app. to me from his own tablet and installed it successfully.

Our True Nationality is Mankind - H.G. Wells
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28 Dec 2012, 10:06 PM
Post: #4
(27 Dec 2012 05:45 PM)Daphne Wrote:  but he actually skyped the app. to me from his own tablet and installed it successfully.

Ah! That's a good idea... I didn't think of that. Similarly shared web storage solutions such as Google Drive, Dropbox or Skydrive could be used to transfer the backed up app between devices.
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