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How to install Google apps on Kindle Fire HD or HDX

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February 10, 2014

Here's how to install Google apps on Kindle Fire HD with no rooting required

Here's how to install Google apps on Kindle Fire HD with no rooting required

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One of the main reasons to root your Kindle Fire is so you can install the Google Play Store and have access to apps that can't be found in the Amazon Appstore. But if you're worried about voiding the warranty or dealing with the rooting process in general, you can sideload apps. The cool thing about this technique is it doesn't require you to root the device first. Here's how to get most of the Google apps on your Kindle Fire HD or HDX.

For this article I'm using the latest 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX, which runs Amazon's customized version of Android 4.2. This should work the same on the 8.9-inch version too. Keep in mind that when sideloading these apps, not all of the features will work correctly. For instance, on the Google Search app, the Google Now cards don't load like they would on a Nexus 7 or other Android device. All of the APK (the Android application format) files offered here are free, malware free, and free to distribute.

What is sideloading and how do I do it?

Sideloading is the term used to describe installing an app on your Android device from a source other than an official app store. Basically, what you're doing is transferring an APK file from your computer to your tablet or smartphone and installing it directly. Since the Kindle Fire runs a forked version of Android, this is a common practice to get the apps you like on the device.

Before you can sideload an app on the Kindle Fire HD or HDX, you need to enable the feature that allows you to install apps from unknown sources. To do that, go to Settings > Applications and make sure "Apps from Unknown Sources" is turned on.

Next, download this zip file and extract its contents to a convenient location on your computer. The zip file includes the four essential apps you need to install first.

Connect your Kindle Fire to your computer using the included micro-USB cable and transfer the four APKs you just downloaded to your Kindle's Download folder.

Make sure you have ES File Explorer on your Kindle Fire. It's free and available in Amazon's Appstore. This will give you access to the APKs you transfer to your tablet. You'll find the files in Local > Home > Download.

Now perform the following steps in order:

  1. Tap to install Google Account Manager and reboot the tablet.
  2. Tap to install Google Services Framework and reboot the tablet.
  3. Tap to install Google Play Services and reboot the tablet.
  4. Tap to install Gmail and reboot the tablet.

Installing Google apps

After those four apps are installed, open the Gmail app (you'll find it listed under the Apps section on the Kindle Fire) and sign in with your Google account. After signing in at the screen shown below, you'll be kicked to the web version of Google to sign in again.

When you're signing in, you'll see various messages about different Google services stopping. You can just tap through them. This is one of the caveats with sideloading Google apps and running them – the apps will still work, it's just kind of annoying having the occasional alert pop up like the one in the screenshot below.

Once you're signed in, you'll be able to run the Gmail app on your Kindle Fire. Here's an example of it running on my Kindle Fire HDX.

Now you can continue to sideload the Google apps you want to use following the same process as above. Transfer them to the Download folder on the Kindle Fire, just like you did with the first set of apps.

Open ES File Explorer, open the Download folder, and tap to install the Google apps you want. For best results, I recommend installing one app at a time and rebooting after each one.

Just click on the following apps to download the APK file and sideload it on the Kindle Fire. In my tests, each of the following work with little to no bugs: Chrome, YouTube, Google Search, Google Music, Google Play Movies, Gmail, and Newsstand.

Summing up

You can find other Google app files in Android forums or an APK repository site like Android Drawer. A word of caution about sideloading apps: Ensure you're getting them from a trusted and secure source. Some apps – especially the ones that claim to give you paid apps for free – in the shady markets contain malware that will wreck you device. We don't condone sideloading paid apps, and in the end it will just get you into trouble. But as long as you're careful and download the apps from a trusted source you should be ok.

While some of the app features don't work the same as on a typical Android device, and the error messages that pop up are a bit annoying, it isn't a deal-breaker. As long as you're able to overlook those caveats and live in the Google ecosystem, sideloading the apps is something you should definitely try.

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Brian Burgess Brian Burgess resides in Minnesota. A technology enthusiast his entire life, he worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. In addition to contributing to Gizmag, he’s the Editor in Chief at groovyPost.com and has written for other notable tech sites Byte, InformationWeek, and How-To Geek. Away from the keyboard, you're likely to find him listening to heavy metal, playing guitar, or watching Star Trek. All articles by Brian Burgess
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63 Comments

Yo the link to those apk files please..enough people have asked for it already

SahilSethi

Perhaps someone can help me with an issue I am having. I have installed all the programs mentioned but when i open the google play services app it crashes and gmail gives me the "google play services, which some apps..." error. Please help!

xXDreamer777Xx

Hello,

Could you please provide the link for the 4 essential apps? The posted link above says, the files are removed.

Thanks in advance.

KcMinLight

I tried to down load the zip file and I get a message that the file has expired. Is there another way to access the file?

Oneoff

Nice! TY v much!

Dmitri Dzhinzhihashvilli

Hello, Thank you for writing this article. I have downloaded each of the 4 Google files you mentioned to our Kindle Fire HDX and opened Gmail just as you described. When I get to the following step I have problems:

"Now you can continue to sideload the Google apps you want to use following the same process as above."

I have tried to go through my computer to the Google Play store but do not know how to save the apps to my computer. When I click "install" it tells me "You haven't accessed your Google Play store app (white shopping bag) on your device with this email address."

I have also tried to get to the Google Play store through my Kindle's "Google Play services" app but I cannot sign in. I push "Sign in" but nothing happens.

Could you please help me download more apps to my computer?

Thank you in advance, Julie

Julie Wingate

Hi Julie,

Actually, you don't download apps from the Google Play Store. You need to install the APKs from sources other than an official store.

If you look further down in the article, I included links to the more popular Google Apps: Chrome, YouTube, Google Search, Google Music, Google Play Movies, Gmail, and Newsstand.

Just download them to your computer and copy them over to your Kindle Fire HDX, just like the first four apps.

Brian Burgess

Is it safe to delete these 4 Google APKs if I decide I don't I like or want them after I install them?

Will my Kindle Fire HD still work if I delete them? I want to get rid of the constant error messages.

Thanks in advance for your further advice.

N8S

… and if it's safe, what do I have to do to delete them?

Thanks.

N8S

@N8S: Yes you can delete the Google Apps you no longer want without causing any issues.

However, the first four apps that you install in order first - those are required in order for the other Google apps you sideload to work.

As far as the errors, that's just something you have to live with. When you root a device or sideload apps that aren't in the official Amazon Appstore, you can't expect them to work perfectly. You're hacking the device, and that causes unwanted issues. It's not an exact science.

To uninstall, just find the app you want to remove, Go to the apps section, tap and hold it until the context menu appears, and select Remove from Device"

Brian Burgess

Uh, this is old news. I've had google apps on my kindle hd for about a year from guess what... An app. I pushed one button and got gmail, google+, youtube, etc.

gj3200

Anyone have a link to a safe version of Google Hangouts? My parents are Kindle users and I'd love to let them easily see their grandson without having to fire up their slow-as-dirt circa-2008 netbooks.

Bob Buchko

After installing Google Account Manager and rebooting. I tried installing Google Service Framework and got an error message: "There is a problem parsing the package. " I tried rebooting and reinstalling/ re-downloading the APKs. Any suggestions? Thank you.

Tommy Lee

youtube doesnt even need any of this stuff, you just can grab Youtube APK, sideload and install it!

Rodo Gioberti

Downloading apps from google play store is easy than amazon store... I want you to please tell me how to download these free applications from the amazon store and the kindle browser onto the device... Such apps are opera mini,etc.. And also how to download games...because I can see free written on the game, yet I CANNOT DOWNLOAD... please help me..

bm

Thank you!

Jimmy Sylakowski

I am not having much luck using this method on my Kindle Fire HDX 8.9. It is almost new and maybe Amazon has set up a block. I followed the instructions. Set the Kindle to allow installation from other sources, downloaded the zip files to my Samsung Ultrabook, attached the Kindle and waited for the software to install for it. Next I downloaded and unzipped the APK file as instructed. In file explorer I have the files on my laptop and the download folder on the Kindle. The files won't copy to the Kindle. I have tried the right click, the Edit drop down, and cntrl-C and cntrl-V. Nothing works. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks very much.

Lynne

Disastrous. I installed the four apps, rebooting as instructed. Each reboot resulted in more and more of the warned-about pop ups about services stopping. When I opened gmail to log in it just continually crashed. I had already got gmail working perfectly on my Kindle which I uninstalled in order to try this method (hoping to get a working Google Play app). A much better method that I already use is to install apps on my android phone and use an apk extractor.

Jo Andrews

Thanks for this tutorial. I was going along just fine with it until I get to the step that says, "Now you can continue to sideload the Google apps you want to use following the same process as above."

How do I get the APKs for other apps that I want to install? You only have the links posted for a few apps and none of those are the ones I want. I don't have an Android phone. My kids have Nabi 2 tablets with Google Play installed and I tried to go into their tablets and find APKs but was unsuccessful.

Specifically I want to install the Hitbliss (Beta) app onto my Kindle Fire HD. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.projectconcord.player.android.HitBliss

Please advise. THANK YOU!

rainbowjewels

I am having the exact same problem that Lynne is having, it will not let me copy the files onto the kindle...grrrr!! I have the kindle 8.9 also. Thanks!! Megan

Megan Slusher

Everything worked just great! BUT I can't seem to find ANY of the apk's inside de Kindle :/ I mean, they're supposed to be installed, but I cant find them anywhere

Deisy Fogtman

Thanks for a great post Brian,

Everything has worked very well, I am even able to sign in to chrome and enjoy the associated benefits. However, the Youtube app does not seem to let me sign in. Is this your experience as well? Is there a different version of the APK available or another method whereby I can signin to Youtube and access my personal favorites/playlists etc? Thanks again!

-Rahul

RahulM

Hey, I downloaded the four APK's to the Kindle and tried to open them. But it say "There is a problem parsing the package" when I try to open Gmail and Google Services Framework. Google Account Manager and Google Play worked. Any help?

Travis Artz-Grodzickyj

anybody else have problems logging in to the youtube app?

Nat Sherman

I tried it, followed all the directions and was able to download clash of clans. Now when I go into the game it always goes back to home and a pop-up says "clash of clans has stopped." Do you know how to fix this?

Benjamin Bigbob

the Youtube app does not seem to let me sign in.

Simone Fortune

Hi, I am sorry to bother you, but I did everything you said, then my NON-Google stuff started crashing! I deleted all the apps that you told me to install and turned "install apps from unknown sources" off, but they are still crashing! I can't play any of my games! Help! Can you fix it?

[Brian Burgess responds: You're using a Kindle Fire HDX right? I haven’t encountered this issue myself.

To fix the issue, I would reset the Fire to factory settings, then start the process over following the instructions step-by-step.

To reset the Kindle Fire HDX go to Settings > Device, then scroll down to Reset to Factory Defaults and follow the onscreen instructions. Before doing that, make sure you back up any data you want to keep that’s stored locally on the tablet. Everything else is stored in your Amazon account in the cloud. Apps, Books, and other content can be installed after the factory reset.

Remember this is a hack, and you’re making the Android tablet do things it wasn’t designed for. It’s not a perfect science."]

Rebecca Morris

I use a Kindle Fire HD (previous generation). To back it up, you just copy your files and put them on your PC? Will it keep my progress on games saved?

Rebecca Morris

I installed the four ape's on my Kindle Fire HDX and, while it all works, I am tired of the error messages. Is there any way I can return to normal without doing a factory reset?

Neil Shapiro

I don't really know if I did something wrong...I'm pretty sure I followed all the directions correctly, but how do you get or find all the other "google apps for kindle fire" once you have downloaded those first four things? I'm not seeing anything else when I click on the download folder. Can someone ppplease help its really frustrating and I'm annoyed!?!? Should I just try deleting everything and starting over again... bc I kinda already have HELP?

kart0321

Hello , will I be able to use google play services do you know please? I want tp be able to link games on mu smartphone to my kindle fire hd!

Chris Garfield

Kindle Fire HDX: I did everything per the instructions in the proper order, and rebooted after each one. Plenty of error messages. The problem was, they were real. Several apps quit working entirely until I uninstalled everything I had just installed - then everything worked fine.

anaki914

Based on what I've found when searching for these apk's the ones he is using are very out of date. Maybe Brian would be nice enough to review this article and update it.

I'm not sure if gmail needs to be installed at all and from what I can gather googleservicesframework might be installed when the latest googleplayservices is installed.

Being male and fancying myself to be somewhat technically inclined I neither thoroughly read nor followed the instructions in order. That said I did get YouTube to work but constantly get a "Google Play services has stopped." error message.

I will probably uninstall the three apk that I installed (GooglePlayServices, android vending (whatever that is, maybe account manager?, I'll figure it out and get back to you) and YouTube) and then install them again in a different order.

I'll post an update on how things go with my Kindle Fire HD 2nd Gen.

Here's a useful link for those who are trying to install these apks. https://developer.amazon.com/appsandservices/solutions/devices/kindle-fire/specifications/01-device-and-feature-specifications

BlueCat57

Here's a question about the apks in the zip file.

Will they update to the latest version of the apk or app?

Or, are you (Brian) updating the files the zip contains?

BlueCat57

OK here's where I'm at. 1. I followed the instructions. 2. I logged into Gmail and my device rebooted on its own. 3. Went back into Gmail and it worked, so far without error messages. 4. Installed YouTube (v 5.7.36, newer than on the link from the article). Did NOT reboot and got an error message. Rebooted and still got the error message, Google Play Services is not supported on your device., and it doesn't work. But I did have it working before so maybe it will work again. 5. Time to eat dinner. I'll get back to you again later.

PS - Does anyone here know what the GBs of Others that shows up under Storage is?

Note: I installed ES File Explorer 3 and it appears that ES File Explorer needs to be on the device for this new version to work. Any experience with this app?

Additional question: It seems like after a reboot it takes a couple of minutes for my carousel to populate. Is that normal?

Finally: Thanks Brian for taking the time to post this and other Kindle articles. I know it takes a lot of extra work to do.

BlueCat57

Installed the Google Play movies apk and installed it but cannot find where my downloaded movies are? Any ideas on it's location

Marcia Reece

Is there a way to remove the error messages, if you remove the applications. Have deleted the apps but the error message keeps popping up and frankly its beginning to do my head in

Michael Griffin

U can also download most apps not available on the Amazon Appstore from Mobogenie.Also u get a lot of apps for free.I downloaded apps like utorrent ,Minecraft, etc.Hope this was helpful :)

Hamid Saeed

Installed just fine. Stupid error messages continue to pop up.

1 Tap to install Google Account Manager and reboot the tablet. 2 Tap to install Google Services Framework and reboot the tablet. 3 Tap to install Google Play Services and reboot the tablet. 4 Tap to install Gmail and reboot the tablet.

Found gmail to uninstall. Found Google Play Services to uninstall. Can't find Google Account Manager or Google Services Framework. But still getting annoying popups of - "Google Services Framework has stopped". So my question is how do I get rid of steps 1 and 2 so these popups stop?

Curtis Kravit

It keeps saying on apps like google+ an hangouts that "google play services needs to be updated"

Dale Walling

I installed all the apps with no problem, no error messages. But I can;t find Goggle Email or any other apps to download other apps.

Brian, you posted links to some of Android apps, but is there a way to install others? Kids want some games, but I'm lost how to go to get them.

Please advise!

Thank you!

Aleksandra Elliott

I followed your instructions and it worked perfectly. Thanks for that.

Now, I've decided that the additional functionality from the Google Apps was not worth the extra hassle with the popups, so I decided to uninstall. Just like Curtis above, I got rid of Gmail and Google Play Services easily, but I can't find Google Account Manager or Google Services Framework to get rid of them. Can anyone help me with this?

Hobbes

I was able to install this Without Rooting!! Make sure to get the Very Latest of each component.

A tool called apk extractor was very helpful to pull Google services apk's off of a working Android tablet!!

Thanks for the tutorial!!

Jon Wadsworth

I followed these instructructions and everything works perfectly! My only problem is that when I try to install any other apk like Youtube, or Hangouts it gives me the error message "Google Play services, which some of your applications rely on, is not supported by your device. Please contact the manufacturer for assistance." The weird thing is after it gives me this message, if I close out of Youtube or Hangouts and open up the gmail app, that still works. So clearly the problem can't actually be with Google Play services unless Gmail somehow doesn't rely on that. What should I do? At the end of the day I'm most interested in getting hangouts to work, so any advice specific to that would be so helpful!

Elizabeth Wilson

How do I get the apps to my desktop?

Emery Frink

Will this work on the newer Kindle Fire HD 6 ?

Paul LaBrier

I've successfully sideloaded apps to the kindle without installing the 4 apps in this article.

These workarounds are ridiculous. Jeff Bezos needs to get real and stop bastardizing the Android OS.

P.S. there is already a kindle version of the gmail app.

Matthew Bovell

I joined this website just so I can complain. I hate these postings because the instructions posted never, ever actually work. They'll be a couple of posted responses that stat,e "worked great!", "thanks a bunch!" , but no details. Then there is post after post of people struggling to complete the tasks to get the darn thing to do what the poster promises all these steps will do.

The first thing is, there is always some critical step that is glossed over - for example, here, the OP says to just transfer the downloaded apps from your PC over to your device download folder.

Really? How? Right clicking to copy and paste doesn't work. Dragging doesn't work. How did this guy do it? I have a couple of apps on my desktop for acessing and backing up and transferring data between my computer and my IPOD, Itunes, and my phone. None of them work with this as they are specific to certain devices or only what to transfer data like photos and vids, not folders or games. I have Windows and it might have a way to do it via Bluetooth. But if that's the way to do it, then say so.

I notice there is no response to a couple of readerswho stated he couldn't transfer the download files to his device (trying cut & paste). Could we get a little more information on that please or is it that Amazon is now blocking the ability to transfer? A yes or a no would be nice.

The other thing that annoys me is, some readers do not follow instructions: for example, the OP tells you, download ES File Explorer so you can find the darn files that you did manage to transfer or load on your file. This a must-have app which will dig deep into your phone to show you all your folders and apps, etc.. People READ for christsakes.

Okay, those people deserve to be frustrated.

Whenever I write instructions, I write them in such a way that anyone tech savvy or not can follow step by step. Mine leave no stone unturned. You can look at them and go step by step and actually achieve success (First, plug the device in, then turn it on, once it's fully loaded, locate xyz folder, to locate that foldeer, click start, then search, then type xyz in the dialog box, after locating xyz folder, right click on it, you will see xxx and yyy, right click on yyy, now...) It takes more time, but knowing how frustrated I get when someone glosses over some crucial item, I take the time to write them out explicitly. If you can't follow instructions or don't know how to troubleshoot, you shouldn't be messing with your device iin the first place, but on the other hand, if someone is going to go on the internet and write this stuff, I really wish they would please cover all the bases for those who are not so tech savvy.

Or at least come back and check postings and answer the questions.

Anyway, sideloading sounds like a big pain and I've already had a device with Google (Samsung) have a glitch and that error message popped up every 5 seconds. Not worth it to see if I can play HayDay on my Kindle.

Thanks for much of nothing.

Meh712

Thanks a lot for this. Just what I was looking for. Greatly improves the utility of the Fire for me.

David Rosenfeld

I bought the Kindle Fire HD6 for my 7 year old because I was told it had good parental controls. However, the main reason I bought it was so he could use it with the new Lego Fusion sets. I downloaded the Lego FusionTown Master app onto my phone and transferred it to the Kindle, but now am getting a message that says "download failed because the resources could not be found" Any idea how to fix this??

Sarah Silhanek

Thank you! Thank you for this wonderful article. Just got a Kindle Fire HD and so glad that I can bring my Google stuff over. Happy Holidays!

Leticia Olivarez

Any way to change the default launcher on Kindle Fire HD? Im tired of the stock one, thanks.

Daquane

I just use 1Mobile Market...

Spankmeister

Lots of new comments since I was last here. I will have a LONG comment in a day or two but for now I want to point something out. While working for an aerospace company I wrote the instructions for operating one of the computer rooms. After a year of hard labor I was finished! Or so I thought. They told me, "Now take your stuff to the technical writers." The first thing the technical writer explained to me was that "Hit any key to continue." was not an unambiguous instruction. "Tap to install ... and the tablet." is confusing for me and may be for others. Since I have had to "reboot" my Fire many times for various reasons I have discovered that there are a couple of ways to "reboot" my tablet. You can "reboot" by: 1. Simply holding down the power key until you get the "shut down" dialog. Then selecting shut down and then power it back up. 2. Holding down the power key for over 20 seconds and then power back up. I believe this is called resetting by some and restarting by Amazon. I searched Amazon Help for the term "reboot" and received NO search results. This leads me to believe that one cannot "reboot" a Kindle tablet! So, what does Brian mean by "reboot"? I am going to assume that he means option 1. Simply shut the tablet down and then power it back up. That is the usual meaning of "reboot" in the computer world. Any definitive answers?

BlueCat57

OK for all of those complaining about getting errors messages or not understanding the meaning of the error messages. CLICK OK AND IGNORE THEM! You are doing something to your tablet that Amazon does NOT want you to do and that your tablet is NOT designed to do. It will tell you that it does NOT like what you have done to it. If you are bothered by error messages you shouldn't have tried sideloading to start with. Right in the instructions it tells you that there will be error messages. Don't worry about understanding the error messages. Even if we could understand them we couldn't do anything about them. If hitting OK gets you to the app then be happy. I'll be posting in a day or two what I have learned about sideloading. Some of that post will deal with "the latest" apps. For now understand that you canNOT install the latest version of most apps but I will explain how to get the most recent version possible. Sideloading is an experiment. Sometimes you have to try something and if it doesn't work you back down a version of an app until you find the version that works. Please don't be offended by my tone. I'm not trying to offend. "That's just the way I'm drawn."

BlueCat57

PS - I forgot to point out that there is a difference between "resetting by holding the power key down for more than 20 seconds" and "resetting to factory defaults". Holding the power key down for 20 seconds won't reset all of your fine tuning, sideloading and other customizations. Resetting to factory defaults will wipe out everything that is not Amazon. (Or at least that is what I assume. A definitive answer would be appreciated if anyone has one.) If you think you need to reset to factory defaults READ about what that means BEFORE you do it. You may be able to back up some of your customization using ES File Explorer or at least save some of the stuff to your computer so it is easier to restore. Amazon does "backup" (don't get me started on the definition of "backup". That is a whole 'nuther rant.) some of the stuff on your Fire automatically so you will see a bunch of stuff come back when you restart.

BlueCat57

I followed your instructions exactly, twice in fact, because I cannot get the Google Play app to work. I downloaded the appropriate APK files, in order, just as you said, but that particular file is not working. So when I tried to run Google Search, it's telling me I need Google Play Services, which are already installed, and that my device does not support it. I'm at a loss. Has anyone else had this problem? Gmail, etc. seems fine and I was even able to download a game I wanted. When I install that app, it goes through the whole process, but when I try to open it, screen blinks and nothing happens.

Ann Dooley

For some reason when i try to open the package it says that (specifically) the Google Services Framework and the Gmail_4.6 apps cannot be "parsed" correctly.

1.) What is parsing?

2.) What can i do to fix it?

CrazyTacos12

I have the same problem. Whenever I try to download/open the Gmail and Google Frameworks, it says that there was a problem parsing the package.

stephanie_downey

Hi,

I side loaded the initial apps as you stated and then went to the Android Drawer to get Hangouts. I side loaded hangouts and restarted my device, but the app won't work. It says Google Play Services is not supported by the device. I thought maybe it was the APK I found on the site. So, I went to an APK downloader site and pasted the actual Google Play link in the generate download box. The download worked, but I still received the same pop up and then just a white screen until I closed the app. Help?

Thanks!

Regina Daniels

hello

The zip file for the amazon to download the apps does not exist,

Can you help me?

Thanks Lizette

Lizette Munoz

I guess folks didn't see my comment from late last year. However well intentioned, the author made this way too complicated.

You only need to enable the device for sideloading which he does at the beginning of the article. Other than installing the ES File program, you don't need to perform ANY of the other steps.

Find the APK files for apps you want to install, execute them and you're done.

Caveats: 1. Finding safe APK's without access to the Google play store is not easy. 2. You will get error messages. If you don't like that, don't sideload. 3. This will not work for every single app. It's hit and miss. 4. Jeff Bezos, knock off the crap and make this a pure Android device!!!!

Matthew Bovell

This video is great AND simple.

http://youtu.be/MB84PzfbRYc

Matthew Bovell
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