7 days with the Amazon Kindle Fire HD: Revealing its inner power-tablet

Setting up Amazon's consumption device as a productive Android tablet isn't for the faint of heart.

By , ITworld |  Consumerization of IT, Amazon, Android tablets

Day 4. Come on, get app-y

Today I wanted to record myself and upload a video using on YouTube. Turns out, this isn't as easy as I had assumed. The Kindle Fire HD has a front-facing camera, but it's (apparently) only available in some apps (such as the Skype for Kindle Fire app).

With a little trick, you can access the default Android camera app and use it for 1080p video recording and picture taking. Here's how that works: First, go to the Amazon App Store to download the ES File Explorer (any other Android/Kindle file explorer will also work).

Open up the app and go to the "AppMgr" section, tap "Category" and then "System apps". Now you'll see the hidden Camera app (and maybe even some other apps that you missed).

Tap on the icon, select "Open". From now on the app will appear in the Kindle home carousel.

While we're on the subject of missing apps... The Kindle curiously lacks a dedicated YouTube app. While there are some third-party YouTube downloading and viewing apps in the store, I found a lot of them just weren't as good as the official YouTube app available for Android or iOS devices.

Fortunately, you can download the Android app if you enable sideloading. Here's how: Swipe from the top of the screen, tap on "Device" and make sure that "Allow Installation of Applications" is set to "On". Then, download the YouTube app on your PC (official app from here or the unofficial hacked HD version from here) and use Windows Explorer or Finder to copy the app to Kindle's "Download" folder. Unplug the Kindle and open any file manager. Jump to the "Download" folder, tap on the YouTube package and hit "Install":

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