Don’t worry, whether this is your first Android device or your tenth, I’ve collected a wide range of apps including things to help you at work, stuff to entertain you, and even fun little games for when you’re bored.
If you’d like to jump to a particular category just use one of these links:
But before you go, just one word of caution. Certain apps you install may have a dramatic impact on battery life, even when you aren’t using them. I have only included applications that I use and have experience with.
QuickOffice Pro – $14.99
One bad thing about the Kindle Fire is that it doesn’t come loaded with any of the Google suite of apps. I have no idea why, and I consider this the most significant shortcoming of the device. Having said that, since we can’t get Google Docs on the Fire, Quickoffice is the next best thing.
Quickoffice is an app that allows you to open all the Microsoft Office suite of filetypes. So you’ve got Word, PowerPoint and Excel lookalikes – and they’re actually usable. At $15 this is the most expensive app on the list (most are free), but its still a good bargain for what you get. And it will allow you work on just about any document type you want while you’re on the run.
Evernote – Free
Evernote is essentially a digital scrapbook that unites your entire online existence. They have applications for Windows, Macs, iPhones, and Android devices. They also have widgets, plugins and all manner of add-ons to help you collect and organize your thoughts pretty much everywhere!
If you’re driving around and want to make a To Do list, Evernote it! If you’re surfing the web and want to save a Web page you’re visiting, Evernote it! There’s no end to what you can save in Evernote: text, photos, videos, audio clips. Just get it. You’ll be glad you did.
LinkedIn – Free
Are you LinkedIn? If not, you’re missing out on the most important business networking site on the planet. Facebook is fun for friends and family, but if you want to keep track of co-workers, bosses and contacts you NEED to be using LinkedIn.
The mobile app will keep you in contact on the go, so the next time you have a hot opportunity you can whip out your Fire and shoot someone from your past a message.
Office Calculator – Free
This one is a no-brainer. How many times have you been somewhere and had to do a little more math than you were comfortable with in your head?
- What’s 15% of a $67.49 meal receipt?
- How much is 33% off this $89 dress?
- What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
Don’t get caught without your calc.
Stock Alert – FREE
Do you own any stocks? Care about financial news and what’s happening in the market? Well Stock Alert will not only help you track your portfolio, but it can also give you real-time alerts when certain things happen.
For example, if you want to know when a certain stock you own hits a particular price – it’ll do that! It’ll also help you keep track of currency conversions, commodities and the markets in general. After all, it’s hard to be productive when you aren’t informed!
Advanced Task Killer – Free
Ok, you know how I was saying before that certain apps can really slow down your machine, or drain your battery? Well, Advanced Task Killer is the one app to rule them all! You can tell it to shut down the other apps in the background so that they aren’t using your CPU, hogging your memory and eating your battery!
Just install it and then in the settings enable the auto-kill functionality so it keeps your Fire burning bright all day long.
TaskKiller Pro – $2.99
TaskKiller Pro is a lot like Advanced Task Killer, but I just like it more. I can’t even remember why, except to say that when I first started using Android I tried every one of these apps and for weeks and weeks I tested them out. At the end of the day, I actually paid for this one! And I keep using it all the time.
And by the way, I know Free is an attractive price, but remember… we’re only talking about a couple of bucks for these paid apps. And once you buy them one time, you can use them on every Android device you own.
Wifi Analyzer – FREE
The WiFi Analyzer is one of those apps that you never knew existed, but after you find it, its the kind of app that makes you never want to leave the Android platform.
Apple users don’t have anything like this amazing tool which lets you see a visual, real-time graph of all the wireless networks around you. Why would you want this? Well, for example: have you ever checked at your house to see if your network is on the same exact channel as your neighbors? If it is, that could be slowing you down by about 400%.
Use this app to map out what’s around you. It’s like wearing special goggles that let you see the magical WiFi waves.
The Coupons App – FREE
Like saving money? Of course you do! And with the Coupons App you’ll save LIKE A BOSS! Just fire it up and let it find your location (tell it to use your IP address since the Fire doesn’t have GPS). Then its give you just a whole boatload of coupons.
When you find something you want, select it and they’ll email you the coupon after you fill out your deets.
eBay – FREE
Ok, there’s no way I have to convince you to get the eBay app is there? Wait, you’ve never eBay’ed before?!? Son, you haven’t lived!
Well, it might not be that great… but eBay is the world’s biggest person to person marketplace. And if you have something to sell, or something you want to buy, you should definitely look into completing that transaction on eBay first.
Zillow Real Estate – FREE
Zillow is the top Real Estate search site, and this app accompanies their huge database (plus adds location information to show you what’s around you on normal Android devices… just sayin’).
I’ve purchased several homes recently, and I always use Zillow to help me narrow down areas and get an idea of what is available and at what price ranges. But be aware, Zillow is often wildly inaccurate. It will say certain homes are for sale when they aren’t. And vice versa. Their Zestimate value estimation algorithm has been smoking crack 80% of the time.
Anyway, it’s still a useful tool.
Pulse – FREE
Pulse is an app that actually comes pre-loaded on your Kindle Fire. But even if it didn’t, you’d want it! It’s a news reading app that allows you to subscribe to just about any source ranging from a number of built in sites they have in the catalog, to manually entering those that aren’t there.
Fire up your Pulse and make sure and add GeekBeat.TV to keep up with all our latest articles. Just do a search for GeekBeat.TV and it’ll be the first one in the list!
Ok, this one is a bit of a trick. You don’t actually have to download a Kindle app, because the Fire has it kind of built-in.
Just hit your Home button and at the top of the screen choose the BOOKS menu item. You’ll instantly see everything you ever bought from the Kindle store. And if you want something new, in the top right corner just hit the STORE button.
Super secret tip: Amazon Prime members can check out the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library for about 5,000 books you can get for FREE! You can borrow one book per month, so take advantage of it.
American Airlines – FREE
Ok, you might not travel on American Airlines as much as I do, so you might just have to find a different airline app. (Good luck, cause I couldn’t find them…) But if you do fly American, you’re going to want to download the app – post haste.
The AA app will let you check in on flights, see arrival and departure times, use electronic boarding passes, and a whole lot more. So it’s well worth the 5 minutes you’re going to spend setting it up.
MapQuest – FREE
Since Google Maps isn’t available on the Amazon App Store yet, we’ll have to settle for MapQuest. The good news is that you aren’t really “settling” since MapQuest offers turn-by-turn directions, voice search capability, and auto-rerouting.
Now, if only the Kindle Fire actually had GPS to make the mapping accurate… Well, that’s a little unfair too. Because when I tested it out, MapQuest knew exactly where I was. But can you tell that I’m still bitter about Google services missing from a Google operating system???
Super Secret Hacker Bonus!!!
This next one isn’t for the faint of heart, or for the amateur newbie. Having said that, if you want to be able to install applications that Amazon HASN’T APPROVED for the Kindle Fire, you can head over to GetJar.com and install their app.
When you visit the site it’s going to ask you what kind of device you have. You have to LIE and tell them you’re on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7″. Then install the GetJar app and you’ll be able to search through all of the Android apps out there to do what you like…
Ok, that’s a good list to get you started. I’ll work on a “Part 2″ later, but in the meantime if you have any favorite apps that you know run well on the Kindle Fire, by all means, let me know below!