March 27, 2015

How To: Sideload apps onto Kindle Fire


Without a doubt, the hottest (pun!) new tablet on the scene right now is the Amazon Kindle Fire.  At $200 it stands to reason that this device may become the best selling “Android” tablet of the year.  Given there are so many cool things we know about it, we can see why people are clamoring for one.  However, for we did know about the Kindle Fire there were plenty of things we didn’t know… Would we be able to sideload apps?  Do we have to root it?  Can we root it?

Thanks to one of our readers, Steve D, we can scratch one of those off the list.  Apparently it’s rather easy to sideload applications onto the tablet.

It turns out you just need to add the USB Vendor ID for the device into the file ~/.android/adb_usb.ini and then adb can find it.

It’s worth noting that these instructions are for Mac however cannot imagine the PC process being much different.

  1. On the Kindle Fire Settings screen, go to “Device” and turn On “Allow Installation of Application From Unknown Sources”
  2. Plug your Kindle Fire into your Mac.
  3. Open ~/.android/adb_usb.ini with your favorite text editor
  4. Add the value “0x1949″ to the end of the file and save it.
  5. You’ll need to restart the adb server process to get it to re-read that file. Do that with “adb kill-server”.
  6. Run “adb devices” and you should see the attached device.
Now, if you’ve got an .apk you want to throw on there, just do “adb install myfavoriteapp.apk”. The app should now be shown on the “Apps” page when you select the “Device” tab (not “cloud”).

Proceed with caution – we’d hate to see you do anything to that new tablet!

Act Local Media

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  1. Dflohr

    Making it too hard.  Just email the .apk files to yourself, save them on the Fire SDCard, and launch them through any free file tool like AndroExplorer.

    • Anonymous

       Agreed I am on a mac and I simply copied the .APK file for the dolphin browser to my kindle and used the ESfile explorer to launch the installer. No one needs that extra step with the text editor “UBS.ini” etc

  2. Gib Wallis

    Steps are missing in this post, so it’s not self-contained.

    Open ~/.android/adb_usb.ini with your favorite text editorAdd the value “0x1949″ to the end of the file and save it.

    Where does one open that file from?

    Where does one save it?

    What is this ADB thing that needs to be run?

    If there are pre-requisites, they should be linked to here or you should step them out. People arrive here from Google (as did I) and the instructions don’t help.

    A comment from aaroncavanaugh2  link to self-contained instructions that are also simpler.


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