You can easily add the Amazon Appstore to your Android tablet or phone.
Starting our fourth decade: Al Fasoldt's reviews and commentaries, continuously online for 30 years


No Google Play store for Android? Here's an alternative

August 4, 2013

By Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2013, Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2013, The Post-Standard

Android tablets usually come with an app called Google Play. It takes you to the app store run by Google, where you can choose from 800,000 apps. (Check out my favorite Android apps from the Play Store.)

But some Android tablets are missing the Play Store app. Sometimes these are cheaper-than-cheap tablets. The small fee Google charges for access to the Play Store would have cost a significant part of the price. But I've seen higher-cost tablets inexplicably denuded of Google's store, too.

(Before I get inundated with questions from iPad users, let me explain that the Google Play Store is for Android devices, not for Apple's iPad and iPhone. Apple users have the iTunes App Store.)

What's a poor droid to do?

Add the Amazon Appstore to your "Playless" tablet, that's what. The Amazon Appstore has but a shadow of Google's apps -- 50,000, or 6 percent of Google's total -- but look at it this way -- it's easier to search. (How many jumping bird games do you need?) The Amazon store is easy on the eyes, too, with a friendly look.

But look before you leap. If you have a Kindle Fire tablet, you already have the Amazon Appstore. But if you have a Barnes & Noble Nook, listen up: You can forget the wimpy B&N app store and enjoy the Amazon variety.

It seems you can't simply grab the Amazon Appstore app and install it. You have to go to the Amazon Appstore website first, perform some sort of Vulcan mind meld with your tablet and then download the app the old-fashioned way. (That's OK. Android devices can download whatever they want. It's the iPhone and iPad that can't do downloads. Stick your tongue out at the next iPad user going by.)

Be sure to follow the directions exactly when you go to the Amazon site. Here's my guide:

Do a Google search for this exact phrase: amazon appstore for android getting started. Choose the first non-ad link. (Ads have a pinkish background.) Follow the directions on the page exactly. You'll be downloading the appstore app.

Once the download is done, you'll find the installation file in your download folder. Use the Download (or Downloads) icon on your tablet to get there. Tap the installation file to get your tablet to install the app. Find the resulting Appstore icon on your tablet and you're all set.

One more tip: Everything I've said about Android tablets is true of Android phones. If your Android phone is missing the Play Store app, you can add it easily using the instructions above.