For those looking for a reliable entry level tablet, both the Kindle HD and HDX from Amazon are solid choices. With their decent specs, low price point and history of dependable performance there comes but one flaw: Even though both the HD and HDX use an Android Operating System, neither can download standard apps like YouTube out of the box. However if you’re feeling particularly brave, I’ll happily be your guide out of the borders of the Amazon Apps store and into true App independence in 2017.
Our first step for both devices lies in giving ourselves permission to install applications from anywhere, not just the Amazon App Store. To do this simply swipe down on the home screen, tap “More” then “Device”. Just below “Date and Time” you should see an On-Off switch for allowing installation of apps from unknown sources, make sure it is switched “On”. If you don’t feel like a Kindle wizard yet, that’s okay. These next few steps will get you there.
Ironically, our next step is to download an app from, you guessed it, the Amazon Store. The one we are looking for is ES File Explorer which is luckily enough free. This will allow us to manipulate files we will be handling later on in the tutorial.
Next, be sure to connect your Kindle to a PC using a Micro USB Cord. There will be an Auto-play menu that appears. Be sure to select “Open Device to View Files”. And now, the fun part begins. We will need to download the YouTube APK file (Android aPplication pacKage, in case you’re curious) from a trusted source like this one. Be sure to save the file where you can easily access it; I prefer the Desktop. Be sure to not try to open the file on your PC to “test it out”, at best the file won’t load and at worst you’ll get a page full of random characters. Now, take those files and copy them into the download folder found within the Auto-play menu you opened a few moments ago.
With the Kindle still connected, open up the ES File Explorer app and go to the download folder within. There you should see the YouTube Icon as you would with any other device. Tap on the icon, and the ES File Explorer App will guide you through the remainder of the installation process. Afterwards, disconnect the Kindle from the PC (or install more App APKs if you so desire) and close ES File Explorer. YouTube should now be displayed among your collection app collection. On the off chance it doesn’t appear correctly, you may need to go back into the Auto-play file manager and transfer the APK to “ /system/app” Directory, found within the same folder family.
Now you are fully free to download any app on the web. As with any modification to your devices, do keep in mind this may void any warranties you have on them. Furthermore, not all APKs are guaranteed to be safe; download only from safe, trusted sources and double check that all file names match when downloading them. In terms of secure sites, I would trust Sourceforge, Mediafire and also browse Androidforums.com for possible leads on hard to find APKs. Some I would recommend would be Dropbox for file transfer and storage, and the Go Launcher APK, which allows for further customization of the Kindle device, including the cover screen.