By Jeffrey Van CampProvided by
This is technically a guide to the best Kindle Fire apps, but really, it's a guide to our favorite apps on Amazon's Appstore for Android. Most of these apps are available on Android smartphones and tablets as well, but not all of them. The Kindle Fire is quickly becoming the hottest device outside of the iPad and at $200, it's the first one that almost anyone can afford, if they save up.
Below are our favorite apps and games for the Kindle Fire.
Audible for Android
Publisher: AmazonCategory: Books & ComicsPrice: Free (You need an Audible subscription)
Description: Audiobooks have been available on Kindle before, but using Audible on an Android device is much more satisfying. The interface the Kindle Fire mimics is the same as the interface on the Android Market, but if you like audio, Audible is the best store for purchasing audiobooks, as they're available in a number of places and formats now. The Audible app lets you download any of the books you've previously purchased for local use on your Kindle Fire. The only catch with Audible is that you really have to sign up for a monthly plan for it to be affordable. Plans run about $15 and come with one free book each month.
Publisher: HuluPlatform: Kindle FireCategory: EntertainmentPrice: Free (You need a Hulu Plus subscription)
Description: Hulu has been trying its best to mimic the Netflix model and have its app everywhere, but it hasn't kept up well, which is why we were pleasantly surprised to see it appear on not only the Nook Tablet, but now the Kindle Fire as well. If you have a Hulu Plus subscription, you can watch all of your TV shows and movies on your Fire wherever you have a Wi-Fi connection. Fans will be happy to know that a few new shows, like Community, are now available on TVs and portable devices now too, so you may not get that annoying message saying that your Hulu Plus subscription isn't so Plus after all. Netflix is available as well.
Where's My Water?
Publisher: DisneyPlatform: Android, Kindle FireCategory: GamesPrice: $1
Description: One of the strong points of Amazon's Appstore is that it has attracted some great games. Disney's Where's My Water is a physics-based puzzler where you have to dig a path for water so that it will run into a drain and give Swampy the Alligator a bath. It sounds silly, but it can be pretty damn hard, especially if you want to collect the three rubber duckies along the way and avoid the purple acid. This game follows in the flight path of Angry Birds with unlimited retries and no time limits. We love it. If you want Angry Birds, it's, of course, also available.
Plants vs. Zombies
Publisher: PopCap GamesPlatform: Android, Kindle Fire (special Kindle Fire edition)Category: GamesPrice: $3
Description: Plants vs. Zombies has been around for a while, but if you want to play it (or any other PopCap game) on Android, you'll need the Amazon Appstore. We like the enhanced Kindle Fire edition, which has enough screen real estate to really have a full game grid. If you haven't played before, Plants vs. Zombies is a kind of tower defense game. Zombies slowly walk across your yard and it's up to you to place the right plants to shoot them down. Yep, after the zombie apocalypse, plants become a lot more aggressive. The game has a great pace and introduces new elements every level. Check it out.
Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner
Publisher: Allrecipes.comPlatform: Android, Kindle FireCategory: CookingPrice: Free
Description: Cooking comes natural to some, but not everyone. If you're like us, it's hard enough to figure out what kind of food you want to eat, but to then try and find a recipe… well, it's just a lot of work. The Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner is like Urbanspoon for eating in. Using a slot machine-like selector, it lets you choose what type of meal you want to eat (salad, drink, dessert, soup, etc.), how long you have to make it (20 minutes, over an hour, etc.), and what the central ingredient should be (lamb, pasta, fruit, etc). Enter that and it will parse its 40,000+ recipe database and suggest a whole bunch of recipes, ranked by popularity and relevance. Pick a recipe and you can read reviews of it and check out nutrition facts.
Comics by ComiXology
Publisher: ComiXologyPlatform: Kindle FireCategory: Books & ComicsPrice: Free
Description: If you have a Kindle Fire, there's a chance that you might be interested in reading, and if you like reading, why not check out some comics? They have pictures too, and some are quite good. Comics by ComiXology is the best comics app we've yet seen for the Kindle Fire. You do have to register for a free account, but there are a number of free comics like the first issue of The Walking Dead and others. The Kindle Fire is just large enough to display comic pages in a readable way, and every issue we've looked at has come out very crisp so far.
Publisher: Darren Murtha DesignPlatform: Android, Kindle FireCategory: EntertainmentPrice: $2
Description: We haven't been a big drawers since our elementary school years, but if you have a young one, or a creative side, the Drawing Pad app from Darren Murtha Design is one of the best we've seen. Like all of them, you use your finger to draw on the screen, but Drawing Pad has a huge assortment of colored pencils, markers, crayons, and paintbrushes to choose from. More than that though, the app runs with its grade school theme, providing different colors of construction paper for its background, marker stamps, and even stickers that you can resize, rotate, and move around. Add a little imagination in and you've got an app with unlimited potential. Your pictures can be saved or shared with any other app that accepts a picture.
Cut the Rope
Publisher: ZeptoLabPlatform: Android, Kindle FireCategory: GamesPrice: $1
Description: Following the winning Angry Birds formula of combining universally cute graphics with an addictive puzzle element, Cut the Rope has you attempting to collect stars as you feed the hungry baby monster "Om Nom" some candy. You do this by selectively cutting ropes with a swipe of your finger. The concept isn't the winner here, it's the level design. Even asCut the Rope's near endless number of levels get more difficult, the game always makes it incredibly easy to retry and never puts a time limit on you. This makes the game a somewhat stress-free experience, even compared to Birds and other games that give you unlimited lives. Because of its no pressure approach, we found ourselves striving for higher scores as much as we were trying to beat the levels. Give this one a buy.
More on the way
We'll be sure to update this list as the Amazon Appstore quickly fills up. Currently, the store is a bit bare since the Kindle Fire only just launched, but we expect its popularity will jump start a big wave of app submissions from Android app makers and others. If you have an app suggestion, let us know in the comments below.
This article was originally posted on Digital Trends