Amazon Fire HD as navigation system
Although the Amazon Fire HD is well equipped for the low price, it doesn't have GPS built in. How you can still receive and navigate a GPS with it , I will show you here step by step. Thereby you get an inexpensive, fully functional navigation system. Of course, this manual can also be used for all other Android devices.
Requirements - You need all that
Before we can get started, you need four things:
Purchase advice tablet: Amazon Fire HD
The Amazon Fire HD Tablet is available in 3 different sizes: 7, 8 and 10 inch, I recommend you to buy the 8 or 10 inch version. These sizes are ideal for navigation. They don't take too much space away from the windscreen, but they are big enough for you to see everything. Also planning the route in advance with the tablet works very well from 8 inches.
In terms of performance, the HD 10 is even more powerful than the HD 8. I use the Fire HD 8 myself, but sometimes I wish it were a bit faster. Especially if you still let the music run over it, the performance is already a bit weak. So if you want more performance, you should go for HD 10. The other equipment is virtually identical for all devices.
The two large tablets differ in price by 60€. This is quite a lot, but if you're not in a hurry, you should wait for Amazon Prime Day or Black Friday. On Prime Day the Fire HD 8 was 30€ cheaper! All devices are exclusively available on Amazon.
|Fire HD 7||Fire HD 8||Fire HD 10|
|7 inch||8 inch||10 inch|
|For the absolute savers and the small purse. The display is too small for route planning, for navigation itself, it should be long.||The minimal version for navigation operation. The performance is sufficient for it. If you have several apps open, the tablet reaches its limits and reacts very slowly.||Not only 2 inch bigger, but also a bit more powerful. If you want a large display and a faster tablet in general, this is a good choice.|
|Buy on Amazon||Buy on Amazon||Buy on Amazon|
External GPS receiver for Fire HD
All Fire HD tablets come without a built-in GPS receiver. For this reason we have to use an external receiver, a so-called GPS mouse. There are 2 different variants:
- Wireless, via Bluetooth
- Wired, via Micro USB
The advantage of the wired version is that there is no battery problem with the receiver and you can connect the tablet to the radio via Bluetooth to listen to music. However, you can't charge the tablet because there is only one USB port. They are usually cheaper.
The wireless receiver occupies the Bluetooth connection, but leaves the USB port free for charging. But listening to music is still possible via the headphone output or USB. Mostly more expensive than the wired version.
In general, these devices can also be used as GPS receivers for mobile phones. The reception is usually better than the one built into the smartphone. So you can also track your hiking tours well.
Which one you choose is up to you. I bought a wireless receiver. Well known brands are Navilock, Garmin or Qstarz:
|NAVILOCK BT-821G||NAVILOCK GPS NL-602U USB||Qstarz BT-Q818 XT|
|GPS & GLONASS||GPS||GPS|
|Wireless via Bluetooth||Cabled||Wireless via Bluetooth and wired|
|I use this device and can recommend it without reservation. I bought it used for 52€.||Good device, with fast and reliable reception. Do not forget the USB-MicroUSB adapter.||Reliable device that works both wired and wireless. Very good GPS reception|
|Buy on Amazon||Buy on Amazon||Buy on Amazon|
Note: The wired version is cheaper, but for setup purposes it is much more complicated as far as I know. My instructions for pairing the devices therefore only refer to the wireless GPS receivers.
Install Google PlayStore on the Fire HD
Unfortunately the Amazon Tablets have their own Android version and do not haveGoogle PlayStore pre-installed. Therefore, we have to install it ourselves so that we can access all programs from the PlayStore.
This step is not dangerous in principle, but I must point out that I do not give any guarantee and bla bla bla bla.
"Activate "Apps from unknown origin
First, we allow the tablet to install apps from unknown sources. This is what you do:
- Open preferences.
- Select menu item "Security
- In the item "Advanced" there is the field: "Apps from unknown origin
- Activate this item with the controller
- Confirm the warning message with OK
When you are finished with everything, you can and should deactivate the controller again. This increases the security of the tablet.
Download Google installation files
Before the installation can begin, you must download the APK files. All APKs can be found in a ZIP archive on Google Play Store installation files Netzwelt.de. Download the package and unzip the files on your desktop.
Connect your tablet via USB to your PC and copy the unzipped files (4 in total) into the"Download" folder on the tablet.
Install Google PlayStore
Now you're almost there! Take the tablet and open the app "Documents". Select the tab "Local Documents" in the upper right corner and tap on the folder "Download".
Here you can find the 4 files. Tap on each of the files in the following order and always confirm the hint with "Install". The correct order is important:
Note: If the "install" button is grayed out, switch the display off and on again.
Open Google PlayStore on the Fire HD
When the installation of all 4 files is complete (this may take some time), the tablet restarts. If it does not do this automatically, you can do it manually.
Once the Fire HD is up again, open the Google PlayStore and sign in to your Google Account. The first start takes a while.
Now you can install all apps from the PlayStore. Don't forget to update the Google Play Services app. If you experience any problems, restart the PlayStore.
GPS on the Fire HD via Bluetooth
To finally pair your GPS device with the tablet, you need an app that can talk to the GPS device. A so-called GPS provider. This app runs in the background and maintains the connection to the GPS receiver.
So go to PlayStore and look for the free app "Bluetooth GPS Provider". Install the app. This applies only to the wireless GPS receivers.
Switch on the GPS receiver. For the wired version, please simply plug in.
Pair GPS receiver with Fire HD
If you have a wireless GPS mouse, you have to pair it up first . Proceed as follows:
- Open Settings
- Select "WLAN" under Devices
- Tap on "Bluetooth"
- Activate Bluetooth
- Tap on "Pair a Bluetooth device".
- Select the GPS receiver under "Devices", if it does not appear, tap Scan again. If it still doesn't appear, check if the GPS receiver is really switched on
Activate GPS receiver in GPS Provider
Go back to the main menu and open the previously installed app "Bluetooth GPS Provider":
- Tap on the 3 dots in the upper right corner and select "Settings
- Tap on Select GPS receiver
- Select your previously paired GPS receiver
- Go back to the start page of the app
- Click on the "Play" button on the bottom right of the app.
- After a few seconds blue bars should appear
- Congratulations, now you have GPS reception :)
Navi App for Fire HD
Now everything is ready, only an app for navigation is missing. You can either use an online navigation app like Google Maps (but you need an internet connection) or you can install an offline navigation app like Locus Map. Or of course just both ;)
I myself mainly use Locus Map for navigation. This app is enormously comprehensive and can do everything you need. For navigation with Locus Map I will write an extra article and link it here of course.
Congratulations! You have successfully GPS-enabled your Amazon Fire HD and can now navigate . Of course you can also use this guide on all other Android devices. Buy a car mount for the tablet and you are well equipped. Only with Apple devices this guide will not work. Have fun!