Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How To Side Load HBO Go On Kindle Fire

**** NOTE HBO GO NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE FIRE FROM AMAZON

I'll leave this here because it shows the process of side-loading apps on to the fire.
****

The Kindle Fire is a great little tablet. It has polish and sturdiness that you wouldn't expect for a $199 device.

For most people, I think it would more than take care of their tablet needs. iPad killer? Probably not, it lacks a few things that will probably prevent it from ever taking down the king.

So what is it missing? The obvious answers are screen size, camera, mic, and storage. The less obvious is apps. By default you can only get apps on the Fire from the amazon app store. And while there are tons of apps on there, it pales in comparison to the Google Android Market.

One thing missing from the Amazon app store HBO Go, which is a great streaming service for HBO subscribers. While you can get HBO Go in the android market, the Fire apparently is out of luck.

One other nice feature of the Fire is that you can "side-load" apps - meaning you can install programs without using the Amazon App Store. So here is how to install HBO Go on the Kindle Fire.

A couple of things to note. First, HBO Go displays at a rather crappy resolution. Don't expect the sharp awesome picture of an iPad's native HBO Go app. It isn't perfect but still beats the jitter fest that is HBO Go's flash site.

Second, this process requires you to have an android device that has access to Google's android market, and can run HBO Go.

Third, I use Astro, ES File Explorer, and a computer to perform this task. If you are savvy and want to use other methods, you probably don't need this "how to", and you already know that there are other ways to do this.

So now the process:

On the Fire: tap the settings gear (upper right corner of the display) and then click more. Select devices, then on "Allow Installation of Applications from unknown sources" select ON


Now, you will need to go to your android phone/device that has Android Market on it.

You will need to have both HBO Go, and another app: Astro installed on this device. Both should be available in the Android Market. If you don't see HBO Go there, it means your device is not capable of running it.

Once both are installed on your device, run Astro. This is a file browsing/backup utility. Tap the menu button on your device, and then select tools, then application backup. You will then be presented with a list of apps installed on the device. Select HBO Go, then press the menu button, then Backup.

Once completed, you now have an .apk file that you can install on another android device (like the Fire).

We now need to get this to the fire. I found the following way to be the simplest, but there are many ways to do this.

Connect your phone/device to your computer, and attach it as mass storage. Browse to the backups folder, then apps. inside you will see your .apk file copy this to your computer. The desktop or other scratch space should work.

Disconnect your phone. Now connect your Fire to the computer. Copy your .apk to the "Downloads" folder.

Once completed, you can disconnect the Fire. Go to the Amazon market and install the app "ES File Explorer"

Once that is done installing, open it, and browse to your "Downloads" folder. You should see your .apk file. touch it and install.

You can use this same process to install other apps not found in the Amazon App Store, For example I used it to install ESPN's Fantasy Football 2011 app. But not all apps will work on all devices, so you may have mixed results.

27 comments:

Ilan Cloud said...

Thanks for the advice. Do you think as the Fire gains in popularity it will pick up more app like HBO GO and FF?

James D. Bausch said...

It would be nice, right? Tough to say. There is an ESPN score app in the Amazon market, so It isn't clear as to why no Fantasy Football.


Of course if the Fire "really takes off" I would expect to see most of the apps in the Android Market show up in Amazon's App Store. But the question is, at what point does that occur, and will even a "successful" Fire be enough to reach that point.

Koolaider said...

Thanks for this. I'd be happy with the HBOGo Flash site, but it seems that the Fire's browser doesn't take kindly to pop-ups. I can SEE the log-in box for a brief moment but then it fades.

Bruce Trvalik said...

HBO go is listed as private and will not allow backup with astro. Is there something else that needs to be done to back up a private app?

James D. Bausch said...

I did not have that problem with HBO Go showing as a "private app"

you may want to try titanium backup - I have not used it, but I understand it will backup any app.

Jason Futch said...

You can just email the .apk file to your self or have someone email it to your gmail. Then open the email on your kindle and it click on the attachment and it will install.

Russ said...

What version od HBO Go did you get to work on the Fire? I loaded v1.0.4 and it locked up every time the username/password dialog popped up. Maybe my version is for Android 3.0 and the Fire runs 2.3?

James D. Bausch said...

I used Hbo Go 1.2.2, which came from a samsung epic 4g. That device runs android 2.3.

Maximus Decimus Meridius said...

It worked all the way to the startup, when I got "HBO Go does not support this device". This was version 1.2.2, obtained off a Droid 2.

James D. Bausch said...

Yep. It looks like hbogo has started doing some sort of device check. This no longer works. I''ll update the post

Anonymous said...

I have found a way for HBO Go to work!

1. Turn off your wifi on the Fire.
2. Start hbo go app
3. App will state it needs Internet connection
4. Turn wifi back on
5. Click try again button in hbo app
6. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Tried the turn off/turn on wifi trick. HBOGo just FCs after you turn the WiFi Back on. [sighs]

Diana said...

It worked for me! Once I turned off the wifi and restarted it I got hbo go just fine. Hope there is a fire app soon!

Ron Y said...

I did what James D. Bausch said to do except I emailed the .apk file to myself then followed the advice from "Anonymous" and I am now watching "Hung" from HBOGO on my Fire. Thanks all for this help. I may be the only 70 year old around doing this chit !!! Fun...SOMETIMES

Brian said...

Worked for me too...did give some hiccups like kicked me out once, but weird how just cycling the wifi works.

Jaime said...

Thanks!! I tried the wi-fi off/on thing and it worked like a charm.

Mario Cohen said...

Thanks for this trick. I also tested technique with MaxGo app and works great too! Wonder when they will Port a true kindle fire app. The resolution with this version looks blocky. But I'm glad I get to watch the Sopranos episodes I missed for free!!

Anonymous said...

I sided loaded hbo go using the apk from comcast website. com.HBO_v1.3.1.apk. The streaming on my kindle fire is choppy. I can run hbo go on my pc fine. I have cox as my cable provider. Did I load an incorrect version? I am having a hard time finding the apk android version out there. I don't have another android decide so I need to pull it from my pc.

Anonymous said...

I've done what everyone has said in these posts and I get an odd result -- HBO Go seems to be working but when I go to play any video, I see a progress bar on the bottom, get perfect audio but no video - just a black screen with the progress bar showing.

Anyone else encounter this?

Anonymous said...

yes - that is happening to me as well. I haven't found a workaround for this yet. there might not be one...

Anonymous said...

The audio/no video could be a connection issue. When off my WiFi, I'd only get audio but this was early into HBO Go. Seemed an update corrected that, but still chopped on mobile network(3G).

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Thank you very much, it worked!!

Anonymous said...

How do youget the app to email to yourself? I am so confused.....

Anonymous said...

Read the posts! Backup HBO GO using ASTRO, then find the file in the "backup" folder, long click and send to your gmail account.

Anonymous said...

Read the posts! Backup HBO GO using ASTRO, then find the file in the "backup" folder, long click and send to your gmail account.

Anonymous said...

Have you noticed that Amazon only lets you watch HBO programs by buying them $2.99 one at a time. Don't think they are going to let anyone ever get this service free, when they are selling it. Just like Comcast and AT&T choke the pipeline, when you use competing movie streaming services (VOD SVOD) like Netflix or or HULU. I feel like Amazon is the Wallmart of online merchandising.

marc said...

Only problem I have now is choppy transfer from wifi to fire. Anyone else have issues?