Hacking Kindles for use as tablets

We use Kindles as tablets to run robots, program micro:bits or to play games on in our library. We only paid $25 apiece for them just before the December holidays a few years ago! But we wanted to be able to download from the Google Playstore and of course, could not. In order to do these things, you need to ‘hack’ or ‘jailbreak’ them. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

(Secret: It’s not fun. It’s b o r i n g. But the results are great.)

I can’t find the website I used, but this one explains things more clearly.

The first time is tough, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easier. Sending a kid home with a $25 Kindle is less scary than the $200 IPad.


This is such a great idea, Jean! I know we have a few people with your technical chops in this community who would love this budget-savvy tip. I think you mentioned when we were talking today that you feel comfortable sending those kindles out of the library in kits, too.

Yes, thanks, Michelle. Since they only cost about the same as a book, we aren’t worried about breakage, or someone forgetting to return one.

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We were just gifted 10 kindles and I can’t do this fast enough! Thank you so much!

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@Chris_Dorman, that’s great! We are so curious how it goes for you. Report back what you learn, please!

If the directions aren’t clear, I’m happy to help.

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