Kindle Apps Setting Fire to Business Productivity

Kindle Fire ignites business

### UPDATE: Amazon has changed access to many of the apps featured in this article since December 2011, when this article was written. Our recommended apps were compatible with the Kindle at that time, but many are no longer compatible. We hope this article can inspire you to find similar apps that will help your business productivity, and that you’ll share them with us in the comments section! -Joanna Ebizie”.###

Tablets are gaining ground in businesses everywhere.  And the new Kindle Fire tablet, at just $199, has something for everyone.  In fact, once you read this, you might want every employee to have one.

Although its not widely publicized, Kindle Fire users can buy apps through the Android Market or Amazon App Store… and there are plenty of business apps available.

Here are 5 of the best Kindle Fire apps for your business:

1. Multi-Platform Chat Client

Chatting with friends (also called “instant messaging”) who are all on different platforms can be a hassle. Thanks to Imo, chatting has never been easier: it combines the most popular chat services in one app. Whether you use Google Talk, AIM, ICQ or Skype, the app simplifies online communication and management no matter what your coworkers use. Users can save messages, record audio and send multimedia files to each other, too.  Cost: free!

2. File Sharing

Need to collaborate with co-workers or share documents between multiple tablets and PCs?  If you ever forget an important file, SugarSync can save you. Access your files and maintain syncing even after you edit documents on your tablet. Working off the cloud with a good syncing app will save you time and frustration.  Cost: Free.

3. Email, Calendars, Contacts and more

Staying organized is no problem with Touchdown. Let it access your Microsoft Outlook/Exchange account (or Zimbra, Keria, Groupwise or 10 other email servers), and get ready for a great experience. Follow the simple step-by-step configuration guide to set up the syncing process. It also encrypts data and lets you wipe data remotely if you lose the tablet. Try the trial version free for a month so you can explore every aspect of the app.  Cost: $9.99

4. Fill and Sign PDF Forms

When you get a digital contract that needs to be signed, do you print it out, sign it and scan it? That’s not so bad once or twice, but no good for an every day task.  The Fill and Sign PDF Forms app eliminates this annoying process with digital signature management. No printing or scanning needed! Cost: Free.

5. Credit Card Terminal

For mobile sales people, there’s nothing quite as convenient as accepting credit cards.  Unfortunately, you can NOT get Intuit’s credit card app to turn your Kindle Fire into a convenient credit card terminal.  As of May 2012, Intuit (and my readers) report that the Kindle is not compatible with Intuit’s Go Payment System.  Too bad!

Try the SQUARE from … its a great alternative and you can get started for free.

You can either type in credit card numbers or swipe cards in the free dongle, which attaches to the headphone jack in the tablet. All information is encrypted and payments are directly deposited into your bank account.  Cost: Free. That means no monthly minimums or fees!

These are my 5 favorite apps for the Kindle Fire… but there are SO many more.  Let us know in the comments section which ones you love and how tablet apps have helped your business become more productive!

Dedicated to your (Tablet-Powered) success,
Joanna Ebizie

  1. Update: Amazon is pushing an update to Kindle Fire that prevents you from accessing the Android Market. I’ve heard that you can “hack” around this, but I wouldn’t venture to describe how!

    We attempted to reveiw apps that were available in the Kindle store, but if you find one that is not, please let us know!

    – David

  2. UPDATE: We originally included two apps that require a camera … before a reader pointed out that the Kindle Fire does not have a camera and cannot use the many scanning apps out there. Doh! Mysteriously, you can still buy camera apps from the Kindle store, but that’s a different story.

    We have deleted our comments on those apps that require a camera, and substituted two more I think you’ll like, including an Instant Message / Chat application and a great email client that can interface with Microsoft Outlook (Exchange) or Groupware or ten other email services! Thanks for keeping us honest!

  3. Regarding the Intuit GoPayment Credit Card Terminal, their website does not list the Kindle Fire as a supported device. Is there any info out there on how to get one of these to work on the Kindle? I know I still have the option of the app, but being able to use the card reader rather than keying would be great.

    Thanks for any info!

    • Also, the Intuit app is not available for the Kindle anymore. It’s blocked for download as far as I can tell.

    • Thanks Megan: I have seen sites that teach you how to “break out” of the Amazon store and get a regular app from the Android Market. Unfortunately, I am not a tech geek (just a finance geek!), so I can’t tell you how its done. I am pretty certain, however, that the FIRE uses a standard Android OS, so if you can “jail break” the Kindle, you should be able to do anything that any other andoid device does … including use the GoPayment or Square.

    • See above…Another solution — try SQUAREPAY?

    • SQUARE PAY does NOT work with Kindle Fires, they don’t have a GPS unit, which is required.

      Did you even bother to actually TRY any of these on a Fire? Your top 5 apps, 4 out of 5 don’t even work on the Fire.

    • Yikes Ike! Thanks for this comment. I’ve asked the author to reply.
      My only thought on the topic is this: The App world changes so fast, it would not surprise me if these applications have been upgraded for later versions of Android and no longer work with Fire? Or perhaps your specific device configuration is blocking some from working? Based on my own android experience, there are a lot of apps that SAY they work but don’t…. as further evidenced by a lot of 1 star reviews!
      Thanks for reading, and for contributing. Please tell us about your fav apps (that DO work, of course!)

    • Ike: Here’s an important note from the original author, Joanna:

      “Amazon has changed access to many of the apps featured in this article since December 2011. Our recommended apps were compatible with the Kindle at that time, but many are not as of this writing. We hope this article can inspire you to find similar apps that will help your business productivity. -Joanna Ebizie”

    • Just a serious note: hacking to use any device is not just illegal but it voids any kind of warranty or support for the app. When choosing to use an app like GoPayment, where you are accepting funds and taking Credit Card information, you may find yourself in serious breach of CPI compliance regulations (which could result in extremely high fines), not to mention if your sales don’t go through or you double charge a customer (the errors could be endless), you will receive no support from intuit.

    • That’s a good point, Thanc. I do not know how CPI treats the various “dongle” appliances like SQUARE and GOPayment…. Perhaps our readers do? Please comment if you know!
      In any event clearly you need to use these apps as they come — not hacking them for any reason!

    • OOPS! That was supposed to be “PCI” compliance, not CPI. 🙁 PCI is the government regulations that all merchants must abide by when taking credit card information.

  4. Intuit is NOT compadible with Kindle Fire! I signed up and wasn’t able to access it and i called support and they told me it was NOT compatible.

    • Thanks Martha! Good input. Hard to believe that Intuit would abandon the Kindle Fire, but all the Android machines have a slightly different implementation, so anything is possible. Glad you guys are out there letting me know what’s REALLY going on!
      – David

  5. kindle fire does have a camera
    at least the h d one does, but u have to download an app to be able to use it.

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