Our editors pick the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, ZDNet may earn a commission.

How to make the Amazon Fire HD 8 even better

For $90, the new Amazon Fire HD 8 is a fantastic tablet. But with a little know-how, you can make it even better.

I like Amazon's new Fire HD 8.

A lot.

What you get for $90 is quite simply unbeatable.

You get an easy-on-the-eyes 8-inch touchscreen display, a speedy quad-core processor, a room-filling pair of Dolby speakers, front and rear cameras for the odd snap or video, bags of storage, a few buttons to fidget with, a USB port for charging, 12-hours of battery life, and a headphone jack for people who still haven't moved to Bluetooth.

So, what's it missing? How can you make this package better?

Add the Google Play Store to the tablet.

Must read: iOS 14: Will it run on your iPhone and iPad?

NOTE: Now, before we go any further, copious disclaimers. Amazon doesn't support you doing this, Google doesn't support you doing this and I don't support you doing this. That said, I've done this, and my Fire HD 8 isn't just working as it was, it's now better.

For instructions on how to install the Google Play Store onto your Fire HD 8, I refer you to the excellent instructions put together by How-To-Geek. The first option listed -- downloading the APK to the tablet using the Silk browser and running them using the Files app (not Docs as is referenced in the instructions) -- worked fine for me.

It took me about 20 minutes to download and install everything and get the Google Play Store up and running, and you do have to be patient because some of the downloads will need updating before things work, so be patient and don't rush things.

The new Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020)

The new Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020)

In my testing, apps such as Google Chrome, Gmail, and Google Calendar work fine, along with the other of my top iOS and Android apps. Again, there may be some bugs, but this solution works for me.

I now have a cheap tablet that's great for both accessing all my Amazon content, and which allows me to get some real work done on it.

Double win!

View Now at Amazon (Fire HD 8) Amazon (Fire HD 8 Plus)

Some caveats.

Expect the unexpected. While I've had no problems running a variety of Android apps on the Fire HD 8, if there are glitches with some, then that's how it is.

That said, making the time to do this has taken my already great Fire HD 8 experience and given it a massive upgrade.