The Secret To Turning Your HP TouchPad Tablet Into An Amazon Kindle

Christian Cawley 28-12-2011

hp touchpad kindleIt’s the tablet that wouldn’t die, the device that kept coming back for more, and despite HP’s dithering over whether they would continue to support webOS or not, the HP TouchPad has exceeded expectations thanks to various fire sales at popular online and offline retailers and its friendly user interface. However thanks to the lack of support from HP early on (it was decided that the company would discard the webOS platform soon after the TouchPad launched) there is a big hole in the number of official apps available for the webOS tablets.


One of these missing apps is Kindle. While you will easily find Amazon’s eBook reading app on the HP TouchPad in the USA, outside of the country (in places such as Europe and Australia) Kindle isn’t listed in the HP App Catalog. As tablets are popularly used for reading, this is clearly disappointing. Thankfully, however, there is a way of installing the webOS Kindle app on HP TouchPads in territories where the app is unavailable.

So Why Is the HP TouchPad Kindle App US-only?

hp touchpad kindleWell, to begin with it depends on your definition of “US-only”. For many TouchPad users in North America, the Kindle app is an easy to use and enjoyable eBook reading experience. But these are the lucky ones. Thanks to some initial confusion or a problem with the app (the reason has never been made clear) the Amazon Kindle app was shipped with some first wave TouchPads but then removed from later devices, replaced with a placeholder “coming soon” app.

Fortunately, if your US-based TouchPad doesn’t have a working Kindle app, you can now find it via the HP App Catalog.

Preparing Your HP TouchPad

Before proceeding to install the Kindle app on your HP TouchPad, you will need to download a few tools (this method can be used on Windows and Mac OS X). The first thing you should do is head to this link and download the Kindle .ipk file. An .ipk is the installer file format used on webOS.

After doing this, download the webOS Quick Install software from here. This is a tool that allows the testing of unapproved applications on webOS devices such as the HP TouchPad, and requires you to have Java installed on your computer (available from here).


Next, connect your HP TouchPad to your computer using the supplied USB cable. The Connected dialogue box will appear, but you can select Close to continue – the USB Drive mode cannot be used for this process. You will then need to find Developer Mode, revealed by typing the following string into the search box: webos20090606

Tap the Developer Mode icon to proceed and then slide the switch in the top-right corner to activate; you may be prompted for a password, but click Submit to bypass this.

The next stage is to run the downloaded webOSQuickInstall-4.3.1.jar (you might have a different version) file and follow any prompts to download additional software (such as the Novacom driver for creating a stable connection between your computer and the tablet).

Installing The Kindle App

With all of the above installed and running, adding the Kindle app – which is in beta so might be slightly unreliable at times – is a simple task.


The webOS Quick Install application on your desktop computer will display a largely empty screen with a handful of buttons, including + and – on the right-hand side. Click the + button to browse for the previously downloaded Kindle .ipk, which will have a filename in the form of (although the version number at the end may differ). Select this file and then click the Install button and wait a few moments.

kindle for hp touchpad

When the process is complete the .ipk file will no longer be listed in the Files to Install section of the webOS Quick Install application, so you will be free to close the software (it can be relaunched by running webOSQuickInstall-4.3.1.jar).

kindle for hp touchpad


Next, double-tap the menu button on your HP TouchPad and go to the Downloads tab where you will find the Amazon Kindle app listed. Tap to launch and enter your credentials (or register) to continue.

A few moments later, the main screen of the app will appear. If you have used Kindle in the past,  your books will be listed; otherwise you will be prompted to visit the Amazon Kindle store, where you will find free and paid-for titles to download direct to your TouchPad.

Reading Books On Your TouchPad

Amazon’s Kindle app provides similar functionality to tablets and mobile phones as can be found on the popular dedicated eBook reader. Utilizing an Amazon account and providing access to the Kindle store, the app allows the user to download free out-of-copyright titles (such as the works of Shakespeare and Charles Dickens) as well as find the latest titles to download and read on their device.

hp touchpad kindle


With versions available for Mac, iOS, Android, Windows and Windows Phone, Kindle apps extend the functionality of the dedicated device to users of other hardware, often those for whom an Amazon Kindle app would be desirable if it didn’t mean carrying multiple devices. The HP TouchPad version of Kindle is just as good as the others and will allow you to download and enjoy books on your tablet wherever you are.

If you are a HP Touchpad owner, and you tried to download the Kindle app using this method, let us know if you were successful.  Or maybe you know of another way to install the Kindle app on the Touchpad?

Related topics: Amazon Kindle, Web OS.

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  1. wan
    June 19, 2012 at 4:38 am

    Thank you! I used this and it took a few minutes to download and install it all on my touchpad! I'm so happy right now lol, I downloaded 9 books in 20 minutes.

    One of the files is harder to find now (the ipk file)

  2. fliegen
    May 7, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Awesome issues here. I'm very happy to peer your article. Thanks so much and I'm looking ahead to touch you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

  3. Rob Regle
    March 1, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    The link to the Kindle App no longer works. Any alternatives?

    • Christian Cawley
      March 5, 2012 at 8:17 pm

      Hi Rob

      Seems that the ipk file has been restricted on several file upload/download sites, hardly surprising given recent developments.

      Instead, please check the steps in the article [Broken Link Removed]

      Here you will be able to find the download from the US-facing HP App Catalog. Let me know if you have any problems.

  4. Francisx9
    January 7, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    great article

  5. Gaitch32
    January 6, 2012 at 9:03 am

    The best way that I have found to install apps on the Touchpad is after you have Quickinstall up and running, hit the globe icon you see in the picture above.  You will get a list of hundreds of homebrew apps, themes, tweaks, overclocking kernels (mine's at 1.7 GHZ), etc that are available for the Touchpad.

    Install Preware on the Touchpad and then you can install ipk files on the Touchpad without connecting it to your computer.  Preware will also give you the whole catalog of available apps and patches that are not in the HP catalog.

  6. Christian Cawley
    January 6, 2012 at 6:52 am

    Those of you who have tried and installed Kindle on your TouchPad, how often do you find that you use the app? Is it as good as expected or comparable to versions of the app found on other platforms?

    • Gaitch32
      January 6, 2012 at 9:48 am

      I didn't use Kindle until I got a Touchpad and can't comment on how it compares but I can tell you what it can do.  Outside of viewing your library and buying books, you can change the brightness, font type and size, book color ( black on white, white on black and a parchment color), bookmark, add notes, highlight and search.  You can also change the page animation and sync your notes to Amazon so that they will be available on other devices.

      I also like that you can sideload any book that is in the mobi format and have the same features.  Those won't be synced to Amazon and are only available on the device. It works great for large PDF files.  You can use the free ebook management software, Calibre, and convert the PDF and send to the Touchpad as a Kindle book.

  7. Ankur
    January 6, 2012 at 4:45 am

    The installation method was quite useful for Non US folks. Surely try it 

  8. V0satnu
    December 30, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    finally after at least holding touchpad for more than 3 months I hav kindle on gorgeous webos ... Thanks

  9. Phil Fot
    December 29, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    It's nice, but not as nice as running Cyanogenmod 7 (Android 2.3). The Kindle app for Android is available, as well as other reader apps.

    I had nothing against WebOS, but it was lacking in areas that I considered to be necessities, such as a decent SSH application, book readers, audio book readers...

    WebOS was okay if you didn't need much on a tablet. Android makes my Touchpad rock.

  10. Michel
    December 29, 2011 at 1:34 am

    'it depends on your definition of “US-only”'

    My definition of US-only is, Us-only. Canada and Mexico are not part of the US, though they are on the North Amercian continent. Until your troops show up at my door and beat me into submission, please don't say, "it depends".

    • Christian Cawley
      December 29, 2011 at 7:29 am

      Hi Michel

      It's a fair (and amusing) point, but unfortunately I can't qualify it any further as the definition isn't mine but that of the Amazon Kindle app developers.

      Realistically, of course, devices can end up anywhere in the world thanks to Internet shopping and general gift buying. "Bleeding" of this sort spreads across borders all around the world and it is no different in North America.

      The result? An app whose existence is confused, is still in beta and shouldn't be available beyond the US...

      • Phil Fot
        January 6, 2012 at 4:00 pm

         Hi Christian,

        I did an OTA update of WebOS this morning and guess what's included in Kindle for Touchpad. This sort of negates the usefulness of the article. ;-)

        Thanks for sharing it, though. I always like learning odds and ends about HW/SW/OS combo's I'm using.

        • Christian Cawley
          January 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm

          Hi Phil

          Where are you based? I'm in the UK and don't have that update available yet.

        • Phil Fot
          January 9, 2012 at 3:43 pm

          I'm in the US. It was available on System Updates. It apparently came out around the same time as the first fire sale. If the update isn't showing, you can find the 3.0.4 web doctor at the usual places and manually update to 3.0.4.

  11. Tim Brookes
    December 28, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Good stuff! I've done this on my TouchPad but I barely use the Kindle app these days. I suspect I'll use it even less once I've got my girlfriend a Kindle for her birthday (e-ink, naturally).

  12. Alts63
    December 28, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    I've successfully loaded and run the kindle app.  Kindle isn't my favourite app though as the method for loading your existing ebooks is prohibitive unless you upload them to the cloud server.   I'm really hoping for a better ebook reader, like stanza or good reader to be ported across to the webOS.