Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider
The Kindle Fire has finally arrived.Although the tablet is based on Android, Amazon has its own app store built into the Fire that’s full of many of the essential apps you need. (However, there are some notable exceptions like Facebook and Twitter.)
We scoured the Amazon Appstore for the best apps you’ll need to download first.
Hulu Plus is making its big debut on the Kindle Fire along with several other premium apps. You get access to full seasons of your favourite network shows, plus new episodes the day after they air.
Why you need it: Hulu is the best way to get your favourite primetime shows on your Fire without paying per episode.
Price: Free app, $7.99 per month for Hulu Plus service
Tumblr's excellent Android app is also available for the Kindle Fire. You can view updates from the blogs you follow and create posts of your own. If you're a Tumblr addict, you need this.
Why you need it: It's the best way to blog on a tablet.
LinkedIn's app for Kindle Fire gives you access to status updates, profiles, and messages from your professional contacts. The Android/Kindle Fire version isn't as flashy as it is on iOS, but it gets the job done.
Why you need it: If you're not on LinkedIn, you should be.
Netflix surprised us by releasing a fancy new update for the Kindle Fire and Android tablets in time for launch day. The app isn't live in the Amazon's Appstore as of this writing, but should be up soon.
Why you need it: You'll get access to thousands of streaming movies and TV shows you won't find on Amazon Instant.
Price: Free app, but Netflix costs $7.99 per month for a streaming-only plan
Unfortunately, official apps Facebook and Twitter haven't made it to Amazon's Appstore yet. Instead, try Seesmic. It's an all-in-one app for managing your social networks.
Why you need it: You can view and update Facebook and Twitter from one place.
Flight Control is one of the most popular mobile games around. And with good reason. It was one of the first apps we downloaded to our Kindle Fire.
Why you need it: No matter who you are, you'll have fun playing Flight Control
We were a bit bummed when we couldn't find Dropbox in Amazon's Appstore, but Box.net is just as good. You can store any file you want in the cloud and access it from your Fire, desktop, the web, or any other device.
Why you need it: It's the best way to keep your files with you, no matter which device you're using.
Trillian is an all-in-one instant messaging app that lets you connect to Google Talk, AIM, and all the other major chat networks.
Why you need it: Trillian is pretty much the only option for sending instant messages from your Kindle.
Price: Free (supported by ads)
Quickoffice lets you read, edit, and create office documents on pretty much any mobile device, including the Kindle Fire. Unlike Apple's iWork suite of apps, Quickoffice is an all-in-one solution for documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. It also connects to services like Dropbox, Google Docs, and Box.net, so you can access your files in the cloud.
Why you need it: If you need to read and edit documents, Quickoffice is the best app.
We love Evernote. And we really love that it's on the Kindle Fire. The app lets you take text, photo, and audio notes and sync them across multiple devices and the web.
Why you need it: It'll replace the standard notepad app you're used to using. Trust us.
MOG is one of our favourite streaming music services. Luckily it's also available in Amazon's Appstore. For $9.99 per month you get unlimited access to MOG's library of millions of songs. You can also download tracks and store them natively on your Kindle Fire.
Why you need it: If you're a music lover, this is a great way to get all the songs you want without paying per track or album.
Price: Free app, but the service costs $9.99 per month.
Honorable mention: Rhapsody, another great music service, is also available in the Amazon Appstore.
The Weather Channel's app is still the best available. You get access to live weather updates, plus streaming video reports from Weather Channel meteorologists.
Why you need it: Who doesn't need to know the weather?
Tablets have completely changed how we read comics. Thanks to the wonderful Comics app by Comixology, you get access to all the top titles as in-app purchases. Say goodbye to those Wednesday trips to the local comic book store.
Why you need it: If you're a comic book reader, you'll definitely be blown away.
Price: Free, but prices vary for individual comics
Wired was one of the first magazines to make full use of tablets when it launched its iPad app last year. Now the same great app is on the Kindle Fire. If you're a subscriber or want to subscribe, skip the print edition and give this a try instead.
Why you need it: It's one of the best magazine experiences on a tablet
Price: Free for the app, $19.99 per year for a subscription