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Adventures In Rooting: Running Jelly Bean On Last Year's Kindle Fire 41

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-good-to-have-a-hobby dept.
concealment writes "Luckily, the Fire's low price and popularity relative to other Android tablets has made it a common target for Android's bustling open-source community, which has automated most of the sometimes-messy process of rooting and flashing your tablet. The Kindle Fire Utility boils the whole rooting process down to a couple of steps, and from there it's pretty easy to find pretty-stable Jelly Bean ROMs. A CyanogenMod-based version is actively maintained, but I prefer the older Hashcode ROM, which is very similar to the interface on the Nexus 7."
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Adventures In Rooting: Running Jelly Bean On Last Year's Kindle Fire

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  • There's no app for amazon's streaming content but can't you just watch with the browser pop out widget? I got a first gen Fire free with opening a bank account so it's not a big deal if it completely bricks up; I'll have to try this out.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm thinking of doing this since I have an older Kindle Fire and was disappointed to see Amazon won't be at least releasing some bug fixes for it. (it'll probably be my last Amazon hardware purchase because of that). So if I upgrade this to run the regular Android, will I still be able to run the Amazon applications that let me watch the Prime videos and sync/read my books that I've bought? I mostly use this to stream the free Prime movies and I don't want to lose that ability, but I like the idea of having

    • by yelvington (8169)

      No. You probably can install a Kindle reader app, but you can't watch Amazon video on a rooted device.

      But as a Kindle Fire user and a veteran of much smartphone hacking ... I don't see the point in ANY of this. What are you actually gaining? What does "fully functional tablet" mean? If you don't like the Kindle launcher, install something else. I use http://golauncher.goforandroid.com/ [goforandroid.com] on my KF.

      • by DrXym (126579)

        But as a Kindle Fire user and a veteran of much smartphone hacking ... I don't see the point in ANY of this.

        The Kindle is a cheap(ish) / subsidized tablet running a proprietary fork of Android locked into Amazon's crappy app store. I can see the incentive for wanting to root the device and turn it into a standard android device. Not everyone watches videos through their tablet.

      • The benefit is that you can get the Google Play store on the device. This can only be achieved after rooting the device. I much prefer the AOSP experience to the one that Amazon chose for me. I've also used go launcher, and a root control tool so that you could temp unroot and continue to use the amazon streaming. Dual boot is feasible, however, with the Kindle's limited 8gb of storage, a lot of storage space gets tied up in the "other OS" you're not using. I prefer the full tablet functionality, but t
  • What about the new $159 model that didn't get the Fire HD moniker?

    • by kriston (7886)

      The new Kindle Fire non-HD has 1 gigabyte of RAM and the very same processor is now clocked to 1.2 GHz. The other components are entirely the same except for the missing ambient light sensor which was never enabled on the original Kindle Fire to begin with.

  • by Dreamlandlocal (978245) on Monday October 08, 2012 @07:07PM (#41591459)
    The original Kindle Fire OS is an abomination. Out of the box it has possibly the worst UI in the mobile space and it is quickly apparent that a concerted effort was made to restrict what you can (consume Amazon content) and can't (everything else) do with the the hardware.

    Anyone who reads this site, owns a Kindle and has not modified the default configuration in some way is doing themselves an enormous disservice. From side-loading a new launcher and few of quality-of-life apps, to rooting, to a flashing a whole new ROM, there is a variety of ways to make the best of your (bad) situation.

    Despite the best efforts of devs, last year's kindle fire is ultimately a very flawed device. It has absolutely nothing to recommend it over the alternatives and if the new crop of kindles is anything like the last generation, take your $200 and spent it on a Nexus 7.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Personally I went from ICS back to the stock Kindle firmware. Once you root it and add Google services it's not bad. A little unstable, sure, but certainly not an abomination. I downgraded mostly because I like my devices to have a niche, and a 5" phone with JB would overlap a lot with a 7" ICS or JB tablet, leading to one falling into disuse.

      The stock Otter launcher is content-oriented rather than app and widget oriented. It works great for movies, books, and documents which is kinda the point of buyin

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      The original Kindle Fire OS is an abomination. Out of the box it has possibly the worst UI in the mobile space and it is quickly apparent that a concerted effort was made to restrict what you can (consume Amazon content) and can't (everything else) do with the the hardware.

      Which was the entire intent of the device.

      Amazon's business case for the Kindle hardware is the exact opposite to that of Apple. Apple sells content to promote the sales of hardware. (iTunes makes very little revenue compared to hardware

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        But to be honest, for 7" tablets, you might as well go with a Nexus 7. You can do everything the kindle does, but it's more open.

        That's why Amazon's strategy of selling devices at or near cost is brilliant, although I'm not sure they're actually doing that given what comparable devices (e-Ink models aside) cost from AliExpress or DealExtreme. They can give away their app and not have it be a conflict, because they're focused on selling blades, and it's all the same to them whether you connect the blades to the amazon shaver or some other shaver with the kindle adapter. I hacked my NST and it runs the Kindle app just fine, as well as

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          That's why Amazon's strategy of selling devices at or near cost is brilliant, although I'm not sure they're actually doing that given what comparable devices (e-Ink models aside) cost from AliExpress or DealExtreme.

          Trust me, the cheap tablets are crap. If you're lucky they'll have decent specs, but most of the time, they won't. The screen will be crap (and finding ones with 480x800 is NOT difficult... the Kindle and Nexus 7 are a more respectable 600x1024). The touch, if you're lucky it will be capacitve, b

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            I don't have money for any of that crap right now anyway. I have a nook simple touch, which I got barely used for $70. It's in great shape, even after I dropped it once and had to open the case because it had popped open along one edge. Performance at anything other than running reader is abysmal, but I have hopes that the recent display hacks will be ironed out into something solid soon and that will help a lot, especially with the launcher.

      • by Blue23 (197186)

        But to be honest, for 7" tablets, you might as well go with a Nexus 7. You can do everything the kindle does, but it's more open.

        I've got two young children and my KF holds up well for them. Nexus 7 with Fit Glass instead of Gorilla Glass makes me concerned - more from lack of knowledge about how Fit Glass stacks up. I've had friends lose (cheap) tablets to dropping, so far the KF has held up against two sub-10 y.o. kids.

        Admittedly, that may not be the standard use-case here on /. :)

  • Mine is rooted (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jaktar (975138) on Monday October 08, 2012 @07:09PM (#41591467)

    I jumped through a few ROMS before I settled on the Hellfire Kindle Sandwich.
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1585814 [xda-developers.com]

    Unless things have changed, you don't get hardware acceleration unless you're using some modified version of the stock ROM (hence the sandwich).

    It runs reasonably well for what I do with it, which is next to nothing. If it wouldn't have been free, I wouldn't have it.

    • I've been running the latest ROM from project Jandycane over on XDA, hardware acceleration works just fine. The one thing I haven't bothered to sort out yet is the sleep mode. With the stock Kindle Fire ROM you can hit the power button and leave the Fire in your bag for a week or two without the battery running down, now it's running in the background as if it were a phone and the battery's flat in a day.
      Otherwise, it works far better now that it did unmodified.
      If you want to run Amazon apps, just register

      • by Anonymous Coward

        get a battery app to shut off wifi when sleeping. Will help tons with your consumption.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I bought my wife a nook Tablet instead. It seemed to have better hardware. It boots Cyanogen Mod7 from a microSD card and the rare occasions she needs the stock image she just pops the card out. I think it was a great buy for the time.

  • by Macgrrl (762836) on Monday October 08, 2012 @08:43PM (#41592235)

    Rooting means something entirely different [urbandictionary.com] in Australia, I was a bit taken aback by the subject line when it scrolled past my screen.

    • by tepples (727027)
      What word do they use instead to mean "gaining superuser privileges" in Australia?
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Well, rooting still means "gaining superuser privileges". The difference is that those privileges and their usage are just a bit more enjoyable than being able to run a custom OS build on an Android tablet :)

  • I tried a lot of different configurations, almost bricked my Fire, created a Frankencable to resurrect it and eventually settled on JandyCane (a great, stable ROM). Through this entire process I learnt a valuable lesson... Unless you are in the US, just buy a Google Nexus (in my defence they weren't available at the time).
  • by linuxguy (98493) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @03:05AM (#41593923) Homepage

    I have a Kindle Fire and a Google Nexus 7. My advice to anybody out there considering buying an Amazon Kindle Fire is: "Don't do it"

    Do yourself a favor and buy the Nexus 7. Kindle Fire OS is utter crap. It has limited hardware, is slower, cannot compete on battery life or RAM or cameras ... the list goes on. In a world with Google Nexus 7, nobody should be buying Kindle Fire.

    • by kriston (7886)

      You completely missed the point.
      You can save a lot of money getting the Kindle Fire and the article explicitly describes how to replace the Kindle Fire OS. Did you even read the article at all?

    • by denobug (753200)
      I have both a Kindle Fire and a Nook, which I rooted and put CyanogenMod on. At the end of the day I end up using Fire much more often than using the rooted Nook.

      I think someone earlier has said it. Kindle arrange the layout to be content driven while normal Android OS has a layout more apps and widget driven. While I didn't like the layout at first, Kindle's design is fairly efficient to utilize and to consume contents, especially when I am doing mostly is reading a book, or use one or two apps consi
  • by DeathElk (883654) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @04:54AM (#41594187)

    Come down to Oz, Andro-nerds. I'll give you an adventure in rooting.

  • It would be really nice if Amazon made a video app available to ALL Android phones and Tablets. They released an IOS app but probably figured Android users could just download Flash and play it on their browsers. Well, Flash is going away and is not support on JellyBean, which I have on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

Don't steal; thou'lt never thus compete successfully in business. Cheat. -- Ambrose Bierce

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