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Hacker Runs Ice Cream Sandwich On Kindle Fire

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Preliminary results of a project to get Android 4.0 running on Kindle Fire have been posted

A programmer has managed to hack a Kindle Fire so that it runs the latest version of Android, 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Amazon’s first foray into the tablet market ships with a modified version of Google’s mobile operating software, but there are no plans to allow users to run Ice Cream Sandwich.

Land of Kindle Fire and Ice Cream Sandwich

In a YouTube video, the hacker demonstrated what he said are his “preliminary results”. In this demonstration, he performed basic functions and checked the system settings to confirm the tablet is running Android 4.0.1.

While he noted that aspects such as graphical performance were acceptable, he still has to work on a number of key system functions such as Wi-Fi and audio playback.

“The underlying hardware is good enough, but the software is too limited,” commented the hacker, who also declared his intention to launch an open source project.

The first device to run Ice Cream Sandwich was Google’s new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Nexus which was released in the UK last month. The software features improved camera controls, support for near-field communication (NFC), a redesigned interface and a host of new security features.

A number of older phones will be able to upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich, but the source code has been released in the public domain.

The Kindle Fire has enjoyed a successful US launch with reports suggesting that Amazon was on track to sell four million units over the Christmas period. There has been no official word on a UK release date, although speculation yesterday suggested that it could make its British debut as soon as January.

Part of the tablet’s success has been its relatively low price of just $199 (£126) as well as its feature set which includes a 1024 x 600 multi-touch display, 8GB of storage, an eight hour battery life as well as easy access to Amazon content such as video, music and applications.

Analysts have declared it Kindle Fire the first real competitor to Apple’s iPad, with one predicting that it could secure as much as 50 percent of the Android tablet market in 2012.