Android coders have successfully rooted the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet to allow for its customisation
Just days after Amazon began shipping its Kindle Fire tablet in the United States comes the news that its tablet has been ‘rooted‘ to allow for customisation and the installation of third party apps.
The Kindle Fire began shipping one day early in the United States on Monday for $199 (£125), but at the time of writing, there are no details on any UK launch.
The tablet is geared towards multimedia and offers a touch-screen portal to Amazon’s online storefront, with its collection of streaming video, music and e-books. However the Kindle Fire does also feature a somewhat simplistic user interface, which is not to everyone’s tastes.
Indeed, Apple senior management have reportedly commented that the Kindle Fire interface is a big step in the fragmentation of Google’s operating system.
The Kindle Fire is essentially running a customised version of Android, and its interface is a radical deviation from the “standard” Android user interface. This has lead to comments that the device is not open to customisation.
Although Amazon has officially released the Kindle Fire source code, it left out key parts of the licence code in order to prevent it being hacked. But Android developers have quickly discovered how to gain root access to the tablet.
Gaining root access will allow the user to install a full version of Android, or customise the device, or install other apps not found on Amazon’s App Store. Google Apps for example is not currently on Amazon’s App Store. Rooting also allows the user to overclock the processor or boost the battery life.
However the downside is that some level of expertise is required, and the user could possible damage the device.
The developer with the name of ‘death2all110’ explained how it is done by using SuperOneClick 2.2. In order to do this, it is however necessary to have installed and used the ADB SDK. Then the post states that the user needs to edit a .INI file and the add a tiny bit of code.
Christmas Best Seller?
Amazon is banking on the Kindle Fire to be a big seller this Christmas, as it hopes its cut price tablet offering will finally pose a serious challenge to the domination of the Apple iPad2.
Ever since its arrival, the iPad has lead the market. Other vendors have brought out their own answer to the iPad, but they have struggled, mostly down to the expensive pricing of their tablets.
The Amazon Kindle Fire meanwhile represents a real budget tablet from a big name vendor, although it does face competition from the likes of the cheap Agora tablets from Australian company Kogan.