16
Nov
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The Kindle Fire, Amazon’s content-subsidized tablet, has been arriving to the delight of people all across the U.S. The heavily-skinned Gingerbread Android device has left many questions in the minds of the Android and Gadget community. For instance, will we be able to install apps outside of the Amazon Appstore? How about using adb? And, of course, the most important question of all - can the Fire be rooted?

If you remember, Amazon said it wouldn't do anything special to prevent rooting or interfere with those who want to customize their devices in other ways (although the status of the bootloader is unknown at this time). It looks like they stayed true to their word, as the Kindle Fire allows easy installation of 3rd party apps out of the box, adb can be used with a small tweak, and... drumroll - an one-click root method is now available.

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3rd Party Apps

If you want to use install 3rd party apps, just allow installation from unknown sources in Settings -> Device menu.

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Photo credit: Business Insider

Xda is already full of discussions of what works and what doesn't work, including Reader, Facebook, Gmail, Books, and other apps. Now the million dollar question is whether we'll see the Android Market any time soon.

ADB

ADB access could be established from a Mac or a Windows machine. ADB, which stands for Android Debug Bridge, lets you interact with an Android device to copy files, install apps, read logs, run shell commands, and much more. You will need the Android SDK installed and then add the Vendor ID for Amazon's Lab126 (0x1949) to the adb_usb.ini file.

You can find detailed instructions for Windows here and for Mac here.

If you want to use ADB to install apps, be sure to allow installation from unknown sources as discussed above.

Root

Now that adb access is working, it turns out rooting the Fire is quite simple, and the infamous SuperOneClick does the job. For instructions, see this discussion over at xda (thanks, Mitchell!).

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Already gotten your Amazon Fire or still on the fence? Check out our meta-review of the new $199 tablet. Not bad for the price so far, isn't it?

Charles Beel
Charles is a fan of technology and how it improves our lives, whether it's life-saving medical procedures or high speed wireless standards. When he isn't combing RSS feeds for Android news, Charles is often listening to a podcast, chasing his pet Basset Hound around the house or keeping up with Texas A&M athletics.

  • LAmDroid

    "a" one click root..

    it's dependent on pronunciation.
    "an" honest
    "an" option

    sorry, I had to be "THAT" guy

  • Frank

    I don't understand the hoohaa over the Fire. I'd never buy one. No USB-No SD-NO BUY! Actually, Amazon is beginning to remind me a lot of Apple.

    • Andy

      The hoohaa is that it is cheep, there are going to be tons of them out there and build quality will be decent (i.e. not Chinese greymarket quality). 50% will remain stock and 50% will be modded by enthusiast. It will gain traction and put tablets in to the hands of mom and pop, who will slowly expand their knowledge and skills, creating a larger market for the high end.

      Amazon reminds you of Apple? By selling a closed system for a hoohaa price?

    • dannyb

      They have a USB connector for power and syncing.

    • Scott

      On the surface, The Nook would be the one to go for if you based a purchase on specs alone. However, after weighing the pros and cons of both, I've decided to go for the Fire, and this piece highlights yet another reason why.

      First off, B&N isn't exactly a thriving business. After they bought B Daltons and then closed all of the stores by 2009 (in addition to many brick and mortar B&N) they're pinning their future on The Nook and online sales for ebooks. They have no digital music downloads, no streaming service of their own, higher prices (most of the time), and in my peer group (writers and publishers), no one markets their ebooks to them other than the big NY publishers. Oh, you may get a stray indie or small press publisher here and there, but if you want to get something hard to find, you'd have to d/l the kindle software and use that to get what you want. The physical products (books, dvd's etc) are higher priced, their software selection is really a joke and they don't offer anything other than better specs.

      Yes, the new Nook will be rooted, and no doubt access to the market will be available that way, but most people buying ereaders (and that's what these are-beefed up ereaders, but not a full blown tablet) have no interest in doing so. Hell, even I'm not interested in doing that, though I have the ability to do it if I wanted.

      Amazon has its own music store, own streaming, cloud services, and now root. I've not always liked Amazon's decisions, and not very fond of their payment methods for writers, but I know in five years or ten years, they'll still be there.

      BN, I'm afraid will end up being another Borders.

  • Dave in Indy

    Can the Android Market be added to the Fire?

  • Andrew Sears

    I purchased an Amazon Kindle and rooted the device. Now, it no longer lets me access any of the videos I purchased from Amazon or any of their Amazon Prime videos. I called customer service, and they verified that Amazon's policy is to not let customers access their videos once they root the device (call at 877-442-1958 to verify this).

    This is completely counter to the policy that Amazon said they would have toward rooting (see: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2393740,00.asp#fbid=vDuVCdy2XA1). I bought the device because they stated they wouldn't get in the way of rooting. It's complete BS that they take away content I've already purchased because I root the device. Their Amazon Android store is crap, and only has about 1/10th the apps I need. I got kids and their selection of kids games is horrible. In addition, I have a subscription to the Economist, which I can't get unless I root the device because Amazon would charge me for each issue through their newsstand even though I already have a subscription.

    I feel misled.

  • sam

    Andrew all you need to do is unroot,
    here are two links. The first allows you to unroot your device temporarily so you can use amazon prime when ever you wish, while still preserving the root . The second is a permanent unroot which -even tough is a permanent unroot- allows you to retain the full android market

    1.http://www.youtube.com/user/kindlefirewire#p/u/0/QAI3PfiCu1w

    2.http://www.youtube.com/user/kindlefirewire#p/u/4/8Q655g1RHgU

  • Alejandro Ramírez

    Hi, I followed the procedure stated above, but in the SuperOneClick software I have stuck on step # 7, any clue? (I have Kindle Fire SW ver 6.2.2)

    Thanks in advance.

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