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Posts Tagged: Amazon Kindle Fire HD

KindleFree

When Amazon first released the Kindle Fire HD, there was the famous declaration that it couldn’t be hacked. The challenge was accepted and (spoiler alert) it was hacked anyway. Since then, developers have been having some fun with the device. There is now an application that helps users install third party launchers and the Google Play Store.

XDA Retired Senior Moderator, Elite Recognized Developer, and Godfather of Android Theming Stericson has released an application called KindleFree. For those who have been waiting to get rid of that Amazon home screen, this is the easiest way. Here is the app description:

KindleFree requires Root! This will not root your device!
This application has only been tested on the Kindle Fire HD AND the Kindle Fire 2nd generation. Test at your own risk.
Your Kindle wants to be free!
Using this application you can disable the Amazon homescreen, install a different launcher of your choice, and install the Android market!

Both the free and paid versions are available in the Google Play Store, so they’re easy to install and use. Aside from its main features, users can also remove things from their Kindle Fire HDs by long pressing them.

To see more, check out the original thread.

linuxandmacawwwwhowcute

Previously, we brought you news that the Kindle Fire HD 7″ had been rooted using the popular sparkym3 method. As is the case with some root methods, it wasn’t compatible with operating systems outside of Windows. Now, there is a root method for the Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire 2 that works for Linux and Mac users as well.

XDA Senior Member prokennexusa wrote a root tutorial specifically for Mac and Linux users. It’s compatible with the Kindle Fire HD and the Kindle Fire 2. It’s been tested with Ubuntu and Mac OS X 10.5.8. It also requires 32-bit applications, so if you’re running 64-bit Linux you’ll need to get the IA32 libs or comparable package. On Mac, prokennexusa says you have to have x86. It won’t work otherwise.

The tutorial is admittedly written somewhat long. However, prokennexusa wrote it that way to help clarify the steps for those who are relatively new at rooting. It also includes some checks to make sure the process actually worked. So once everything is installed and ready to go, the whole process shouldn’t take more than 15-20 minutes. With this, practically all users can now root a Kindle Fire HD or Kindle Fire 2 easily.

For more details, check out the Mac and Linux root tutorial.

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kindle-fire-hd-89

Ports are quite popular around these parts. Aside from offering an often times vastly different experience, users can experience all new features not available on their stock firmware. The more unique the port, the better. Now, the Samsung Nexus S has a Kindle Fire 8.9 port.

The port was released by XDA Senior Member GalaxyUser. As can be expected with an early port of something so different as the Kindle Fire HD ROM, there are quite a few things still wrong. They include:

Camera (there is no camera app and camera from CM does not work
Bluetooth (not present in settings)
SDCard
Sound
Some option in settings
Call
Others things
Reboot because of libaudioflinger

This is by no means a daily driver. However, it is a really cool concept. In most cases, developers are trying to get other ROMs to the Kindle tablets. It’s not very often that a Kindle tablet ROM gets ported elsewhere. This ROM is an initial release, so users can expect the ROM to get better as updates come out. If you’re into the Kindle Fire HD and want to see what it’s all about, this is an awesome ROM to try.

For more info, check out the original thread.

Kindle Fire HD

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD has been an enigma for developers. Its bootloader was completely locked down, and many claimed it was unhackable. Low and behold, developers still managed to attain root anyway. Of course, that’s only part of the process. Now, the next step has occurred, and Kindle Fire HD owners can now have a custom recovery.

XDA Recognized Developer Hashcode has released Safestrap for the Kindle Fire HD. It’s capable of giving the newest Kindle a custom recovery. If you’re a little fuzzy on how Safestrap works, Hashcode explains:

Safestrap is a Bootstrap / Recovery for locked bootloader phones. The goal is to avoid touching your primary system (I’ll call this “stock” system) and only flash or make large changes to another place on your phone that Safestrap treats as a “2nd system” (in this case, it’s a series of virtual ROM slots located on the internal emmc area: “/sdcard”).

Installing it is easy, but Hashcode does warn that this is a serious hack and can resolve in soft bricks. As per the norm, proceed at your own risk. Despite the risks involved, this is an amazing development for Kindle Fire HD users, as the unhackable bootloader continuous to be less of a problem than it once was.

For the full details, check out the original thread.

EmmasKindle

Late last month, we brought you news that the unhackable Amazon Kindle Fire HD got rooted. It was a pretty exciting achievement because that’s the first step in any device’s development process. However, users who go for root have had to be careful because there isn’t a custom recovery yet for the Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire 2. There is still a way to backup your system, though.

XDA Forum Moderator kinfauns has written up a method that’ll backup system software so that users can restore it in case things go wrong. As kinfauns explains:

I’ve been a little concerned about everybody jumping in without a safety net in place. There are numerous ways that this device can get bricked. Not to put all of you into a panic, but just getting an eventual OTA update from Amazon might put some of these rooted KFHDs in jeopardy. With no custom recovery on the horizon, I think it’s important to have some backup/restore plan to get these devices booting again.

The process isn’t ClockworkMod-Recovery-backup simple, but it is pretty close. Essentially, kinfauns wrote a shell script that creates a backup directory on your SD card, backs up partitions 1-11 (everything except /cache and /data) and makes the files user-readable and -writable. All users need to do is download the script and follow kinfauns’ instructions to get it to work. A word of warning, the process can be dangerous if it isn’t used properly, so be sure you’re following instructions to the letter.

For more information, check out the original thread.

kindle-fire-hd-1

As is customary with most devices from major manufacturers, the new Kindle Fire HD brothers are coming out of Amazon’s womb very much locked down. Well, not just locked down—that would be a bit of an understatement. The KFHD family is beyond being locked, and according to Amazon’s engineers, the new system is impossible to crack. XDA Recognized Contributor kinfauns has started a discussion thread in the newly added forum to talk about and discuss the possible cracks available (if any) on these devices.

The original KF was a rather tough cookie to crack, as Amazon tried to prevent people from using these devices to do things outside of the intended usage (which in this case was their digital “store front”). Since the original (or first generation) was cracked with root and custom ROMs  flying all over the web, the designers of the device were tasked with preventing this from happening again. From Amazon’s perspective, it makes perfect sense to protect the devices from rooting and general hackery due to quite a few obvious points:

  • Services used in an unintended manner such as tethering
  • Direct access to tons of media content that could be hacked and transferred to others (piracy)
  • Warranty claims (the previous hacking method on the original KF actually ended up bricking quite a few devices)
All these reasons are similar in nature to those used by Apple in their (futile) attempts to curb all of the above. After all, we have to remember that Apple and Amazon are in it to sell you content (thanks Jeff for that analysis). The only issue is the fact that the tab is built on the Android platform, which caters to developers for the most part. Lets face it, anyone wanting a simple eReader would likely go with one of the e-ink versions (cheaper, easier on the eyes, lighter, battery lasts forever, etc). This makes us wonder a bit about the market that they are trying to target with the KFHD.
The KFHD7 seems to be designed to be a straight-up competitor to the Google Nexus 7. This device is geared towards people who want to have rich media experience in a medium sized format (with similar access to content to the KF) while also serving as a development platform for the Android community. Based on specs alone (processor, screen, memory, etc), the KFHD7 is geared towards the same audience. So, why lock out a good chunk of your potential customers by “making it more secure?” It would be interesting to see numbers accompanying the aforementioned reasons for locking the device to see if they actually justify adding such tight security. Scaring people away with extreme security measures is not exactly a good sales technique, particularly if the target audience is keen on trying to make the devices they buy into something a tad more usable.
In any case, if you happen to have any insight into the new bootloader structure and the extra processor security added to the KF (and even the second generation KF), please leave some feedback in the thread. I guess that Amazon engineers have not been around our site too much. And as such, they fail to realize that the words “impossible” and “hack” cannot be used in the same sentence around here.
Please leave us your thoughts.

 The MLO (xloader, 1st stage bootloader) is signed and the boot header is the type used for HS (high security) OMAP devices with the M-Shield turned on. If the setup is comparable to the Nook Tablet, this is not good news for those hoping to modify these devices in one way or another. The Nook Tablet’s exploit was to utilize the external sdcard as an alternate boot device and that doesn’t really help with these 2nd generation KFs.

You can find more information in the original thread.

Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.

[Thanks willverduzco for the tip!]

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