Ask any Android enthusiast and they’ll tell you that ADB is one of the best things since sliced bread. However, due to the vast range of Android devices available and the significant differences between them at the hardware level, using an ADB connection via USB isn’t always a plug-and-play operation. You need to find the right drivers and configure them properly before you can start using ADB. If you’ve got any variant of Kindle Fire, you can easily configure its ADB drivers on your computer using the official guide provided by Amazon.
XDA Senior Member dburckh has shared the guide with us. These drivers should work for all Kindle Fire variants including the old and new Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD 7″ and Kindle Fire HD 8.9″. The process of setting up the drivers is quite straightforward, and merely requires you to add a source to the Android SDK Manager that enables you to download the latest drivers from Amazon.
To get the link to Amazon’s official guide or join the discussion, head over to the forum thread.
September 11, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
Recently, Amazon announced new products in the Kindle Fire product line. In fact, we even gave the Fire HD 7 a place here in our forums. We have long heard that Amazon sells their Kindle tablets at a loss. They sell them for less than it costs them to make it. While this helps keep the price point low, is it a wise investment for Amazon? What is the point of this strategy?
XDA Developer TV Producer azrienoch is here to give his opinion on Amazon’s Kindle Fire line business strategy. Is it a wise thing for Amazon to sell their Kindle Fire products at a loss to make sure that customers are in the Amazon content ecosystem? Do any other manufactures have the ability to replicate this? To find out azrienoch’s answers to these questions, check out this video.
August 31, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Installing Ubuntu, or really any Linux distro, for the first time can be a little intimidating for some. Most Windows or Mac users haven’t used *nix terminal commands nearly enough, so it’s only natural for mistakes to happen at first. For many users, Android was their first glimpse into Linux, and in many cases, requires them to use Linux for various fixes or installations. Now, there’s a script that gets ADB and Fastboot installed on Linux with minimal involvement.
In order to use the script, you must have one of two things. Either a full installation of Linux or a Live USB with a minimum of 800MB available. Additionally, the script is only compatible with Ubuntu and Mint, and has been shown to not work on installations of Arch. Given that it works with Mint and Ubuntu, it very well may work with other Debian-based distros, but that is untested. There are also a few peculiarities. As XDA Senior Member soupmagnet explains:
*for LiveUSB users, there is no root/sudo password – just hit enter
*Parallels Desktop is the only VM (that I know of) that will successfully detect the Kindle Fire in fastboot. Users of other VMs need to use a LiveUSB.
*If for some reason the script will not give you the option of running in Terminal, right click the file, select Properties > Permissions tab, and make sure there’s a check next to “Allow executing file as a program”
With all the excitement surrounding the Jelly Bean source code release, and the subsequent flurry of development work, it was only a matter of time before someone started modifying it. While more involved modifications have yet to make their appearance, users can now modify the Jelly Bean lockscreen on the Amazon Kindle Fire.
Instead of simply providing various recovery-flashable update.zip files, XDA Senior Member Josepho1997 has written a short tutorial explaining how users can do it themselves. This is a nice, simple, and introductory tutorial into theming for anyone who wants to give it a shot. Users will need Photoshop or some other image editing program, such as Gimp. Additionally, users will need 7zip. From there, Josepho1997 runs through all the files that need to be altered for the lock screen to get completely themed. For Photoshop users, Josepho1997 also gives some tips on how to easily change the colors without too much work. Then users re-package the files, and use their favorite root explorer to push them to /system.
While this was originally intended for the Kindle Fire, due to the generic nature of the modifications, this method could actually be used on any Jelly Bean lock screen. Users looking to get started in the world of minor theming should head over to the original thread.
July 20, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
We are well into the march of Jelly Bean, and the number of devices that have gotten Google’s latest and greatest is quite staggering. There are so many, in fact, that we are dedicating entire XDA TV episodes to it. A couple of the latest devices to get Jelly Bean—more specifically unofficial CM10 builds—are the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Samsung Galaxy Tab.
The Amazon Kindle Fire was given unofficial CM10 by XDA Senior Member twa_priv, and the Galaxy Tab was given its goods thanks to XDA Recognized Developer cdesai. In both instances, as has become typical for new builds, the ROMs have quite a bit working and quite a bit broken.
No list of things not working is provided for the Kindle Fire, but given that the change log is based almost entirely around adding features and fixing bugs, it’s safe to say that twa_priv is well on the way to fixing everything. Things not working in the Galaxy Tab port include:
Auto-Rotation animation looks weird.
Isn’t really smooth
External sd doesn’t work (isn’t mounted)
Will add more as they are discovered
The Kindle Fire version also features some additional modifications to include features from the SGT7 project. However, one should note that while they are fun to play with, neither of them is really geared yet for daily use.
The Amazon Kindle Fire is a device like no other. Touted by Amazon as a low-priced iPad killer, it has carved out quite a niche for itself in the seven months since its release. Looking back to November of last year, it seemed like no single Android tablet would ever be able to pull significant market share from Apple’s flagship tablet. Yet not only has the Fire succeeded in doing just that, but it has managed to create a very dedicated following here on XDA. Let’s take a look at what’s been going on.
Root for the Kindle Fire happened here on XDA very quickly. Even the fact that Amazon opted not to include the standard Google Applications was overcome rather quickly. It was the bootloader and recovery that took some time. Wanting to keep their device “unique” (or as my mother would say, “special”), Amazon took a very different stance on development. Where as most companies like HTC and Samsung simply lock their bootloaders and claim your warranty is void if you unlock it (which is not true), Amazon decided to include a bootloader that could not be unlocked at all and did not allow for any sort of real development.
This necessitated that not only a custom recovery partition be fabricated, but also a custom bootloader. The primary bootloader used by most users is the FireFireFire bootloader which has gone through a myriad of developers supporting it since inception and was covered by our own ConanTroutman back in April. Currently a dual-boot version is under the support of XDA Senior Member eldarerathis and can be found here
To go along with this is the fact that Kindle Fire users now have the luxury of an Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) ROM, thanks to XDA Recognized Developer hashcode. The ROM is almost completely functional, despite a few minor issues and being in beta. For those of you on the Fire who are looking to use this or if you’re a developer wishing to contribute, head on over to the original thread and have a crack at it.
One of the interesting tactics employed by Amazon, was rather than trying to go head to head with the iPad in terms of power and hardware, they opted to go with an above average hardware system and a much lower price point of $199. This enabled them to capture the market for those who wanted to own a nice tablet, but were on the fence due to the relatively high price points. It was a tactic that paid off.
According to iSuppli, from Q3 to Q4 last year, Amazon went from no sales and 0% market share to selling 3.8 million tablets and capturing 14% market share. Apple on the other hand dropped from 64% of the overall market share in Q3 to 57% in Q4. While many will point out that the iPad is still the dominant tablet on the market, the fact that a single Android tablet would be able to sell as well as it did, especially from a company who had never released a full Android tablet before, is a testament to the quality of both the Kindle Fire and it’s production team. In fact, the very same tactic employed by Amazon is being capitalized on by Google with the $199 starting price point for their own Nexus 7.
Please Stop Writing Already. We Get That the Kindle Fire is Awesome
With the Kindle Fire turning one year old in November, rumors are abounding on the internet as to the specifications of the next version. Also, with Google’s flagship Nexus 7 shipping out and development well under way, it will be interesting to see if future versions of the Fire will be able to stay relevant in a world where tablet manufacturers are stepping up their game. Of course, that’s a story for another article.
One thing is for sure though: don’t count Amazon out of the race just yet.
Getting an Android tablet for the first time can be an overwhelming experience. Of course, users going to get an Android tablet already know that and accept the challenge, but that doesn’t stop users from having those first day jitters. Thankfully, XDA is not only a place of development, but also a place to learn for many users—especially ones new to Android itself.
Now, Amazon Kindle Fire owners have a great place to get started thanks to XDA Senior Member kinfauns, who wrote a tutorial that explains the basics of Android development and the Kindle Fire. The guide, which is a pretty long but rewarding read, runs users through a number of both Kindle Fire specific terminology and universal Android terminology. A list of the things that are explained include:
What is stock? What is rooting? What is a ROM?
What is a bootloader? What is a recovery?
What is fastboot? What is adb?
What is a bootmode? What is a bootloop?
What is a brick (hard-brick / soft-brick / unbrick)?
How do I unbrick my Kindle Fire?
Each section explains each concept very well and gives users links to the Kindle Fire development threads they pertain to. For first time Android users, new Kindle owners and even some intermediate users looking for a refresher course will all find a wealth of information in this overview. Additionally, for those who are looking for help can not only find a little info on how to fix, but the thread they can use to actually fix it. It’s a win win situation.
For more details, check out the original thread.
April 3, 2012 By: Conan Troutman
The Amazin Kindle Fire has proven itself to be a very popular and capable device. There is certainly no shortage of development for the device, much of which is listed in a very helpful thread posted by XDA Senior Member stiffmast3r.
Many people tend to immediately think of custom ROMs and kernels as the be-all and end-all of development that happens on XDA, and the bootloader of our devices is often overlooked. However this is not the case over in the Kindle Fire section. FireFireFire is a custom bootloader originally developed by XDA Senior Member pokey9000, which offers increased functionality over the stock bootloader in 3 ways:
Unfortunately it seems that pokey9000 is no longer working on FireFireFire. However, the modification lives on, and the torch has been passed to Senior Member kinfauns. His version brings a few changes that you may prefer to the original, namely a different boot logo and a shorter fastboot window which will shave 5 seconds off the boot time.
You can find both versions in the links below:
Many Samsung devices can be placed into download mode using a USB Jig, which when plugged in, allows users to ODIN restore a factory ROM from what would normally be a hard brick.
Unlike a normal USB cable these cables are wired in a way that compatible Motorola phones recognize as a “factory” programming cable. This allows the phone to power up and be flashed without having a battery in the phone. Depending upon the model of the phone, it may also boot up differently than it does with a normal USB cable.
And, much like the Samsung USB Jig, it’ll help out those who have hard bricked their devices. XDA Senior Member SikYou has written up a brief explanation of the attempt made to create such a cable and from that has spawned an entire discussion, which slowly but surely details the full instructions to creating your very own factory cable. In his words:
There is a lot of information floating around about the factory cable but there doesn’t seem to be a thread dedicated to the topic. I bricked my device today so I need to make a factory cable. I tried making a cable but I f’d up the soldering job so I am awaiting delivery of a breakout board. I just wanted to gather some information here on the topic because there seem to be a lot of bricks popping up around here. So for now I am going to post what I know and ask a few questions here and there so that I can get my cable done and hopefully help someone out along the way.
With some contributions from several other XDA Forum Members, including MayfairDROID, pyrostic and teookie, the whole process is pretty much outlined for anyone who wants to give it a shot. However, it should be noted that an improperly made cable could damage your device. So proceed with the utmost caution if you intend on making one and, of course, it’s no one’s fault but your own if something goes wrong.
Head on over to the Amazon Kindle Factory Cable Thread for additional information and to get started. You may need to read a few pages in to get all the info, but it is all there.
March 17, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
As development for a popular device goes on, eventually users and developers will find new ways of performing already available tasks. Features of these new ways generally include features such as being easier to use, so the less tech savvy crowd can get in on the modding action and adding new options that are just really cool. Such is the case with a method posted by XDA Senior Member smirkis, which allows users of the Amazon Kindle Fire to install a custom recovery and a custom bootloader without using fastboot.
There are already methods that help users install a custom recovery and a custom bootloader. However, what sets this method apart is that it gives the user an option to choose which recovery and bootloader they install on the fly. And for users who have had enough with modifying their devices, there’s an option to return to stock bootloader and recovery. The full options include:
install clockworkmod touch
install firefirefire bootloader
Install new cwmtouch final by doomlord
Install new logo fff bootloader by kinfaun
The application comes in the form of an apk that users can install. From there, it’s just loading the scripts to install whichever bootloader and recovery you want and hitting go. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
You can find all the information, download links, and installation instructions you’ll need in the original thread.
One of the drawbacks to buying any device that doesn’t have Google Apps by default is the Android Market can be a little frustrating. Sometimes, not all the apps your device can run will show up. Other times, maybe apps you cannot run will show up. In any case, it can be a hassle.
For users of the Amazon Kindle Fire, your Market woes are one step closer to being over. XDA Member enkode has released a method that adds fixes to the Market so that Kindle Fire owners can have a more open experience with it.
The method itself is relatively simple, and easy to do as long as you follow the instructions. First, users are to edit their build.prop file and then install a modified version of the Android Market. The end result is Kindle Fire owners will have more Market goodness available to them than they had previously.
There are a few prerequisites though, to quote the developer:
YOU MUST BE RUNNING CM7
YOU MUST HAVE ROOT
I WILL NOT SUPPORT STOCK!
So you’re going to have to be rooted and running CyanogenMod before this mod will work for you. For those running the appropriate software, if you’d like to try it out, you can find the full instructions, download links and additional information in the original thread. As per the norm, be sure you make a backup before attempting, just in case something goes wrong.