January 29, 2012 By: liwen
Android tablets have increased their marketshare in 2011, from 29% in late 2010 to 39%, but not because of the strength of the Android ecosystem. Sure, us geeks like them for their powerful hardware, but most normal consumers are rather drawn to the Kindle Fire. The Amazon tablet runs a forked Android version, as we explained earlier, and has proven to be extremely popular. Even though there are still more Galaxy Tabs in the wild, the Kindle Fire already sees the same amount of user engagement.
The data from Flurry, a mobile analytics provider, shows that both Kindle Fire and Galaxy Tab are now responsible for 36% of all application sessions, defined as “the launch and subsequent exit (or pause for more than 10 seconds) of an app”. Compare that to last November, when 63% of all application sessions were tracked on the Galaxy Tab – the Fire, which only launched at that time, was at a mere 3%.
While impressive, this does not mean that the Kindle Fire already caught up in terms of marketshare. Due to a headstart of more than a year, Flurry estimates that the number of active Galaxy Tabs is still over twice as much as that for the Kindle Fire. However, this makes the above statistics even more impressive – clearly, those who own a Kindle Fire use it much more frequently than those who own other Android tablets.
Kindle Fire owners are also much more willing to buy apps, as they download over 2.5 times as many paid applications through the Amazon Appstore than Galaxy Tab owners through the Android Market.
In the end, while ‘traditional’ Android tablets do offer a lot of functionality, they haven’t really caught on in the marketplace, nor are they being used as much as other tablets. While one might have speculated that many only bought the Kindle Fire because of its extremely low price, without actually using it a lot, these numbers tell a different, and rather troubling, story. At least for Google.
Read the full report at Flurry.
January 21, 2012 By: liwen
What seems to be the most popular Android tablet out there right now, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, has received an OTA update starting a few days ago. As always, it initially broke root access, but our forum members have already found a workaround for that. So, there’s no point trying to prevent it now, else you won’t get the following features:
This update enhances fluidity and performance, improves support for manually set up e-mail providers in the Email app, and offers a new full screen mode for viewing web pages.
If you’ve already received and installed the OTA update, use BurritoRoot by recognized developer jcase, who has updated his tool to work with the new 6.2.2 version, to regain root. If not, then head over to this forum thread to download the pre-rooted update package flash-able with TWRP, courtesy of forum member nfinitefx45.
The process is a little complicated and involves switching out a few lib files. So if you’re not confident with fiddling with the framework of the device, make sure you do some homework and get comfortable with it before attempting as messing up can damage your device. Be sure, as always, to perform a full back up just in case.
The process is otherwise not complicated, as Azdian says:
*Download Madmack RTL Patacher HERE, then extract the files, you will see some subfolders and files what you need to remember is input and output subfolders and command.exe for later use.
*Go to your kindle open Root Explorer [or any app can do the same] and copy these files from your kindle to your pc
*move these files to input subfolder , and then run commands.exe DO NOT close the black cmd screens that will pop up, wait till its finish, once its done you will find these files in the output subfolder
So if you’re of the Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, etc persuasion and want the RTL support on your Kindle Fire, you can find the download links, the complete instructions and further information in its original thread.
XDA Member Zombiepiratez has created a helpful little program for Windows that will help you fix the brick. It runs in Windows Command Prompt, so the UI is dead simple to use and the selections are easy to understand, so noobs need not fear in terms of difficulty. Unfortunately, Zombiepiratez has sustained personal injury, as he says:
Unfortunately, I have broken/sprained my wrist, and am unable to move my fingers without a fairly great amount of pain. This is only my right hand, but sadly, I am right-handed. For the next month, I will be unable to code, meaning no new versions or bugfixes.
So, if you find a bug, feel free to report it and don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear back.
For more information, download links and screen shots, check out the original thread.
Sometimes, Windows just doesn’t cut it. Many developers use some distro of Linux for most of their work and, while better off than most Mac users, Windows has the capacity to cause mammoth headaches.
This is especially true for some Amazon Kindle Fire owners, who’ve reported having trouble with ADB and Fastboot drivers on Windows.
To rescue comes XDA Senior Member pokey9000 who has devised a method for getting around this and restore Kindle Fire owners to their headache free ways. He explains what it is exactly:
Firekit combines all the command line tools for Kindle Fire recovery with the Ubuntu LiveUSB. All you need is a USB stick and a PC that can boot off it. All files stay on the stick, so nothing on your PC is changed.
While this will require a little know-how about creating Ubuntu LiveUSB, once you get passed that, it’s a relatively simple process. After you create your Ubuntu LiveUSB and get the files on there, you can use the command line to do anything from restoring your Fire to fixing messed up partition tables. Here’s a full list of the commands (to be entered in the command line):
install_fff_twrp_from_stock: Install FFF and TWRP while in stock Android. Uses fbmode to reboot. Use this to get FFF/TWRP installed on 6.2.1 stock OS.
install_fff_twrp: Install FFF and TWRP while in fastboot. Good if you’re stuck in fastboot and you want FFF/TWRP.
fix_parts Restore partition table to stock while in fastboot. Do this if you’re in fastboot and your partition table is screwed up.
normal_boot: Set the bootmode to boot android and reboot while in fastboot. Try this if you’re stuck at the Kindle Fire logo.
usb_boot_twrp: USB boot TWRP without installing. Boot TWRP if your Kindle black screens when you try to power it on. Needs the USB boot mode trick.
usb_install_fff_twrp: USB boot FFF, install FFF and TWRP. Install / recover the bootloader and recovery if they are broken. Needs the USB boot mode trick.
usb_fix_parts_and_install_fff_twrp: USB boot FFF, restore partition table to stock, install FFF and TWRP. Fix everything if you screwed up the partition table and your Fire’s screen no longer turns on. Needs the USB boot mode trick.
If this powerful alternative to trying to get things to work via Windows is something you would like to check out, you can check out the original thread for additional instructions, a tutorial on its use and download links. It seems that pokey9000 is also planning to do more support for this, as he does have a to-do list at the bottom of the first post for things he intends to fix and improve on.
We all knew it would be happening soon, as the AOSP ROMs are essentials for most new phones and tablets and the Amazon Kindle Fire is the latest and greatest device that MIUI calls home and the development of the Amazon Kindle Fire remains on fire (bad pun ftw!).
XDA Senior Member leech2082 released the port which, for a first release, has a surprisingly low number of things not working in comparison to most ports that make first appearances on devices. According to him:
Everything seems to be working except MIUI Themeing and Video! Certainly you guys will find something I missed
So if MIUI theming and video are a couple of things you can live without and MIUI is something you’ve been waiting for, then now would be a great time to check it out. The installation instructions are easy and pretty standard for a ROM flash. Boot into recovery, wipe everything, flash and profit.
The boot up can take a few minutes, and as leech2082 will tell you:
what i have found is the boot animation may cycle twice before fully booting. Also after flash when you hit reboot sometimes it brings up the TWRP screen again. If that happens just hit reboot. Since there is not hard buttons on kindle we included Button Savior you will see if on the right side of screen by default
Not a big deal and easily fixable so nothing to be scared of and no reason not to take advantage of the always fun MIUI goodness. For more information, the shout outs, download links, screenshots and more thorough instructions, feel free to mosey on over to the original thread.
For those of you who don’t fancy running Amazon’s heavily modified Android version, even with root, there’s a new option on the horizon: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. After forum member g1011999 manged to get it booting three weeks ago, JackpotClavin, who’s also responsible for the Kindle Fire’s CyanogenMod 7 port, has posted a working build that he says isn’t even alpha.
So, unless you want to help on the development or are really curious (we know you are), we’d suggest you to wait for a more stable version. For everyone else, head over to the forum thread to get downloading and flashing.
Image credit: Liliputing
Last week, we reported on the 6.2.1 update for the Kindle Fire, which brought some nice improvements but had one major disadvantage: it broke root access. Luckily, recognized developer jcase has managed to get this new update rooted as well, so you can comfortably get your Kindle Fire to the newest software version without any caveats.
Continue on to the forum thread for more information.
December 21, 2011 By: liwen
Seems like Android tablet makers are on a roll these days. After Barnes & Noble, Amazon has also officially begun pushing out an OTA update to its inexpensive Kindle Fire, which ups the version number to 6.2.1 and, well, breaks root access. On a positive note, there are also some substantial improvements: scrolling is smoother, WiFi access can be locked with a password (to prevent kids from spending all your money through Amazon’s shops, we presume), and, most importantly, you can finally remove those recently used items from the carousel. Overall performance and touchscreen response are said to be greatly improved as well.
Head over to the forum thread to report your experiences with the update, and whether you have face any issues.
Many announcements have been occurring with the new work of Cyanogen team, even some versions of CM9 starting to pop out for the Nexus S and Galaxy S. But now we want to let you know about the latest CyanogenMod ROM 7 for the Kindle Fire; XDA member JackpotClavin posted a couple of images showing the Gingerbread-based ROM booted up on his 7-inch Kindle tablet, he is not giving the code for download yet because there are still a lot of bugs to work out.
With source code and root firmly in hand it was only a matter of time before someone got a custom ROM up and running on the Kindle Fire. Judging from the pictures it seems that WiFi is working but if you are not a power user we recommend waiting for something a little more polished before risking your shiny new Kindle.
Originally posted by JackpotClavin
[ROM] CM7 for the Kindle Fire
Howdy everybody! I just got CM7 to boot for the first time on the Kindle Fire. As of right now, I believe the touch screen is off 90 degrees. I know there’s a fix in the source code, I just forgot where it is but I’ll look. It might actually be an edit to the build.prop.
Since we can’t navigate to items in Clockwork, we have to bring the items to us. Basically what I did was I shifted the entries of Clockwork so the “Install update.zip from sdcard” was listed first, not the Reboot system now option. That way, we can just press OK (The power button) and it’ll install the CM zip. I also changed it so you don’t have to scroll all the way down to the “Yes” option to confirm install as I pushed that to the top also so we can just press OK. In the update.zip I included the wiping of system, data, and cache because we can’t navigate to mounts and storage to wipe those things in Clockwork, so we have to do it automagically.
Continue on to the discussion thread
November 21, 2011 By: Will Verduzco
We’ve recently seen a great deal of Kindle Fire activity in the forums. With root achieved on launch day and Google Apps access the following day, it’s certainly quite a hacker-friendly device. In fact, development has taken off so quickly that we even questioned whether the Fire would steal the Nook Tablet’s thunder in the budget tablet battle.
However, what happens when someone tries to approach the hacks from the other direction? GigaOM staffer Kevin Tofel decided to do exactly this. After purchasing his Fire, Kevin realized that there was a substantial functionality overlap between his aging first generation Galaxy Tab and his brand new Fire. Rather than trying to eek more functionality out of the Fire, he decided to load some of the Fire software onto his Galaxy Tab. After discovering that the main interface of the Fire was simply a replacement launcher and glorified skin, the rest was a cinch. And with a little bit of tweaking with the Fire’s preinstalled apps, Kevin even managed to get Amazon Prime videos to play on the Tab! Unfortunately, all was not perfect. Kevin experienced frequent Fire UI crashes, which ultimately lead him to uninstall the alternate interface and return to standard Galaxy Tab operation.
If you’re interested in learning how Kevin was able to achieve this logic-defying feet, visit his post on GigaOM. If you’re only after Amazon Prime Video functionality, visit this thread. And if you’re interested in turning your own tablet into a Kindle Fire, make a quick pitstop at the Kindle Fire ROM dump thread first. If you do attempt to modify your own device into a Fire, please let us know how it goes!
Just a few days ago, we wrote about how the Kindle Fire was rooted, cracking the doors wide open for development. We were then unshackled from Amazon’s chains the very next day with full access to Google’s Apps. With all that development work so soon after launch, we assumed that Amazon had stolen Barnes & Noble’s niche.
Perhaps we were a bit too hasty. Today, we are proud to state that the Barnes & Noble’s latest device, the Nook Tablet, has been rooted as well. XDA forum member Indirect achieved root access using the zergRush method, similar to what death2all110 used to root the Fire. Six forum pages later, iShepherd found out that the same method for installing Google Apps on the Fire also works on the Nook Tablet.
I have gotten zergRush to work on the nook tablet as well as created a batch script for you to run to allow you to root your tablet. This does NOT unlock the bootloader software/hardware checks this is just so you can remove whatever unnecessary crap you wish to get the **** off your device.
If you’re the lucky owner of a Nook Tablet, head over to the original thread to get started. Once you’ve achieved su, get in on the Google Apps fun by following these instructions. We all know that’s the real reason you bought an e-reader.
November 17, 2011 By: Will Verduzco
Just yesterday, we wrote about how the Kindle Fire is poised to become the next hackable and budget-friendly tablet of choice. With a specifications sheet eerily similar to tablets costing twice as much or more, it’s no wonder that the Fire has sparked intense developer interest. It is precisely this fascination, which lead to the Fire being rooted so promptly after release. However, although gaining root privileges is cool in its own right, being able to use root access to unlock functionality is even better.
Thanks to some easy-to-follow instructions compiled by XDA forum member Jolleyboy, we now have full Google Apps access on the Fire. This means that we are no longer restricted to Amazon’s curated Appstore. Instead, we now have free roam across the entire expanse of the official Android Market. The other Google-graced usual suspects such as Gmail, Talk, Youtube, Maps, Reader, Google+, and Voice are also present and accounted for. In the words of the developer:
I’ve had a couple requests to post step by step directions for how I got my Google apps working. Be forewarned, you’re going to have to restart your kindle a few times. If you don’t restart it this won’t work.
This download includes:
Google Services Framework
As well as some goodies that everyone needs:
Kindle Fire owners, you want this. Head over to the original thread to get started. Now. Just be sure to tread carefully. There’s always the risk of your brand new toy becoming a paperweight if you’re not careful.