Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How To Root The Amazon Kindle Fire

Amazon's newest gadget, the Kindle Fire finally made its debut this week, and of course it geeks do what geeks do. They immediately tore it apart to see what glorious wonders can be found inside and then they began to hack it. The fine folks over at the XDA Developers forum have updated a previous published piece of software that works as a simple one clock rooting method.

Android Forums member, CLShortFuse, has created a root tool titled SuperOneClick which allows you to root almost any Android based device. Users have confirmed the tool will also work for rooting the Kindle Fire and posted a great how to that gives you all the steps needed to root yours.

Why root the Kindle Fire?

If you have to ask why would I want to do this then chances are you really won't. But geeks are geeks and we love to have full access to our devices. So here is a brief explanation:

Having root access to a device means that its software can be removed and replaced with something else (like a full version of Android). Or you could install a slightly tweaked version of the Kindle's software (once the developer community starts releasing them), which could give added functionality or speed. Or you could just leave the tablet as is—but install some additional applications you wouldn't have access to through Amazon's curated apps offerings.

I want to do it show me how!

First I'd like to add there are always risks associated with hacking your device and there’s an outside chance you could wind up with a bricked (or totally unusable) device. So proceed at your own risk!

You’ll need to start by downloading the SuperOneClick files. Second you'll want to download and install the Android SDK on your PC. From there you need to use the Android SDK and establish ADB access to your device, which stands for Android Debug Bridge. ADB is a developer tool that lets you communicate with a device via your PC for installing apps, copying files and running shell commands.

Once you have the ADB established you need to modify the adb_usb.ini file in your %USERPROFILE%\.android folder to add support for the Kindle Fire — complete details on doing that are available on the Android Forums via this thread.

Once you’ve modded the .INI file, fire up SuperOneClick and tap the root button. That’s all there is to it!

So now my Kindle is rooted, now what?

As of right now there isn't a lot of information that has been verified as to what rooting can and can't do. Theoretically, rooting means you should be able to install almost any Android compatible application you can download from the internet. It should also mean you can install new baseline software. Though I don't see anything out at this time that is ready. For now it seems like a waiting game for devs to come up with something new.

For those of you looking to install non-Amazon approved apps, a process called sideloading, is already available on the Fire by checking a box in your device settings that allows you to install apps from unknown sources. This can let you do things such as install Barnes & Noble's Nook app on your Fire or, perhaps even install handy Android tools such as the Swype keyboard.

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