Kindle Fire source code already available

Kindle Fire source code already available

Summary: The homebrew community is free to start hacking the Kindle Fire, as Amazon has released the source code for the new tablet.


The homebrew community is anxious to get hacking the two new cheap tablets, the Nook Tablet and the Kindle Fire. There is a big draw to getting good hardware at a cheap price, and then changing the software to add features missing on the tablet as released by the OEM. Amazon is making this homebrew effort as easy as possible, as it has already released the Kindle Fire source code.

Download Kindle Fire source code here

The Kindle Fire is based on open source Android code, and it is required for companies that use it to release their code based on the original source code. Companies usually take plenty of time to release that source code; Google only recently released the Android Honeycomb source.

Amazon is not fooling around with the Kindle Fire, it released it early, shipped it ahead of time, and is now getting the source code to the homebrew crowd. While I originally thought Amazon might take a dim view of those hacking its new tablet, I am happy to see that is not the case.

Now that the source code is freely available, we will start seeing custom software builds appearing for those who want to tailor the capabilities of the $199 tablet. To install custom ROMs (software builds) on the Kindle Fire, it will be necessary to first "root" the device, giving full privileges over the hardware. That has already been done by at least one intrepid Fire owner, so the way is clear for serious homebrew efforts.

Amazon can still decide to take steps to hamper putting custom ROMs on the Kindle Fire. It can do that in a number of ways, but it may just look the other way while it happens. The homebrew community represents a tiny fraction of the mainstream market that Amazon is aiming the Kindle Fire at, and it may just live with it. Let's hope that is the attitude it takes.

See also:

Topics: Tablets, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Security

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  • "Google still hasnâ??t released the Android Honeycomb source."

    Do your research please, yes - it has.

    Also, "Kindle Fire is based on open source Android code, and it is required for companies that use it to release their code based on the original source code"

    Some of the code requires release, some doesn't. You're lumping in all of the code for Android in a basket it doesn't belong in. Please, do some research before posting.
  • google honeycomb source

    actually the honeycomb source code IS available. Google included it with the Ice Cream Sandwich source that was released just a few days ago
    • +1

  • Money talks

    Let's face it, Amazon wants Fire owners to buy things from them. By keeping the source code secret, homebrewers will turn to other sources for source code, and those other sources will not have Amazon's market places built in. Amazon would gladly trade off giving owners more control over their hardware (especially considering the fact that they know it will happen anyway) in exchange for keeping their online shopping business.
    Michael Kelly
    • RE: Kindle Fire source code already available

      Michael did you even read the article? "The homebrew community is free to start hacking the Kindle Fire, as Amazon has released the source code for the new tablet."
  • Who Says Jo/Joanne Public Doesn't Care About The Source?

    Glad to hear more companies realizing the importance of Open Source, and that it enables fundamentally different business models from proprietary software. Some companies have realized this, others haven't. Which side is winning? With 100 million new Android activations in the last six months and still growing, need I say more?
  • Wow, Bezos had said a month or two ago that he was ok with rooting....

    @jkendrik - Told you so, and then some... :)

    ... but this is still a surprise. The complete antithesis of Apple lockdown. It's one thing to not lock the device down, and let the hobbyist community know that if they want to play on it, it is ok (warranty voided of course). But releasing the source code to accelerate the effort is a good move. For one thing, putting that many more eyeballs on the code, Amazon will get optimization back from the field much faster, and with less cost. The end user gets a better Fire more quickly than if Amazon went it alone as well. Brilliant move. I'm impressed.
  • what i want to know is . . . will M$ be getting their cut of the price of

    the Fire.
    i won't buy one if it is encumbered by M$ bribery.
    and i will wait until told otherwise.
    so, does it, or not?
    i'm waiting.