Kindle Fire gets Android 4.1 Jelly Bean port

Kindle Fire gets Android 4.1 Jelly Bean port

Summary: If you own a Kindle Fire, you may have been rather annoyed to see Google announce the Nexus 7. This should make you feel better: Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) has been ported to the Kindle Fire.


Ever since it launched, the Kindle Fire has been hacked like no tomorrow. Earlier this week, Google open-sourced Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) for third-party modification. As such, nobody should be surprised to learn Kindle Fire owners can now install Jelly Bean on their tablet.

Over on XDA Developers, forum user "Hashcode" revealed that he has ported Google's latest mobile OS to the device. Amazon will probably not be very pleased, but anyone who knows that their Kindle Fire is outdated will be jumping up and down. There's currently no hardware video acceleration support, and enabling Wi-Fi is a pain, but it's definitely a start.

It is now my job to give you the usual warnings. If you're not feeling confident, don't bother doing it. Stick with whatever you currently have on your Kindle Fire, either the custom version of Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) or something later.

You're going to be rooting your device. You're going to be installing custom software. You're going to have to do it all the way through. You may end up bricking your device and rendering it useless. You may have to do some extra tinkering. You may run into problems (this is the first build, and it's labeled as a beta).

Hashcode has provided the following to-do list for himself, which should give you an idea of what's to come:

  • Fix the wifi script.
  • Wifi location fix.
  • Add superuser and a compatible su binary.
  • Default CPU to 1.2ghz instead of 1ghz.
  • Fix slower I/O performance via init*.rc script changes.
  • Add Terminal Emulator.
  • Add File Manager.
  • Fix HD Codecs.
  • Fix the over rotation issue in frameworks/base.
  • Probably lower headphone volume a bit.
  • Add in the libwvm file.
  • Change Bootanimation.
  • Figure out /emmc sharing issues.

With all that out of the way, the download links you need are as follows: ROM and Google apps. The basic instructions are simple: "Flash in recovery, wipe data/cache and reboot." If you want more, Liliputing has put together a detailed walk-through of the process.

See also:

Topics: Security, Amazon, Android, Google, Hardware, Mobile OS, Tablets

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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  • What does Jelly Bean offer over Go Launcher Ex?

    I've been using Go Launcher Ex which you can buy on the Amazon App store, or get for free at the Go Launcher website ever since I got my Kindle Fire. It turns the Fire into an Android tablet. You do you have to search for and download APK files since Google locks us out of their app store, but you can typically still get your android apps, plus you can still shop the Amazon store, and even switch back and forth between the Amazon OS and the Go Launcher OS. Other than unrestricted access to the Google App store, why might want to go with Jelly Bean over Go Launcher EX?
  • OK. Why?

    I can't speak for anyone else, but I bought the Fire because it had all of the Google spyware stripped out. Why would I want to put it back in? If someone wants a Google Android tablet, it is not like there aren't many choices out there.
  • Yawn

    Just buy a Surface device with Windows 8 when they become available. Microsoft technology is the future, not Android, iOS or other legacy technologies.
    Liverack Dovidson
    • Legacy Technologies

      Interesting... so Android and iOS are legacy technologies and Windows isn't?

      I think Microsoft would be better off if they could work on improving their image. I try not to buy products from patent trolls if I can help it... Apple included.
  • One of the reasons I like the NOOK is... can install any bootable OS on a microSD card and when you insert it in the Nook and re-boot, it boots from the MicroSD. I currently running Honeycomb (3.0) MSD on a 16 gig card. if I want to switch back to the native Nook software, I just take the MDS card out, no problem.
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