The Amazon Kindle Fire comes loaded with a custom version of Android 2.3 Gingerbread which is designed to give the users exclusive access to Amazon’s content store, but Kindle Fire is no stranger to hacks. People have been hacking the $199 Kindle Fire since the day it was launched in the market. The Android 4.1 Jelly Bean’s source code was released to the Android Open Source Project Repository, and the latest version of Android has been already ported to the device. A developer named Hashcode has successfully ported Jelly Bean to run on Kindle Fire.
Since this is the initial build, it does have some flaws, like there is no support for hardware video acceleration, and it is cumbersome to enable wi-fi, but apart from these issues, rest of the things work smoothly.
If you are planning to buy a Google Nexus 7, but have a Kindle Fire lying around, you can save some bucks by installing this ROM. Once this ROM is installed, Kindle Fire will be using the same interface that you get with Google Nexus 7.
If you already have a Kindle Fire, it doesn’t make sense to buy a Google Nexus 7 since with this ROM, you can do virtually everything that a Nexus 7 is capable you. But if you do not own a Kindle Fire, you can get the Nexus 7 itself as it costs just $199 and comes with Android 4.1 pre installed. Also, Nexus 7 has a built in microphone that is required for voice commands and a higher resolution display when compared to Kindle Fire.
In order to get the Jelly Bean working on Kindle Fire, you are required to have the tablet rooted and custom recovery installed. You can do this running the latest version of Kindle Fire Utility that can be downloaded from xda-developers forums. Once the files are downloaded, you are required to unzip the file and navigate to install_drivers.bat and run it. Once the previous step is completed, you should connect your Kindle Fire to your PC using a USB cable.
Now that the device is connected to the PC, double click on run.bat file and follow the instructions displayed on the screen in order to install ClockworkMod Recovery or TWRP. In order to have your device boot into the recovery mode, you are required to install the latest version of FireFireFire utility.
Once you have completed the above steps, you can download Hashcode’s latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean .zip file to your device, as well as the latest gApps.zip file. The gApps.zip file contains default apps like Play Store, Gmail, and other Google apps.
Next step is to switch off your Kindle Fire and press the power button in order to boot again. When you spot the boot logo, hold down the power button for 5 to 10 seconds, and at this point you should boot into TWRP or ClockworkMod Recovery instead of loading Android. From here, you can use the on-screen commands to backup your Kindle Fire (which is recommended), wipe your device and install Jelly Bean & latest gApps.
If you’ve followed all the steps mentioned above exactly, your Kindle Fire should be boot into Android 4.1 when rebooted.
There are few flaws, like the WiFi isn’t working fine. Since it is a known issue, you can either wait for Hashcode to release a fix, which he promised to do soon, or if you are adventurous enough, you can follow the steps below:
First, you are required to download the latest version of SuperUser app from AndroidSU.com and move the files to your Kindle Fire, and flash the files using ClockworkMod or TWRP.
Once the files are flashed, connect the device to your PC and fire up a command prompt window. Navigate to the directory where you have abd and run the following prompts:
• adb shell
This should fix the issue. If not, a fix will be released soon.
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