Why Kindle Fire Was Hacked To Run Pre-Alpha Version Of Ice Cream Sandwich?



This is a guest post by Shannen Doherty.

Amazon's Kindle Fire has been seen as something of an oddity in the tech community. This is because rather than using Google's tablet-friendly Android 3.2, Amazon opted to use its mobile-centric 2.3 iteration and then make some fairly radical changes to it with a custom user interface. Why then has a group of bedroom programmers decided to port a pre-alpha version ofAndroid 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on to the Kindle Fire? Perhaps the answer is more obvious than it might seem.

It is first worth looking at the Kindle Fire's existing software before delving into the motivations ofthe hackers who brought Android 4.0 to the table. Amazon took Android 2.3 and changed it almost beyond recognition in order to shoehorn its own interface on top. It put the focus on getting users to invest their cash in downloadable content for the device. The reason for this is that Amazon is selling the Kindle Fire almost at cost, so it needs to make its money from users buying apps, books, movies and games over the course of their ownership of the device. TheKindle Fire's home screen is dedicated to helping you launch your favourite or most recently accessed piece of content, eschewing the usual Android arrangement of making customisation the most important consideration.

As critics of the Kindle Fire have pointed out, Android 2.3 is simply not designed to take advantage of a tablet device with a seven-inch screen with a high resolution, no matter how much work Amazon has put into adapting it for its device. Given that Android 3.0 already exists, complete with its tablet-friendly apps and interface, it seems a little odd that Amazon chose togo its own route with the Kindle Fire. Now that Android 4.0 has hit the market, combining the mobile sensibilities of 2.3 with the tablet features of 3.0, you could argue that this is the perfect time to update the Kindle Fire so that it uses the very latest platform.

Of course, it should be obvious by this point that Amazon is not interested in giving its customers a straightforward Android experience that can be had on a number of other tablets. So it is not really in its interest to dabble in Android 4.0, at least in the short term. This is why a team of programmers over at the xda-developers forum got together to bring a pre-releaseversion of Android 4.0 to the Kindle Fire before any official source could do the same.

The Kindle Fire has more than enough power to run Android 4.0, thanks to its dual-core 1GHz processor and 8GB of onboard storage space. The fact that it is a pre-alpha build that the hackers have used for the port suggests that a full release iteration of the altered firmware might appear at a later date.

The developers seem to have done an admirable job of getting Android 4.0 onto the Kindle Firein a form that appears to be largely functional. Glitches are unavoidable in this kind of project, with one example being apparently inconsistent audio. However, fans of early adoption who have a Kindle Fire might want to tinker with this update, even though it can only be acquired through back-door methods at the moment. Anyone who does so, though, should beware of invalidating any warranty that comes with the device.

About the author:

The above article is composed and edited by Shannen Doherty. She is a technical content writer. She is associated with many technology and designing communities including Broadband Expert as their freelance writer and adviser. In her free time she writes articles related to: internet, broadband only deals, technology mobile broadband, etc.

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February 5, 2012 at 10:12 AM delete

Is Kindle Touch 3G have in India.

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