Have a First-Gen Kindle Fire? Make It Awesome Again With Stock Android

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Have a First-Gen Kindle Fire? Make It Awesome Again With Stock Android

The original Kindle Fire is now three years old, and although it is still a fantastic tablet, it lags behind newer versions. So why not give it a makeover by flashing a normal Android ROM?

The First-Gen Kindle Fire Explained

The first Kindle Fire was never a super-powered tablet, but it was a step up from the monochromatic joys of the popular Kindle eReader and just as easy to set up. The Fire includes a full-color 1024×600 display, 8 GB of storage, a dual-core 1 GHz CPU, and runs the Kindle Fire operating system, which is a customized version of Android 2.3.3 based around the bookshelf/newsstand theme rather than a standard home screen/launcher.

Although updates are still being released for the device, the user interface design limits its utility as a tablet. Furthermore, the absence of access to the official Google Play Store (Amazon has its own app store) imposes certain unwanted constraints.

A rooted first-generation Kindle Fire, on the other hand, may be flashed with a fresh ROM, which effectively means you remove the existing operating system and install a whole new one. This allows you to use the regular Android operating system to improve the performance and lifetime of your eReader and mobile entertainment device!

Rooting Your Kindle Fire

You must root your Kindle Fire in order to personalize the software. This is the process of gaining access to normally locked areas of the file system and assigning authorization to certain tools.

To root your Kindle Fire, first download the Kindle Fire Utility, which is available for free from XDA-Developers. See our earlier post on utilizing the Kindle Fire Utility for assistance with rooting.

Please keep in mind that this technique of rooting the Kindle Fire is exclusively for first-generation devices. Using it on a second or later generation Kindle Fire tablet will very certainly brick it. We will not be held liable if you damage or brick your device.

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Backup Your Kindle Fire

Backup your data using a rooted Kindle Fire, which is very crucial.

You should never try to install a fresh Android ROM without first backing up your data. Normally, you would accomplish this by synchronizing your music and files with Dropbox or by utilizing one of the several backup programs available in the Amazon App Store, but being rooted provides you even more possibilities.

TWRP Recovery should be installed after rooting your Kindle Fire via the Kindle Fire Utility. You may take a full, complete backup image of your tablet by rebooting into TWRP Recovery Mode (open the Kindle Fire Utility and select1 Bootmode Menu > 3 Recovery) that can be restored later if anything goes wrong or you don’t want to continue with the standard Android ROM.

In TWRP Recovery Mode, choose Backup once, then check the data kinds that need to be archived. You also have the option of giving the backup a name. When you’re ready, swipe the button at the bottom of the screen to confirm your decision and wait. Backing up should not take long, and once done, you will be able to recover the data via Recovery Mode at any time.

Which ROM?

The next step is to choose an appropriate ROM. You’ll find several excellent options at XDA-Kindle Developers.com’s Fire subforum, where you can download customised versions of Android built to work on the Kindle Fire.

However, for additional awesomeness, I’ll show you how to install Android 4.2 Jelly Bean on the Kindle Fire first generation tablet, using the standard Jelly Bean 4.2.2 r1 version from XDA-Developers.

If this isn’t for you, there are plenty of other options, ranging from the current CM11 to versions of Android Jelly Bean that have been tweaked to be especially tailored for usage on a tablet (despite the fact that Jelly Bean itself is intended for tablets).There is also a version that is based on the original Kindle Fire ROM but has several speed improvements and a built-in Google Play.

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The flashing procedure is essentially the same, however please refer to the documentation linked with your selected ROM.

Preparing For Android: Download The ROM, Install FireFireFire

Prepare yourself by starting the download of the ROM you want to use. We’ll continue with this lesson using the AOSP JELLY BEAN 4.2.2 r1 from before. While this is downloaded, connect your Kindle Fire to your computer and launch the Kindle Fire Utility, choosing option 5 Install Latest FireFireFire.

FireFireFire is a custom bootloader required for the installation of any customROM. Finally, with FireFireFire loaded, use any micro-USB to USB cord to transfer the ROM to your Kindle Fire. Like a USB drive, your computer should detect it as an external storage device.

Using TWRP To Flash Your Kindle Fire’s Android ROM

Begin by choosing Wipe to factory reset your Kindle Fire while it is in TWRP Recovery Mode. This will clear all data from the caches, which is required for properly flashing your selected ROM.

After that, return to the main menu and click Install. To begin flashing, go to the ROM file and slide the confirmation switch. Make sure you have enough battery to go through the flash, since if your tablet dies in the midst of the procedure, it might create significant issues.

Your new ROM will be flashed in five minutes. Reboot your tablet and wait a few seconds as Android prepares it.

One Last Thing: Mind The GApps

You may believe that now that your Kindle Fire has a complete Android appearance and native applications, you’re free to go to the store and start downloading apps.

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Yes, but first you must flash the Google Apps package, which can be found at goo.im/gapps- choose the option mentioned for Android 4.2.2 or the version number of your individual ROM.

Once downloaded, transfer the file to your Kindle Fire and flash the ROM using TWRP. Restart your Kindle Fire, which should now have all of the software capabilities you’d expect from a new Google Android tablet!

(You may have noticed that the Kindle Fire Utility also provides a Google Apps installation through 6 Extras (Requires Root) > 1). Download and install Google Apps / Go Launcher Ex. This should automate the procedure, and once Android is started, you can deactivate Go Launcher Ex. However, while trying this approach for this article, I was unable to get an up-to-date version of Google Apps, so the manual solution is most likely the best choice here.)

You Just Added Years To Your Kindle Fire – And It Still Reads Books!

With a fresh operating system installed on your old, first-generation Kindle Fire, you’ll discover that it’s still as quick and amazing as the day you took it out of the box. You may anticipate many more years of multimedia tablet fun from your device as long as the hardware holds up.

Even better, you may continue to read your books by downloading Amazon’s regular Android Kindle reader app. If you’d rather leave things alone, our unofficial Kindle Fire guidebook should help you get the most out of your tablet/eReader. Have some fun with your resurrected Kindle Fire!

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