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Amazon Kindle Fire news: rooting, teardown, source code and hacks

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A few days have passed already since the Kindle Fire [our articles] started shipping and tons of reviews hit the web, but still no official pre-orders and first days sales numbers from Amazon. I expect these numbers to surface soon since the company has put lots of its money on the cheap seven inch tablet and it wants to keep shareholders happy.

Until those numbers arrive let’s take a look at the latest news about Amazon’s tablet, as quite a few things have happened this week:

iFixit teardown

As expected iFixit opened up the case of the Kindle Fire and revealed a massive battery inside (4400 mAh 16,28 Whr), plus confirmed only 512 MB RAM for the cheap tablet. I’d say it’s enough for most tasks, but lags behind current high end tablets that normally feature 1GB RAM. The CPU used by Amazon is the 1GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4430.

Amazon Kindle Fire insides
Amazon Kindle Fire insides

Amazon publishes the source code

Amazon was very fast in publishing the source code for the operating system files that power the Kindle Fire. Expect hackers to unlock the full potential of the tablet soon, but mind you that installing any custom ROM is a little bit dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing and it will void your warranty. If you like to go beyond Amazon’s imposed limitation that’s the only way to do it.

Kindle Fire can now be rooted

If you want to install specific apps that need access tot the superuser account on your operating system the only option is to root it. Depending on which path you choose rooting the Kindle Fire is a breeze or a slightly more complicated deal. Read here the instructions.

Install the Google Marketplace

One of the biggest drawbacks of the Kindle Fire is the lack of Android Marketplace support, so you have to rely on the Amazon Appstore. But if you’ve rooted it already you can use this guide to install and use Google’s app store. Be advised that not all apps work, because they’re not compatible with the Fire, but the ones that do pose no problem to Amazon’s tablet.

Better eBooks are coming

Since Amazon only offered eInk eReaders until a few days ago it’s easy to understand why Kindle eBooks use the Mobi format, which doesn’t support HTML, CSS or other nice things that make reading a nicer experience. Now that the Kindle Fire switched to a color LCD, Amazon announced the new KF8 eBook format which supports HTML 5 and CSS. It’s not released yet, but once it will be expect better looking eBooks. It was about time.

Get your Kindle Fire tablet from here

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