That didn’t take long: over two weeks after its release, the Kindle Fire will be running Cyanogenmod 7 this weekend. Official CM7 support will have to wait, but an independent developer, JackpotClavin, has nearly completed a fully functional CM7 ROM for the Kindle Fire. He has been running the (almost) bug-free firmware for several days, and expects a public release by this Sunday.
Cyanogenmod, from Cyanogen and Team Douche, is a popular Android custom firmware. Cyanogenmod ROMs are built straight from Google’s source code; the software lets owners of manufacturer-skinned devices run a more pure version of Android. It is among the most stable of custom Android ROMs, with extra performance-boosting and power-conserving options. Cyanogenmod 7 is the team’s version of Gingerbread.
Getting ClockworkMod Recovery working on the tablet is the biggest obstacle to the ROM’s release. The device’s multitouch display is disabled in recovery, so the hacking tool requires users to navigate with hardware buttons. Other devices use volume up, volume down, and power for navigating, but the Kindle Fire only has a power button.
The developer’s workaround is to modify the ClockworkMod tool so that install update.zip from SD card is the first menu item. This allows Fire hackers to install CM7 with one click. The only problem with this method is that other functions in ClockworkMod — including backing up a ROM – won’t be available. Other developers are developing additional workarounds, so the handicapped recovery tool could merely be a temporary solution.
The Android Market can be hacked to run on the Kindle Fire without flashing a new ROM, but many Fire owners are still anxious to have a vanilla Android experience. The prospect of running stock Android on a $200 dual-core tablet is enough to make a hacker salivate.
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