Update: ROM was updated on 5/29 with the latest Haschcode kernel, graphics, built-in apps and more
Last week I discussed the Modaco Gr5 ROM for the Kindle Fire as a very stable and custom ROM for daily use. It provides the best mix of the Amazon services along with customization to access the Android Market and other Google services. But maybe you are itching from some Android 4.0 ICS on your Kindle Fire. At the time I didn’t think any of the ICS ROMs were good enough for daily use but since then things are getting better. The latest Energy ICS CM9 ROM by XDA developer NRGZ28 is the best I have tested so far. The Energy ROM is fast and responsive and comes with some great optimization and pre-loaded apps. But as usual disclaimer, all modification to your Kindle Fire is at your own risk.
I think ICS looks great on the Kindle Fire and the hardware can definitely handle it. The only issue so far with all ICS ROM is that hardware acceleration is not working but hopefully that will be solved soon. Despite no HW acceleration, I found the ROM to be very responsive and smooth. As discussed in the original forum post the ROM is built with a custom kernel and modifications to ensure stability and overall aesthetic appeal. The ROM comes with you choice of Go Launcher or Trebuchet launcher which you can pick at first boot. There are some good pre-loaded apps like Titanium Backup, SetCPU and Google apps. Anyone on a rooted device will appreciate how essential an app like Titanium back can be to restore apps and data. SetCPU can also be used to manage the performance of the ROM by adjusting the CPU governors. There also some custom widgets ported from other devices like Asus and HTC. Although not all of the widgets were working properly.
Obviously on an ICS ROM you will not have access to the Amazon services like the original software. But you do have access to all of Google’s services which may even be better based on your preference. I was able to add my account and access Gmail, Android Market, and other services with no issues. YouTube works without too many problems except for HD videos. But the regular videos look very sharp on the Kindle Fire and once the HW acceleration is solved the HD videos will follow. The stock browser is fast and responsive and supports flash. The newest Chrome Beta browser unfortunately doesn’t work on this ROM due to HW acceleration not being enabled. But app compatibility should be increased to include most apps built for ICS phone and tablets. Although there are some usual bugs with almost any custom ROM, I think Energy ICS can be good enough for daily use. I’m pretty sick of the Amazon interface at this point so I’m making the switch. I’ll continue to test the ROM and will update with any further information and there is the forum thread. Download the ROM and let us know how you like it.