Install Custom ROM on Kindle Fire HD

The new Kindle Fire HD is a great device but one major drawback is that it is a highly customized version of Android. This means that you don’t get access to the Google Play Store apps or to all the Google apps like Gmail, Google+, Maps, and more. Some of the apps can be sideloaded but others won’t work or you can’t use sign in with you Google account. But this being Android, the great developed community steps in to provide root access which gets around those issues. Unfortunately, Amazon has gone to some length to try and make the new Kindle Fire HD unhackable. The device comes with a locked boot loader which makes the usual rooting and hacking difficult. But just recently some major progress has been made.

Even though the Kindle Fire HD bootloader is locked, a root method has been available. But this is only one part of hacking a device with the second part being a custom recovery. All devices come with a stock recovery and it is what allows you to update your device when you get official OTA updates from Amazon. But a custom recovery is needed if you want to backup your system, install a custom ROM, or flash any modification to the device. Up until now this has not been possible as the locked bootloader prevents installing a custom recovery. But thankfully the talents Hashcode has figured out a way to bypass this issue.

This involved using SafeStrap which doesn’t touch the stock recovery but creates a second virtual system on the device where a custom recovery can be installed. Once you boot into the custom recovery you have virtual ROM slots where you can flash any ROM or desired zip. The installation of SafeStrap is very easy but it is a serious hack and involved potential soft bricking of your device. As a warning, no one is responsible  for you device except the user so don’t blame anyone else. But this hack does open up the potential of custom ROMs and getting out of the original Amazon software. Now, the fun part begins as custom ROMs are made for the device. Check out the link and let us know how it’s working for you.

Source: XDA

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Arash Soheili

Founder & Chief Editor at Android Cowboy
Arash is the founder of Android Cowboy and all around tech enthusiast. His passion for technology and Android pushed him to start his own blog. He currently carries the Nexus 5, Kindle Fire HDX, and Nexus 7 FHD tablet. He's also a Google Glass explorer!!