The first custom ROM for the Amazon Kindle Fire could be available Sunday night. That’s when xda-developers forum member JackpotClavin hopes to release tools that will allow anyone to load CyanogenMod 7 on the tablet.
Update: The tools are available, and we’ve posted step-by-step instructions for installing CyanogenMod 7 on the Kindle Fire.
CyanogenMod is a custom version of Google Android based on the Android Open Source Project. JackpotClavin’s been running a version on his Kindle Fire for a few days, and he says almost everything works perfectly. It could provide a quick and easy way to convert the $199 Kindle Fire from a device focused on Amazon’s digital media services into a full-fledged Android tablet.
But there are a few good reasons you might want to wait a little while before installing CyanogenMod on the tablet. Right now the biggest obstacle is that the Kindle Fire only has one physical button — the power button.
That makes it difficult to navigate the ClockworkMod Recovery tool which is used to replace the Kindle Fire software with CyanogenMod. JackpotClavin got around this problem by modifying the ClockworkMod Recovery so that the first option is “install update.zip from sdcard” instead of “reboot system now.”
In other words, you can boot into recovery and with one tap of the button you can wipe your system data and cache and install new software without scrolling up or down.
Unfortunately that means you can’t use ClockworkMod to create a complete backup of your system. If you want to revert to the default Kindle Fire software, you’ll be out of luck.
Other developers are working on other recovery tools that may make loading custom ROMs on the Kindle Fire a little safer and easier. But I’m still pretty impressed at how quickly CyanogenMod has been ported to the Kindle Fire, and anyone that’s not worried about voiding the warranty and perhaps losing access to the Amazon’s official software for the tablet, it looks like a public release of CyanogenMod should be available soon.