Want to run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on an Amazon Kindle Fire? You can. It’s an unofficial software update that’s not supported by Amazon — but once you’ve applied the update you can install the Amazon Kindle, MP3, and Appstore apps and use them alongside Google apps such as the Play Store, Gmail, and Google Maps.
Independent developer (and extraordinary Kindle Fire hacker) Hashcode released the first version of Android 4.1 for the Kindle Fire just two days ago. At the time it was difficult to get WiFi working and there was no support for hardware video accleration — which meant no Netflix video playback.
Now there’s a new build of Android 4.1 which fixes both of those problems — and adds even more improvments.
You can download the 07-13 update from Haschode’s thread at the xda-developers forum. That’s also probably where you’ll find future updates.
Here are some of the improvements in the latest build:
- Hardware-accelerated video playback (including Netflix support) works.
- WiFi should work without any user intervention.
- The default top CPU speed is set to 1.2 GHz.
- Terminal emulator and File manager apps have been added.
- Screen rotation now looks better.
Hashcode has also reduced the headphone volume and added the Google Nexus 7 boot animation.
Right now Google is charging the same $199 for the Nexus 7 that Amazon charges for the Kindle Fire — and Google’s tablet is a much better deal, with a front camera, a built-in mic, a higher resolution display, and a faster processor.
But if you already have a Kindle Fire, it can now do many of the same things as a Nexus 7. The update brings faster overall performance, an improved status notification area, automatic resizing of home screen widgets when there’s not enough room on the screen, and more.
To install Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on the Kindle Fire, you’ll want to follow our instructions for using the Kindle Fire Utility to install TWRP custom recovery and then using TWRP to load Jelly Bean and the latest gApps package.
You can also find more details instructions in our article on installing Android 4.0.
If your Kindle Fire already has a custom recovery and you know how to use it, just go ahead and download the latest files from Hashcode’s post and get started. You can install this update over previous versions of Android 4.1, but you’ll want to wipe your Dalvik cache before rebooting.