The Amazon Kindle Fire ships with a custom version of Google Android which is designed to work with Amazon’s music, movie, book, and app stores. But people have been replacing the official Kindle Fire software with custom versions of Android almost as long as the tablet has been available — and now the tools are available for anyone to install an early build of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on the tablet.

Developer JackpotClavin has released a very early build of Android 4.0 for the Kindle Fire. It’s based on CyanogenMod 9 and right now it’s very buggy. This release is really aimed at developers who can help improve on JackpotClavin’s work, not the general public.

Audio isn’t fully functional yet  and video also doesn’t work, and I’ve noticed some graphics glitches.

Update: We’ve posted detailed instructions for installing Android 4.0 on the Amazon Kindle Fire. Bear in mind this is still an early build and not everything works properly. We also take no responsibility if you damage your device, so proceed with caution.

There are two reasons to install Ice Cream Sandwich on the tablet at this point:

  1. You’re a developer and you may have some ideas for how to fix the remaining bugs and improve the overall experience.
  2. You’re insanely curious and want to know what ICS looks like on the $199 tablet.

If that doesn’t scare you off, the process for installing Android 4.0 is pretty simple… if you’ve followed our earlier guides for installing TWRP 2.0, CyanogenMod 7, or other custom software.

The easiest way to get started is to use the latest Kindle Fire Utility to connect your tablet to a PC with a USB cable and root the tablet, install TWRP 2.0, and then use TWRP to perform backup your entire system, perform a factory wipe, and then flash JackpotClavin’s tryforsdcard.zip file.

There’s a very good chance you’re going to want to revert to CyanogenMod 7, Amazon Kindle OS 6.2 or 6.2.1, or whatever you were using before you decided to install a buggy version of Android 4.0 on the tablet, so make sure to make a backup with TWRP.

If that all sounds too complicated or intimidating, you’re probably best off waiting for an official alpha, beta, or final build of CyanogenMod 9 for the  Kindle Fire. In the meantime you can check out the video below to see what ICS looks like on the Kindle Fire.

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6 replies on “Early, buggy build of Android 4.0 for Kindle Fire now available”

    1. Nope. Google never released the source code for Android 3.2, so most of the unofficial ports of that operating system to unsupported hardware have been made from the emulator image in the Android Software Developer Kit.

      Now that Android 4.0 source is available, most projects like this are focused on Android 4.0 and up. 

  1. They emphasize how buggy it is, but right now I’m running it, and there are only a few minor bugs. I don’t see how bad they think it is.

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