A group of developers are continuing to work on improved versions of Google Android 4.0 for the Amazon Kindle Fire.

Amazon’s $199 tablet ships with a customized version of Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but by rooting the tablet and installing custom software it’s possible to turn it into an (almost) full-fledged Android tablet running CyanogenMod 9, a custom version of Android based on Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Kindle Fire with Android 4.0

Last time we checked in on CM9 for the Kindle Fire, developers had managed to add support for audio. On January 29th, 2012 a new build was released with a handful of improvements, including:

  • There’s a custom lockscreen which no longer has a camera option (since the Kindle Fire doesn’t have a camera).
  • Instead the lockscreen has a volume toggle option.
  • Long-pressing the power button brings up a CyanogenMod options menu for taking screenshots, adjusting audio settings, shutting down, or rebooting the tablet.

There are also a number of bug fixes affecting screen rotation, Google Talk, and thumbnail previews of running apps.

Developers are still trying to fix a number of outstanding bugs:

  • There’s no support for hardware video decoding, so Netflix and YouTube HD video won’t work.
  • There are some serious sleep-related bugs.
  • The CPU can get stuck at high or low speeds.
  • Flash video won’t play in the web browser.

Android 4.0 feels pretty solid on the tablet if you don’t need support for hardware video decoding and if you don’t mind rebooting from time to time if you run into another problem. But this is still very much a work in progress — CyanogenMod 9 is still in the alpha testing stage for all supported devices, and the Kindle Fire build is still quite new.

If you want to install CyanogenMod 9 on the Kindle Fire you’ll have to root your Kindle Fire and install TWRP 2.0. Then you can follow our step-by-step guide for installing CM9 on the Kindle Fire, using the latest update.zip files.

If you’ve already install an earlier version of CyanogenMod you can update to the newest version by downloading the VideoTouch1-29.zip file to your tablet, rebooting into TWRP 2.0 or another recovery app and flashing/installing the update. It should update your operating system without deleting your apps or preferences — but it’s always a good idea to use your recovery app to make a backup of your system before you get started.

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5 replies on “New Kindle Fire Android 4.0 ROM adds custom lock screen, bug fixes”

  1. please help!! i have rooted and installed all software(i think) after installing and running the rom(roms), everything seems fine but i cant connect my kindle!!!…not to computer or to charge. like the usb is turned off…..i cant find help,. would love ta be using these roms!!!

  2. And despite all this, the poor thing still doesn’t have Bluetooth or a microphone, which means no wireless headsets, no external keyboard or mouse (great for productivity apps), no voice search (unless you use a wired headset), No Shazam, no Evi, no Bluetooth tethering…

    It’s a great tablet, but Amazon severely crippled it hardware-wise. The Nook Color has Bluetooth, at least, and runs CM7 pretty smoothly on the Nooks at this point. 

  3. I’m guessing the “4:20” on the clock of the Kindle “Fire” was purely coincidence.

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