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back to article Kindle Fire gets root access

You’d have to think that Amazon doesn’t really care whether people give themselves root access to its e-readers, since the Kindle Fire has been “rooted” two days post-launch. A post to the XDA Developer forum signed death2all110 demonstrates that someone using the Android Debug Bridge and SuperOneClick 2.2 can get root access to …

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Pint

2 days? far too long

We've got used to root being achieved 2 days pre-launch. Wonder why it took so long this time ;)

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Vic
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Ed? Anyone awake?

> You’d have to think that Amazon doesn’t really care whether people give themselves root access

According to a dodgy rag I read from time to time, Amazon has publicly stated that they don't care.

See http://www.reghardware.com/2011/09/29/amazon_accepts_kindle_fire_android_tablet_will_be_rooted/ for details.

Vic

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Pfff

And that link is supposed to pass for an IT news website?

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Trollface

To be honest as soon as I saw the url I knew it wasn't worth clicking on the link. All their articles are link-bait for fanbois.

I prefer to get my IT news from more credible sources such as the BBC and Gizmodo.

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Pirate

Beyond the content comsumption selling point...

Root access might be the next most desired feature, considering the missing content creation abilities (i.e. camera)

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Anonymous Coward

one assumes their take on it is there's no point worry about it as most of their customers don't care and spending hundreds of thousands if not millions to prevent a small percentage of users rooting it is a waste of good money.

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Optional

A small percentafe - I'd have said in the 0.0001% area. And if they screw up more fool them.

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Thumb Up

Common sense really

In the real world only a few percent of buyers will be interested in obtaining root.

You can either spend loads of money on coders to keep changing your OS to try and stop the few who want it, or save that money and use it as a selling point to the tech savvy who want root and resent other companies who try to control the hardware which they have sold.

It's an unwinnable battle anyway, as everything gets jailbroken regardless of how much you spend trying to stop it. I think Amazon's stance on this is a very shrewd move.

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Anonymous Coward

That's all very well, but want to see what Amazon will do when people come out with a really easy (one click) root and software install method...

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Coat

Amazon never cared about ppl gaining root on Kindle, don't quite see the reason why this could change. One-click or not.

Even if small % of Kindle Fire buyers decide that was their last purchase, rooting does not have to be a factor in this decision.

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Trollface

They'll sue them

For infringing their 1-click patent !

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Linux

Who cares?

After all, it's not as though anyone who gains root control has done anything more than they could do on a PC by installing one of the dozens of Linux distros. They bought the hardware, they've gained full control over it (caveat emptor), they haven't gained access to my bank account (or yours!). Enjoy!

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Anonymous Coward

The problem is the Kindle Fire is a loss maker for Amazon. Like Gillette and Wilkinson almost give away their shavers, because they know you'll come back to buy blades.

Would Gillette be happy if someone figured out a way of fitting Wilkinson blades on their shavers?

This will be interesting to see.

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I was going to suggest that they were taking the Barnes and Noble approach, namely "we don't really care if you root our Nook, you already paid us for it, we're all good". But if Amazon are taking a loss on each Fire sold with the intention of making money on the services, I don't see where it makes any sense to tolerate rooting.

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They give them away?

A gillette fusion razor retails at about 12 quid. I think they probably revel in the self perpetuating myth that it's a loss leader.

When you can buy giant tvs for a couple of hundred quid, razors at 12 quid a pop is a nice business to be in - even more so if the folk buying them think they're getting a bargain.

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Anonymous Coward

It makes sence because what they are saying is "it is not important enough to spend cash on it".

They figure the amount lost to the very few who will want to root it is less then how much it would cost to try and stop them, only to fail eventually anyway.

Better sale at a lost to a few people who's friends are going to go "Hey, that's really a need piece of hardware. Where can I get one?" because he\she\it is knows as the local tech nerd\guru\religious leader.

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Silver badge

And the

King of Shaves potato peeler razor, retails at about 3 quid, has 3 blades, gives as good a shave as any of the other two and the blades cost less (and seem to last longer).

Are your razors made by faberge by any chance? Or are you getting them from Waitrose?

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Anonymous Coward

@R 11

They actually do. Think almost everyone at 18 gets a voucher in the post for one if for some reason they have your address, I did. Also they tend to run quite a few freebies.

But for us in IT the best comparison is probably HP printers. How else can a duplex, multifunction, networked printer cost £50-60 if they're not then gouging us on ink.

By all reports the Kindle Fire seems to be a similar strategy. But yeah I guess if HP can run massive profits on their printer business even when clone cartridges exist I guess Amazon has nothing to worry about.

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Vic
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> I don't see where it makes any sense to tolerate rooting.

It makes sense because very few people who want to root their devices actually want to remove the functionality they already have; rooting is about adding stuff, not taking it away.

As such, rooted devices are still very likely to be money-spinners for Amazon because they will still be used in the way originally designed - but with extra toys as well.

By not trying to prevent users from rooting their own devices, Amazon has appealed to that portion of potential purchasers who believe[1] they might want root access at some point - and it really isn't going to cost much to do so. Sounds like a smart bit of PR to me...

Vic.

[1] I suspect the majority will never actually get round to it anyway - but the idea that rooting is possible is very attractive.

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The Gillette fusion _can_ be a loss leader though - or marked off as a marketing expense at least - as they sent me a free one through the post around about my 18th birthday.

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Angel

Free in the post

I got a full razor kit from Gillette when I turned 16... out of the blue.

I have no idea how they got my address and age but the best part was there was no marketing letter or card saying happy birthday or anything. Just a box with a complete Gillette razor kit in and a compliments slip.

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Silver badge

Can't be that much of a loss

It seems to have similar specs to the 7" RIM Playbook and UBM Techinsights has that at a cost of $209 for the 16GB model. Since the Fire doesn't have cameras and half the flash, it seems it should cost less. Some quick estimates I've seen around the web put it between $150 and $210 so the term loss-leader is a bit misleading methinks and minimal margin mistress might be more of a match. Mmkay?

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Anonymous Coward

UBM Techinsights and similar approaches are not the whole picture when it comes to costs....

I'm sure you've heard of patent licenses? Software development costs? Support?

All those add up

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Nice

I see what you did there ...

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@AC

Positively there are plenty of payoffs but many are petite when payed off per piece provided a plethora of parts are purveyed. Perhaps patents and personal proponents pack on the pesos but only persons privy to those pernicious payments can provide pertinent prices.

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Anonymous Coward

That makes me even more likely...

... to get a kindle fire.

I have zero interest in Amazons software / cloud offering on the device, I just want a cheap, reliable tablet I can install *anything* on.

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Happy

Job's always knocked the smaller screen, looks like he was wrong

I've had Chinese made 7" sized screen pads since before Jobs got his larger copy out.

After extensive testing my employer settled on the smaller form factor and, quite honestly, it has proven a success for field technicians maintaining high-speed printer systems as well as for mechanics maintaining high end stand-by generator systems.

The size was the success. It's small enough to actually place inside a workspace so a user can reference the information simply by simply refocussing his eyes and page turns a mere touch away.

We ruggedised ours by having a custom case built from stainless so the pads are protected even in a mechanics tool box.

Our Fire order delivery is awaited with interest and the work of sharp guys who liberated the Fire suggest we can use it. The $199 price point is important in countries where income levels are lower turns an Apple pad wet dream into a Fire-type reality.

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JDX
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Loss leader irrelevant

Since only a minority will do this... and the publicity Amazon get from techies liking Fire could be valuable... most won't know _why_ techies like it, only that they do.

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I agree - if your local friendly tech person is endorsing, or just keen on a product then that will be seen in more favourable terms than the other options.

It makes a lot of sense all round - we're thinking 'good on them for not tying it down', the hackers are thinking 'great now I can get it running NeXT' and the normal customer is thinking 'this works well - glad I listened to my friend/son/daughter'.

Almost as good as free publicity.

ttfn

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Not only don't Amazon care about folks rooting their Kindles - they don't de-root them when they issue an upgrade. I had installed a screensaver hack on my Kindle - then the s/w updated itself and I was all prepared to have to sort out the screensaver again - but no - the update preserved the original hack for me.

Very different from "other" suppliers.

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Mushroom

But does the fire have BT?....

With Bluetooth (and more importantly HID support) I could envisage this being very valuable. I just don't get touch screen keyboards for more than SM length typing...

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It's doable

The fire is listed officially as supporting HID profiles in their BT stack.

I can also confirm HID working flawlessly on Honeycomb 3.2. I also know that up until HC, HID support was patchy to say the least, as it was a feature built on top of core Android by manufacturers.

While I personally think this thing is a dreadful piece of tat that is severely underpowered and will ultimately taint the Android brand, I wish you good luck. And I will eagerly await actual real-life usage cases to prove me wrong as I would genuinely enjoy learning that what looks underpowered doesn't feel underpowered. (And then I can buy a few for Xmas prezzies to the in-laws).

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Anonymous Coward

They certainly didn't used ot care..

..and were very sanguine about people hacking their kindles. The only caveat was that you voided the warranty if you hacked it too much, which is fair enough.

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