Hacking the 5th Generation Kindle Fire
04 Oct 2015 • 2 min read
On Black Friday I bought a Kindle Fire (5th Gen) for £35. I decided to hack it. My main aim was to install Google Play, change the launcher and remove the bloatware, however, to achieve this I also needed to root the device.
1. Google Apps (no root required)
- Install ES File Explorer from Amazon’s App Store for free on the Kindle Fire.
- Open Settings > Security > Unknown Sources and check it or turn it on.
- Download the Google Core APK .zip archive here: https://goo.gl/ansjr1 to the device and find it in ES File Explorer under the internal SD card in the Downloads folder Install each of the below in order by tapping on the particular file name in ES File Explorer.
- Reboot the Kindle Fire Open Settings > Device Options and repeatedly tap the Serial Number until it says something like “No need you are already a developer”. Open Settings > Device Options > Developer Options and check or turn the option saying Enable ADB
- Plug the device into the computer you have ADB and Fastboot installed on.
- Open a prompt and type adb devices. If nothing show up in the list something is wrong with your drivers. If everything is correct you should get a code with numbers and letters then ‘device’ after.
adb shell pm grant com.google.android.gms android.permission.INTERACT_ACROSS_USERS. There will be no text returned after running this
- Check if Google Play works by finding it in the apps list. If it immediately closes after opening it follow step 12 if not you’re done! Reinstall ‘com.android.vending-5.9.12-80391200-minAPI9.apk’ in ES File Explorer.
- Enable ADB on the Device (see section 1, steps 6 and 7)
- Download the .zip archive of all the tools used for rooting from here: http://goo.gl/wvUMgI.
- Unzip the file and plug in the Kindle Fire to your PC.
Windows: Double click root.bat and follow instructions. Linux: Open a terminal and navigate to the place you unzipped the archive and type
sh root.shand wait for the script to complete. The Kindle Fire will restart multiple times, don’t worry this is normal. The Kindle Fire may say Installing Firmware, this is also normal and just means it it is optimising apps.
- You should be rooted you can try this by installing a Root Checker app from the Google Play Store.
3. Remove Bloat (root required)
- Install an app called “System App Remover (ROOT)” from the Google Play Store.
- Remove any app in the list below by opening the app and checking the apps and tapping remove at the bottom of the app.
com.amazon.webapp | Bookstore
com.amazon.zico | Documents | 2.0_205111610
com.amazon.mp3 | Amazon music
com.android.music |Music | 10.0.51-D-20151009-NA-7
com.amazon.kindle.ottercom.amazon.kindle | Kindle Reader
com.audible.application.kindle | Audible
com.amazon.tahoe | FreeTime | 1.5.345.26-FreeTimeForTabletGen6_201365610
com.amazon.kindle.otter.oobe | Device Setup | 184.108.40.206_3337310
com.amazon.client.metrics | Amazon Metrics Service Application | 220.127.116.11_9610
com.amazon.device.backup | Amazon Backup and Restore | 5.0.410.0_5107610
com.amazon.platform | Amazon platform | 18.104.22.168_1009710
com.amazon.photos | photos FOS | 20115210 (Needed to change the wallpaper)
com.amazon.whisperlink.core.android | Whisperlinkplay Daemon | 2.0.100021.00
com.amazon.camera | Camera | 1.0.088.0_1002120310
com.amazon.csapp | Help App
com.amazon.legalsettings | Legal Settings App
com.amazon.venezia | Amazon App Store
com.amazon.h2settingsfortablet | Profiles & Family Library App
com.amazon.weather | Weather App
com.goodreads.kindle | Goodreads | 1.6.1+1060100710
com.android.calendar | Calendar App
com.amazon.kindle.kso | Special Offers / Ads (lockscreen ads)
com.android.email | Email App
com.amazon.kindle.personal_video | Video App
com.amazon.avod | Video App
com.amazon.contacts | Contacts App
com.amazon.windowshop | Amazon Windowshop (Amazon Shopping App)
com.amazon.cloud9 | Silk Browser App
com.amazon.ags.app | Amazon Game Circle App
com.amazon.kindle.otter.settings | Amazon Registration Service
- Restart the Device.
4. Changing Launcher (requires root)
- Make sure you have another launcher before continuing.
- Open ES File Explorer and open the side menu and open the Tools part then turn on the Root Explorer option
- Navigate to the root of the device and open the system folder then the priv-app folder [ /system/priv-app/ ]
- Copy the folder called com.amazon.firelauncher to the SD card of the device and then go back to the priv-app folder and delete the folder you just copied. You should then end up with no folder called com.amazon.firelauncher in the priv-app folder and a folder called com.amazon.firelauncher in the SD card.
- Restart the device.
Thanks for reading. I hope this helped you enhance your £50 Kindle Fire. I found some more articles at: http://goo.gl/cITO3g including the articles below.
- Remove Lock Screen Ads (no root required): http://goo.gl/xlxQrp
In the future I hope to install CyanogenMod when a stable release comes out.