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Kindle Fire Prevents Android Market Visits, Re-Rooting

Tom's has confirmed several reports that Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet prevents users from visiting the Android Market in the Silk browser. The 7-inch tablet contains a hidden utility app called "MarketIntentProxy.apk" which can detect when the end-user is hunting for an app, and will force a re-direct to the Amazon Appstore installed on the device -- literally hijacking the browser.

But it doesn't stop there. The hidden app will hijack the Silk browser even when the proxy server is turned off. That said, when users can't find the app they want to install -- like Minecraft Pocket Edition for instance -- on Amazon's Appstore, they're either forced to root the device and install the Android Market, or download the app from a repository and side-load it.

Then again, rooting may now be out of the question. Typically when Amazon releases an update for the Kindle Fire, it breaks root. However the latest firmware update, which was just released by Amazon and will likely appear on devices over the next few days, will break the current root and actually prevent users from re-rooting the device using SimpleOneClick.

But despite the root issue, here's a bit of good news for users who aren't quite so naughty. The update brings smoother scrolling, an option to lock Wi-Fi access to the tablet so the kids aren't purchasing and downloading apps like Whirl-A-Girl 2, and the ability to remove books, apps or other content from the revealing home screen carousel. Users can also delete that silly Facebook icon which is really just an Internet shortcut, and not an actual app.

Consumers scared away by the complaints surrounding the first-generation Kindle Fire model may have to wait a while for the second generation device, as industry sources report that makers in the supply chain won't begin preparing the needed parts and components for the Kindle Fire 2 until 2Q12. Still, it may be worth the wait, as sources claim the next version will sport an 8.9-inch screen and SoCs from Nvidia and Texas Instruments -- sounds like two Kindle Fire 2 models are in the works.

According to the sources, Amazon may employ controller ICs from Atmel or Cypress in addition to current supplier ILi Technology (Ilitek). The company will also add Foxconn Electronics to its OEM partner list for the assembly of the new device. Quanta Computer, the current primary manufacturer of Amazon's Kindle Fire, will remain on the assembly list. Sources claim that Quanta may ramp up its current Kindle Fire shipments from 4.7 to 5.3 million units by the end of the month instead of the previously projected number of 3.5 to 4.0 million units.

  • house70
    It is actually good that this update improves the customer experience...
    ...because we all know that they can not REALLY prevent future rooting, if someone really wants it. It's just a challenge, to be defeated within a week. This way, one can have the latest updates AND root afterwards.
    Reply
  • No one is "FORCED" to root their device... they CHOOSE to... If you don't want to work within the confines of the Amazon Appstore, the Kindle Fire is not for you!
    Reply
  • danwat1234
    This is why I don't have a smart phone or tablet. Companies don't want you to have intimate access to the hardware and software. They want it to be a nice play thing but not a fully functional computer. I'll buy a tablet (maybe) when they get off the drugs and let people have root access all they want to the stuff they bought.
    Why do they try to prevent root access anyway? It's unrelated to piracy.
    I imagine it's because they like to have a hold on the software that their tablet will run and the profit from app stores?
    Reply
  • alidan
    danwat1234This is why I don't have a smart phone or tablet. Companies don't want you to have intimate access to the hardware and software. They want it to be a nice play thing but not a fully functional computer. I'll buy a tablet (maybe) when they get off the drugs and let people have root access all they want to the stuff they bought.Why do they try to prevent root access anyway? It's unrelated to piracy.I imagine it's because they like to have a hold on the software that their tablet will run and the profit from app stores?
    because it is the first step for piracy?
    in fires case, because they sell it at a loss and expect to recupe the cost through the app store and the books.
    Reply
  • Because they want to control what you can do, and force their bloatware on you. If they cared about user experience - kindle fire would be running 4.0 (or at least 3.2)... we'll see if that will ever happen. Can't wait until custom 4.0 is out so I can root my phone and tablet.
    Reply
  • kinggraves
    anonemouseNo one is "FORCED" to root their device... they CHOOSE to... If you don't want to work within the confines of the Amazon Appstore, the Kindle Fire is not for you!
    Hardware I purchased is my property, and I'm allowed to do whatever I want with it within the confines of the law. If Amazon wants to tell me how to operate my device that I purchased, the Kindle Fire is not for me.

    danwat1234Why do they try to prevent root access anyway? It's unrelated to piracy.I imagine it's because they like to have a hold on the software that their tablet will run and the profit from app stores?
    Amazon runs their own app store, and they want to force customers to use their app store instead of Google's. What's worse is that when they announced the Fire, they had an attitude that they would be okay with rooting. Guess the policy changes once customers actually buy them.

    Amazon's just another big corp managed by people with no clue how to actually deal with customers. The Fire will be rooted regardless, trying to block it only challenges people to crack it faster, and the customers will give Amazon's app store less business thanks to the attempt.
    Reply
  • husker
    I'm guessing that when someone purchases a kindle fire somewhere along the line they agree to a user's license, the terms of which are violated by rooting the device. I don't care if people root there devices or not, but I cringe at how routinely people agree to something that they know up front is a lie on their part. I'm sure some people will respond with the following:

    Liar: I bought the device so it's my right to root it.

    Me: Does your neighbor have the right to open a garbage dump in his front lawn and ruin your property value. It is his property.

    Liar: Hey, my rooting the device doesn't hurt anyone else.

    Me: Yes it does. It helps destroy the business model that makes the initial cost of ownership lower for everyone else.

    Liar: Well I'm just one person, I'm not going to bring the business model to it's knees!

    Me: Oh, sorry, Mr. Liar. I forgot that just because it's you doing it and not everyone else, then the normal rules don't apply. Do you also think it is okay to steal from a charity because if it is only you doing it, then the amount of money will be so slight as to not be noticeable?

    Self Centered Liar: Well that is different. Stealing from charities is taking something that is not yours to begin with. The kindle is mine, I bought it.

    Me: Yes, but your defense to weakening the business model was based on the fact that not everyone does it, just a few people. I'm just pointing out that this argument cannot be used to absolve you of moral bankruptcy.

    Liar: Get off your high-horse you piece of crap.

    Me: QED
    Reply
  • I understand Amazon's side partially. They do sell it at a loss with the expectation being they'll recoup the costs in sales via their store.

    They did however say they were ok with rooting previously :o But I don't understand the mentality of...you bought it, we own and control it. I just can't agree with that philosophy. Something fundamentally wrong about telling people you own what they bought.
    Reply
  • freggo
    Glad I did not buy one. If this is how Amazon 'handles' their customers they may also keep Verson 2.0, 3.0 or whatevet.
    Reply
  • STravis
    Funny isn't it how everyone was all about the Kindle Fire and how Amazon wasn't another Apple so they would let you do as you please with your device. Oh how simpleminded some of you are... It's all about the $$$$$ and you're damn skippy they will make it as difficult as possible for you to circumvent their store. At least Apple is up front about it.
    Reply