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.