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Rooting Kindle Fire Breaks Amazon Video (And How To Make It Work)

Packages of the Amazon Kindle Fire have already made their way to thousands of porches, been torn open, powered up, and I’m sure a good number of you are going the route of rooting the Kindle Fire. (Side note: we’ve got an entire forum dedicated to Kindle Fire Rooting.) I’ve heard from many Kindle Fire pre-orderers who claimed the majority of their excitement was gathered around streaming Netflix and Amazon video directly to their affordable 7-inch Android Kindle. That’s all fine and dandy but be warned: Rooting your Kindle Fire will break Amazon Video.

Amazon Video is integrated into the Fire’s homescreen so it seems like a tab. But in reality, it’s an application, and this application checks for the su binary: “system/bin/su” and/or “/system/xbin/su” when starting up. That’s the “super user” binary and if Amazon finds it, they know you’re rooted, and they disallow Amazon Video- instead displaying this message:

“Your device is no longer configured correctly to play Amazon videos. For more information see Help & Feedback under Settings.”

Thankfully for you there is a workaround: OTA RootKeeper. This app (for rooted users only) acts as a temporary unroot, keeping a backup of su and removing the default that is detected by Amazon Video. You may also need to visit System Settings > Applications > All Applications > Amazon Video > Force Stop. Should an enterprising developer feel the urge, it would be possible to build a custom app that temp-unroots like OTA RootKeeper, but then also kills and restarts Amazon Video, making it a more compartmentalized solution.

If you find this story helpful, you should stop by the Google+ page of Kevin Barry and thank him. He’s solely responsible for figuring all of this out, passing the info on to us, and patiently explaining it so we could clearly understand. You might know Kevin from his hugely popular app – Widget Locker – and if you don’t then give it a download. Additional props to Steve Albright for the assist.

[Via Kevin Barry]

Continue reading on the Amazon Kindle Fire forums, see the specs, or find news and reviews.




  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PZEGR3NZ3VSG2SVSDNEJTNEY5M james

    One more reason to buy Nook Tablet?

    • http://stevealbright.com Steve Albright

      Not sure.  I was actually trying to figure out Amazon’s angle for doing this.  What are they trying to prevent from rooted users and their video app?  Maybe they got pressure from some tv networks or something like that?

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TV4D7XE2ENHATLDPJHSCY7HCOQ Rob

        Maybe they thing rooting is the first step toward ripping and saving the video content.

        • Richard Daley

          I think that is exactly it.  The studios probably required that rooted devices be blocked from video because in their warped minds, people are planning on hacking these devices with the intent of stealing their content.  They are worried that people are going to steal movies like Breakin 2 which they could get a million other places for free.

          The funny thing is that this feels like a token gesture on Amazon’s part.  They know that people are going to get around security.

      • pentaxfan

        The way I have come to understand what they are doing is, they do not want you to download Google marketplace, Nook book and streaming service or most other video or text content. They are somewhat able to control what you watch on their electronic device which you bought for a couple dollars less than Amazon paid to have it built.  It comes down to Root the device and possibly lose ability to use Amazon Prime on the device or purchase an open device without restrictions for a little more money.  Make a choice, but know they are watching what purchase, download and watch.  Enjoy the device regardless of how you use it.  kc.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Hoellering/649953679 Robert Hoellering

    Its not that much of a problem for the ones without a amazon prime account it does not brake netflix so i would have no problem with broken amazon video since i do not have a amazon prime account i dont fell its worth the 75 a year to have it.

    • http://stevealbright.com Steve Albright

      Yeah.. 75 a yeas is a little too much imo.  But as Netflix keeps raising prices… its looking better and better.

      The one thing is that Amazon Video is the app that runs on the home screen. … like one of the tabs.  So, it kind of breaks the Amazon interface… which may be something to consider if your considering to root it.  

      • robjackson81

        Amazon prime also gives you free 2-day shipping on pretty much everything you buy from Amazon. For me, I’ll run up that $75 after buying a few XMAS gifts.

        You can also buy Amazon Videos without being a prime member.

        • http://twitter.com/nateclem Nate Clements

          this. I buy a lot of items on Amazon throughout the year, and the 2-day free shipping more than makes up for the yearly fee.

      • dsstrainer

        You guys seem to forget that Prime was initially meant to give you free 2 day shipping on everything you buy from amazon. The video on demand is just a freebie. The real value of prime is for the free shipping.

        More details here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=13819211#?_encoding=UTF8&tag=googlcom05-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957

        • AJA0

          Prime also gives you 12 free kindle books a year. Technically you’re “borrowing” them, but you never have to return them

    • Mr_Vault

      Let’s see now… Netflix is $8 per month. $8×12 = $96 per year. So you don’t feel that Amazon is worth $75? I have neither but enlighten me on your reasoning…  From what I’ve heard, Amazon has MUCH better content than Netflix.

      • goobleys dasda

        You’ve heard wrong, VERY WRONG. At this point in time Netflix most definitely has better content than Amazon Prime, and it’s not even a contest. The person/persons that told you Amazon has better content than Netflix is clearly mentally deficient:

        Breaking Bad, Mad Men, The Walking Dead, Battlestar Galactica, Weeds, 30 Rock, Rescue Me, Sons of Anarchy, Scrubs, Damages, Stargate(s), Doctor Who (season5),……………….the list goes on and on.

        Netflix has Prime absolutely schooled when it comes to content, and it’s not even close. Don’t get me started in independent content.

      • dsstrainer

        I have both netflix and prime…. netflix has been around longer and has longer relationships.. so they got much better stuff than amazon at this time. But Amazon has come a long way in a short time, and I think with the KF, studios will realize there is benefit in signing deals with amazon too. So I think they will get some more good stuff quickly. 

      • pentaxfan

        You are correct but the one thing/perk you are not touching on is the free 2 day shipping with Amazon Prime.  Would I pay $96 for a very limited library of video and TV shows, No Way!  The free shipping has paid for itself in a couple short months and the perk for me is I can watch some shows and movies on the computer.

  • Richard B

    Why waste time with “security”? Its mindless. You cannot stop the Android hacking community from doing whatever they wanna do- with whatever hardware- running android. Wasting money on “security” that can be bypassed by my 11year old makes me disrespect them, honestly. I like Amazon… already have “Prime” its an awesome shipping option since my family orders way more stuff that costs way more than Prime costs and I get my stuff faster… the added bonus of getting Amazon video- without paying for netflix is pretty amazing. For the fanboy screaming how awesome netflix is- take your pills bro and slow down. No reason to freak out. If you think netflix is awesome- well thats great… but I don’t have or want netflix… I have Amazon Prime (for the shipping and getting craploads of free movies and tv shows on demand in addidtion is kicking butt here, let me tell you. Can netflix ship me the stormtrooper halloween costume I got a month ago for my kid? in two days? Or the motorola razor I just bought for a PENNY!!!! $00.01cents in two days? Or the frontline flea meds for my cat? or the crate of wine i odered for Grandma? or the…the list just goes on. …. Netflix is fine(for you)… but Amazon Prime is doing it strong for me!!! Downton Abbey for the win!!! Might have to get a couple Kindle Fires for XMAs!….
    Hey Amazon- lets go with open bootloaders on future Kindles and those new low cost  smartphones the grapevine says your gonna have come out next year, huh?
    Embrace Android Amazon. I’ll still buy your products. You have everything for Goddess sake.

  • Hector Vega

    Anybody has the actual APK fire for OTA? I am rooted but I can’t access the market yet.