Kindle Fire’s Silk Browser Hacked onto Other Android Devices


One of the best features of the Amazon Kindle Fire is its Silk browser, which uses the cloud to assist in rendering web pages for a smooth as butter browsing experience. It’s an advantage Amazon would like to keep exclusive to their hardware, but the hard-working devs of the XDA Developers forum have freed the software from its tablet prison. Thanks to a bit of hacking, the Silk browser is now installable on most rooted Android devices, including the likes of the Motorola Atrix and Droid X. As with most unofficial hacks, consider it a sort of proof-of-concept, but if you have been wanting to check out Silk without buying the $200 Kindle Fire, here’s your chance.

[XDA via Gizmodo]

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  1. I suspect Amazon will crack down on Silk showing up on non-Fire devices.  Not only do they not want to give away a competitive advantage, but if the cloud servers start getting choked with non-Amazon traffic, it won’t be that much of an advantage.  

    But rather than legal action, which they have more then enough for a strong case, they’d likely strengthen the security between the kindle and cloud so the cloud processors reject any non-kindle requests.

    In other words, this won’t last.

    1. Amazon has as strong a legal action as the validity of you providing us a legal opinion: as in ZERO.

      Good luck in proving damages here – you’d be laughed out of court faster than you can file.

      Meanwhile, I’d consider it a competitive disadvantage – given that it slows things down.

      1. How bout the fact he ripped proprietary software off a Kindle device and altered it to run on other devices? Proprietary software from an OEM is not covered under Open Source. Kind of like when HTC issued a C&D letter to the creator of Beautiful Widgets and told him to not make them so Sense like.  Amazon would actually have a case here.

        1. do you even have a vague understanding of what the silk browser is? programming? anything?
          hint: throwing the word proprietary has zero to do with what it is – it doesn’t even matter at all.

          Silk interfaces with amazons’ servers. Just because you managed to interface with it from another phone, doesn’t mean that proprietary matters in any form. That’s not even a *question* of the situation. It’s also not even a question of “legal/illegal access” as it’s something amazon has publicly available – it’s just a matter of how you interface with it. This is not private access.

          If they don’t like it? turn it off, find ways to validate. Do they have any chance in court? No. I’m as likely to turn into superman as amazon is to win in court. Why, oh why, would you even mention this? Why would any company, especially as big as amazon, be stupid enough to go legal? Don’t you know why C&D’s exist?

           the only exception is if the developers don’t have the $$ to defend themselves that they’re screwed. However, they have plenty of ways to get amazon to back down from public outcry. “bullying the masses” doesn’t tend to keep a company in business.

          A C&D has absolutely nothing to do with reality. Plenty of people put out C&D’s every day which don’t even have legal merit. 

          the BW guy could have fought back, if he had the money to do so, and he would have been absolutely in the right. You can make something to look like someone else’s product: not only was it not trademarked, but modifications are not copyrightable (usually a judge will provide analysis of if they agree with that or not).

          TLDR: proprietary doesn’t matter, the legal system doesn’t matter, until it hits legal NOTHING MATTERS because nothing has then happened. That includes with a C&D. Stop speculating about things that simply do not matter.

          1. TL;DR of the TL;DR:

            there won’t be a case.

          2. Ok…I’ll feed the troll a little bit…

            So by your reasoning, I can rip Siri off an Apple iPhone 4s and publicly redistribute it for other devices? I mean Apple has made it publicly available by including it on their publicly available phones. Oh and the fact it runs on their servers doesn’t give them  any right to say who uses it, right?

            And your its not illegal until you get caught argument is not only invalid and unreasonable, it’s disturbing. Tells me a little about your integrity. I’m sorry but proprietary does mean something.

            You’re right, there will likely be no legal action or case, until it causes an issue or raises an eyebrow at Amazon. If there was a case, Amazon would have two strong legs to stand on and the financial resources to back it up.

            All of your arguments are just that; baseless arguments typed out by a restless teenager with a strong expectation of entitlement on an internet message board. Beleieve me, if there’s anything here that doesn’t mean anything, its what you think.

  2. Wow…pretty involved stuff. 

    “ro.build.description=blaze-user 2.3.4 GINGERBREAD 6.2_user_3003020 release-keys”

    Hopefully they’ll get some more input and be able to come up with an easier method. Looks interesting though…

  3. Isnt this what Opera already does?

  4. This is going to cost Amazon money without gaining them anything? I’m sure the C&D notice is being written up as we speak!

  5. I agree with the post above. Its just a matter of time.

  6. I gave my G/F a Fire for Christmas.  I have no idea what the big deal about Silk is.  I find the browser on my HTC Flyer renders faster.

    1. anandtech did research on silk which shows it actually slows things down. All it does is save on bandwidth.


  7. The author of this post has clearly never used the silk browser.

  8. Amazon will win competitive advantage.they will know your buying patterns, if they are smart

  9. Does Silk have quick controls like honeycomb/ICS?

  10. The only way they have made the software available to the public is by releasing it with their tablet.

    Just because Windows 7 or MS Office is included with your new PC, it doesn’t mean you can back it up and distribute it freely.

    And just because Android is open, doesnt mean all software is free.

    I would imagine the software is copyrighted… As such, it isnt free to distribute at your will.

    1. nice try, Kindle devs…

      1. Actually, no, he’s right. This is probably crossing so many lines.

        1. no kidding? everyone knows this, much like everyone knows this will end with a cease and desist. i was attempting something most people refer to as “humor,” which appears to be lost on you:(

    2. Dude, you’re right. Google gave a Ceast and Desist letter to CyanogenMod when he was including the Gmail, Market, etc. Google apps with the ROM.

  11. Suddenly everybody is a lawyer…….

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