Latest Kindle Fire devices have high-security bootloader, workaround methods may be tricky


The new Amazon Kindle Frie devices announced last week look to be coming to market with bad news for developers. An XDA contributor has spoken to fellow developers about the new Kindle Fire devices, and according to them the devices’ bootloaders are locked up very tight with techniques used for “HS,” or high-security, devices.

The technique is apparently similar to the Nook Tablet’s encryption, and while that device quickly received a workaround at the hands of the development community the Kindle Fire might be a lot more tricky. You see, the Nook Tablet’s workaround used an exploit that used the external SD card as an alternate boot device.

With the Kindle Fire’s lack of a memory card you can already see where the frustrations will set in. Fret not, though, as community discussions have already gone underway between developers to see what can be done about circumventing this unfortunate security. Whether or not they actually find something, however, remains to be seen. [Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Kindle Frie Chicken? ^^

  2. I dont understand why companies make it harder to unlock the bootloaders. Its not going to stop people, its just going to slow them down. And its not like thats a perk of owning the device, no one is going to purposely pick this over something else because this is more lockdown, but Im sure people will go with something else that isnt as locked down instead of this.

    1. because they want you to stay in their ecosystem obviously

    2. Because Amazon doesn’t want you to use the real Android.

  3. um just read about 5 articles that say they rooted it and one gives the method on how they did it

    maybe catch up on news ?

    1. is gaining access to the bootloader the same as obtaining root?

      1. It’s the part that allows you to install custom ROMs and kernels. Very important to everyone that loves modding Android beyond installing a new launcher.


      “Unlocking the bootloader just gives you access to the utilities like fastboot that let you root and ROM your device. It removes the “security” that gets in the way of hooking up the phone to a computer and having full control.
      Rooting is the process of giving yourself “superuser” (think of it like Administrator) access on the device. Rooting itself doesn’t do anything for you, its more about giving apps you install more control of the device.

      If you unlock the bootloader to flash an update, you are not rooting your device. You’re just flashing a file.

      Rooting and unlocking are often confused because on many phones, they’re both in the same process and you rarely do one without the other. Usually “rooting” is a catch-all word for modifying your device and changing the software.”

      In this case root !=unlocking the bootloader.

    3. Big difference between root (access as an administrator basically) ANd a locked bootloader. The locked bootloader does not allow you to change the Kernel, so no mod roms.

  4. Advantage: Nexus 7

  5. Another reason why not to buy the Kindle Fire.

  6. Amazon is selling these devices at a loss, with the intention of making money back from app and game purchases from their app store. It’s completely understandable for them to lock the bootloader. If you want an unlocked bootloader, buy the Nexus.

  7. Meh. Why even bother with this whole mess. Just get a Nexus 7.

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