7 days with the Amazon Kindle Fire HD: Revealing its inner power-tablet

Setting up Amazon's consumption device as a productive Android tablet isn't for the faint of heart.

By , ITworld |  Consumerization of IT, Amazon, Android tablets

Closing open tabs: If you've got several tabs running in the Silk browser at the same time, there is no reason to tap on the "X" of each tab individually to close them all. Just tap and hold on the little arrow in the tab bar and select "Close all tabs."

Day 7. To root or not to root?

I'd like to break out of the Amazon ecosystem and play around with all the apps from the Google Play store as well as install some apps that require rooting. Let's get one thing out of the way: Rooting the Kindle sounds much more dangerous and complicated than it actually is, thanks to some easy scripts that make this process as easy as a few clicks. Here's how I did it:

1. Make sure that the "Allow Installation of Applications" setting (see day 4) is enabled and that the USB debug mode is turned on ("Security\Enable ADB" to "On").

2. Connect your Kindle Fire HD to your PC and perform the following steps: Download the QuemuRoot_v1.0.zip and the Kindle_Fire_HD_ADB_Drivers.zip from XDA Developers. Also get the "Root with Restore" package. Unzip both files, each in a separate folder.

3. Install the Kindle Fire USB drivers first and reboot your system. If you're running Windows 8 and are facing problems, read this.

4. Open the "Root with Restore" package and run the "RunMe.bat" file. Select "Normal" mode. Now, watch your Kindle. It should ask for a full restore. Confirm by hitting the "Restore my data" button. Type in your password and confirm. After a few seconds, your device will reboot twice.

5. The procedure shouldn't take more than a few minutes. Once that's done, you should be logged in with the "Superuser" account -- you'll notice a new icon called "SuperSU" in the list of apps.

6. You're going to need to copy the following three files onto your Kindle Fire HD using your PC or Mac. Store them in your tablet's "Download" folder.

a. GoogleServicesFramework.apk
b. Vending.apk
c. GPlay.apk

7. As before, open a file explorer on your Kindle, go to the "Downloads" folder and run all three files in the order given above. Once that's done, you can fire up the Play store and log in with your Google credentials.

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