Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX gets a bootloader unlock

Custom ROMs could soon be coming to the Kindle Fire HDX. Photo: Amazon

Custom ROMs could soon be coming to the Kindle Fire HDX. Photo: Amazon

Custom ROMs for the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX are one step closer after the device finally got its first bootloader unlock. The tweak could eventually allow users to ditch Amazon’s own Fire OS software, but there are some significant caveats.

The Kindle Fire HDX delivers one of the best displays you can get on a tablet, combined with impressive specifications that include a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, and up to 11 hours of battery life in between charges. But there’s just one problem.

Unless you’re already accustomed to the Amazon ecosystem, you may be disappointed with Fire OS. It’s not that the platform itself is bad, but Amazon doesn’t provide access to the Google Play Store, which in turn means you cannot use other Google apps — such as YouTube and Gmail.

While you can side-load Android apps that aren’t available from the Amazon Appstore, it can be tricky, and no one wants to be installing and updating apps manually all the time.

The simple solution to this problem would be to remove Fire OS and install a custom ROM, such as CyanogenMod. Without a bootloader unlock, however, that hasn’t been possible with the Kindle Fire HDX. But it could be very soon.

XDA Developers member “dpeddi” has been able to unlock the bootloader on the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 for the first time, and they’ve provided the downloads and instructions you will need to unlock your own device. You should know, however, that it isn’t easy.

The process is pretty long-winded at this point, and it will only work on a Linux machine with devices running Fire OS 3.1.0 through 3.2.4. If you’re running a later release of Amazon’s software, or you only have access to a Mac or PC, you’re out of luck for now.

However, this is still an incredibly promising development. Over time, we’re hoping that this unlock will get better and easier to perform, and that it will eventually support a wider range of Amazon devices — including the Fire Phone.

If the complexity and limitations don’t put you off, follow the source link below to find out how to unlock your Kindle Fire HDX.