To *Root* or not to *Root* THAT is the question...
This is a discussion on To *Root* or not to *Root* THAT is the question... within the Amazon Kindle Fire Development forums, part of the Amazon Kindle Fire Hacking category; INTRODUCTION
By definition, Rooting is a device hack that provides users with unrestricted access to the entire file system of their mobile devices running the ...
Post By massahwahl
To *Root* or not to *Root* THAT is the question...
By definition, Rooting is a device hack that provides users with unrestricted access to the entire file system of their mobile devices running the android operating system. In terms of the Kindle Fire, rooting opens up the Operating System running underneath the Amazon User Interface that we see when we turn it on (Carousal, bookshelves, app shelves, etc...) that otherwise would be restricted by the Amazon overlay. If all that sounds like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo its ok, Ill explain further but for all intensive purposes, all you need to understand is that rooting your device will allow you to install and edit Operating System files to your benefit. For most people, the actual tinkering of files and such will not interest you. Devs have been busy picking the files apart and creating new and exciting ways to use your device and for you (the end user with a rooted device) this means you will be able to reap the benefits by just installing fixes that devs will create. It can be overwhelming and nerve racking at first, but the benefits will far outweigh the concerns in the long run.
THE BIG QUESTION...
So what will you actually be able to do with a rooted device at this point?
Truth is, not a ton... yet. Remember that we are still in the infancy days of this device and there is a lot of work that is going on to unlock the full potential of the Fire. Amazon being the awesome company that they are, released the source code for their programs and device a day after its release. To developers, the source code is like getting a roadmap to a country you have never been to before. Line by line it gives away all the secrets that most companies keep under lock and key to developers to tinker with. If you have ever heard the words 'Open Source' before, this is what it refers to. When someone comes up with a creative application or UI and share it with the general community free of charge they are participating in the 'Open Source' movement and it is a very VERY good thing for everyone involved, especially us the general users.
With the source code openly available it didnt take all but a few hours before a method of 'Rooting' the device was available which is the first step in a long process of fully unlocking the Fire. As of right now a rooted device will give you access to the following capabilities:
The full suite of Google Applications (maps, gmail, voice, etc...)
The official android marketplace
Ability to download and install applications that amazon has blocked by the default setup (you can get an 'official' facebook app and twitter app, things like that)
The ability to uninstall and remove default applications that amazon wont let you in default setup.
If none of those things sound interesting to you right now then you really dont need to bother rooting until the really exciting stuff starts happening in the next few weeks.
There are a few caveats to rooting your device too that are worth mentioning.
Amazon streaming video will not work on a rooted device
MAY void your device warranty (This is a gray area...)
Lets talk about these two things for a sec, first amazon streaming. This is not a decision by amazon to screw you for rooting your device, actually it has to do with the security hand shakes required by copywrite holders to make sure that only approved devices are being used to stream their content. Amazon has contracts with the big studios (sony, viacom, cbs, nbc, etc...) to carry their content and those companies require that amazon takes extreme measures to ensure that their content is not being used fraudulently and not being stolen or streamed for free. Therefore, since rooting your Fire changes a few key files in the devices OS, the handshake is gone and streaming is AWOL. Netflix and Hulu still work since the handshake for those services are dependent on their actual apps and not built into the OS.
and the one that is sure to cause the most confusion, will this void my warranty???
The answer is yes but no. Its a big gray area and a million different people will try to sway you to believe one or the other is the definitive answer. Truth is there just is no black and white answer. Amazon releasing the source code is an open invitation for anyone to fiddle with their coding and and do with it what they want. Therefore, their warranty is only going to cover the coding that they were responsible for. So if you damage your device by way of bricking it via bad coding then chances are you are up a creek without a paddle. However even rooted, if a hardware failure occurs then you would still technically be under warranty since amazon is responsible for covering their hardware regardless of what software is running on it. Amazon is a very fair company when it comes to returns I have returned hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise to them in the past and never had even the slightest amount of difficulty doing so. That being the case I would tend to believe that they are not going to give you a run around about returning even if you have rooted your device.
Finally its worth mentioning that there is already a method available to 'unroot' your device as well. So if you would need to return your device, you can unroot it and it will be back to the default settings so your covered. There is also an easy fix available to temp unroot your device in order to use the streaming service, ill cover both these in separate threads.
So to close this long discussion, the choice is really yours. If you are happy with the device the way it is and dont have any desire to explore your options, then rooting is not for you. If you want to wait then by all means wait and see what comes down the pipeline and root your device at a late time. And if your ready to take the plunge now, then heres the thread I wrote about rooting your device. Good luck!
Any questions or concerns please feel free to post them and I will help to address.
Last edited by massahwahl; 11-24-2011 at 09:26 AM.
its a black and white issue as far as rooting...if you root...you DO void your warranty..no ifs and or buts about it.
the thing is..if you need to return it...simply unroot and go back to stock...and nobody will have a freaking clue it was rooted...unless Amazon actually spends the time to look at the fastboot record...but knowing how Bezos works..he's not going to care.
I am going to void that warranty in every way possible I don't want to see shelves or books I want to see #su and get some CM goodness on that
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