Kindle Fire with Jelly BeanA clever developer, who goes by the name of Hashcode, has released a stock Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean firmware for the original Amazon Kindle Fire. Using the new firmware users will be able to run exactly the same software that Google ships on the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10. Such a firmware is quite a boost for the original Kindle Fire which only has 512 MB of RAM and ran a forked version of Android 2.3.

However there are some wrinkles. Certain Android 4.2 features don’t work like the Swype-style keyboard or multi-user profiles. But if you can live without those (and who knows maybe they will be fixed in the future) then flashing this ROM onto an original Kindle Fire will get you a cheap Nexus 7 look-alike, if you ignore the fact that the screen resolution is lower, there is less RAM and it only has a dual-core CPU that is!

Although there isn’t really any practical use for flashing on the new ROM (if you don’t like Amazon’s firmware you really should just buy a Nexus 7) it does demonstrate the flexibility and agility of Android hardware and the Android open source project.

If you are interested you will need to already have the FireFireFire Bootloader 1.4a on the device as well as a custom recovery already installed. Hashcode recommends TWRP 2.2.x or Cannibal Open Touch (but not TWRP 2.3.x).

Remember this firmware is only for the first generation Kindle Fire. It won’t work on the second generation Kindle Fire (the one with 1GB of RAM and the forked version of Android 4.0) nor will it work on the Kindle Fire HD 7 or the Kindle Fire HD 8.9.

If you do give it a go, please leave a comment below and let the Android community know how you get on!

Gary Sims
Gary has been a tech writer for over a decade and specializes in open source systems. He has a Bachelor's degree in Business Information Systems. He has many years of experience in system design and development as well as system administration, system security and networking protocols. He also knows several programming languages, as he was previously a software engineer for 10 years.