Warning: The method used for rooting your Kindle Fire HD and installing Google Play could void your warranty or "brick" your Kindle Fire HD. As of press time, the Android community is still unaware of a method for restoring the system folder. Proceed at your own risk.
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Since joining the tablet wars, with last year's release of the Kindle Fire, Amazon has been more than reluctant to let users modify/remove the Fire-tailored version of Android that ships on the device. Fortunately, some enterprising minds over at Android Police have already figured out how to load Google Play onto Amazon's new Kindle Fire HD. The rooting and Google Play installation methods have only been confirmed to work on the Kindle Fire HD 7 at this time, though AP notes that the methods should work on any new ICS-based devices that ship without Google's virtual marketplace.
Prior to rooting your Kindle Fire HD you'll need to install ADB for Windows and download the SuperUser.apk file, which can be found here. From that point, you'll need to plug your Kindle Fire HD into your computer, open its file system, and then execute the following commands in CMD/Terminal:
rm -r /data/local/tmp
ln -s /data/ /data/local/tmp
echo 'ro.kernel.qemu=1' > /data/local.prop
adb shell mount -o remount,rw /system
adb push su /system/xbin/su
chown 0.0 /system/xbin/su
chmod 06755 /system/xbin/su
adb install Superuser.apk
Once the Superuser.apk installation has completed, reboot your device, and you'll have your very own rooted Kindle Fire HD 7! But what do you do now?
Anything you want. I'd suggest starting with a side-load installation of ADW, or another alternative to the Kindle Fire HD 7's default app launcher. Potential rooters should also be warned, you're likely to encounter some issues while playing with your now rooted Kindle Fire HD 7, but many people consider a few bugs a worthy price for the full Ice Cream Sandwich experience.
The folks over at the XDA Developer forums have already figured out a method for installing Google Play on the device as well, though it's a bit more complicated than the rooting method. In order to install Google Play on your Kindle Fire HD 7 (or other rooted ICS device) you'll need the GoogleServicesFramework.apk, Vending.apk, and Play.apk files. Then follow the steps below:
1. Using a file explorer app on a rooted Kindle Fire HD 7 with system file permissions set to Read-Write, move the Vending.apk file into the '/system/app' directory.
2. Change the permissions of Vending.apk to:
- User - Read/Write
- Group - Read
- Others - Read
3. Install Vending.apk
4. The old Android Market icon should now appear alongside the rest of your Kindle Fire HD apps. Open it, and follow the instructions you are given.
5. Install Play.apk to upgrade the Android Market to Google Play
Congratulations on installing Google Play on your rooted Kindle Fire HD 7. Now install non-Amazon apps to your hearts delight!
For those of you still intimidated by the process, we've rounded up video tutorials that offer step-by-step instructions for installing ADB and rooting your Kindle Fire HD: