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Amazon Sneaks In Update to Kindle Fire (v 6.2) that Breaks Root

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Well now. Gadget owners love when it comes time for an update to be released. Usually there is some prep for it coming down the pipes to refresh (and hopefully make better) your device. Seldom have we seen an update sneak in the back door the way Amazon pushed v 6.2 to the Kindle Fire. There was no warning, there was no real info released. But if you device had or has WiFi on, the battery is running above 40% or so, the update will happen whether you like it or not.

That’s right. There’s no way to refuse the update. I find this troubling to a degree which I will explain later. But first for all of those who have rooted their Kindle Fires you should know that this breaks the root. You can re-root though. Some rooters are saying that this breaks the Android Market, some say that it still works. Most are saying that Apps they loaded after rooting still work. I have not rooted my Kindle Fire so I can’t report specifically on this.

As for what the update fixes, well Amazon has one upped Apple by simply and cryptically saying that it offers “improvements.” I’ve seen reports that it improves the touch responsiveness and in my limited testing I’m noticing no fundamental differences there. You can also force the update if it doesn’t happen when you want it to by hitting this link.

Here’s the rub with the automatic and sneaky push. It’s great to have updated software. But I like to have control over when I do the update. If I’m in the middle of a project, busy time, or traveling, I frequently hold off updating whatever device might be eligible until I’m sure I can have some control over things. It’s not that I use the Kindle Fire for much other than entertainment purposes but I’d hate to see this kind of thing happen without an option to refuse or delay the update.

After having the update pushed to my Kindle Fire, there was some weirdness. I couldn’t access Amazon’s video section on the Fire and I had several crashes in various sections until after I had rebooted the device, once the update had been applied and already rebooted. I think I’d recommend doing a full reboot once the update has completed.

Warner Crocker is a professional theatre director, producer and playwright and also a Tablet PC enthusiast. He is also a Microsoft MVP for Tablet PCs. Send email to Warner. You can follow him on Twitter or Google+

6 Comments

  1. Mark Lefler

    11/30/2011 at 10:56 am

    There is no “sneak”.  The documentation clearly states the fire is automatically updated.  And you can easily reroot it after the update.  Please TRY to get your facts right!

    • David

      12/01/2011 at 4:20 pm

      Windows Update uses the same word: “automatic.”  However, the your computer will notify you before an update and give you the option to delay an update, or even hold off more than long enough to turn off the update functionality alltogether if you so desire.  There is a large difference between automatically updating when a device is not in use and forcibly delaying anything you happened to be doing at the time in favor of a firmware change.

      If Amazon is marketing this as any sort of productivity tool at all, they lose out on one important factor: nobody wants to be in the middle of a crucial productivity task and be told, “Oh wait, you’re going to need to wait several minutes for us to change your device.  Hope you weren’t doing anything important.”

      • Roberto

        12/02/2011 at 11:02 am

        Fire is a zero productivity device. The only thing it could interrupt is entertainment diversionary activities.

  2. Bigloser99

    12/04/2011 at 6:45 am

    Wrong about zero productivity? You can side load just about any productivity app without rooting on the fire. So there may be people that use the Fire for that. I side loaded Opera Mobile and Dolphin Browser so far from Handango.

    To side load without root, Download ES file manager from the Amazon app market, Under settings, click device, set allow installation of apps to on, on a computer go to Handango, find apps you like under andriod, email them to your yahoo, gmail, hotmail, download app from your email account on to the fire, to ES file manager, then open install app on the fire. That’s it.

  3. julu nair

    02/12/2012 at 12:01 pm

    One can get the latest version of kindle fire from here http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0051VVOB2?ie=UTF8&tag=notebookscom-20

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