With a price tag under $200, decent specs, an excess of cameras, and a 4.7″ screen, the Fire Phone has almost everything you could want (even Google Play). But it’s still tied to Amazon and runs a proprietary version of Android. For those of us who don’t like what Amazon has done to the interface, that can be a turn off.
For those not familiar with Android hacking, Safestrap is a firmware installer and recovery tool that lets you bypass the locked bootloader found on many smartphones. It gives you the ability to load custom firmware by installing them on another part of your device’s internal storage.
That’s good news for me; I really don’t like what Amazon has done with the Fire Phone, and am looking forward to making use of ggow’s next trick. He’s also ported CyanogenMod 11 to run on the Fire Phone.
I’m told it looks like this:
CyanogenMod 11 is the latest version of the open-source Android firmware. It’s based on Android 4.4 KitKat, and while it supports most Android apps ggow has noted that with the Fire Phone you’ll need to install Open Camera app and also flash a particular set of Google apps in order to get everything to work right.
He also made it clear that this was a beta release, so it’s not for the faint of heart. But if you want to give it a shot, you can find instructions over at XDA Forums.