Amazon tells Android to fork off

Online book-seller Amazon has released the source code for its new Kindle Fire.

What is interesting about it is that although it is supposed to be Android it has been so re-written by Amazon coders that it might as well be a different program. 

The download, which comes as a compressed tar.gz (via Slashdot), is 809MB and unlike some telephone manufacturers was released the same day that the Fire hit the shops.

The source code will allow punters to create custom ROMs and tweaks to the OS. The Fire has already been rooted and hackers are working out how to kill off its bootloader.

Given how much Amazon is subsidising the Fire it is jolly brave to have such a positive attitude to Open Sauce. Effectively it means that people could develop code that takes the cut-price tablet completely out of the outfit’s hands.

However, it also has the advantage that it might knock out some of the rough edges that the software has while operating within Amazon’s walled garden.

One of the problems it has is that people have been comparing it unfavourably with the iPad. While the iPad is nearly three times the price, people have been expecting similar performance from the Fire. Unfortunately the code does not appear up to it and needs tweaking to get better performance.

By releasing the code Amazon appears to be hoping that a large team of open saucers will come up with coding improvements that will make things go much faster.