PLEASE NOTE: Much of this is the work/discoveries of other forum members. I'll link out to the original posts whenever possible. Please thank those people accordingly!
1. When you first start up your phone, connect to WiFi, and let it go through the upgrade process to 4.6.4. Now is the time to register your phone with Amazon (by signing in with your Amazon account). You want that year of Prime, don't you?
2. SIM Unlock the phone (if you aren't using AT&T). It's easy!
a. Use a paperclip to pop out the SIM tray3. Open Settings>Applications & Parental Controls>Prevent non-Amazon app installation. Turn App Installation to ON
b. Insert a non-AT&T nano-sized SIM card. (Mine came with an AT&T SIM in it. You can't use this card to SIM unlock)
c. A window should pop up, prompting you to enter the code that is on your box. Enter it.
4. Make sure ADB is set up on your computer. (this is an easy guide to follow if you don't already have it: http://lifehacker.com/the-easiest-wa...-to-1586992378 )
5. Download the following file to your desktop computer:
GSM Unlocked Firmware (this is a 1.2gb file) (http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...12&postcount=2). Rename this update.bin, and put it into the folder where ADB is installed.Now we get our hands dirty:
6. If you are using Windows (I'm not), follow the directions that @Bingo Bronson posted here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...12&postcount=2. @DePingus also has an illustrated guide for ADB on Windows here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...1&postcount=14
6a. If you aren't using Windows, you can follow my steps (the same, just without all the Android SDK stuff, assuming you installed ADB in step #4)
a. Connect your phone to your PC & boot into recovery: When the phone is off, hold PWR + VOL. UP until the recovery screen appearsNOTE: If for some reason this isn't working for you, @jack9955 has posted steps on how to downgrade via Safestrap here.
b. From the list, choose "Apply update from ADB"
c. In the command prompt, enter the following:
d. It should take a few minutes. When it's done, reboot your phoneCode:adb sideload path/to/update.bin
7. Open Settings>Device>Get Info About Your Fire Phone. Your current version will be listed under Software Version, and it should now be 4.6.3
At this point, you may need to repeat step 3. I didn't, but it's worth checking.
8. Open the Amazon app store (one last time) and download ES File Explorer.
9. In the Silk Browser, open up the following links and download the files:
KingRoot (http://forum.xda-developers.com/fire...4-6-3-t3173322)10. Open ES File Explorer, navigate to Download, and install KingRoot. Follow the directions to achieve root.
Updated Google Play Store files: (http://forum.xda-developers.com/fire...-apks-t3098592)
11a. At this point, some people like to remove KingRoot (out of security concerns) and replace it with SuperSu. I haven't done that yet, but you can follow the directions from @najoor here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/fire...persu-t3105546
12. Open ES File Explorer, navigate to Download, and unzip play.zip. Be sure to install the apks contained in the play.zip folder in the proper order (Thanks to @escape75 for these files)
1) Google Account Manager 4.4.2 (940549)13. After installing, I rebooted into recovery again, and wiped the cache partition. I don't know if you need to, but engaging in good housekeeping is never bad.
2) Google Services Framework 4.4.2 (940549)
3) Google Play Services 7.8.99 (2134222-036) - Updated
4) Google Play Store 5.8.8 - Updated
14. You should have a Play Store icon in your app drawer now. Click it to open, and holy crap!! It works. Plug in your google account details.
Now it's time to keep Amazon from wrecking all your hard work. Steps 15 or 15a will block OTA updates of the OS.
15. Go to Settings>Applications & Parental Controls>Manage Applications. Click Filter By and select All. Find each of the files listed below, click it, and then click the "Disable" button on the next screen. Repeat for the other three files. (thanks @Bingo Bronson)
Amazon Device Client15a. If you'd rather, you can do like I did, and use Titanium Backup Pro to freeze the above files.
DCP Platform Contracts
System Update (yes, there are two different files named system update. Freeze/Disable both)
16. Don't like the Launcher? Neither do I. I followed these directions to change out my launcher: http://spinyourfire.com/fire-phone-t...hone-launcher/ I use Home Switch from the Play Store. It will allow you to set your new launcher.
If you decide to use a new launcher, here's some info (courtesy @Bingo Bronson) which may help:NOTE: The new launcher will disable Tilt Left/Right on your home screen. In Amazon apps, the gesture will still work.
1. Settings>Display>Show Status Bar allows you to turn on the Status Bar at the top of the screen. This will help some launchers display properly.
2. Miss your NavBar / want some way other than Amazon gestures to navigate your phone? Try installing Ultimate Dynamic NavBar or Pie Controls.
17. To sync your contacts/calendars/etc, go to Settings>My Accounts>Manage Email Accounts and add your Google account info.
a. Select that account, check sync calendar and sync contacts.BEWARE: HERE BE DRAGONS
b. Set Inbox Check Frequency to manual.
c. In Email Settings, set everything to off, then click email notification settings, and set all of those to off.
Hi. Are you new to phone hacking? Then you should probably stop reading here. Following any of the links or info could (pretty easily) lead to bricking your phone. I won't even mess with most of this stuff, I'm just providing links for intrepid explorers who know what they are getting into, and are willing to risk it. SERIOUSLY, TURN AROUND HERE!
Seriously, you did all that work, and now you want to risk breaking it? Well yeah, me too. So let's cover our asses.
Backing Up with SafeStrap
First, let's back up what you've done. @ggow (to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude) has gifted us with SafeStrap, which allows us to boot into a version of TWRP recovery. From there, you can install his CM11 or SlimKat Roms, or use the backup feature, which is what we are about to do.
1. Install Safestrap from here http://forum.xda-developers.com/fire...4-0-1-t3149888. In ggow's directions, it talks about 4.6.1, but I can confirm it works properly on 4.6.3.Good! Now we are backed up, and we can start breaking stuff.
2. Once you have booted into Safestrap, Click Backup and then back it up! (it took about ten minutes for me)
3. Of course, a backup won't do you any good if you don't have multiple redundancies. So plug your phone into your computer, open up a terminal/CMD prompt, and enter the following:
after that runs for a while, you should see a message that says something along the lines of "12 files pulled. 0 files skipped"Code:adb pull /sdcard/TWRP/ /path/to/your/backup/folder
Turn on USB Debugging
1. Go to Settings>Device>Get info about your FireInstalling Xposed Framework
2. Tap "Model Number" seven or eight times, until the "Developer Options" button appears at the bottom of the list
3. Tap "Developer Options" and enable USB debugging
Xposed Framework allows you to install different modules that can change the look, feel and operation of your phone. Xposed works best on Vanilla Android, but we can definitely put it to good use here. Lifehacker has a great overview on Xposed. I'll just give you the basics here.
What you'll need: Root
1. On your phone, visit http://repo.xposed.info/module/de.ro...osed.installer. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Show Older versions. You want the APK for version 2.6.1 (the most recent stable version)Congrats! Now with Xposed, you can really start customizing your phone. Check the forums...there is tons to discover and lots of people who know far more than I about how to use it. Just remember that a lot of the cosmetic stuff might not work on a Fire Phone. The modules I use are: ACDisplay, Amplify (paid version), AppOppsXposed, GravityBox, Greenify (paid version), PowerNap.
2. After downloading, navigate to your Downloads folder and install the Xposed Apk.
3. Open Xposed and click Framework. It will show you that Xposed is currently inactive. Tap the install/update button.
4. Once installed, you must reboot your phone for Xposed to work.
Installing a custom Lock Screen
Many of us on Android are used to custom lock screens, and haven't been thrilled with the Amazon Lock Screen. Through some trial and error, I've discovered how to swap out the Amazon Lock Screen for my lock screen of choice, ACDisplay. I haven't tried this with other 3rd party lock screens. Try following (and contributing to) this lockscreen thread to see any developments on other lock screens.
What you need: Xposed, Root, ES File Explorer (or another file explorer with root access)
1. Install ACDisplay (I sideloaded the APK, but it seems to work from the Play Store)The Xposed integration seems to be the key. Now, when I reboot my phone, I'll get the original Amazon Lock Screen once (sometimes) and then ACDisplay pops up from that point on. Apparently, if you want a pin/password on the lock screen, you can still use the security features of the OS lockscreen.
2. Open ES File Explorer, tap the hamburger menu, scroll down to Tools, and turn on Root Explorer
3. find the installed apk (com.achep.acdisplay-1.apk) in /data/app
4. rename it LockScreen.apk and move it to /system/priv-app/
6. Open up AC Display and grant it access to Accessibility Settings and Notifications
7. In ACDisplay>Settings>Lockscreen move the slider to On and make sure that "Enable when no notifications" is ticked
8. Open Xposed and activate the ACDisplay module.
10. I don't know if you need to, but I went to Settings>Lock Screen> Turn on Notifications... and made sure that notifications were off.
Launchers with Widgets
One of the problems with custom launchers is that widgets don't seem to work on the Fire Phone. But @hmoobguy and @DePingus have figured out how to beat that in this thread. Just like with the lock screen, you'll have to move some files.
What you need: Root, ES File Explorer (or another file explorer with root access)
1. Install your launcher from the Play Store.Note: you can also use Titanium to convert your launcher of choice into a system app.
1a. If you haven't already, visit the Play Store on your desktop, look at the page for the launcher you just installed, and take note of what comes after 'id=' in the URL. That's the file name you'll search for.
2. Open ES File Explorer, tap the hamburger menu, scroll down to Tools, and turn on Root Explorer
3. find the installed apk for your launcher of choice in /data/app by searching for what came after 'id=' in step 1a.
4. move it to /system/priv-app/
@Bingo Bronson has a ridiculously extensive list of Fire OS apps that can be disabled/frozen or deleted. Use at your own risk: http://forum.xda-developers.com/fire...emove-t3132008
Hopefully this is helpful to others. I can add information as I go if new info (and new annoyances) come to light. Please let me know if there is anything I missed!