Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble’s NOOK Tablet have been getting a lot of hacking love this week. The got a 1-click root solution, as well as a workaround to load the Android Market onto it, opening the Fire up to a lot more apps. The has a workaround to side-load several different 3rd-party apps onto it.
If you combine those hacks, you get the above result: Amazon’s Instant Video streaming app working on the NOOK Tablet (and other Android tablets).
First, a little bit of backstory. Amazon’s Instant Video offerings were only accessible from a desktop PC, laptop, or one of several set-top boxes like the Roku. However, of course, Amazon wanted people to be able to stream videos to the Kindle Fire, so they created a custom app to do this. With the Whispersync feature now available for videos, if you start watching on one device, like your laptop, and continue on another device, then you start up where you left off, seamlessly. Now you don’t need to have a Kindle Fire to take advantage of this Prime membership benefit (for the most part).
Once the Kindle Fire was rooted, and its source code has been made available, it’s no surprise that the XDA Developers have been hard at work hacking away at it. One result of their recent hacking is “ripping” the Amazon Instant Video .apk from the Kindle Fire and making it available as a standalone download here. Once it is side-loaded onto your Android tablet of choice, you can stream Amazon Instant Videos to your heart’s content…with some caveats.
- If your Android tablet is rooted, video streaming won’t work, because at the moment rooted Kindle Fires will not stream videos (on the Kindle Fire, there is a workaround to get streaming working again, but it probably isn’t applicable to other Android tablets). Whatever security feature that prevents streaming on rooted Fires, has migrated along with the streaming app.
- Since the Kindle Fire is a 7-inch tablet with a 1024 x 600 resolution, the Amazon Instant Video app works best on tablets with that same screen resolution. The NOOK Tablet is a perfect fit for it, but it’s not the only tablet that can handle the app. But, if you try to run it on a tablet with a smaller screen or smaller resolution, not all the controls will fit on-screen properly.
- In addition, there doesn’t seem to be a login screen available, so unless you’re somehow already logged into your Amazon account — via the Amazon Appstore for Android, for example — you won’t be able to access the instant video streams. Also, only Amazon Prime members are able to access the free instant video streams, just as a reminder.
- Not all videos available from Amazon Instant Video stream properly on other tablets. It’s not clear why this is.
At any rate, this is usually how these hacks go. They work, but not perfectly. Perhaps as hackers continue to work on both the Kindle Fire and NOOK Tablet, these hacks will work better, but at the moment, it’s a cool way to take advantage of your Amazon Prime membership even if you don’t have a Kindle Fire.