Amazon’s latest software update for the Kindle Fire HD add support for the company’s new “Kindle Free Time Unlimited” subscription service for kid-friendly books, movies, and apps. But it turns out that’s not the only new feature the update brings.
Amazon is also adding the Swype keyboard to the latest Kindle Fire tablets, and offering a camera app for models with a built-in camera.
The Kindle Fire HD 7″ software update notes mention that once software version 7.2.2 is installed, you can use the front-facing camera to snap photos without first installing a third party camera app.
The update also lets you use the popular Swype keyboard to either type out text or slide your finger from one key to the next without lifting your hand from the screen.
If you’ve got a 2nd-generation Kindle Fire (the $159 model) that doesn’t have a camera, you get Swype and Kindle Free Time Unlimited, but there’s no camera update in the latest software.
Meanwhile the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ software update page doesn’t say anything at all about new features, but the update should add the camera, Free Time subscriptions, and Swype.
Amazon tends to push out software updates to Kindle Fire tablets automatically, so most users should see the new features soon. If you want to avoid the update, your best bet is to disable WiFi indefinitely… which might be a good idea if you’ve rooted your tablet.
That’s because Kindle Fire updates invariably break root access, and you might want to wait to see how easy it is to re-root your device once the new software is installed.