Amazon has released a software update for its latest tablets, offering tighter integration with the Goodreads social reading platform, better support for corporate environments, and voice dictation, and more.
The Fire OS 3.1 update is available for the 2013 Kindle Fire HD, and the 7 and 10 inch Kindle Fire HDX tablets.
Fire OS is based on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, but it’s a highly customized version of Android featuring Amazon’s own user interface, app launcher, app store, and music, movie, and magazine stores.
Amazon launched Kindle Fire OS 3.0 “Mojito” this fall, with support for downloading Amazon Prime Instant Videos for offline playback and the “Mayday” feature for live support.
Fire OS 3.1 adds a few features Amazon had promised in September, as well as a few unannounced goodies.
The new Second Screen capabilities let you fling videos from your tablet to a TV. It works with Samsung smart television sets or any TV hooked up to a PlayStation 3. Support for the PlayStation 4 is on the way as well.
GoodReads integration lets you share quotes from within a book, see social updates from your friends, review books as you finish reading them, and import all of the books you’ve purchased from Amazon into GoodReads. It’s not surprising to see Amazon offering this kind of integration — the company bought GoodReads earlier this year.
The update also adds support for wireless printing of photos, PDF files, email messages, documents and other types of data. There’s a 1-tap archive option which lets you free up local storage by removing any items you haven’t accessed recently with a single tap (they’ll be available to re-download at any time from your Kindle Cloud account). And you can now synchronize Cloud Collections, letting you organize your books, apps, and other content and access the same categories across multiple devices.
Voice dictation lets you convert speech to text — it works offline when you’re using US English, but you’ll need an internet connection to use other languages.
Amazon says Fire OS 3.1 also brings bug fixes and performance and battery life improvements.