Amazon is rolling out a major software update for its first smartphone, bringing new features and improvements to the camera, SMS, Kindle, and other apps. The company says the update also kills hundreds of bugs and improves battery life.

The Fire Phone hasn’t exactly been a hot seller, and it could take more than a software update to change that. But it certainly couldn’t hurt.

Neither could a price cut: The Fire Phone currently has a list price of $449, but you can pick up an unlocked model for just $229 at the moment.

amazon fire phone

Amazon’s Fire Phone software update includes a pretty lengthy list of new and improved features, but here are some of the highlights:

Camera

A new Best Shot feature lets you snap 3 versions of a picture and choose which one you like best.

Phone and SMS

There’s now an option to enable or disable character counts in SMS and MMS. Users can also now block phone calls from any contact they don’t want to receive calls from.

Amazon has also added support for custom ringtones.

WPS Office

The WPS Office app is now pre-loaded, letting you create or edit documents on your device.

VPN

There’s support for connecting to virtual private networks using native IPSec/L2TP VPN.

Calender sync

Appointments can now be synchronized across all of your Amazon devices, so if you have a Fire phone and a Fire tablet you can create an appointment on one device and view or edit it on another.

Kindle

There’s a new auto-scroll feature that lets you read eBooks and browser through your list of books without touching your screen. Auto-scroll lets you tilt the phone up or down to scroll. The more you tilt, the faster it will scroll.

More

Other update include the ability to translate tect to and from a number of languages using the Firefly app, control music playback from the lock screen, and choose from more than 50 keyboard languages.

via Android Police

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6 replies on “Amazon Fire Phone software update brings camera, phone, other improvements”

  1. So does it have an SD Card? Or are you LOCKED into their Cloud nightmare?

    1. No SD card slot. That’s one of the things Amazon isn’t likely to change in future iterations. Companies that provide cloud services have no incentive to put in removable storage in their devices.

      Other things Amazon won’t do to dramatically improve sales:
      – dump the dumb Fire OS and put in plain vanilla Android
      – have a removable battery
      – add an active digitizer and stylus
      – make an unlocked international version with dual SIMs

      1. i suspect that amazon doesn’t understand that many people ultimately want to control their own experience and not be trapped by something that makes you feel like you are renting or borrowing your phone from someone else.

  2. We bought one of the $199 unlocked phones for the wife; it’s her first smartphone, and she’s enjoying it.

    Our biggest gripe is the inability to quickly empty the contents of the Carousel. Having to go through it and remove each item one at a time is tedious, especially since Amazon insists on loading it up with Kindle books that are available in the Cloud but have never been opened on this device, or even on any other device! It makes the Carousel pretty much useless.

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