Amazon Updates Fire Phone With A Bunch Of Features

Chris CrumIT Management

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Amazon launched a software update for its Fire Phone, bringing a bunch of new features to the device, which it's been having a pretty hard time selling.

The Firefly feature will now translate text and identify famous artwork, not unlike Google Goggles. Specifically, it can translate to and from English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. As far as artwork, it recognizes over 2,000 famous paintings based on data from Wikipedia.

The device is apparently now better for taking pictures thanks to the addition of "Best Shot," which lets you see three versions of a photo to choose the best shot.

You an enable or disable SMS/MMS messages. You ca mturn character counts and MMS on off.

You can now choose from seven preloaded keyboard languages or from 49 additional keyboard languages, which are available to download.

The device will now let you block unwanted phone numbers, as well as add custom ringtones, and view more info from your lock screen. From there, you can control music and configure your phone to wake up when a new notification arrives.

There's a new preloaded WPS Office app, which lets you write and edit documents.

You can connect to a secure, corporate VPN using the native IPSec / L2TP VPN client, and sync calendars across Amazon devices registered to your Amazon account.

Auto-scroll has been added for Kindle Books so you can read them in one continuous scroll.

Finally, battery life is improved, and there are hundreds of bug fixes and UI improvements.

None of this stuff is especially groundbreaking, and probably won't go very far in helping Amazon sell more units immediately, but there's no question that the company is going to have to keep adding features and making its devices more appealing. This is a start.

As many of the negative reviews for the device suggested, the Fire phone could get better with future iterations.

Via 9to5Google

Image via Amazon

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.