Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) launched its Fire Phone amid much fanfare in June. The first-ever 3D smartphone runs on a forked version of Android. Unfortunately, the device has received a lot of negative reviews. The Wall Street Journal tech columnist Geoffrey A. Fowler said the phone suffered from poor battery life, it had limited apps, and the device was not worth the purchase price. The Fire Phone costs $649 off-contract.
Amazon Fire Phone gets multitasking mode, better battery life
Amazon has launched the first major update to its Fire OS in an attempt to add more features and resolve some of the issues. The Seattle-based company said “dozens of feature updates” will improve battery life. This update takes the Fire OS to version 3.5.1. If you own a Fire Phone, you can download the latest update manually from Amazon’s website. There is another way as well. Navigate to the Settings button through the Quick Action panel. From there, go to Device and then Install System Updates.
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The update brings the Quick Switch feature, which allows users to switch between apps and multitask. You can simply double tap the Fire Phone’s home button to choose between the currently running apps. It’s similar to the way the iOS multitasking feature works. Another new feature is App Grid Collections. It lets users create folders for apps. This feature was already available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
Amazon was waiting for AT&T’s green signal to release the update
What’s more, you can now pin your favorite or most-used apps on the home carousel. With the latest update, Amazon Fire Phone users can create 11-frame lenticular photos using 11 pictures. Now you can also share high-resolution videos via email and videos. The Fire OS update allows users to delete emails directly from the home screen. It also boasts of several other system updates that enhance battery life.
According to Engadget, Amazon had already released the Fire OS version 3.5.1 update to select phone units. But the online retailer was waiting for AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T)’s approval before releasing the update to the general public on Monday.