Amazon is continuing to fiddle with the Fire Phone's software even after it became apparent that the device isn't selling terribly well. An OTA is going out right now to the AT&T and GSM unlocked devices with a ton of improvements to the camera, battery life, lock screen, and more.
Here's the full changelog. It's a big one.
- Translate text and identify famous artwork with Firefly: Text translation from/to: English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish, and artwork recognition for 2,000 famous paintings with info available from Wikipedia. To learn how to use Firefly, go toIdentify Movies, Music, Products & More with Firefly.
- Take the perfect picture with Best Shot: See three versions of a given photo to choose the perfect shot. To learn how to use Best Shot, go to Take Photos & Personal Videos.
- Enable or disable SMS / MMS settings: You can now turn character counts and MMS on or off. To learn about SMS/MMS, go toMessaging.
- Select additional keyboard languages: Choose from seven preloaded keyboard languages and 49 additional keyboard languages to download. To learn how to download a keyboard, go to Customize Your Language & Keyboard.
- Block unwanted phone numbers: Decline unwanted calls from any given contact. To learn how to block phone calls, go to Review Your Call History.
- Add custom ringtones to your phone: Add custom ringtones from the Amazon Appstore to your Fire phone. To learn more, go to Manage Ringtones & Notifications.
- View more information from the lock screen: Control music directly from the lock screen, and configure your phone to wake up when a new notification arrives. To learn about the lock screen, go to Customize the Lock Screen.
- Write and edit documents with WPS Office: Edit documents using the new, preloaded WPS Office app. To learn more, go to Docs.
- Connect to a virtual private network (VPN) at work: Connect to a secure, corporate VPN from your Fire using the native IPSec / L2TP VPN client to stay productive while on the go. To learn how to use the VPN feature, go to Set Up a VPN.
- Sync calendars across Amazon devices registered to your Amazon account: Create appointments that are automatically synced across supported Fire phones and Fire tablets registered to your Amazon account with Amazon Cloud Calendar. To learn how to use Amazon Cloud Calendar, go to Calendar.
- Read your Kindle books in one continuous scroll: Read and scroll through Kindle books without ever having to touch the screen. To learn how to use Auto-Scroll, go to One-Handed Shortcuts.
- Improved battery life: Dozens of systems updates for enhanced battery performance.
- Bug fixes and user interface improvements: Hundreds of other bug fixes and user interface improvements.
Some of these features should have been there from launch. For example, VPN support. I don't know how you launch a phone without full VPN features any more. And custom ringtones? How was that not already a thing? Same thing with lock screen music controls.
The Best Shot camera feature sounds neat. A few OEMs already do something similar, but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The Firefly text translation could also be really useful if it works. If you picked up one of those unlocked Fire Phones on fire sale recently, the update will be version number 3.6.8. For the AT&T version (which I'm sure no one has), it's version 3.6.5.