Amazon reveals new Kindle Fire features with OS 3.1

Faith Merino · November 18, 2013 · Short URL:

OS 3.1 comes with Second Screen, Goodreads integration, and more

Back in September, Amazon surprised everyone with its new Kindle Fire HDX, but there were a few features it hadn’t gotten around to adding. As promised, Amazon has updated the Kindle Fire OS, and OS 3.1 is available today.

The new OS update comes with better Goodreads integration. After buying the company last spring, it’s now being put to good use directly within Kindle books. Now users can highlight favorite quotes, rate and review a book you’ve just read, import all of the books you’ve purchased on Amazon to your Goodreads account, and see what your friends are reading, all without leaving your book.

The new update also comes with the much-anticipated Second Screen feature, which allows you to “fling” movies and TV shows from your tablet to your TV so you can keep your tablet free for playback controls, Xray, and more. Second Screen is available through PlayStation 3, Samsung TVs, and PlayStation 4 later this year.

Additionally, OS 3.1 comes with enterprise support. Now users will be able to connect to their company’s intranet remotely through Kerberos authentication. And the new Kindle Fires include Kindle-specific device management APIs that integrate with existing mobile device management systems to make it easy for IT departments to manage Kindle Fire.

“The response to our new family of Kindle Fire tablets has been fantastic, and we’re excited to add new features we think our customers will love,” said Peter Larsen, Vice President of Amazon Kindle, in a statement.

Some other cool OS 3.1 features include Cloud Collections, which lets you group books, apps, movies, and TV shows into categories like “sports apps” or “favorite books,” etc. Cloud Collections syncs to all of your devices. OS 3.1 also comes with voice dictation, one-tap archive to quickly store infrequently used items in the cloud, wireless printing of photos, PDFs, and more, and accessibility enhancements for blind or visually impaired users.

Kindle Fire OS 3.1 is available for the Kindle Fire HD, as well as the 7-inch and 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HDX tablets.

In September, Amazon revealed the new Kindle Fire HDX, which comes with the fastest processor on a 7-inch tablet—a 2.2 GHz quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM. The display comes with a resolution of 1920x1200. The 7-inch tablet weighs all of 10.7 ounces for the Wi-Fi version and 11 ounces for the 3G version. And the battery life includes up to 11 hours of reading time, surfing the Web, or watching movies on Wi-Fi. When you’re just reading, the battery life extends to 17 hours.

Both the 7-inch and 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HDX tablets come with a front and rear-facing camera (as opposed to 7-inch Kindle Fire HD, which has no front-facing camera), you can skype as well as edit and share photos.

And the Kindle Fire HDX comes with something new—a “Mayday” customer support button, which actually brings up a one-on-one video call with a customer support rep who can remotely take control of your tablet to fix whatever problem you’re experiencing. And Mayday help personnel will be available 24 hours a day, all 365 days of the year, which means—yes—when you unwrap your Kindle Fire HDX on Christmas morning and don’t know how to do all the things, some poor schmuck will be on hand to talk you off a ledge.


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