Nov 18th, 2013

Amazon has announced an upgrade to their Fire OS, the heavily customized version of Android that is tailor made for Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets. This upgrade, which is only for the newest Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX models, brings us a multitude of enhancements and changes that should make for a much better experience no matter who you are.

kindle fire hd

For starters, Amazon has integrated the Goodreads community with their book reading experience. You can now easily share your favorite quotes and lines from whatever you’re reading with your friends on the Goodreads community. You can also rate and review books, and import all of your print and Kindle books purchased with your Amazon account into Goodreads.

Samsung also added Second Screen support, a feature which allows you to “fling” whatever content you’re watching from your tablet to your television. This gesture allows you to free up your tablet for other activities, including reading a book, using other apps and more. It supports the PlayStation 3 and select Samsung TVs right now, with PlayStation 4 support coming at some point down the line.

Amazon also improved enterprise support, with the company focusing on making it easier for IT departments to support BYOD (bring-your-own-device). It features SharePoint compatibility, a native VPN interface, Kerberos support and a native certificate exchange client. Here’s a list of the rest of the changes you can expect upon downloading and installing this big upgrade:

  • Cloud Collections helps you organize your books, newspapers, magazines, and apps in customized collections for easy reference, and Amazon’s Whispersync technology synchronizes the collections across your Kindle devices and reading apps so they’re available on all of your devices.
  • Voice dictation converts your speech to text—available in all languages when online; offline support available in US English.
  • 1-Tap archive which frees up space on your Kindle Fire by identifying items that have not been recently used and provides a 1-tap option to store them in the Cloud for later retrieval.
  • Wireless printing of photos, PDF, e-mails, contacts, calendar and docs.
  • New accessibility enhancements that enable blind and visually impaired customers to save a separate accessibility profile for children in Kindle FreeTime, scroll lists automatically when swipe navigating, hear enhanced sound feedback and screen orientation changes announced, and have more control when editing text and navigating web content.
  • Dozens more new features, performance and battery life improvements, and bug fixes.

If you’re patent enough to wait, the over-the-air upgrade will be rolling out over the course of the next few weeks. Most people aren’t patient, though, so Amazon has made it available to download and install right now. Visit this link for the download and instructions for your specific device if you can’t wait to get your hands on it.