6 Comments

Summary:

Got a Kindle Fire tablet? Starting today, you can get new features including deeper Goodreads integration and a function called Second Screen that can wirelessly “fling” video content from a Kindle Fire to a PlayStation 3 or Samsung HDTV set.

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When Amazon launched its latest Kindle Fire tablets with Fire OS software in September, the company promised an update by mid-November that will bring new features to the devices. It’s mid-November and the software is here. On Monday, Amazon announced version 3.1 of the Fire OS for all current generation Kindle tablets. The updated software will wirelessly roll out in the coming weeks but device owners can apply the update manually by downloading it from Amazon’s support site today.

Since all of the features in Fire OS 3.1 were already announced, there aren’t any surprises. Still, the software will help make the overall Kindle Fire tablet experience a better one.

For example, there’s deep in-content integration with Goodreads, making it easy to capture and share quotes with others on the social reading service. You can also see what Goodreads friends are reading or share a book rating. And every Amazon book purchased — digital or print — can quickly be imported to a Goodreads account.

Of course the Kindle Fire tablets are more than book readers; they’re video content consumption devices. And the newest software includes a Second Screen feature: You can “fling” video content from the Kindle Fire tablet to an HDTV, similar to Apple’s AirPlay and Google’s Chromecast functions. Amazon says Second Screen works with Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Samsung televisions; support for the PlayStation 4 is expected by year end.

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  1. Is this being made available to the previous generation Kindle Fire HD tablets? I haven’t gotten an update yet.

  2. richardmgarrett Monday, November 18, 2013

    At least for now, the update is not available for Kindle HD 8.9 — a device that I bought about 7 months ago. While I am quite happy with that purchase and continue to find value in the Amazon ecosystem, it is disappointing that the company is apparently not going to update the system software. Contrast that with Apple and Google — both companies continue to enable previous generations of hardware to use more current OS versions. My iPad 2, for example, runs iOS 7.x just fine as does my iPhone 4.

    1. Apple and to a lesser extent Google are not good roll models for software backwards compatibility. Many Android devices will not load or run v4.?.? and apple is famous for making software that will not run on older machines. These update problems tend to be because of hardware incompatibilities caused by new technologies out striping the older models and requiring new code to run.

  3. Your definition/explanation of “flinging” is severely lacking? How does one do this? What apps will work, anything or just streaming video? Explain more than headlines please.

    1. Sorry, Amazon didn’t provide details. Here’s the direct quote from it:

      ‘”Fling TV shows and movies from your tablet to your big-screen TV. Second Screen turns your TV into the primary screen and frees up your Fire HDX to provide playback controls, a customized display for X-Ray, or simply a place to email, browse the web, and more while you watch a movie. Second Screen is available for PlayStation 3 and Samsung TVs, and will be available starting later this year for PlayStation 4. ”

      Surely this will work with Amazon’s own video app, but the company didn’t say it’s providing an API for developers to add Second Screen features to third party apps.

  4. Since when did AMAZON become so customer unfriendly. I am in the same boat, and was thrilled with Amazon until they told me that they don’t want me having any improvements without additional $$$. Thats fine, Aplpe and Google both offer similar services.. I will vote with my wallet.. Eventually Amazon will decide they want to keep their customers happy. Hope they realize it sooner rather than later. I am now buying all my Movies, books and audio from Google Play and will will use the Fire as the platform to do it.

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