If you’ve picked up the Amazon Fire phone during one of its many recent fire sales, then I’ve got some good news for you.
Amazon has announced a major new software update for the Fire phone that bumps it up to Fire OS 4.6.1. What’s notable about the update is that it brings the Fire phone up to Android 4.4 KitKat, which is a nice jump from the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean-based OS that the Fire phone previously ran.
Some of the other notable improvements included in this update are support for Bluetooth Low Energy, the ability to change the home screen wallpaper, support for color emoji in Amazon’s default keyboard, the ability to change the default keyboard, better lock screen notifications, and a whole lot more. Here’s Amazon’s full changelog:
Support for Bluetooth Low Energy
- Fire phone now supports Bluetooth Low Energy technology. To learn more, go to Connect to Bluetooth.
Change the wallpaper on the Home screen
- You can now change the Home screen wallpaper to a different color or use your own image. To learn more, go to Change the Home Screen Wallpaper.
Lock screen notification improvements
- View previews of new notifications on the lock screen and manage which apps can show previews on the lock screen. To learn more, go to View & Manage Notifications.
Additional keyboard options
- Amazon's keyboard now includes color emoji. Choose from hundreds of emoji characters to make your e-mail and multimedia messages fun and personal. You can also change the default keyboard on your Fire phone with another compatible keyboard downloaded from the Amazon Appstore. To learn more, go to Customize Your Language & Keyboard.
Convert video clips into lenticular images and set HDR to auto
- Record video clips and automatically convert them into a lenticular image to share with others or use on the lock screen. With HDR turned to auto, your phone's camera also determines whether a scene needs HDR and captures it to create a rich, detailed image. To learn more, go to Take Photos & Personal Videos.
Smarter calling options
- Manage up to five people on a conference call, delete all previous calls in your history, and more. To learn more, go to Make & Receive Phone Calls.
- Delete or forward multiple messages in a conversation, swipe to delete conversations in your Inbox, and modify your messaging settings with new options, such as the ability to change the text size of your messages. To learn more, go to Send, Read & Manage Messages.
Choose different colors for calendar events
- If you have multiple e-mail accounts synced with your phone, you can assign a color for each account. When you select a new color for an account, your calendar events appear in that color. To learn more, go to General Settings for Email, Contacts, and Calendar.
Print from your Fire phone
- You can now print personal documents, e-mails, contact details, and calendar events from your Fire phone to your compatible HP, Epson, or Canon printers. To learn more, go to Print From Your Fire Phone.
Enhanced enterprise features
- With support for secure work Wi-Fi networks, single sign-on for corporate networks, and AES-256 bit hardware encryption, your Fire phone is ready for more work. To learn more, go to Protect Your Fire Phone with Encryption and Set Up a VPN.
- Easily manage your closed caption settings across the device and enjoy new Screen Reader features—such as independent volume controls and faster reading speed options—when you use the accessibility options on your Fire phone. To learn more, go to Accessibility Features.
Bug fixes and user interface improvements
- Dozens of other bug fixes and user interface improvements.
The Amazon Fire phone is one of the more poorly-received smartphones in recent memory, but that hasn’t stopped Amazon from supporting the device with significant updates. The company pushed a big update back in December that included custom ringtones, VPN support, and much more, and now the Fire phone is getting bumped to KitKat. Sure, the Fire phone may not be at the top of the Android smartphone pile, but with its frequent $189 sales — which include a year of Amazon Prime that normally costs $99 — the Fire phone could be a good option for someone that wants a super-affordable phone.
This update will be pushing over the air to the Amazon Fire phone. Owners can also manually download the update to their computer and install it over a USB connection. And if you don’t yet have a Fire phone, Amazon is currently selling the device for $189 unlocked and contract-free.