Amazon entered the smartphone market earlier this year with some big dreams, giving its inaugural Fire Phone some hardware and software that wasn’t quite like anything else out there. Unfortunately, higher-than-expected pricing, combined with carrier exclusivity and some regrettable battery life, ended up souring many potential users to the idea of the phone. Still, Amazon’s done what it can to try and breathe a little life into the Fire Phone, like that very attractive Black Friday pricing we saw. That trend continues this month as the manufacturer starts sending out a big update to the Fire Phone’s software.
What’s new? A heck of a lot: there’s VPN support, new messaging settings, the ability to block numbers, new translation abilities, custom ringtones, and improved camera software. You know how we lamented the phone’s disappointing battery life? This update includes “dozens of systems updates” all focused on improving just that. There’s also a big lock screen refresh, adding music controls and new notification options.
Will this cause any of you to do a 180 on your opinion of the Fire Phone? Well, that remains to be seen – if the battery improvements are substantial, then maybe. And if that new camera software overcomes some of the earlier limitations, then yes, this could be very promising. But really, it may be too little, too late; we’ll withhold judgment until we have a chance to put this one for a spin ourselves.