updated 05:15 pm EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
Update brings FireOS version 3.5.1, improves battery and ability to create folders
Amazon announced that it is pushing out the first major update for the company's new smartphone, the Fire Phone. The update will be delivered over-the-air for early adopters on AT&T, bringing with it a number of improvements and changes that are said to give the phone better battery life, video sharing and make navigation easier. The update pushes FireOS to version 3.5.1.
Some of the bigger changes involve Amazon's improvements to extend the battery life of the phone. The company has made "dozens of system updates" to improve the battery life, something that was a pain point in early reviews of the Fire Phone. Critics have pointed out that other current phones, like the LG G3 and some Samsung phones, have outpaced the Fire Phone battery life.
Amazon has also added "app grid collections," which basically adds the ability to group items together in a folder in the app grid view. The feature appears to work much like groupings in iOS, as users drag an item on top of another one to create a folder. The items do need to belong to the same media category to be collected, a disadvantage over the iOS implementation of the idea.
Other improvement include "Quick Switch," which allows users to alternate between apps or close them. The multitasking feature is activated with a double-tap of the home button. Creating lenticular photos now uses 11 images instead of three, and Carousel email has improved to allow emails to be deleted from the home screen. Searching for frequently used apps should be a little easier now, as Amazon added the ability for apps to be pinned to the front of the home carousel. Users can now add high-resolution videos to MMS or emails as well.
Fire Phone owners that don't receive the update or wish to upgrade their phones before then can also download and install the update manually.