Amazon is in the process of pushing out a new firmware update for their Fire OS that brings a number of new features. This includes Alexa on Fire Tablets with Video support and the new Amazon Rapids app that is aimed at children and tells stories in a completely new way. This update is available for the Fire HD 10, Fire HD 8, and the $50 Fire tablet.
Alexa on Fire Tablets—Now with Video Support
We recently brought Alexa to Fire tablets, making it easy for customers to enjoy endless entertainment at the touch of a button. Now, in addition to asking Alexa to play your favorite song, open a game, or read you the latest audiobook, you can ask Alexa to search for and play your favorite movies and TV shows from Amazon Video, including Amazon Channels video subscriptions. Simply long-press the home button on your Fire tablet, say “play The Man in the High Castle” or “play Mr. Robot” and you’re on your way.
Amazon Rapids—A New Approach to Reading for Kids
Amazon Rapids adds a fun new dimension to reading, with illustrated short stories written in a unique chat style that brings stories to life, one message at a time. Stories on Amazon Rapids are told through the lens of characters chatting with each other, from an alien texting about invading Earth to two chickens debating if they should cross the street. Now available on Fire tablets, the app offers hundreds of original stories, with dozens of new ones added monthly. Parents who sign up now can subscribe at a special introductory rate of $2.99 per month to give their kids unlimited access to short stories, and a free, two week trial is also available within the app.
This new firmware update is only available for United States residents, so like always Canadians and Europeans are missing out on the fun.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.