In June of 2014, Amazon tried to launch their newest product – the Fire phone. It was essentially a modified Android phone with a “unique” 3D display and a ton of references to different Amazon shops. It turned out that “Fire” was pretty cold, being a complete failure. The phone hit Amazon with a $170 million loss in its most recent financial quarter to account for “inventory valuation and supplier commitment cost.” The major commerce company is finding it hard to even give these things away; if you wander into a Amazon warehouse, you may just find a big pile of these lonely little buggers hoping; waiting for someone to come and make them theirs.
However, Bezos & CO aren’t giving up without a few punches here, truly living up to the phrase “if at first you don’t succeed, try again.” On Friday, Amazon released a software update for their Fire phone that adds new features and sources close to the giant company says they have plans of releasing a second Fire phone, just not anytime soon.
Among the new features in the Friday update is text translation for the Fire Phone’s Firefly app, where you can scan text and have it converted to or from English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
Firefly has also been trained to identify 2,000 famous paintings, for those of you who like to walk around art museums with your mobile in your hand.
The update introduces a new camera feature named Best Shot, a (camera) app that takes three quick photos and lets the user choose the best ones. Amazon said this would be great for group photos or pictures of children or pets. There are also some minor UI changes, such as adjustable SMS settings and blocking phone calls by the number. Added to their “flop” phone was a office-document editing app, VPN support, and even more which you can find in the full list of changes here.
On the topic of making another phone that customers will actually like, VentureBeat reports that several sources agree that the online megastore will take another shot at it, but it’s not in a hurry. It has “gone back to the drawing board,” one source claimed, and is currently pondering which features to put into the new device that would make it appealing, with an eye to ship it sometime in 2016.
And we may be able to expect more phones to come from Amazon after that. The company CEO Jeff Bezos gives the Fire Phone line full support and believes it’s a young product that the company will need to “iterate” over time.
What do you think of a new Fire phone coming out, or about the changes in the new update? Leave a comment below.