Fire OS from Amazon, is primarily forked from Android 2.3.3. Forking in Software Development refers to the practice of taking a copy source code of a software package and developing another version of software on top of it. Since Android is freely available, Amazon took the 2.3.3 version, added its own UI components on top of it and branded it as Fire OS. Fire OS mostly focuses on content consumption and closely coupled with Amazon services like Amazon App Store, Amazon Instant Video, Amazon MP3 and Kindle Store.
Amazon has bundled its well-known offerings like cloud services, content-forward user interfaces, built-in media libraries, productivity apps, and platform enhancements to market Fire OS as an advanced version of the vanilla android. Some of the striking features of the Fire OS include – Dynamic Perspective, Firefly technology and Mayday.
Dynamic perspective is an advanced 3D effect, where the phone keeps track of the user’s face and moves the content accordingly. While viewing content if you move the phone very close to your eyes, the content will be zoomed in and vice versa. When using 3D maps if you try to peek around the map, then it rotates slowly revealing the portions hidden by a building behind it. This feature makes use of 4 cameras placed on the four corners of the phone to achieve this capability.
Firefly technology provides capability to read the phone numbers, email addresses and website information from anywhere. It can identify movies and music, and you will be given options to purchase and download the same. Some of the interesting features in Firefly are given below:
> TV and Movie scene Recognition : Combining its X-Ray technology with IMDB’s database and the Amazon video collection, Firefly can recognize what you’re watching on TV or PC and it can identify the series, episode and even the actors in the particular scene. This feature is quick and accurate, though obviously limited to Amazon’s selection of TV and movies
> Purchasing : By using the Phone camera, one can recognize physical and media products in the real world and link them to the purchasing option in Amazon. This could be a physical object like a shirt, or a music album or a movie. Thus Fire Phone redefines the online shopping experience
> MyFitnessPal : For those who are concerned about their fitness, this feature would help to keep track of calorie and nutrition intake just by scanning the barcode of a raisin bran box they use
> Lyrics capture : Similar to its video recognition tricks, Firefly recognizes the lyrics of songs using Amazon’s database and displays them in real time. With a song playing, you can trigger the fire phone’s right panel (by tilting the phone that way) and follow along to a micro-karaoke machine.
> History : Firefly keeps the history of all the products you have inquired about in amazon. It’s a handy way for amazon to remind us to buy products that you have lusted. But it is also a reference for tracking all types of media and data that we might want to recall later for reasons other than shopping.
> Firefly SDK : Amazon has opened its SDK to developers for building more cool stuffs. The developers can make use of features like text recognizers, audio recognizers, image recognizers etc. in their custom app.
MayDay is Amazon’s new take on customer service, which let users call an Amazon tech expert 24/7, in case of any problem. When you hit the Mayday button, a tech expert will appear to solve all your problems. They can even draw on your screen to show you what you need to do. Mayday will now be accessible via Wi-Fi or AT&T’s 4G LTE data network.
Some of the other features of Fire OS include unlimited storage capability for your pictures, carousel feature where you will be able to scroll through different apps without actually opening it up. Also, when you buy Fire phone, your Amazon accounts is mapped to it. So as soon as you open the package it’s already customized for you. Amazing 3D effect is used when the user move his head to turn images. The phone has four front facing cameras these cameras track the head movement and moves accordingly.
Some of the demerits include no access to Google play store even though being an Android phone at the core. The native apps written for android are not supported by Fire OS, which limits the collection of apps available on the Amazon app store.
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