Amazon Fire OS 3.0 “Mojito” Introduced for Kindle Fire Tablets
Amazon.com today introduced Fire OS 3.0 “Mojito,” the next generation of software and services that powers the best-selling Kindle Fire tablets, with hundreds of updates and exclusive new features to give customers a simple OS experience with Android app compatibility. Fire OS starts with Android and adds:
- Low-level platform enhancements, including: the Optimizing Download Manager, re-designed graphics pipeline, Reading Mode, and improvements to touch latency for better performance.
- Productivity apps with enhanced email, documents, and enterprise support with hardware and software data encryption.
- Deep integration of the hardware, software and services to deliver features like X-Ray, the Mayday button, Second Screen, and more.
- Built-in media libraries for instant access to music, movies, apps, and games both stored on the device or in the cloud, and automatically syncs between them.
- Content-first user interface with both Carousel and Grid views.
- Cloud services like Whispersync, 1-Tap Archive and Cloud Collections.
Fire OS 3.0 is available exclusively on the all-new Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX—read a separate press release at: www.amazon.com/kindle-pr.
“Fire OS includes the core email and productivity apps, but we take a different approach when it comes to content,” said Dave Limp, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “Our content-first approach shapes the design of Fire OS—the home screen makes the most recent content items available instantly on the Carousel or Grid and customers can move between their media libraries both on the device and in the cloud with a simple tap. We’ve also deeply integrated Amazon services directly into Mojito, such as the Mayday button, Second Screen, X-Ray for Movies & TV shows, and now X-Ray for Music.”
“Fire OS lets developers offer their Android apps on Kindle Fire with little to no work,” said Mike George, Vice President, Amazon Appstore. “Developers can integrate services like Whispersync for Games, GameCircle, In-App Purchasing, and Amazon’s Mobile Associates into their apps to take advantage of the Amazon Appstore’s increased monetization and customer engagement.”
Fire OS features for Android apps and games:
- Native Android App Compatibility is supported by Fire OS, so if an app runs on Android it can run on Fire OS with little to no work. Fire OS is built from the Android open source kernel and runtime libraries and is consistently tested for Android app compatibility. Amazon also offers developers an integrated ecosystem for building, monetizing and marketing their apps and games for Fire OS, which results in better customer engagement.
- Support for HTML5 Apps allows developers to offer their web apps and mobile websites on Kindle Fire tablets to customers in the same, convenient way as mobile apps. As one of the only platforms to offer this level of HTML5 support, developers can submit and distribute mobile web content without using third-party software or any mobile development.
- GameCircle and Whispersync for Games give developers the opportunity to allow customers to sync their game progress and scores across devices, and to quickly integrate Achievements and Leaderboards into their games.
- In-App Purchasing and Mobile Associates lets developers give customers the opportunity to buy digital and physical items, such as toys, upgrades and game pieces from Amazon.com and use theirAmazon accounts to make the purchase directly from within an app.
- Amazon Device Messaging gives customers a single messaging platform for all their apps built on Amazon Web Services, which developers can take advantage of to send notifications to Kindle Fire tablets.
- Amazon Coins offers every new Kindle Fire customer 500 coins ($5) of virtual currency to use for purchasing apps, games, or in-app items on Kindle Fire. Amazon Coins is an easy way for customers to spend money on developers’ apps and offers another opportunity to drive traffic and app downloads increasing monetization even further.
- Accessibility Tools including Screen Reader, Explore by Touch and Screen Magnifier enable access to the vast majority of Fire OS features. Text-to-Speech for book reading features natural-sounding IVONA voices for the following languages: US, British and Australian English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and French Canadian. Fire OS 3.0 supports standard Android Text-to-Speech APIs, so developers can take advantage of IVONA voices for third-party apps.
Cloud services and user interface improvements:
- Carousel and Grid views let customers choose how they want to navigate their content. With a swipe, the redesigned Fire OS home screen easily switches between viewing their recent content on the Carousel or their favorites in Grid view.
- Cloud Collections organizes apps, books, newspapers, and magazines, making them easier to find. Collections are automatically stored in the cloud and Amazon’s Whispersync technology synchronizes collections across Kindle devices and apps.
- 1-Tap Archive frees up space on Kindle Fire tablets by identifying items that have not been used recently and provides a 1-tap option to store them in the Cloud for later retrieval.
- Kindle FreeTime gives parents the ability to more easily whitelist movies, books, apps and games appropriate for their kids’ enjoyment with the new “For Kids” suggestions.
- Social Integration gives customers OS-level sharing capabilities for Facebook and Twitter. With Facebook, customers also get contacts, events and photos integration.
Revolutionary Mayday Button:
- The Mayday Button delivers revolutionary on-device tech support and is available 24×7, 365 days a year, for free. 15 seconds or less is the Mayday response time goal. The Mayday button is built into Quick Settings and an Amazon expert will appear on the Fire HDX and can co-pilot a customer through any feature by drawing on the screen, walking them through how to do something themselves or doing it for them. See the separate press release and preview three upcoming TV ads that show how the Mayday button works: www.amazon.com/mayday.
Deeply-integrated content features:
- Goodreads is built into the reading experience, so customers can see what friends are reading, get recommendations, share quotes, and write reviews from within the book.
- X-Ray for Movies and TV now shows the names of TV theme or movie soundtrack songs as they play as well as trivia and goofs while watching a movie or TV show. Powered by IMDb, X-Ray for TV will also provide character backstories as the actor appears on screen.
- X-Ray Expands to Music with synchronized lyrics that lets customers follow along line-by-line with a song. Lyrics are available even when Kindle Fire is not connected to Wi-Fi or 4G.
- Second Screen allows customers to fling content from their Fire to their TV, turning the TV into the primary screen and freeing up their Fire as a second screen to email, browse the web, play a game, or follow along scene-by-scene with X-Ray. The Fire screen is not just a mirror image of the TV. Instead, when the customer flings the video to the TV, Fire syncs the video and the X-Ray data in the cloud and streams the video directly to the TV, so the quality of the video is not dependent the tablet’s processor or networking. The customer can even take their tablet to another room and leave the video playing on the TV.
- Quiet Time, directly accessed from the quick settings menu, lets you mute all incoming notifications or calendar reminders. In addition, Quiet Time can be tied to a particular activity such as reading.
- Quick Switch uses a global swipe gesture from anywhere in the system to go between multiple apps, and unlike standard Android, works with individual content items like different textbooks without navigating home.
Low-level platform enhancements:
- Optimizing Download Manager enables parallel content downloads. Unlike standard Android, Fire OS adjusts the number of simultaneous downloads per device, so that foreground app performance is not impacted by background download activity. In addition, the Optimizing Download Manager automatically pauses ongoing content downloads when the customer starts streaming an Amazon Instant Video to maximize video quality. Customers can prioritize individual items to download first, and with progressive download they can open videos, Audible audiobooks, or magazines and start enjoying them while the download is still ongoing.
- Graphics Direct Texture replaces the standard Android graphics pipeline. The Fire OS graphics system is customized to quickly load large graphical assets like the high-resolution cover art in the Fire OS home screen. Graphics Direct Texture enables the Carousel and the Fire OS media libraries to include large, detailed images and still load quickly and scroll smoothly.
- Touch Responsiveness is improved by low-level changes to the way Fire OS 3.0 handles taps and swipes. For example, the system dynamically increases the CPU speed after the customer lifts their finger off the screen, to minimize touch latency in games and apps. And when a customer taps an app in the Carousel or Grid views, the system removes unnecessary OS overhead activities and drives the app start animation directly to the GPU, so that the app starts to open immediately.
- Reading Mode gives customers up to 17 hours of battery life when reading. Fire OS automatically powers down unnecessary system components when customers are reading static pages, storing the text in a dedicated, low-power memory, and powering down the CPU.
New enterprise and productivity features:
- Enhanced Email makes it easier to set up email accounts, and groups conversations by subject with threaded messaging and sync.
- Printing support for wireless printers is now available for documents.
- Enterprise Support with software data encryption on Kindle Fire HD and hardware data encryption on Kindle Fire HDX; the ability to connect to secure enterprise Wi-Fi networks and access corporate apps, documents and resources like SharePoint; native VPN client for instant access to corporate networks; a native SCEP (Simple Certificate Exchange Protocol) client to retrieve digital certificates for secure resources; and a rich set of Kindle-specific device management APIs that integrate with a wide range of existing mobile device management (MDM) systems, including Amazon’s Whispercast service and 3rd party vendors like AirWatch, Citrix, Fiberlink, Good Technology and SOTI. Fire OS 3.0 also supports Kerberos authentication, which enables seamless enterprise single sign-on and the ability to browse secure Intranet websites from the Silk browser on Kindle Fire.
Developers consistently report how simple it is to bring their Android apps to the Fire OS platform and how they see increased monetization and engagement with their apps and games on Kindle Fire. Here’s what they have to say:
Imangi Studios is the creator of the popular game Temple Run. “We’ve integrated with Amazon’s In-App Purchasing and GameCircle APIs, which was a breeze,” says Keith Shephard, CEO of Imangi Studios. “We’ve seen significantly higher customer engagement with Temple Run since the integration, making the few, short steps worth it.”
“Since the launch of the very first Kindle Fire, Gameloft has been a strong believer in Amazon’s ability to bring a great user experience to digital gamers,” said Baudouin Corman, VP of Publishing for theAmericas, Gameloft, developers of Asphalt 8 & Despicable Me: Minon Rush. “From recommendations and reviews to GameCircle, Amazon is building the kind of strong ecosystem we want for our products.”
“Amazon continues to monetize incredibly well for us,” said Mike Sandwick, Manager of Strategic Partnerships, TinyCo, the mobile gaming developers behind Tiny Village. “Kindle Fire devices consistently deliver high LTVs across all of our titles.”
“We’re extremely happy with the per-user monetization we’ve achieved on Amazon with our games,” said Arlin Schaffel at Noodlecake Studios, publisher of Super Stickman Golf. “We regularly see more than double the per-user spend on Amazon compared to other app stores. As Amazon continues to expand worldwide, we’re excited to see our revenue grow along with them.”
Fire OS 3.0 is available exclusively on the all-new Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX tablets. Some of these features will be available mid-November as part of the free, over-the-air Fire OS 3.1 updatewww.amazon.com/fireos.
Developers can learn more about Fire OS 3.0 at http://developer.amazon.com/sdk/fireos.html.