The new update to Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet might just be smarter than you think. Firefly, a smartphone and tablet application available on Kindle Fire Phone and Kindle Fire HDX tablets, listens to and identifies songs and shows playing around it (amongst other things), and will certainly patch up a sore spot for users who were fans of the now-defunct Google Goggles application. In its review of the Kindle Fire HDX (the newest members of the Kindle family), Business Insider mentions the fact that not only is the Kindle Fire HDX “super thin.” but also that it possesses a “gorgeous” screen that makes text and images look realistic.
Whatever your views on Amazon and its devices, it’s clear the Kindle has come a long way from simply being “that thing one keeps books on.” Now boasting a fully-packed library of apps, books, music, and games, the Fire flagship is certainly a powerhouse that is giving competitors like Google and Apple a run for their money. Amazon also brings Prime, its own streaming radio service, to paid customers on its devices.
All other improvements aside, Firefly is possibly the most important. While the Inquisitr reports that the Fire Phones are being waved away as nothing more than “shopping machines,” perhaps there is still end-user value for people who enjoy using Firefly. The Business Insider certainly seems to think so — it complimented the new application as “… work[ing] quickly” and called it “incredibly accurate.”
So, how does Firefly actually work? Tapping the application from the Kindle’s home screen brings you to a page full of shimmering stars that looks like it should adorn a child’s lullaby music player. Simply choose from either the note or TV icon at the top to tell Firefly that it should listen for a song or TV show, respectively. Firefly even gives you a friendly notification about when you’ve paused the camera, something Google Goggles users will recall didn’t happen on their devices of choice.
If you’re not impressed yet, you’ll be happy to know that Firefly can do more than just identify songs and TV shows. In a CNN article dated August, 2014, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos explained other features that Firefly boasts, including the ability to read QR codes, web addresses, and artwork. For anyone not currently carrying a Kindle Fire, Firefly may be a worthwhile feature to check out if you don’t mind Amazon effectively marketing their products to you.
In the end, Amazon may still have some things to work on with developing its Kindle ecosystem. Though Amazon’s Fire OS is essentially an offshoot of Android OS, Business Insider highlights the fact that users won’t be able to run Google apps like Gmail, Google Maps, and Chrome on Kindle Fire, which could frustrate some people. If you are a die-hard Android fan, you could consider sideloading Apps, or maybe just sticking around to see what else Kindle Fire will come up with in the next few years.