kindle fire

Official: Fire OS 3.1 Announced by Amazon, Brings Goodreads Integration, Screen Sharing to TV and More

November 18, 2013 - Written By Andrew Port

Today, Amazon announced the arrival of the new Fire OS that would be provided for the Fire HDX and Fire HD Tablets that Amazon produce. This update, which will be provided for free over-the-air, will become available in the “coming weeks”, according to a report by The Next Web.

This update provides a litany of new features, most predominant of which is the integration of Goodreads directly into the OS. The company bought Goodreads earlier this year in March, and seemed to make it obvious that it was coming to all of Amazon’s tablets when an ad for its new line of Paperwhite tablets indicated coming support for it.

Kindle Paperwite

The value in this is that readers no longer have to exit the book they’re reading to open the Goodreads App, but can actually share quotes and other memorable parts of the literature with their friends directly from the book itself. Saves a lot of time, and seems like a good move to me. Amazon’s Press Release lists a number of other Goodreads integrations:

  • Effortlessly capture and share favorite quotes with Goodreads friends from inside the book
  • See what friends are reading with the Goodreads updates feed and add books to your want-to-read shelf, making choosing a new book easier than ever
  • Rate and review a book you’ve just finished and immediately share it with Goodreads friends
  • Import all of the books you’ve purchased from Amazon—print and Kindle books—into your Goodreads account

Along with that is the ability to share your screen with a second one — your TV. Essentially it’s a means of casting your TV shows and movies onto your home TV, while also being able to use your tablet as a remote control. While the video is being cast on the TV, you can also browse the web, write an email, and the like; similar to the Chromecast’s functionality. The only difference from what the Chromecast offers, as a matter of fact, is what apps you can stream content from, and what you can stream via — the Screen Share functionality currently only works with Samsung Smart TV OS and PlayStation 3 (with PlayStation 4 support coming later this year). The new OS will also allow for connectivity to a business’ enterprise servers, making it a suitable device for the work place as well.

You can find the rest of Amazon’s official Release Notes below. What do you all think of the new OS by Amazon? Do you intend on updating if you have a Kindle?

  • Cloud Collections helps you organize your books, newspapers, magazines, and apps in customized collections for easy reference, and Amazon’s Whispersync technology synchronizes the collections across your Kindle devices and reading apps so they’re available on all of your devices.
  • Voice dictation converts your speech to text—available in all languages when online; offline support available in US English.
  • 1-Tap archive which frees up space on your Kindle Fire by identifying items that have not been recently used and provides a 1-tap option to store them in the Cloud for later retrieval.
  • Wireless printing of photos, PDF, e-mails, contacts, calendar and docs.
  • New accessibility enhancements that enable blind and visually impaired customers to save a separate accessibility profile for children in Kindle FreeTime, scroll lists automatically when swipe navigating, hear enhanced sound feedback and screen orientation changes announced, and have more control when editing text and navigating web content.
  • Dozens more new features, performance and battery life improvements, and bug fixes.

Kindle Fire HDX 7″, HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB – Includes Special Offers