New Kindle Fire OS 3.1 Tackles Google's Chromecast

Amazon customers who own the new Kindle Fire HDX tablets are in for a treat, as the company just launched Fire OS 3.1, which is packed with a list of new features for both the consumer and businesses. One such feature is the deep integration of Goodreads, the world's largest community of book lovers. For the very first time, Goodreads is integrated directly into the reading experience, so Kindle HDX owners have no need to leave a book and open a Goodreads app.

Another feature brought to the platform is Second Screen, which seemingly brings the Google Chromecast experience to the new Kindle tablets, allowing owners to fling TV shows and movies to a big-screen TV. Thus with the content on the larger screen, the tablet is freed up to provide playback controls, allow owners to send an email, browse the Internet, view X-Ray info and more. Second Screen is available on Samsung TVs and the PlayStation 3, and is coming to the PlayStation 4 later this year.

"Fire OS 3.1 delivers 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; and a native SCEP (Simple Certificate Exchange Protocol) client to retrieve digital certificates for secure resources," reads the Amazon press release. "Fire OS also now supports Kerberos authentication, which enables the ability to browse secure Intranet websites from the Silk browser."

The announcement also said that the new Kindle Fire tablets include Kindle-specific device management APIs that integrate with existing mobile device management (MDM) systems to make it easy for IT departments to manage Kindle Fire.

On a more consumer-friendly level, the new platform provides Cloud Collections, which helps users organize their books, newspapers, magazines and apps in customized collections. Whispersync synchronizes the collections across all Kindle devices and reading apps so they're available on all devices. Other features include voice dictation that converts speech to text, one-tap archiving, wireless printing of photos, PDF, emails, contacts, calendars and docs, new accessibility enhancements, and dozens more features.

"The response to our new family of Kindle Fire tablets has been fantastic, and we're excited to add new features we think our customers will love," said Peter Larsen, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. "This free, over-the-air Fire OS update brings new features like Goodreads integration, Second Screen, Cloud Collections, enterprise support, wireless printing, and more."

This free, over-the-air update will be delivered automatically in the coming weeks, or owners can head here to download and install the update starting today.

  • JD88
    This doesn't have anything to do with the Chromecast. You still have to have a secondary device hooked up to the TV. Yeah they copied the basic principle, but until they sell something for $35 that lets you do it, they don't really have anything.
  • Achoo22
    That this update is only available for the latest tablet is a very good reason to avoid buying Amazon-branded devices. The first HD has a camera and microphone - features touted as being new on the HDX, they just don't have proper software support because Amazon has completely failed to stay current with the Android trunk they're based on. There's no reason to believe that Amazon will do any better with the HDX. Rather, this large update comes now because Amazon's dev teams couldn't make the deadlines incorporating all the planned features.
  • chicobiker
    So what they gave it was a chromecast like app, nothing more.