While many people may have forgotten about it altogether, Amazon hasn’t left the users of its Fire smartphone behind. The company just released an update to the device that’s based on Android 4.4 “KitKat,” and provides the handful of loyal Fire phone users with some key, long-awaited improvements to the device.
The update includes the important addition of an emoji keyboard, which will allow users to finally get with the times and start sending fun smiley faces to their friends. According to Ars Technica, the keyboard uses Android’s stock emoji images, rather than a set tailor-made by Amazon for use on its mobile devices. The Android 4.4 foundation also allows users to take advantage of Bluetooth Low Energy, since that’s also built into KitKat.
The update also now allows users to change the wallpaper on their device’s home screen, something that seems like it should have been around during the phone’s launch, but that Amazon apparently neglected to include until now. At any rate, it’s here, so users can now modify their home screen wallpaper to their heart’s content.
There’s one nifty feature inluded in the update that takes advantage of the Fire phone’s marquee “Dynamic Perspective” feature. Users can shoot video, and then get it converted into a 3D-like lenticular image that can then be set as their lock screen wallpaper. After that, it will use the phone’s front-facing infrared cameras to track a user’s face and make the image follow them around.
Of course, that’s not to say Fire phone users are getting the state of the art when it comes to versions of Android. Google released version 5.1 of its mobile operating system a couple months ago. The delay isn’t surprising, however, since Amazon is rolling its own version of Android and must build out its own update once Google pushes out a change to Android.