The Amazon Fire Phone has finally made an appearance after what seems like years of waiting, sporting a bunch of fancy features and a brand new style of smartphone operating system.
But what makes this Amazon operating system different from the regular Android operating system we’ve become so used to? Can it really compete?
Well to help you out, we’ve decided to take a look at the new Fire OS, and show you just how it compares to the latest Android version!
The Amazon Fire Phone is powered by the Fire OS version 3.5.0, which is based on the Android operating system, with a hefty Amazon twist.
But whilst the system is based on the Android system, it doesn’t take heavily from the hugely popular software, in fact deviating from it in almost every area.
This makes for a pretty interesting match-up between the two systems now; placing both squarely against each other in the operating system battles, alongside the likes of iOS and Windows Phone.
Android users will be gritting their teeth when looking at the features included on the Amazon Fire OS, secretly wishing that they were getting the same treatment, but for now, these Amazon features are sticking strictly with the Fire Phone.
The first most notable difference between any smartphone operating systems is obviously the design, and that’s no different here, despite being so closely related.
A fresh design is topped with a three panel design for Amazon apps, meaning you can swipe when a song’s playing to see lyrics and information, rather than having it stuffed onto one main panel.
A carousel feature on the main page also allows users to pin any amount of apps into a quick access area, meaning your more frequently used apps are right in front of you, whilst less used features can be tucked away behind the menus.
Ever had a problem with your smartphone which you simply can’t figure out? Normally, this would require a decent amount of time spent asking Google, or scouring through countless forums to find the answer, not so with the Amazon OS.
Mayday originally featured on the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet line, giving you access to a real Amazon tech support worker via webcam to help you solve your problem. It promises to connect you through no matter what hour of the day within 15 seconds, making troubleshooting faster than ever!
Brand new for the Amazon Fire Phone, Firefly works by turning your smartphone into an incredibly intelligent shop window, recognising millions of songs, TV shows and films, and then directing you to the Amazon store to make a purchase if you wish.
It also helps pull phone numbers, email addresses and other contact information from anything you point your phone at, meaning you won’t be typing long email addresses into your contact lists anymore!
Admittedly more of a feature from the phone than the OS, but the Amazon Fire OS supports the feature incredibly well; even boasting some amazing wallpapers to show off the feature to its full potential.
The feature also allows scrolling, swiping and other navigation without having you use your fingers, simply by tilting the device in certain ways in relation to your face.
It helps on maps as well, showing buildings like Big Ben and the Empire State Building standing far above smaller, more diminutive buildings.
One of the key areas holding the Amazon OS back is that it isn’t Google based; meaning apps like Gmail, Google Docs and Google Maps aren’t included on the handset, something which could prove a deal breaker for some.
Also, the Amazon Phone doesn’t feature the Google Play Store, meaning the catalogue of apps is far smaller than the likes of Android and Apple handsets. Windows Phone had a similar problem when it first got out into the public domain, and it certainly didn’t help its cause.
The good news for Amazon fans is that the key apps most of us rely on are all there already; meaning Facebook, Twitter etc. won’t be missing.
When it comes down to the nitty gritty, Amazon has produced a well thought out and incredibly useful operating system for its debutant smartphone.
Its features give it a good leg to stand on from the get-go, and whilst it might not boast all the apps you might find on the likes of Android and iOS handsets, it should be able to build a good selection soon enough.
Simply put, Amazon has cleared the first hurdle that faces any new style smartphone, hopefully we’ll be able to see updates come thick and fast to help it evolve from a good first go, to a top-notch OS, which could make it one of the premier pieces of kit on the market.
Written by Luke Hatfield