Amazon Rolls Out Update for Fire Tablets, Adds Firefly

Firefly was just about the only truly useful and unique feature on the Fire Phone, and it is coming soon to Amazon's Fire tablets.

Android Police reports that the sultan of Seattle is in the middle of pushing out a firmware update to Fire tablets  in the US, UK, and Germany which adds Firefly.


Soon Fire tablet owners will be able to use their tablet's camera to identify 245,000 movies and TV episodes, 160 live TV channels, and 35 million songs. They'll be able to take a photo of an actor, barcode, or cover image, and use IMDb for X-Ray to get more information about a movie or TV show.

I don't have any first-hand reports yet so there's no way to tell just how many Firefly features will be added to the Fire tablets, but on the Fire Phone Firefly recognizes text (email and phone numbers) and can pull up nutritional info based on a photo taken of a food item. It also can use the Fire Phone's mike to recognize song lyrics.

Naturally, a camera and microphone is required, and so Firefly won't be available on all Fire tablets. My tablet, for example, lacks a camera but has recently received an update. But it is already available on the new Fire HDX 8.9, and has been for some time.

Amazon started rolling out the update a couple days ago (that's when I got the update), and will be pushing it to Fire tablets over the next few weeks.

Update: A reader has reported that his Fire HD6 tablet also got an update a couple days ago which did not add Firefly. This raises doubts whether this report is true. Thanks, Tom!

About Nate Hoffelder (11223 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

11 Comments on Amazon Rolls Out Update for Fire Tablets, Adds Firefly

  1. My Fire HD6 got an update (to FireOS 4.5.3) a day or two ago, but it does not include FireFly. I would note that Android Police does not include a source for their report, and I don’t know how accurate their reporting is generally, so as much as I want to believe it is true, I’m holding out for evidence.

    The new HDX 8.9 has had it for awhile, of course. As you point out, it requires a mic (for music/movie detection) and camera (for text recognition). HD6 and new HD7 have these, as does the ‘old’ HDX 8.0, but HDX7 lacks a rear facing camera, and the front-facing one is probably not of sufficient resolution (assuming you could even aim it properly), so it might only be capable of audio recognition.

    • I saw the report in a couple other places.

      If you say that you didn’t get it then I’m inclined to think this report is bad. I doubt Amazon would roll out two updates in such a short time.

    • So it is there, but in the notification tray, not as an app as it appears on the Fire Phone. Odd that they would not mention it explicitly in the update notes.

  2. So, this isn’t the Josh Whedon show they’re adding? Rats.

    My update happened a day or so ago. I forget exactly when. Didn’t really notice any changes so far.

  3. Will they roll the firefly update to the voyage / paperwhite?

  4. I got an update a couple of days ago, too. No Firefly for me, either.

  5. There is at least one person on the Mobileread forum that says Firefly arrived on their HD6 with the last update. My HD6 is still currently Firefly free, but updated yesterday.

  6. I got Firefly on my Fire6 with the latest update. I posted a couple of picture I took with my phone of how it sits in the swipe down on There is also a firefly icon that got placed on my home page below the carousel.
    The person that started that thread did also get it, but others didn’t. Its the same OS update number so I am confused why some would have it and others don’t. For me the firefly sits in the swipe down menu in the place where others have the quiet time. I don’t have quiet time in the menu.

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