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Amazon Fire Tablets Updated With a “Blue Shade” Light Filter For Better Night-Time Reading

Amazon is about to give you another excuse to continue reading late into the night long after you should have gone to sleep.

The retailer is rolling out an update for the Fire tablets which add a new reading feature as well as improved parental controls and a kid-friendly web browser. The update will be coming to all tablets running Fire OS Bellini (only this year’s tablets ATM, but eventually also last year’s models).

Since this is an ebook blog, let’s cover the most important one first. Blue Shade is Amazon’s solution to the night reading problem.

blue shade

We’ve known for years and years that the light from an LCD shining in your face can disrupt your sleep patterns. It’s a known problem with a dozen solutions ranging from apps that change the color tone late at night to yellow sunglasses, and there are even a dozen different apps for Android, iPhone, and iPad that will tint your screen to reduce the blue light being emitted (this tends to make screens look more yellow or red).

  • Want to read that last chapter from the comfort of your bed? Simply turn on Blue Shade, an exclusive new Amazon feature that works behind the scenes to adjust and optimize the display on Fire tablets for a more comfortable nighttime reading experience. Blue Shade uses specialized filters to limit exposure to blue light. It also offers warm color filters and the ability to lower the display brightness to an ultra-low level for comfortable nighttime reading—even in a dark room.

That’s nice, but don’t forget that the best solution is to put down the damned gadget.

Other new features in the update include:

Activity Center

  • For parents with kids who have outgrown Amazon FreeTime but are not yet ready to be without parental controls, Activity Center provides an easy way for parents to see how their kids are spending time on their tablet.

Kid-Friendly Web Browser

  • Amazon FreeTime, the innovative parental controls that encourage learning before play and that help manage kids’ screen time, is now even better with a kid-friendly web browser that provides kids with controlled access to more than 40,000 hand-curated, age-appropriate YouTube videos and websites. Once parents turn this feature on, kids can dive into the content immediately with no additional set up or extra costs.



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Frank December 2, 2015 um 1:12 pm

It is nice feature to have built-in, since some people are reading LCD screens at night.

Anne December 3, 2015 um 7:21 am

Is there a link to Amazon? Is there an update version number? I can’t find any info on Amazon’s site.

Nate Hoffelder December 3, 2015 um 9:05 am

@ Anne I couldn’t find it either. I had to ask Amazon PR for the details.

Rob Siders December 3, 2015 um 8:02 am

I’ve been using blue blocking glosses while I work for the last few months. It’s been a big help. I imagine this feature will be a plus, as well.

Jason December 3, 2015 um 12:09 pm

Do you know if any of the new features in Fire os 5 are coming to the first version of the HDX 7′?

Nate Hoffelder December 3, 2015 um 12:16 pm

@ Jason

These features are only going to be added to Fire OS Bellini, and I was told that only last year’s tablets would be getting updated to the new OS.

So the HDX 7 won’t be getting the features, no.

Jason December 3, 2015 um 1:09 pm

That actually kinda sucks. Oh well.

Google Play Books' Night Light Feature Makes It Easier To Read At Night | The Digital Reader December 16, 2015 um 9:48 am

[…] we all remember from Amazon's launch of the Blue Shade light filter on the Fire tablets a few weeks back, staring at an LCD screen late at night harms your sleeping […]

Here's What Blue Shade Looks Like on the Fire Tablet | The Digital Reader December 18, 2015 um 7:43 am

[…] got a bunchaton of coverage when it was announced a couple weeks ago, and I'm sure we all read how the new filter makes the Fire tablet's screen emit less and less […]

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