The most interesting feature so far is called Firefly, which has its own dedicated button on the Fire phone. Firefly is a built-in image recognition app which can identify product for sale, ensuring your credit card is only a tap away. Bezos demonstrated the feature with a Nutella jar, but the service also applies to music and video.
Amazon has also opened up a Firefly API, allowing developers to build Firefly into their apps. Here’s just one example from the Fire Phone liveblog: buy food or supplements, and import those items’ nutritional information into MyFitnessPal. This could be one way to get companies creating custom apps for the Fire Phone’s app store instead of just porting over their plain Android apps.
Despite the above snarky title, Amazon can easily make the Fire phone the phone of choice for buyers who want to live in Android-land.
Here’s how to dominate the Android ecosystem in 3 simple steps:
- Amazon needs to ensure UX is dialed in. Samsung, HTC, and even Google all have their collective heads up their asses when it comes to UX. Read this phablet guy’s rant to see just how much that’s true. Fire is a “kindle in your pocket”, and your tech-phobic mom can wrap her head around that.
- A free year of prime makes it $99 cheaper than the iPhone. But consider an even bolder step: Amazon can really shake things up and subsidize the phone based on increased future purposes.
- Once that’s done, they can make the penultimate move, which is to enable truly ubiquitous mobile experiences. For example, Amazon currently limits video streaming to Wifi on iPhones and other Android phones. Now imagine unlimited streaming of exclusive content from Fire phones — that would make even Apple blink. Even better, what if you place an order on Amazon and the phone enables a “deliver right now to a nearby Amazon locker” feature? It’s not too far fetched to authenticate and open a locker with your phone.
Well, how about it Amazon?