The PR people from Amazon got in touch after I published my review of the new Amazon Fire Phone (Amazon Fire Phone: Nice but nothing to get fired up about). They had a couple of points they asked me to clarify:
- The app I referred to as "Magic Window" is now called "Firefly" which, they concluded, implied I had been sent a Fire Phone loaded with old software
- My experience with "Mayday", the remote assistance app, was probably due to the old software
- They wanted to make it clear that they will have support for Bluetooth LE in the future; "... the hardware capabilities are in place so it’s just a matter of getting a software update out to customers, which we are working toward."
I was, I admit, rather annoyed to think they had sent me the wrong product but, as it turned out, they sent me a second Fire Phone which turned out to be identical to the first one with "Magic Window" instead of "Firefly." Then I realized what the problem might be: Perhaps the phone needed an over-the-air update. Yep, there it was in the "Settings" app in the "Device" section: "Install system updates".
Now I find this all rather odd because when I initialized it the Fire Phone didn't tell me that an update was available. Moreover after initialization, it didn't pop up a notice to warn me either. Given that without such notifications many customers will not know to do an update it seems quite a problem for marketing if the "Firefly" app, a key feature of the product, isn't called "Firefly" and "Mayday" has performance problems.
As for "Mayday", yep, it did seem to work much better following the update and it has to be one of the coolest features I've seen for ensuring end user satisfaction.
I guess Amazon now has so many moving parts to its organization that keeping marketing, PR, and engineering headed in the same direction is getting tough.
Even so, I still think the Fire Phone is a solid product even if it's not well-differentiated from the leading market brands ...
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