Amazon is preparing an over-the-air update to its major Fire tablets, including the Fire HD 10, Fire HD 8, and the $50 Fire tablet, adding a few new features to Fire OS 5 Bellini. The update will add three new features.
The first new feature is Blue Shade, a new display optimization program that limits exposure to blue light at night while reading. According to Amazon, Blue Shade will turn display brightness to an ultra-low level, while still making the text visible enough to read comfortably.
Blue light on a display limits the production of melatonin, which assists the body in going to sleep. So reducing blue light should allow readers to go to sleep quicker and wake up feeling ready and alert. Users will be able to turn the setting on or off with one tap, via the Blue Shade quick settings.
Amazon is also adding more parental controls for parents with kids that have outgrown FreeTime — a subscription service that offers child-friendly content for $2.99 per month. Instead of letting their children loose with a tablet, parents can check up on what books they’ve read, Internet searches, and more through the Activity Center.
Speaking of FreeTime, Amazon is adding a new kid-friendly web browser with 40,000 curated web pages for kids to browse. The web browser will be tailored to sites that have been approved by Amazon, similar to YouTube Kids.
Amazon already pushed most of the Fire OS 5 features when it launched the Fire HD 10 and HD 8 in October. This appears to be the first update to Fire OS 5.
Launching two kid-focused features just before the holiday season ends points to strong sales for the Kids Edition of the Fire tablet. We can understand why the Fire tablet is so popular for parents with young children — it is cheap, offers a good amount of control, and Amazon sells it with a strong rubber case to prevent accidents, all of which is the polar opposite of Apple’s iPad.