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How the Amazon Fire Phone Works

Other Features
Your Amazon support person can’t see you, but you can see her.
Your Amazon support person can’t see you, but you can see her.
Image courtesy of

One major perk of the phone is Mayday, also available on the Kindle Fire HDX tablet. The virtual Mayday button allows you to get 24/7 live video technical support. You can see and hear an Amazon support person, but they can only hear you. They can talk you through problems and even draw on your screen to point you in the right direction. Amazon's goal for Mayday is a response within 15 seconds, much faster than the average telephone support call pickup. You can use Mayday via WiFi or cellular, but the latter will count toward your data usage.

There are also lots of Amazon Fire Phone functionalities that aren't entirely exclusive to the new device, but also work on some Kindle Fire tablets, Kindle e-readers and in apps on other devices, as well. These include the following:

  • Second Screen -- Lets you cast a movie or TV show from your phone to your television, provided you have Amazon Fire TV, a PlayStation 3 or 4 or a compatible recent Samsung smart TV. Once you've sent something to your TV, you can use your phone as the controller, or use it to view information about what's on the screen.
  • X-Ray -- Allows you to easily call up information about books, movies, TV shows or songs as they play, including synopses, character information, trivia and lyrics, and will even let you do things like purchase music that's playing in a show you're watching. "X-Ray" gets the information from IMDb (an Amazon owned company), Shelfari, YouTube and Wikipedia.
  • ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) -- This cuts down on video buffering time by learning what movies and TV shows you like to watch and getting them ready for you in advance. It's also incorporated into Fire TV.

There are two features that work with the Kindle and Audible apps on multiple devices, including the new Fire Phone, Kindle Fire tablets, certain Kindle e-readers and Android and iOS phones and tablets. Both of the following require that you purchase the e-book and the audio version:

  • Whispersync for Voice -- Allows you to go back and forth between a Kindle e-book and its Audible audiobook counterpart so that you can progress through the book using both formats without losing your place. This will work across multiple devices, so you can switch from phone to computer and back and still keep your place in the narrative.
  • Immersion Reading -- Lets you read an e-book and play the Audible audiobook at the same time by hitting a play button from within the e-book. The appropriate text is highlighted as the audio plays. This is purported to increase reading comprehension and retention. These features are also available on most Kindle Fire tablets, and "Whispersync for Voice" is also available on certain Kindle e-readers.

Audible is also owned by Amazon. These reading features will work for about 15,000 titles to start. Anything that says it supports Whispersync for Voice also supports Immersion Reading.