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Amazon still adding new features to Fire Phone despite massive flop

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Amazon's not giving up on its first phone

For a whole slew of reasons, Amazon's first smartphone has turned out to be a dud with consumers. Experiments are, by their very nature, prone to failure," CEO Jeff Bezos recently told Business Insider. But the company isn't abandoning people who actually bought into the Fire Phone experiment; it's just rolled out a new update that packages some new features and numerous bug fixes. FireFly, one of the phone's more unique features, can now automatically translate text using the built-in camera; it's also picked up the ability to recognize and identify famous works of art. Amazon says over 2,000 paintings are supported, and it'll provide Wikipedia background for anything it successfully recognizes.

The Fire Phone's pretty decent camera is getting better, as well. Amazon's latest update adds a new feature called Best Shot that lets users pick between three different versions of each shot they take in hopes of getting the perfect exposure. There are also new things that probably should've shipped on Fire Phone from the start; these include call blocking, calendar syncing across Fire devices, VPN support, and the ability to add custom ringtones to your phone. (No, that somehow wasn't possible before.) All of these additions first debuted on the unlocked $199 Fire Phone, but AT&T users will need to install the software update to get them. Amazon continuing to iterate shouldn't necessarily come as a surprise. After all, the company has pledged that one misfire won't detail its greater smartphone plans.