6 things Amazon’s Fire Phone can do that your smartphone can’t

Jeff Bezo's Fire Phone may look gimmicky, but it's got some cool tricks the iPhone doesn't

Jeff Bezo’s Fire Phone may look gimmicky, but it’s got some cool tricks the iPhone doesn’t. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Amazon introduced its first smartphone to the world this morning and while the jury is still out on whether its incredible Dynamic Perspective feature is a UI revolution or just another 3-D gimmick, Jeff Bezos and the Amazon team have pumped Fire Phone full of features that could make it more than just the world’s best buying machine.

From Firefly’s compulsive-purchasing features to Mayday’s instant tech-support tether, Fire Phone has a few tricks up its sleeve that we weren’t expecting. But will that be enough to convince consumers to buy one of the AT&T-exclusive phones?

Check out these six things your iPhone and Android can’t do, but Fire Phone can:

Peek to show Yelp ratings in maps

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Amazon’s goal with Dynamic Perspective is to save users’ digits from excessive tapping. So, to get quick access to Yelp reviews in Fire Phone’s maps app, all you have to do is peek around the corner to see which Indian food joints are rocking 4.5 stars, and which diarrhea traps are struggling to notch 2 gold stars.

Scroll through web pages with one hand

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Samsung’s Air Gesture lets you swipe through Web pages by waving your hand over your phone, but Amazon has made it so you only need one limb to scroll through sites with Fire Phone’s new gestures, which merely require a gentle tilt.

Purchase concert tickets by listening to a song

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Siri will help you find out which band is playing over the speakers in your supermarket, but Fire Phone will get you a front row seat to their next show. Fireflying music brings up a StubHub option to buy tickets and will let you view the stadium as if you’re already there. Or you can use Firefly to instantly create a playlist, thanks to its iHeartRadio integration.

Recognize what movie is playing

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Fire Phone can predict what movies and shows you want to watch before you even know that you do, thanks to the ASAP feature that pre-caches videos so they start playing as soon as you tap Play. It can also recognize what movie you’re watching just by listening to the audio.

Request live tech support

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Amazon baked Kindle’s popular Mayday feature into the Fire Phone, putting a live expert on your device via video chat to help out with all your technical problems. Want to know how to edit a photo? Just tap Mayday and an Amazon expert can walk you through the process and even take control of your phone. Mayday support is totally free, and unlike waiting at the Genius Bar, Amazon promises to get you an expert within 15 seconds.

Sequester you in a world with fewer apps

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The fanciest UI tricks in the world don’t mean a thing if apps don’t support them, and Amazon’s Appstore is an absolute desert. SDKs for Firefly and Dynamic Perspective were released for developers to try crazy new things with their apps, but the decision to not use stock Android means devs will have to build separate apps just for Fire Phone, leaving users trapped with the fourth-best app catalog on mobile. Who’s going to want that?

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