In the latest update for Amazon’s Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 tablets, you can now use them as hands-free Alexa speakers. This feature is already available on the Fire HD 10, and the company is now expanding it to other recent tablets released last year. Once the latest software update rolls out to the devices, you’ll be able to use Alexa’s full array of voice commands whenever the tablet’s display is turned on.
To use this functionality from across the room when the tablet is asleep, though, your Fire tablet must be plugged into a power source. Amazon warns that even some low-power USB ports won’t be enough, but a hands-free Alexa could be convenient when you’re traveling.
Alexa on Fire tablets will also give visual content with some of its responses. So, as with the Echo Show and Echo Spot, you can have it pull up a feed from one of your smart home security cameras. And in cases where there are multiple Alexa-enabled devices around, Alexa will respond from the closest one, thanks to its ESP (Echo Spatial Perception) capabilities.
Once you’ve received and installed the latest Kindle Fire software update for the 7 or HD 8, enabling the new feature is rather simple. Just swipe down from the top of the display to get to quick settings and toggle it on.
If you are using VoiceView, launch Settings > Alexa and select the check box for hands-free mode.