Amazon announced it's expanding hands-free mode to Alexa voice assistant on the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 tablets. In a new firmware update, Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 users will be able to trigger Alexa hands-free with their voice, rather than having to press and hold the tablets' home screen button to launch the voice assistant.
Amazon previously supported Alexa hands-free on its flagship Fire HD 10 tablet. Amazon says the hands-free feature will rollout to the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 for free, later this week.
To enable or disable Alexa hands-free, on the Fire 7, Fire HD 8, and Fire HD 10 tablets:
- Download the latest over-the-air software update when it's available.
- Swipe down from the top of your tablet's Home screen.
- Tap the Settings (gear) icon.
- Tap Alexa, then tap the switch for Hands-Free Mode.
Amazon said to use Alexa hands-free functionality on the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 tablets across the room, users will need to plugin their tablet to a power source.
Amazon prices the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 tablets at $49.99 and $79.99 respectively. With hands-free Alexa access, Amazon has turned its cheap Fire tablets into a make-shift, cheaper Echo Show or Echo Spot.
The Alexa voice assistant, found across Amazon and third-party devices, enables users to use their voice for to-do lists, news, and weather, and other real time information. Alexa can also control smart devices via Skills.
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The new mode is one of multiple updates AWS announced related to enabling AI and machine learning.