That’s right, with an upcoming software update, your Amazon Fire Tablet becomes an Echo Show. The update, called “Show Mode,” is Amazon’s newest effort to make Alexa an everyday name. If you already have a case with a stand, you can simply set your tablet up in it, swipe down on the screen to activate Show Mode, and ta-da! You have a makeshift Echo Show. You can now use your voice to check the weather, sports score, compose messages and more.
The microphone on a Fire Tablet isn’t quite as strong as the one on a true Echo Show, of course. That said, in a relatively quiet space, the tablet should have no trouble picking you up. If you’ve never used Alexa before, prepare to be impressed. If you have, however, you might notice that she’s a little quieter here in her new housing. The tablet doesn’t have terribly strong speakers, either. If you connect your tablet to a Bluetooth speaker you can remedy that, though.
Show Mode Charger
Amazon is also prepared for the cries of “this isn’t even that useful.” How so, you ask? Why, with the Show Mode charging stand! The charging stands will be available for the HD 8 and HD 10 tablets and will effectively turn your tablet into a full-blown Echo Show. Setting the tablet upright and charging it at the same time, the charging stand lets you just put the tablet in Show Mode and walk away. There are a few downsides, though. The first is the lack of any extra microphones: you’ll be stuck with the tablet’s existing, sub-par mics. The other is the price tag, running at $40 for the HD 8 and $55 for the HD 10. That’s kind of pricey for a glorified metal stand with a charging cable running along it.
If you already have a Fire Tablet, congratulations! It’s now an awkward, scaled-down Alexa device. You’re going to get a kick out of this, and it’s a free update. If you don’t own one already, though, this won’t be pushing you to get one. You might as well just get an Echo Show if an Alexa-enabled display is something you want. If the display isn’t a concern, the Echo Spot is a great device, and it only costs around $40. Still, this is cool news for those who already own one of Amazon’s tablets!