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Image credit: Beck Diefenbach / Reuters

Alexa hands-free mode is available on Fire 7 and 8 HD tablets

An update allows for smart home control with just your voice.
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Beck Diefenbach / Reuters

If you own an Amazon Fire 7 or Fire 8 HD (2017) tablet, then you're in luck because your device just gained a new feature. If your device is connected to power and/or the screen is in use, you can use the device for smart home voice control thanks to Alexa. The software update that will enable the hands-free Alexa feature is currently rolling out to devices.

If you have a PIN or password set on the device, you must unlock it to enable all Alexa hands-free features. You can also opt to disable all of these features (or control whether it works while the device is password locked) in the Alexa settings menu. And if you want your tablet to respond less often when there's another Alexa-enabled device nearby, you can change that with the "Tablet ESP Behavior" option in Alexa settings.

This is a nice upgrade for all Fire 7 and Fire 8 HD tablets running software version 5.6.1.0 or later. It turns a regular tablet into a hands-free smart home control center. This handy feature was already available on Amazon's Fire 10 HD tablet, so it's nice that the company is rolling it out to older models.

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