Amazon this week announced that it is bringing Echo Show capabilities to its Fire HD tablets, expanding its Alexa Everywhere strategy.
“We’re taking the Alexa experience one step further with Show Mode and the Show Mode Charging Dock,” Amazon Devices GM Kevin Keith says in a prepared statement. “Place your Fire HD tablet into the dock and it transforms into a more immersive Alexa experience. Just ask to see the weather, news, a TV show, make a video call, and more; pick up your tablet from the dock to access your favorite apps, books, and websites. It’s a whole new way for customers to use and enjoy their Fire tablets.”
Amazon announced the Alexa-powered Echo Show smart appliance last May, combining its digital personal assistant with a 7-inch touchscreen display. Then, in September, it brought hands-free, voice-enabled Alexa support to its Fire HD tablets with the release of a new-generation Fire HD 10 tablet.
So the addition of Show Mode capabilities sort of combines those two efforts by letting Kindle Fire HD owners experience the visual advantages of the Echo Show, but while using a device they already own.
The Show Mode Charging Dock is particularly interesting because it props up the tablet in such a way that its display is easily visible when the user issues a voice command.
“Using the Show Mode Charging Dock, just ask Alexa to show you a recipe, set a timer, and then announce that dinner’s ready through other Echo devices in your home, all hands-free,” Amazon explains. “You can also ask Alexa to start a video call with friends and family, watch a movie or TV show, play your flash briefing or Audible book on your Fire tablet while in the Show Mode Charging Dock; or if you want to move to a different room—just grab the tablet and go.”
Show Mode will be made available a software update to current generation Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 tablets starting on Monday, July 2, Amazon says.
The Amazon Show Mode Dock for the Kindle Fire HD 8 costs $35 right now, but it is normally $40. The Amazon Show Mode Dock for the Kindle Fire HD 10 is now available for $50, but it will normally cost $55. Both are available for preorder now and will ship on July 12.
Amazon will also offer Show Mode Dock bundles that combine both tablets with their respective dock at a savings of $10-$15 over the normal prices when separate.