Amazon Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 owners can now use their tablets as an Alexa speaker

A new software update allows Amazon Fire 7 (2017) and Fire HD 8 (2017) owners to use their tablets as an Alexa speaker.

Rolling out with version of the software, when the tablet is in use, or sitting on charge, users will be able to bark orders at Alexa, and the smart assistant will respond from the tablet.

This gives the tablets the same abilities as the retailer's Echo range of smart speakers, although audio quality from the slates won't be as good as the dedicated devices.

Swipe down to enable

It's easy to switch this new Alexa mode on. Just swipe down from the top of the screen and tap the Alexa Hands-Free icon in the quick actions menu, or tap the Settings icon, tap Alexa, then tap the switch for Hands-Free Mode.

Amazon's support page for Alexa on the tablets states: "Fire 7 (7th Generation) and Fire HD 8 (7th Generation) devices support Alexa hands-free when the device is being used, or when the device is connected to a power source (whether it is asleep or not). 

"They do not support Alexa hands-free when the device is asleep and unplugged, or asleep and connected to a low power source, such as a USB port on a computer.

"If you have a PIN or password set on your device, certain Alexa features won't be available without entering it."

The software update is free, and arrive over-the-air, so your tablet should update automatically. To check with software version you're on, dive into the settings.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.