Amazon has been blurring the lines between some of its most popular hardware recently. The new Amazon Fire TV Cube is basically what you’d get if you crossed a Fire TV with an Echo Dot. And the addition of the hands-free Alexa voice service to the company’s latest Fire tablets basically lets you use them like an Echo.

Now you can really make an Amazon Fire tablet more like an Echo device. Starting July 2nd, you’ll be able to enable Show Mode on any 2017 odel Amazon Fire HD 8 or Fire HD 10.

The new feature lets you switch to a hands-free, voice-controlled, full-screen view for interacting with Alexa. Basically it turns a Fire HD tablet into an Amazon Echo Show (with a crappier microphone).

Amazon is also launching a set of Show Mode Charging Docks. They have adjustable kickstands, allowing you to prop up your tablet at a comfortable angle for viewing the screen. And as soon as you put the tablet in the Show Mode dock, it’ll automatically switch to Show Mode.

You don’t need a special dock to use Show Mode, but it’ll probably make things easier.

Amazon other things, Amazon says you can use Alexa with Show Mode to see and hear news or weather information, view camera feeds, set timers, view recipes, play music, or make video calls.

One thing you still can’t do? Watch YouTube videos.

Show Mode will start rolling out in an over-the-air software updates on July 2nd, and the Show Mode Charging Docks are up for pre-order today, and they’ll begin shipping July 12th.

They’re priced at $40 for the 8 inch model and $55 for the 10 inch version, but there’s currently on sale for $5 off:

Amazon is also offering Show Mode bundles, letting you pick up a Fire HD 8 tablet plus dock for $110 or a Fire HD 10 plus dock for $190. That’s a pretty good price when you consider that an Echo Show has a list price of $230 (although it’s currently on sale for $160).

That said, the Echo Show has multiple microphones for far field voice detection, which could make it easier to use from across a noisy room. But the Fire tablets have the advantage of also functioning as tablets. You can remove them from the dock and use them as handheld devices for reading, writing, playing, watching, etc.

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6 replies on “Amazon Fire Tablets gain “Show Mode” which turns them into Echo Show devices”

  1. I picked up the HD 8 for $40 some time back (3 for $120) with the outside hope that they may eventually see root in their future. In the meantime, I use it for reading news, ‘soft’ browsing, videos, ebooks, a couple of games: pretty basic stuff. Good deal overall but I guess I’ll have to put up with code bloat with every update (and possibly enhanced tracking)…

  2. I already use a Bluetooth speaker, the OontZ Angle 3 Plus Edition 10W, with my Surface Pro. This duo of a combo makes for a dandy portable Cortana speaker and display complete with alarms, reminders, weather, home automation, and so much more. I highly prefer it over the household’s Amazon Echo.

  3. Bigger screen with the 10″ tablet (the Show’s 7″ screen does seem tiny), but less in the way of microphones and speakers. I could see that would be a good trade-off for some locations, not others. I might try it in the kitchen, but I’m not a big fan of the Show device in general.

  4. I can see all future Fire tablets will have multiple microphones on them.

    1. Agreed. In the meantime, I’d expect a step-up dock
      with built-in louder speakers, which I’d buy. Amazon makes a big
      margin from these docks, considering that an HD 8
      tablet can be had for as little as $50.

      1. I picked up the HD 8 Kids Edition for my 2 year old son to watch movies on during long road trips for Christmas. I really didn’t expect much. It’s basically the HD 8 tablet with kids games on it, a rubber bumper case and 2 years of accidental damage — for $70! I’m actually very impressed with the tablet. For the price, I don’t think there is much competition with the Kindle Fire line. Still not an issue with it.

        My wife has a 3 1/2 year old 10″ Kindle Fire that cost us $350 back then. It is still going strong. While not all of the latest apps are available on it, she still uses it daily. She’s never had an issue.

        I have an iPad Pro 10.5″ LTE that I picked up last June. It’s the 250GB version, so it cost over $1000. Just had to have it replaced as the Wifi toggle stopped turning on. Turns out it’s a hardware issue that’s plagued Apple items for years. Oy!

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