Amazon Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 updated with hands-free Alexa

Dedicated smart speakers are the best options in the market right now to deliver cloud-based media with pretty good sound out far and wide across an apartment or house. Besides that, tablets will do far better than even some of the best speakers on a smartphone these days. And Amazon seems to know it.

Well, the company has now decided to take advantage of its tablets’ speakers and microphones, too. As with the new Fire HD 10, Amazon is now updating software on the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 to allow each device to access the Alexa assistant through voice, hands-free.

The Verge reports that Alexa can even be called while the device is asleep, though it needs to be plugged into an adequate power source — it’s not a surprising prerequisite for a relatively high-drain request to keep the mics on.

What we’re more worried about is the accuracy in terms of pickup as these microphones aren’t as capable as an Echo’s far field microphone. That said, Echo Spatial Perception will allow any one Alexa-enabled device in a given area to take the request as it can best perceive it.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.