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Tell the family "dinner's ready" with Alexa Announcements

06 April 2018

Don't feel like buying an Amazon Echo?

Amazon previously supported Alexa hands-free on its flagship Fire HD 10 tablet.

Amazon announced it's expanding hands-free mode to Alexa voice assistant on the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 tablets.

A new Alexa feature called Announcements lets you make one-way voice broadcasts to all the other Echo devices in your household.

Just in case Amazon didn't dominate the entry-level smart home enough, it seems it also has its eyes set on making Alexa-controlled lamps your lighting of choice in the home.

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Download the latest over-the-air software update when it's available. And given that the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 both have displays, they are capable of accessing video feeds and other video content that you might be used to viewing with say, an Echo Show. So, you can use the tablet to control your smart home, fetch weather reports, or even playback music.

While a Group might offer you the ability to say "Alexa, turn downstairs lights off" to kill all the lamps and fittings, a Routine enables fine control.

The downsides (outside of the power constraint) are that since the tablets do not have the far field microphone arrays that proper Echo devices have. The speakers aren't as good as a full-sized Echo, and tablets don't have the mic array you'd find on an Echo, either.

The update is now rolling out to both the Fire 7 and the Fire 8 HD.

Tell the family