Last month Amazon announced that they were preparing to launch a refreshed version of one of their popular tablets, the Amazon Fire HD 8. This 8-inch tablet comes with pretty much a similar hardware and spec sheet to the previous model, although the one starring new feature is that this version of the tablet has the ability to make use of Alexa – the voice assistant service that is found on the likes of the Amazon Echo and Dot and which has proven to be a big hit for Amazon.
Along with the confirmation of the new tablet, Amazon also seemed to be confirming that a selection of their other tablets would also receive Alexa support in due course, although the details on when they would get the new feature were not fully provided. However, that has now changed somewhat as today it seems Amazon has reconfirmed that their extremely competitively-priced $49 Fire tablet, along with the Fire HD 8 and the Fire HD 10 tablets will be getting the update that brings with it support for Alexa.
That said, while Amazon has reconfirmed the update is coming, it is not quite coming yet. Not today at least as the announcement also details that the update will begin rolling out over-the-air sometime this week. As this is an OTA update, that does not necessarily mean that everyone will receive the update at the same time. Instead the process will begin this week and will continue until the rolling out of the OTA is complete. So if you do own either of the mentioned tablets, you may find yourself waiting a few more days for the update to land on your particular device.
Although, it does seem as though the general usage of Alexa on tablets will be a little different to what many are accustomed to with the other Alexa-enabled devices. For instance, while you can shout out and have the always-listening Alexa respond, the tablet version will require you to actually press the home button for it to work. Besides the mechanics of starting up Alexa, it does seem as though much of the rest of the Alexa-related functionality will be the same.