Amazon’s Alexa has been going from strength to strength as of late, and only recently was it introduced to a new crowd in the form of Echo speaker availability in the UK. Aside from launching in new markets, Amazon did confirm that it had plans to bring Alexa to its other devices and, as expected, the company has stayed true to its word by rolling out Alexa to its line of Fire tablets.
Looking into what the addition brings to the Fire tablets, Alexa seems to act in a similar way to Google Assistant or Siri, by combining both touch and command, though the Assistant can’t be activated via a voice command like Google or Apple’s offerings. Instead, user’s have to hold down the on-screen home button to bring up the assistant. From there, users are free to ask the assistant any of the questions they would usually ask it through Echo speakers and Alexa will bring up a number of Google Now-like cards with the answer, which, in this case, offers much more information than the usual replies that users get with the Fire TV or Echo speakers.
These information cards are perhaps the biggest change included in the update and are another way Amazon can redirect traffic to its own website. For example, if a user was to ask Alexa to order a certain item, usually Echo speakers would just order the pre-set order that has been established. Thanks to these information cards, users can now click to visit the Amazon website and edit the order. Aside from these changes, though, Amazon has stated that Alexa should work more or less the same as on any other device. For those wondering which Fire tablets will support the voice assistant, owners of the most recent Fire, Fire 8 and Fire HD 8 models will begin receiving the update in the near future, with most tablets having received the update within a couple of weeks. The addition of Alexa to Amazon’s tablets is just the next step in the company’s goal of making Alexa a central part of people’s lives, especially on their electronic devices. The added tablet support can also be considered yet another incentive to convince third party hardware companies to add Alexa support to their own products, alongside Amazon’s traditional offerings, which would mean a further step towards Amazon’s goal for Alexa. What is unsure for now, though, is whether Amazon will eventually allow the use of Alexa on other operating systems.