Last month, Amazon announced that sometime this fall or winter it would put its Echo-connected speaker digital assistant, Alexa, on mobile devices — as long as they were made by, you know, Amazon. That time has come, with Alexa officially making its debut on the Amazon Fire tablet this week.
The Verge reports that starting this week Amazon is adding Alexa to its Fire tablet lineup as a free over-the-air software update.
Alexa, which has lived in the Echo speaker since 2014 and moved to third-party products like the Triby and Sonos speakers this year, will function differently on the Fire tablets than consumers might be used to.
For example, instead of screaming commands at Alexa like you would on the Echo speaker, users of the tablet will have to press the Fire’s home button to launch the assistant — a process similar to that of Siri on Apple products or Cortana on Windows.
Amazon says that despite the different call-up for Alexa, the assistant will bring nearly 3,000 of her Echo “skills” to the tablets.
The Verge reports that the addition of Alexa to the Fire tablet also comes with a new feature: information cards that offer to take the user to an outside site or simply provides additional info on your desired task.
Amazon has also provided customers who have both an Echo speaker and Fire tablet with the ability to have the devices work together. This means that if you summon Alexa on the Echo, your Fire tablet will show a visual representation of the request.
by Ashlee Kieler via Consumerist