(If You Own a Fire Tablet)
This $35 Accessory Lets You Turn Your Tablet Into a $160 Smart Speaker
For anybody with one of Amazon’s latest Fire tablets, either its Fire HD 8 or its Fire HD 10, the company just announced a new accessory, called the Show Mode Charging Dock, that effectively lets you turn the tablet into a full-on smart speaker with a screen — just like an Echo Show.
As its name suggests, the accessory charges the Fire Tablet while also propping it up, but what will really turn it into an Echo Show smart speaker is a software update (coming July 2) along with a new feature called “Show Mode.” This feature keeps the tablet on all the time — so that it displays the weather, news ticker and its clock — but it also enables the tablet to quickly respond to Alexa voice commands. Up to this point, Fire Tablet owners needed to hold the Home button to activate Alexa.
The Show Mode Charging Dock won’t turn your tablet into a like-for-like Echo Show, however, as the dedicated smart speaker will still have better speakers and probably better microphones (so you can shout to Alexa from across the room). However, it’s a neat accessory that’ll turn your $100+ tablet into a $160 (once $230) smart speaker.