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Fire Tablet

Tip: Sideloading Fire TV Apps Directly from a Chromebook

Getting Android apps installed on your Fire TV device is usually a convoluted process. It usually requires you to install a download app on the Fire TV device and then know the full URL to the Android app’s apk. With the ability for ChromeOS devices to install and load Android apps, the process for sideloading Fire TV apps becomes a lot easier. Essentially, any Android app that you can install on the ChromeOS device can be used to install on the Fire TV device. Not everything will work there, of course, but for apps like the Spectrum TV app, it’s an easy way to get it there. Incidentally, Spectrum has been horribly slow at developing a supported app for Fire TV, however, except for a few minor screen issues, it works fine. The app to install on your ChromeOS device is Apps2Fire...

Amazon Delivering Fire HD Tablet Update to Allow Alexa Drop-ins and Announcements

Amazon is beginning to deliver an update to its latest Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 tablets that bring them into the full communication fold for Alexa-enabled devices. The update being circulated now brings Drop-in and Announcement capability to the tablets. Prior to the update, Fire tablet owners could only initiate calls – which is still pretty cool in its own right. As usual, Amazon stages the update rollout, so if you don’t see it right away just wait longer.    

Fire TV Cube Leads Amazon’s Black Friday Deals with $60 Off

If you’re interested in giving the gift of entertainment this holiday season, Amazon is drastically cutting its prices for the Fire TV lineup. Black Friday isn’t quite here yet, but Amazon is already offering marked-down prices. Here’s what’s up: Fire TV Cube – $60 off! Priced now at just $59.99. This is Amazon’s all-in-one entertainment gadget that includes Alexa voice control and the ability to control all your connected devices. Fire TV Stick 4K with all-new Alexa Voice Remote – Normally $49.99, now just $34.99. This new edition of the 4K model comes with an enhanced remote control that includes extra buttons for controlling attached gadgets like a TV, DVR, sound equipment, etc. Fire TV Stick with 1st Gen Alexa Voice Remote – At just $24.9...

Amazon Launches Fire Tablet 8 HD Refresh with Hands-free Alexa, Quad-core Processor, 10 Hour Battery

Amazon today has announced a refresh for its 8-inch Fire tablet. The Fire HD 8 Tablet, sports an HD display with over 1 million pixels, a quad-core processor, 16 GB of internal storage with support for up to 400 GB more via microSD, and up to 10 hours of mixed use battery life. The new unit comes with Alexa hands-free operation, including the new Show Mode – essentially turning the Fire tablet line into Echo Show devices. On Amazon.com starting at $79.99: All-New Fire HD 8 Tablet | Hands-Free with Alexa The new device is ready for pre-order and starts shipping on October 4, 2018. Full feature list: Up to 10 hours of battery life, a vibrant 8″ HD display, a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, 1.5 GB of RAM, and Dolby Audio. 2x as durable as the iPad Mini 4. Use Alexa hands-free mode to...

Spotify Support Added to Fire Tablet Show Mode

When Show Mode  was first released as an update for Fire tablets, only Amazon Prime Music would work with voice commands – but operability with Spotify was promised to be coming soon. Whichever entity, Spotify or Amazon, needed to flip the switch has now quietly done so. If you have not already done so, link your premium Spotify account in the Alexa app and you can then ask things like… “Alexa, play The Night Flight Orchestra on Spotify“   Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in Dallas, Texas in 2018!

Tip: Turning Off Alexa Listening and Motion Detection in Show Mode on a Fire Tablet

Even when in Show Mode (read about Show Mode HERE), you can turn Alexa’s listening capability on and off – essentially turning the Fire tablet into just a clock face or photo rotating display if you have the slideshow turned on. To turn off listening capability, with Show Mode enabled do this: Swipe down from the Quick Actions menu on the tablet and select the Alexa microphone on/off button. You can also accomplish by simultaneously pressing the device’s volume up and volume down buttons for three seconds. You will know that the function is off by a red bar indicator at the bottom of the screen. EXTRA: This also turns off the Show Mode’s motion detection. Just like the original Echo Show, the camera is used to detect motion. After a period of time, the screen dims and wil...

Tip: Alexa Features Supported on a Fire Tablet in Show Mode

Amazon’s Show Mode feature enables Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 tablets the ability to run like the screened Alexa device, the Echo Show. The version of Fire OS required is version 5.6.2.0 and is currently only available for 7th Generation Fire HD 8 or Fire HD 10 tablets. (read more HERE) Most Echo Show features are supported for Fire tablets running this Fire OS version. Here’s what you can expect… Video Flash Briefings Alarms, timers, and reminders Music playback with lyrics through Amazon Music Music playback through other popular music services Video playback through Prime Video Smart Home support for devices such as smart lights, cameras, and door locks Viewing of photos uploaded to your Prime Photos account, including Family Vault access Alexa Calling and Messaging Existing A...

Tip: Alexa Show Mode and Trusted Networks

In addition to adding the Show Mode feature (read more HERE), version 5.6.2.0 of Fire OS also adds another feature for Alexa called “Trusted Networks.” This setting works hand-in-hand with Show Mode in that it allows you to configure WiFi networks that you trust for Alexa to work on the lockscreen. Without configuring this option, you are still required to enter your screen lock code before your voice commands will work. To set a Trusted network… From the Home screen, swipe down from the top of the screen and tap the Settings (gear) icon. Tap Alexa in the settings menu. Tap Trusted Networks. Add a trusted network by selecting Add Trusted Network, then choosing a saved network name from the list.   Additionally, you can use this area to remove a network you no longer ...

Alexa Skill of the Week: Hoopla Digital

Each week, we take a look at new and important Alexa skills you might want to consider enabling for your Alexa device. Amazon continues to improve Alexa with its own updates, but skills are software components that allow Alexa users to extend functionality across all Alexa-enabled devices in use for very specific functions. This week’s skill: Hoopla Digital Description: Your local public library and hoopla have teamed up to offer you hundreds of thousands of audiobooks and music albums free of charge. Register online at hoopladigital.com. Alexa supports playback of audiobooks and music that you already have borrowed. (Additionally, eBooks, movies, television, and comics are available on Amazon Fire, iOS, and Android devices.). Real world use: There’s quite a few apps and services available...

Tip: Fire Tablet Show Mode Settings Walk-through

Those that aren’t familiar with the regular Echo Show, but have the Show Mode now installed on a compatible Fire Tablet will want to personalize the tablet. These can be done through new Show Mode settings added with the latest Fire tablet update. Learn more about Show Mode Here’s a walk-through of the various areas now available to customize the Show Mode experience. Tap or click each image for a larger view. To access the Show Mode settings, just swipe down from the top of the  Fire tablet to reveal the Settings icon. Show Mode Settings option in the Fire Tablet panel… Main Show Mode Settings panel options… Home Screen – Home Cards Display Settings Slideshow Settings Background Settings Device Options with Web Video cache management Accessibility Settings Lo...

Tip: Enabling Show Mode on a Fire Tablet

Amazon’s Show Mode feature enables Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 tablets the ability to run like the screened Alexa device, the Echo Show. The version of Fire OS required is version 5.6.2.0. To enable Show Mode on a compatible Fire tablet do this: Swipe down the top of the tablet’s Home screen and tap the Show Mode switch.       Additionally, if you have Alexa listening enabled for the tablet, you can just say, “Alexa, switch to Show Mode“ And, of course, you Show Mode is enabled automatically when using the Show Mode Dock. NOTE: As shown in the images above, the options to turn the microphone/camera off are different between Show Mode and non-Show Mode. EXTRA TIP: While it works, Show Mode works best in portrait orientation.      Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense tech...

Kindle Fire Show Update Beginning to Trickle Out

Customers of compatible Fire tablets are reporting today that the big update that enables “Show Mode” for the devices is starting to roll out. The manual download page has not been updated yet, but should reflect the updated version soon. Show Mode essentially turns a Fire tablet (Fire HD 8 or HD 10) into Amazon’s  video Alexa device, the Echo Show. Amazon has also recently released a special Show Mode dock device that provides the Fire tablet with wireless charging and an automatic Show Mode display when slipped into the dock. Alternatively, Amazon sells the dock and the Fire tablet as a bundle. Is the Show Mode dock device really needed? Not really, but the wireless charging feature would be useful. However, Amazon’s Fire tablet cases work just fine to allow setti...