Turn a Fire HD 8 or HD 10 tablet into an Echo Show with Amazon’s new ‘Show Mode’ feature and optional Dock

Amazon’s newly announced ‘Show Mode’ essentially turns any Fire HD 8 or Fire HD 10 tablet into an Echo Show. The new mode, which will arrive via a software update on July 2nd to all existing current generation Fire HD 8 and HD 10 tablets, provides a full-screen interface for hands-free Alexa interactions. To compliment Show Mode, Amazon has announced a new Show Mode Dock for the Fire HD 8 and a new Show Mode Dock for the Fire HD 10 that automatically put the tablets into Show Mode while charging.

Amazon first introduced hands-free Alexa capabilities for tablets when they launched the current generation Fire HD 10 tablet late last year. Earlier this year, they brought hands-free Alexa to their other tablets through a software update that permitted the option while the screen is on and the tablet is charging. Through these features, most of the same audible Alexa capabilities available through the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot were made available through Amazon’s tablets. The new Show Mode being announced today takes it a step further and brings most of the visual Alexa capabilities available through the Amazon Echo Show and Echo Spot to the same tablets.

Amazon says Show Mode will display “trending news, weather, camera feeds, and more” on the Fire HD 8 and HD 10 tablets. When making Alexa requests while in Show Mode, the same types of interactive full-screen displays found on the Echo Show will be presented on the tablets, including weather, news, TV shows, video calls, recipes, and more.

The newly announced Show Mode Charging Docks will be the best way to take full advantage of Show Mode, but they’re not required for the new feature. Each dock comes with a thin back case that plugs into the micro USB port of the tablet and remains attached to the tablet at all times. The case magnetically guides the tablet into position and charges the tablet wirelessly when docked. The dock has an adjustable stand that can adjust the angle of the tablet from nearly vertical to nearly flat for easy viewing.

The Show Mode Charging Dock for Fire HD 8 will regularly be $39.99 but is available to pre-order now at a discounted price of $34.99. The Show Mode Charging Dock for Fire HD 10 will be $54.99 and is likewise available now at a discounted price of $49.99. Amazon is also selling the docks and tablets bundled together for $109.98 for the Fire HD 8 bundle and $189.98 for the Fire HD 10 bundle. Those prices save you $10 and $15, respectively, compared to buying the dock and tablet individually. The docks will begin shipping on July 12th.

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40 comments
  1. Erin says:

    If the dock isn’t required for Show Mode, any reason why it can’t be used on the Fire HD7?

  2. Beverly says:

    Neat. Now I want a Fire HD 4

  3. Paul T says:

    These tablets lack the 8 directional microphones on a real echo. How well do they recognize voice commands?

    • AFTVnews says:

      The Fire HD 10 works surprisingly well. It was designed to use hands-free Alexa from the start, so I assume that helps. I don’t have an HD 8, so I don’t know how its added hands-free feature compares.

      • AR says:

        what if you have an echo in the same room though?
        how would ESP work with the 2 devices , are there options
        so if i ask alexa what the weather is and the echo hears me at the same time as the tablet that it will default to the tablet for all visuals
        i have an echo in the kitchen and want it to stay put
        but i may put the tablet in the kitchen ona different counter but since it is a tablet it will not always be there so i wojuld want the echo to remain in its place

    • Nick Hathaway says:

      I constantly am accidentally turning on my two sons Fire HD 8 kids tablets with my voice, which I’m using to try and interact with my Echo dot on my entertainment center. The bigger concern for me is the poor speakers on a tablet vs. an Echo Show.

  4. Kevin says:

    This looks great! Looking forward it it. Already preordered. This looks like it would work pretty well for actiontiles as well.

  5. hegemon13 says:

    My big question…will Show Mode support voice calling, Spotify, and all the other Alexa features that the hands-free mode lacks? It’s really frustrating that on a tablet with the Spotify app, I can’t ask for Spotify music by voice. And, that I still have to keep a Dot in the kitchen for messaging, when I was hoping the tablet would replace it.

  6. Carter S. Johnson says:

    Hopefully this will augment the wake word to all Alexa options.
    What I really want is Show Mode and an add-on mic array for the FireTV stick on my Kitchen TV.
    All these undersized screened homebots Google and Amazon’s will never replace my kitchen TV.

    • Allen says:

      Along with the mic array… a camera to mount to top of the TV (I imagine something like the Xbox Kinect…

      I would LOVE to have a HDMI stick with mic array and camera to put on my TVs!!! I have submitted this to Amazon several times for months.

      Why force us to use the 8″ or 10″ screens when we have massive LED screens?

      I’m going to try to get my HD10 to connect to TV via HDMI. Then I will put the HD10 under or over the TV… won’t be able to use the dock to do it though as the dock will use up the micro USB port… :-(

  7. Mike S says:

    It would be nice if they had a video of Alexa that would appear during interactions/answers, instead of just a voice reply.

  8. Clamslam says:

    I have a 1st gen Fire 10 tablet. Will it be updated to work with this feature as well or will only the 2nd gen version of the tablet work?

  9. Itzme says:

    Are there any such options for gen 5? Other than doorstop.

    • AFTVnews says:

      It doesn’t seem like there are. Amazon is offering 25% off a new tablet when you trade in an old one, so that’s your only option, if you can even call it that.

      • Mike says:

        Do you know if there is an expiration on the 25% coupon? Also, do you know if you can use the 25% in conjunction with a sale, i.e. if/when Amazon puts their Fire Tablets on sale for Prime Day, can I use the coupon for an additional 25% off or is just 25% off the MSRP? Just curious….

        • AFTVnews says:

          The terms and conditions are at the bottom of the page I linked. You’d have until August 31st, 2018 to use the 25% discount. It says “may not be combined with other offers” so not sure if that includes a standard sale like Prime Day.

          I’ve gone through the Fire TV trade-in solely to test if these trade-in discounts can be combined with sales. I’ll test it the next time a Fire TV goes on sale, which I expect to be Prime Day, and will write a quick article about whether it worked or not.

  10. HeffeD says:

    I wonder why it’s only available for the current generations? Does the hardware really change that much between iterations, or is it more of a support/warranty issue? (Meaning, the older devices are no longer under warranty, so they are no longer supported as far as software is concerned?)

    • OG Charlie says:

      Alot of questions like that can be answered with “they’re ***holes trying to force you to upgrade hardware when you shouldn’t have to”

      • HeffeD says:

        Could very well be… I can’t imagine my Gen 6 HD 8 (unsupported) is much different hardware-wise than the (supported) Gen 7 HD 8…

        • itzme says:

          Lets me honest, technologically they could very easily add all the Show visuals/Slides/Videos to a section of the Alexa App. But that would let us enjoy this feature on older devices and even on our Ipads, so they won’t do that.

  11. CLAMSLAM says:

    Thanks for replying. That is too bad, I have a 1st gen 10″ tablet that I no longer use since upgrading to Ipad 12.9 (eyes getting bad). It would have been nice to use it for this. Hopefully they will get update eventually.

  12. Dean says:

    Those who are complaining about their older devices not being supported by this new update need to realise that Amazon didn’t need to add this update. They added it to give their latest devices the 8 and 10 a more desirable quality to them for new customers, that’s also why the budget version 7 inch tablet won’t get the update.

    It’s not like they’re cutting support for older tablets, again the newest 7 inch won’t get this update either. So if you have an older device you can continue using it but this feature is there as an incentive to upgrade. No one is forcing anyone to upgrade.

    You can’t keep older devices and expect them to always be at the cutting edge of software and hardware upgrades.

    • Voice says:

      “How DARE they give some people something cool for free and not give it to ME also! The NERVE of them improving a product that they are still selling in order to increase sales!” ~People Complaining

    • AFTVnews says:

      Dean, thank you for not making it personal and arguing with a specific person in the comment thread. I appreciate it.

    • HeffeD says:

      I don’t think anyone is expecting their older devices to be cutting edge technology…

      But since mobile devices generally have a two year support period for OS updates, it’s not unreasonable to assume your device that’s only a year older than the current generation would also be eligible for this feature. I’m not complaining or upset, I just found the cutoff point a bit odd.

      Given that the Gen 6 and 7 HD 8’s have identical processors and specs, there has to be more to it than Amazon wanting to sell more units, because that just doesn’t make much sense from a marketing perspective. Who is going to upgrade to a unit that is identical to the one they already own? Sure, Amazon wants to sell units, but what they REALLY want is to make Alexa absolutely indispensable to as many customers as possible! Turning tablets into Show’s seems like a great way to increase Alexa’s user-base, but since their cutoff is only the latest generation devices, I’m going to assume there needs to be a firmware change that allows the microphone to be always listening.

  13. WDS says:

    If you have the Amazon tablet case attached to the tablet, will you have to remove that case before attaching the thin back charging case?

    • AFTVnews says:

      It seems very likely that you’ll have to use either the dock or the standard tablet case, but not both simultaneously. That’s a shame because both have advantages.

      I don’t mind switching to the standard case for better protection when I leave the house with the tablet, but I use the standard case as a portable stand around the house all the time. I wish the charging case that the dock uses had a tiny kickstand that folded out, but it doesn’t look like it does. The charging cable detaches from the dock, so if it’s not too cumbersome, I might actually just grab the whole dock when I need to prop the tablet up somewhere else around the house, instead of switching to the standard case.

  14. Robert M Katz says:

    “Wireless charging” is the dumbest scam I ever seen people buy into. Just get a $10 case with a kickstand or make your own stand

  15. Dave says:

    Where’s the beef…….I mean update……nothing here.

  16. Mike davis says:

    I guess rollout of the “Show Mode” feature is taking a while . I do not see it on my HD10 YET. Any idea on the schedule of the rollout.
    Thanks for all you do!

  17. Joe says:

    Maybe Elias can dig & get more information. When I spoke with Amazon Tech Supprt this morning they told me “you must have the dock to activate ‘Show Mode’. I think this is probably misinformation on the technical staff’s behalf. However if Elias could find out that would be great

  18. Lvmykyds says:

    I received the update on my 10 fire and it goes into show mode without a dock.

    • Gazza says:

      No update on my Fire 10 in the uk. :(

    • hegemon13 says:

      What version is the update? I’ve received some component updates, but I’m still on 5.6.1.0, and no sign of Show Mode. Also, where is the setting/switch to enable Show Mode? I’m very interested in this for my kitchen tablet, but it’s on an under-cabinet arm mount. I can’t really use the Show Mode Dock.

  19. j0kiz says:

    I hope they will allow Show Mode even when the devices are not charging. Any possible reason why it needs to be charging for it to be activated?

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