Since the Amazon Echo Show runs a modified version of Android, it comes with several things common to Android devices, like hidden developer options. Something else it has is Fastboot and Recovery mode, which are used to manipulate the operating system. It’s still unknown what use these modes have for modding purposes, or how locked down they are, but here’s how to boot into Fastboot and Recovery, as well as the available options.
To enter Fastboot mode, you first need to power off the Echo Show. To do this, press and hold the mute button for 3 seconds until the power off message is displayed, and then select “OK.” While it’s off, enter Fastboot mode by holding down both the mute and volume down buttons simultaneously. You can let go of the mute button once you see the screen light up, if you want, but you must keep the volume down button pressed until you see the Fastboot screen.
Once in Fastboot mode, you can cycle through the available options using the volume up and down buttons, and you select an option by pressing the mute button. The options are NORMAL BOOT, RESTART BOOTLOADER, RECOVERY MODE, REBOOT, and POWER OFF. The NORMAL BOOT, REBOOT, and POWER OFF options are self-explanatory. Selecting RESTART BOOTLOADER will reboot the Echo Show but automatically but you back in Fastboot mode without needing to hold down any buttons. Selecting RECOVERY MODE will boot into Amazon’s system recovery mode, which looks a lot like a typical Android recovery mode.
Recovery mode uses the same buttons as before to navigate. The volume buttons move the highlighter and the mute button selects what is highlighted. Selecting to “reboot system now” will boot the Echo Show normally, while the “reboot to bootloader” option will boot back into Fastboot mode. The “power down” option shuts down the device and the “view recovery logs” option takes you to a screen with a list of log files that can be viewed directly on the device, where the volume buttons are used to scroll the file and the mute button returns you to the list of log files.
The “apply update from ADB” option, much like the rest of the options, is typical of an Android recovery mode. It’s meant to allow you to manually apply OS updates. That’s typically done by connecting the device to a PC via a USB cable, but the Echo SHow does not have a USB port, so this doesn’t seem possible. Even if there were a hidden USB connection, or the Echo Show supported ADB over WiFi while in Recovery mode, which it does not seem like it does, it’s almost guaranteed that the device will only accept updates signed by Amazon. That means you won’t be able to load a custom OS update file.
The “wipe data/factory reset” option is very likely identical to the “Reset to Factory Defaults” option found in the Echo Show’s regular settings menu. This option will remove all of your user data and is probably the first thing you should try if you find that the Echo Show is not booting up correctly. The “wipe cache partition” can also be used to fix issues. It’s also done when you select wipe data, but on its own, it will not remove your account information and settings, so it can be used as a less severe troubleshooting option.
As it is right now, less than 24 hours after the Amazon Echo Show has been released, there isn’t much you can do with Fastboot or Recovery mode, but it’s good to see so much of Android’s core components easily accessible.