Amazon Adds 'Alexa Announcements' Intercom Feature to Echo Devices

Now, families with Echo devices in their home can do just that, thanks to a new "Alexa Announcements" feature that's rolling out. Voice triggering can now be enjoyed on your Fire HD 8 and Fire 7.

The software update is free, and arrive over-the-air, so your tablet should update automatically.

With Amazon's track record of encouraging companies to come onboard the Alexa bandwagon, this will likely lead to more smart lamps being released that can do a lot more than just turn on and off.

This update is compatible with Fire 7 and Fire 8 HD tablets running 5.6.1.0 version software and above. It works as an ordinary tablet for your basic mobile needs while offer Alexa to do other tasks for you.

Amazon said the new hands-free model will be available to Fire HD 7 and 8 users when their device is either plugged into a power source or the screen is lit up and in use. Simply tap and hold the on-screen home button and then start talking to Alexa.

The downsides (outside of the power constraint) are that since the tablets do not have the far field microphone arrays that proper Echo devices have.

Amazon says the Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Dot, Echo Show, Echo Spot, and Echo Look are the supported devices at launch. Also, if you're interested in playing music, the speakers won't sound as well as a full-sized Echo.

With Amazon Key's more basic features having gone nationwide, in-home delivery is likely to follow in the near future.

  • Latoya Cobb