How To Use Alexa on a Fire Tablet
Amazon’s Alexa voice-activated personal assistant has become essential to many, simplifying different tasks with its convenient features. If your Fire tablet supports Alexa, your trusty assistant can follow you wherever you go. However, using Alexa on a tablet rather than an Echo speaker is a slightly different experience.
Keep reading to learn how to use Alexa on your Fire tablet and summon it by touch and from a distance.
Does My Fire Tablet Support Alexa?
Whether you can use Alexa on your Fire tablet depends on its generation.
The Fire tablet’s generation corresponds to the year the device was made. For instance, if the tablet was created in 2015, it’s a part of the fifth generation. Be careful not to confuse the generation with the number in the tablet’s name. The latter number refers to the screen size.
If you’re unsure when the tablet was produced, you can easily find out by following these steps:
- In the Home view, tap the “Settings” app.
- Go to the “Device Options” section.
- Look under “Device Model.”
Tablets that are a part of the fourth or a later generation support Amazon’s voice assistant. Furthermore, all the Fire tablets from 2017 and after have hands-free Alexa support.
How to Install Alexa on a Fire Tablet
If your Fire tablet doesn’t come equipped with the Alexa app, you can download the app manually. Here’s how:
- Swipe right on your Home screen until you reach the “Apps” page.
- Type in “Alexa” into the search bar. Download the “Amazon Alexa” app.
After the app is automatically installed, follow these steps to set it up:
- Tap the “Amazon Alexa” app on your Home screen.
- Type in your name and press “Continue.”
- Optionally, enter your phone number to set up phone verification.
- Follow a brief tutorial to start using the voice assistant.
How to Summon Alexa on a Fire Tablet by Touch
If you own a Fire tablet produced before 2017, you can only summon Alexa by touch. This option is helpful if you have multiple devices featuring this handy voice assistant. Touch activation will help avoid potentially confusing the rest of your devices and an ensuing shouting match.
Follow these steps to summon Alexa by touch:
- Swipe up from the bottom of your screen to reveal the navigation bar then long-press the “Home” button.
- When a glowing blue line appears, ask Alexa for something.
If nothing happens when you hold down the Home button, Alexa isn’t enabled on your Fire tablet. In that case, follow these steps to correct this:
- Swipe down from the top of the tablet’s screen. Tap the “Settings” icon.
- Go to the “Device Options” tab.
- Enable the slider next to “Alexa.”
The Alexa switch can sometimes be missing from the Device Options. You probably need to update your system if it’s missing on your tablet. Here’s how to update the Fire tablet:
- Swipe down from the top of your tablet’s screen. Go to “Settings.”
- Select “Device Options.”
- Scroll down to the “System Updates” tab.
- Press the “Check now” button. Follow the on-screen instructions to finalize the process.
After updating your system, enable the Alexa toggle switch and try summoning Alexa by holding down the Home button. If there’s still no blue line, try disabling parental controls.
How to Disable Parental Controls on a Fire Tablet
When the Parental Controls feature is turned on, you can set a password to restrict certain content types, excessive shopping, and web browsing. However, this feature also blocks access to Alexa. Unfortunately, there isn’t a workaround, so if you want to use Alexa on your Fire tablet, you must disable Parental Controls:
- Swipe down from the top of the tablet’s screen. Go to “Settings.”
- Navigate to the “Parental Controls” under the “Personal” section.
- Enter your Parental Controls password and hit “OK.”
- Switch off the slider next to “Parental Controls.”
How to Summon Alexa on a Fire Tablet Hands-Free
Hands-free Alexa was introduced with the Fire HD 10 tablet launch in 2017. Later, the feature was made available on all seventh-generation tablets via a system update. Every subsequent Fire tablet model has featured a hands-free Alexa.
If you prefer communicating with Alexa from a distance, here’s how to enable the hands-free mode:
- Tap the gear icon in your Home view to launch “Settings.”
- Navigate to the “Device Options” and open “Alexa.”
- Enable the toggle next to the “Hands-Free Mode” option.
After activating the hands-free mode, you can use “Alexa” or “Amazon” as the wake words to start your digital assistant.
What Can Alexa Do on a Fire Tablet?
The advantage of having Alexa on your Fire tablet rather than an Echo speaker is that the former will be available anywhere you go. This makes it perfect for traveling, as you can ask your assistant for anything anywhere, provided you’re connected to Wi-Fi.
Here are some things you can use Alexa for on your Fire tablet:
- Watch videos on Amazon Prime Video
- View photos on Prime Photos
- Set the alarm or a timer
- Create a shopping list
- Schedule and view upcoming events
- Make video calls
- Read your Kindle books
You can always discover new areas where Alexa can be of help. Here’s how to unlock your Alexa’s full potential:
- Launch the “Amazon Alexa” app.
- Tap the hamburger icon in the top-left corner to open “Options.”
- Select the “Things to Try” option. Choose a topic to learn more about it.
The app will guide you through using Alexa for that particular purpose. You can also discover new Alexa skills in the following ways:
- Tap the “Skills & Games” tab in “Options.”
- Say: “Alexa, suggest new skills.”
How to Use Alexa to Read Your Kindle Books
Although the Fire tablet was initially launched as Kindle Fire, the tablet and Kindle e-reader are distinctively different products. However, you can still use both to read your favorite e-book. What’s more, you can have the book read to you on your Fire tablet using Alexa.
You can use Alexa to play the following books:
- All Audible books
- Audiobooks from Kindle Unlimited or Prime Reading subscriptions
- Any book from the Kindle Store with a text-to-speech support
You can quickly check if a Kindle book supports the text-to-speech feature by following these steps:
- Open the product page of the book you’re interested in.
- Scroll down to the “Product details” section.
- Check the “Text-to-Speech” line. If it says “Enabled,” you’re good to go.
Here are some useful commands when using Alexa for reading. Swap the service with Audible or other e-book providers of your choice.
- “Alexa, play the (service) book,” followed by its title.
- “Alexa, pause my (service) book.”
- “Alexa, stop my (service) book.”
- “Alexa, resume my (service) book.”
- “Alexa, read louder.”
- “Alexa, next chapter.”
- “Alexa, stop reading in 40 minutes.”
Assistance on the Go
Enabling Alexa on your Fire tablet allows you to access its ever-growing list of commands anywhere you go. Whether you activate this invaluable helper by touch or from a distance, Alexa will get the job done quickly, saving you valuable time.
Have you used Alexa on your Fire tablet? What’s your go-to Alexa command? Let us know in the comments section below.