For most, setting a timer, checking the weather, and ordering groceries is as easy as saying, “Alexa.” But those who can’t speak to the virtual assistant can tap it instead.
Amazon’s “Tap to Alexa” accessibility feature—launched in 2018 on Echo Show devices—lets folks control the technology without making a sound. And it’s available now(Opens in a new window) for Fire tablets.
Visit the gadget’s settings to toggle on Tap to Alexa, then select from a menu of preset options for popular commands (like playing music or setting an alarm) or type in personalized requests. A text-to-speech feature also lets users type a phrase to be read aloud.
The function is useful for people with speech and/or mobility challenges, or who prefer to interact with Alexa silently. “We brought Tap to Alexa to Fire tablets, along with offersing like Text to Speech, to make it easier for more people to access smart home technology,” Juliana Tarpey, senior product manager for Alexa for Everyone, said in a statement. The team collaborated with members of the United Spinal Association during development.
“After setting up their devices, customers can directly ask Alexa, with just a tap, to play their favorite TV show, turn on the lights, or help them communicate with friends and loved ones,” Tarpey said. “It may seem simple, and it is—it provides simpler access to Alexa’s benefits to help support all our customers.”
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Tap to Alexa on Fire tablets (8th generation and later) is available now in the US, UK, Germany, and Japan. Amazon just announced a new round of Fire HD 8 tablets, which land in October.
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