Amazon has announced a new Fire HD 10 Kids Tablet and new functionality for existing Kindle Fire tablets which allows them to work like Amazon’s Echo Show smart hubs.
The new Fire HD 10 Kids Tablet is now the largest tablet in Amazon’s popular range. It’s effectively the same as the regular Fire HD 10 tablet, but features a rubber bumper case and some child-friendly changes to the operating system.
The Amazon Echo functionality for Kindle Fire tablets marks a new a cross-over between the popular Kindle Fire tablets and the slightly less popular Echo Show. In essence, it gives the Kindle Fire tablets the ability to work as limited Echo Show devices.
Read on to find out when the Fire HD 10 Kids Tablet will hit the shelves, whether it’ll be any good, and when you’ll be able to use your Fire Tablet as an Echo Show.
Echo Show Mode for Fire Tablets
This update will allow you to use your existing Kindle Fire tablet as, effectively, an Echo Show smarthub. You’ll be able to control your music, set timers, check recipes, see the weather forecast, make videos calls, check your camera feeds and more.
Alongside the new functionality, Amazon is launching the Show Mode Charging Dock, which will prop up your Kindle Fire and keep it charged up whilst its being used as a smarthub.
There are unique stands for the Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 tablets. Sadly, but perhaps unsurprisingly, the Echo Show mode won’t be coming to the bargain-basement priced Fire 7.
It might sound like an odd decision to combine these two products, but it makes a lot of sense from Amazon’s point of view. It gives its Fire tablets a true USP in the tablets market – something that is not easy to find in the age of iPad imitators.
It’s also likely to tie more people into Amazon’s smart home ecosystem – one day you have your Kindle Fire propped up on the side in your front room, the next your house is littered with Echo Dots in every room.
The new functionality will be coming to the Kindle Fire HD 8 and HD 10 as an over-the-air update on July 2.
The Show Mode Charging Dock is available for pre-order now, and will begin shipping on July 12. The Fire HD 8 charging dock will set you back $39.99 and the HD 10’s dock will cost $54.99. There is a pre-order deal on at the moment, which knocks $5 off the price of each dock.
Fire HD 10 Kids Tablet
It’s hard to understate the popularity of Amazon’s Kids Tablets. But, previously you’ve only been able to purchase a smaller-sized Fire 7 Kids Tablet or the HD 8 Kids Tablet.
Now, the HD 10 should give your child a large enough screen to keep them happily playing games, watching videos or TV shows or, hopefully, reading a good, old-fashioned book.
The large rubber bumper case is the only hardware difference between the HD 10 Kids tablet and the regular HD 10. The real differences, however, lie under the skin.
Amazon’s Fire tablets run a heavily modified version of Android, called Fire OS. This gives Amazon extensive control over the app stores it uses, and the overall interface of the devices. This means that it can limit the apps and functionality available to its Kids tablets, which can help put parents’ minds at ease.
In terms of tech specs – you’re looking at a 10.1”, 1080p screen, plus 32GB storage, which can be expanded with an SD card up to 256GB. You’ll have extensive parental controls, you can limit the amount of screen time your kids have, set age-appropriate filters, and set bedtime controls.
The HD 10 Kids Tablet is available for pre-order costing $199.99 and ships on July 11. It’s available in three colours, blue, pink and yellow. You can also buy two Fire HD 10 Kids tablets and save $100 as part of an introductory offer.
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