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(Pocket-lint) - You can now use Alexa hands-free on more Amazon Fire tablets - previously you had to press and hold the Home button to awaken Amazon's virtual assistant. 

The new feature is rolling out this week to Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 (2017) tablets via a free, over-the-air software update.

Previously, only Fire HD 10 (7th Generation) devices could support Alexa hands-free.

To enable or disable Alexa hands-free, swipe down from the top of your tablet’s Home screen, tap the Settings icon (you know, the one that looks like a cog), tap Alexa, then tap the toggle for Hands-Free Mode.

Now, this only works when Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 tablets are connected to a power source and or while the screen is in use. So it's not completely hands-free as if you want to set a timer when the screen is off, you'll still need to hold down the button to invoke Alexa. 

You can set and manage settings using the Amazon Alexa App which is preinstalled on your tablet's Fire OS.

Note that Alexa is disabled by default on any Kids Edition tablets or if you have any Parental Controls enabled on your Fire tablet. 

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Also check out: Amazon Fire 7 vs Fire HD 8 vs Fire HD 10: Which Fire tablet should you buy?

Writing by Dan Grabham. Originally published on 4 April 2018.