Alexa has been bridging these devices, as Amazon's AI assistant makes an appearance on more and more Amazon hardware. One of the things that fuses these two worlds together is Show Mode.
So what is Show Mode, where can you get it and what can you do with it?
What is Show Mode?
Show Mode gets its name from the Echo Show, Amazon's Alexa device with a display. It's a mode that you can enable on the larger Amazon Fire tablets and you won't be surprised that discover that it gives you a display that reflects what you find on the Echo Show - a nice, visual, Alexa display.
That's right, Show Mode basically turns your Fire Tablet into an Echo Show.
How can you get Show Mode?
Amazon Show Mode is available on the Fire HD 8 and the Fire HD 10 tablets. You'll need to have recent software, but it's available on 2017 and 2018 versions of the tablet. These devices also offer handsfree Alexa - which you'll use to talk to the tablet - although it's not mandatory for Show Mode interaction.
You can run Show Mode just on the tablet - it has to be connected to the power - but it was designed to work as a docked solution, so you can convert your tablet into an Echo Show when it is charging. The Show Mode Charging Dock is available for the Fire HD 8 and the Fire HD 10 from Amazon.
With the Show Mode Charging Dock, once you've fitted the Fire tablet into the included sleeve (to enable contact charging), you'll be able to set Show Mode to launch when the tablet is docked on the stand, making it super easy to use.
What can you do with Show Mode?
Show Mode will let your docked tablet behave like an Echo Show. Using a display very similar to the Echo Show, you'll get screens that show you the weather, news highlights, as well as showing visual information when you ask a question.
As both the Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 support handsfree Alexa, that means you can dock the tablet and ask questions and see the results - that might be sports results, it could be showing you a connected camera in your house or lyrics when listening to Amazon Music.
You'll also be able to watch Amazon Video or use it to make Alexa calls to your contacts, as well as getting news digest video clips. It also includes announcements and Drop In.
It's not as complete as the Echo Show in terms of functionality - you don't get the same device controls, for example, so you don't get touch controls for smart home devices in Show Mode on a tablet.
Show Mode takes your Fire tablet and provides another way for it to operate and if you don't want another device, or don't feel the need for an Echo Show, then it's certainly worth trying out on your tablet.