Mayday on the New Kindle Fire – A Game Changer in Tech (Support)

My full review of the Kindle Fire HDX with the Mayday button: Kindle Fire HDX – A Radically Different Tablet


Imagine having a fairy godmother appear any time you had a tech question. She would appear at the press of a button, ready, willing and able to answer your question and guide you through the use of your device. Not sure what to do with your tech? Your fairy godmother is there for you at any time.

Earlier this week, Amazon announced a new Kindle Fire tablet that comes complete with a fairy godmother called Mayday that gives you free, live video tech support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With that kind of tech support, you may not need The Wonder of Tech any more.

The new tablet is called the Kindle Fire HDX and has impressive specs and cool features. Yes, the screen is sharper and brighter. Yes, the tablet is ounces/grams lighter. The processor is more powerful, the battery life is longer. But the main reason most people will buy the new Kindle Fire HDX is because of the Mayday button. Not since Ting and GM’s Onstar has tech support seemed like pampering.

What Is Mayday

Mayday is a button on the new Kindle Fire HDX tablets that starts a live video chat with an Amazon expert who appears magically on your screen. You can ask her a question about your Fire and she will answer it. She can teach you how to use a feature and fix any bugs she might find. Beyond that, she can to control your device and draw lines across the screen to show you how to use its features.

Here’s a video showing how Mayday works:

  • Want to find out how to delete or add an app? Mayday!
  • Not sure how to use Whispersync for Voice? Mayday!
  • Want to open and read emails but not sure how to do it? Mayday!
  • Want to learn about Kindle X-Ray? Mayday!
  • Want to learn how to bookmark a passage in a Kindle book? Mayday!
  • Want to find out more about Immersion Reading? Mayday!

“With the Mayday button, our goal is to revolutionize tech support,” said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO. “With a single tap, an Amazon expert will appear on your Fire HDX and can co-pilot you through any feature by drawing on your screen, walking you through how to do something yourself, or doing it for you—whatever works best. Mayday is available 24×7, 365 days a year, and it’s free.”

Amazon’s goal is to have an advisor appear within 15 seconds of you pressing the Mayday button. You can see her but she won’t be able to see you. The Fire HDX has a front camera, but it will be disabled during the Mayday sessions.

You can also disable the rep from seeing your screen at any time, for example to block her from seeing you type in a password.

Other Features of the New Kindle Fire HDX Tablets

In the extremely unlikely event that other considerations will factor into your purchase decision, you should know that the new Kindle Fires have some very useful features.  Check out Second Screen, that lets you mirror your Kindle Fire HDX screen onto your TV screen using a PlayStation 3 or a Samsung TV. In the future, this feature will be compatible with PlayStation 4. (Not sure how to use Second Screen? Mayday!)

You’ll also be able to download Amazon Instant Videos onto your Fire HDX to watch the videos even when you’re not connected to the Internet. Previously, you could only stream the videos so you couldn’t watch them on airplanes, car rides through the desert or other places without Internet availability.

With the new HDX you can send an Amazon Instant Video to your TV using Second Screen but your Kindle Fire HDX doesn’t have to display the video being played. You can use your HDX to play an app, look at photos, tweet, hangout on Facebook or become distracted from the video in countless other ways. You can even walk out of the room with your Fire HDX and the video will still play on the TV screen.

Amazon has expanded its X-Ray feature beyond books and movies into music. You can use X-Ray to identify music that is playing in a movie. You can also settle arguments over song lyrics with X-Ray.

See, Kindle X-Ray – Quench Your Thirst for Knowledge

Kindle Fire Availability

The Kindle Fire HDX will be available in two sizes: 7 and 8.9 inch screens. You can choose from Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi plus 4G. You can also choose to have Special Offers (advertisements that appear on the lock screen) or get rid of them for an extra $15. The tablets come with 16, 32 or 64 GB of storage space. The 7″ starts at $229 and the 8.9″ starts at $379.

In addition to the HDX, Amazon also introduced a new Kindle Fire HD for $139 that lacks some of the features of the HDX such as Mayday, but provides a high quality tablet at a very low price.

New Kindle Fires are available for pre-order now from Amazon. Delivery dates begin with October 2 for the new Fire, October 16 for the 7″ Fire HDX and November 7 for the 8.9″ Fire HDX.

Bottom Line

Having live tech support such as Mayday available 24/7 may be a dream come true for some. If you or someone you know struggles to figure out tech, the new Fire HDX may make using the device, including the advanced features, easier than ever imagined. How great would it be if Mayday became the standard for tech support in the future?

Have you ever wished for a fairy godmother for tech support? Is the idea of Mayday appealing to you? Would you be more likely to get the Kindle Fire HDX because of Mayday? Would you stop reading The Wonder of Tech if you got Mayday? Let us know in the Comments section below!

* Fairy image by Alexandria Lanier (edited)

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  1. Jeevan Jacob John says

    Wow, I say they just achieved their goal! They are redefining customer service. I can only imagine the effect this will have on the Tech world and customer service world (we may need more customer services reps in the future. Or perhaps this may force the advent of humanoid robots into customer service. Okay, that seems a little far fetched, at least for now).

    Second screen and X-ray are cool too, but If I were to buy, I would buy just because of the Mayday feature.

    I do have a question though: I wonder what will happen when Kids are playing with the Fire? What if they accidentally press the Mayday button? :D

    Anyways, thanks for the updates, Carolyn :)

    • says

      Hi Jeevan, Good points. Yesterday I was trying to help someone solve a tech problem over the phone and my first thought was Mayday on the Kindle Fire. If he had only had access to Mayday, what a wonderful experience he would have had.

      Great question about the kids’ access to Mayday. Since the tablet hasn’t been released yet, I don’t have an answer for you. However, I will say that Amazon makes their Kindle Fire very kid-friendly, with FreeTime and separate user accounts for kids. My prediction is that Amazon will let parents restrict access to Mayday in an account that owners set up on their Kindle Fire.
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Hack the Change – Solving Global Issues Using TechnologyMy Profile

  2. Pramod says

    Hi Carolyn !
    Excellent review !
    I really like the specifications of these new HDX tablets . Here in India , i see these two tablets giving a really tough competition to local manufacturers that are enjoying the success of their low budget tablets . These new Kindly fire tablets are low priced and have excellent features like quad core processor , 2GB RAM . Thanks for sharing the information with us .


  3. Oliver smith says


    I am thinking about for purchasing one tablet. i have no idea about best configuration. There are so many tablet company’s give the best configurations but the service center not found. I will try this one product. Thanks for bring me this product in my mind.

  4. marie smith says

    I just got a new kindle and there is no mayday button on mine.I got the 229’00 kindle.very disappointed to see that new item since I just got mine this month.