This morning, I found that my Fire HD 8 had downloaded its latest OS patch, to FireOS version 22.214.171.124—the one that brings with it the new “Show Mode” that you can use if the tablet is plugged in. But one other thing it brought with it was an “Alexa Accessories” notification icon that doesn’t do anything when I tap on it—but won’t go away. As someone who prefers only to see notifications that actually mean something, I found that more than a little annoying.
Someone in a Reddit thread had the same issue when they updated to the latest version of Alexa on their Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, but was able to get it to go away by uninstalling and reinstalling Alexa. However, that’s not an option on the Fire, which counts Alexa as one of its non-removable shovelware apps. So what to do?
I tried “Force Stop” on the Alexa app, and that works for a while—but the next time you run Alexa, the notification icon returns. And if Alexa is stopped, you may not be able to use the services of Alexa as the Fire’s voice-command assistant.
Then I hit on something that seems to work, at least so far. I long-pressed on the “Alexa Accessories” notification until the “i” in a circle appeared, denoting the notification’s info settings. I opened those settings, switched on the “Block” option to block notifications, then switched it off again. The notification disappeared and stayed gone (at least until I force-stopped and relaunched Alexa again, or restarted the tablet). (That’s using the Google Now launcher that I worked out how to install the other day, but I gather from one of the comments in that Reddit thread it also works with the Fire’s “Home” launcher; you just deselect and reselect “Show Notifications.)
You could, of course, just leave the notifications off altogether, but that would mean you wouldn’t get any notifications from Alexa, and there may be some worthwhile ones—I’m not sure yet.
So far, that seems to be the most effective workaround I’ve found to get rid of that obnoxious notification icon. It’s not a perfect solution, as the icon will come back when the app or tablet is restarted, but at least it’s easy to do.
Hopefully Amazon will patch Alexa to fix the problem. Has anyone found any other solutions that work?
Update: On Amazon’s Kindle forums, an Amazon representative says they are aware of the issue and are working on a fix.
If you found this post worth reading and want to kick in a buck or two to the author, click here.