Mayday Demo on Kindle Fire HDX 7″

I tried Amazon’s revolutionary Mayday video tech support for the first time today using a review copy of the Kindle Fire HDX 7″. It’s simply fantastic.

In this video, you will see a tech helper named Whitney walk me through a problem I had with my New Yorker subscription, which turns out not to be available yet on the HDX. Whitney was able draw orange circles on my screen, to show me precisely where to tap, and she could see exactly what I was looking at.

Amazon’s tech support by phone has always been exemplary, but when you add the ability to see the person who is helping you, it’s a whole new experience. It’s more personal, as if you’ve asked a friend for help and you’re both sitting at the same desk, working through the problem.

In an earlier session, I had been trying to hit the delete button on the Kindle Fire, but it was covered up by the video chat box showing the tech support guy who was helping me. When I tried to move the box, I inadvertently clicked on the “X” that ended the session, and he disappeared. If you put the arrow on the video image, you can move the video window around as needed. The Amazon tech helper can also move the screen from his or her end of the transaction.

The HDX doesn’t ship until late next week, so the Mayday staffing is not as robust as it will be at launch. Even so, I had to wait for just a few seconds for Whitney to appear in the little video window on my Kindle Fire. The goal when Mayday goes live is to have a response time of 15 seconds or less. I have no doubt that Amazon will meet this goal, and that people are going to love it.

Mayday will reset expectations for tech support the way the original Kindle reset expectations for eReaders. Instead of loading books to your device with a cable, the way the Sony Reader did, the original Kindle let you download them wirelessly to the device. It seemed like magic. And now, instead of talking to an unseen person on the phone, you will see your tech helper onscreen in 15 seconds, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for free.

I hope you find this demo useful. I will have more about my first impressions of the Kindle Fire HDX 7″ in this week’s episode of The Kindle Chronicles podcast.

Send to Kindle

Comments 10

  1. Amy wrote:

    It is indeed very impressive. I feel slightly creeped out by the feature though. In their TV ads they emphasize that “we can’t see you!” so they acknowledge that people might be worried about that, but of course they can hear you. So can they only hear you when you push the mayday button? Or am I being overly paranoid?

    Posted 07 Oct 2013 at 11:59 pm
  2. Len Edgerly wrote:

    That’s my understanding, Amy. It would be way too much help if they were listening in all the time, waiting for us to express an expletive of frustration, then appearing with a friendly “I see you’re having trouble, can I help you?” You can also have them turn off their view of the screen if you need to enter a password or something. When they can’t see the screen you see a message to that effect. In concept, I wondered if the Mayday help would seem intrusive, but in dealing with two actual tech helpers it seemed natural and helpful. Quite an amazing innovation.

    Posted 08 Oct 2013 at 6:42 am
  3. Wayne Scott wrote:

    Thanks for the review Len. I think it is a cool and innovative feature. However I have found that none of the “normal” people I have told about Mayday have seemed impressed or interested. “Oh I would never use that.”

    Amazon may have trouble getting people to see the value of this feature relative to its cost.

    Posted 08 Oct 2013 at 10:36 am
  4. Len Edgerly wrote:

    You may be right, Wayne. My has expressed interest, but she doesn’t have a Fire and has no intention of getting one.

    Posted 08 Oct 2013 at 11:26 am
  5. Tom Welch wrote:

    The Kindle Fire is not a real tablet, just a way for Amazon to sell consumers content. Anyone with half a brain understands marketing ploy!

    Posted 08 Oct 2013 at 9:32 pm
  6. Karen Horvath wrote:

    Thanks for the video Len, it looks pretty slick. I see that this is your 11th Kindle and I am only up to 7, lol. I noticed you have a lot of apps I haven’t seen before. What was the pansy flower app? Maybe a favorite Kindle app segment is in order? Karen

    Posted 09 Oct 2013 at 10:02 pm
  7. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Not sure what app you spotted, Karen. Favorites is a good suggestion!

    Posted 10 Oct 2013 at 10:34 am
  8. Len Edgerly wrote:

    That seems a tad harsh, Tom. I find the Fire to be real as rocks, doing things I want done.

    Posted 10 Oct 2013 at 10:37 am
  9. Rich wrote:

    Already got my Kindle Fire HDX and went for the 7 inches. I really love it especially the screen and it is blazing fast. Got mine at

    Posted 14 Oct 2013 at 4:02 am
  10. Kyle Michel Sullivan wrote:

    Are you aware that since Russell Grandinetti joined Amazon in 2009, there have been two sudden purges of self-published Kindle books related to erotica? It’s happening right now, not just in Kindle, this time, but also Nook and Kobo, all because one right-wing freak in the UK complained about some of the books of erotica being offered.

    One of my books was hit by Grandinetti’s purge solely because of the title — How To Rape A Straight Guy — and this was despite it being vetted by Kindle’s staff in January 2011 (during his first purge) and found to be neither pornographic nor erotic, but a brutal story with meaning behind it. I’ve been in contact with Amazon and Kindle about this and shown them the notice I received in response to the book being checked out, but all I get back from them is the usual e-mail that basically says — “We can do what we want and don’t have to tell you why.”

    Which may be true. The censors once banned the works of James Joyce and Henry Miller because they were deemed pornographic. And if this continues, they may even go after books like The Count of Monte Cristo, which has a horrific scene where a young virginal girl is kidnapped by bandits, raped and killed…and where the Count uses hashish and opium to relax and entices a young male friend into doing so, too. And that used to be required reading in schools.

    And don’t think they won’t. The purge has become so ludicrous, a Christian cross-racial romance with just the word “temptation” in its title was banned. Of course, at the same time, books like 50 Shades of Gray and Flowers in the Attic are untouched…I guess because they are backed by major publishers. At least, they’re untouched for now.

    The thing is, once censorship is accepted, it never stops.

    Posted 16 Oct 2013 at 11:01 pm