The 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX with Wi-Fi starts shipping Oct. The new Kindle Fire HD (which doesn't work with Mayday) ships Oct. While Mayday is the marquee addition to the latest Fire lineup, it's not the only visible improvement.

18; a 9 version that adds a 4G cellular option ships Nov. The Wi-Fi-only 8.9-inch model starts shipping on Nov. (As always, I need to put the hardware through its paces before reaching a final verdict.)The screens on both the 7-inch and 8.9-inch models look terrific, with Amazon bolstering the display resolution on each compared with the prior generation.

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"And we think this is going to make our devices more heavily used."For now, the Mayday feature only works over Wi-Fi, and only with 7-inch and 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HDX models.

It won't work with the cheaper new Kindle Fire HD model.

Bezos belts out an infectious laugh shortly before demonstrating Mayday, as he poses the question he says is on all of our minds on occasion: "Am I in control of my devices, or are my devices in control of me?

"HOW IT WORKSDuring a Mayday session, in fact, you share control with the Amazon support person who turns up in a small onscreen window within 15 seconds of when you tap the Mayday button.

"This is kind of at the sweet spot of one of the things that Amazon does well, which is marrying high-tech and heavy lifting. A lot of people are going to unwrap their devices and press the Mayday button."Does Mayday also provide commerce opportunity for Amazon, with a rep say, steering a customer to a purchase?

"That's not its primary purpose," Bezos maintains, while adding that studies show that Kindle Fires are heavily used devices.

Though you can see and hear the rep, he or she can hear but not see you.

What the rep can see, however, is precisely what you have on your screen, and can take over in real time to show you how to get things done on the device, or even do them on your behalf.

The 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX starts at 9, while its 8.9-inch sibling goes for 9 on up.

But Amazon has also upped the specs on last year's Kindle Fire HD model with an all-new version that drops that price from 9 to 9.

The screen session can be paused if you need to type in a password, which the rep won't see."Everybody has that feeling from time to time, no matter how sophisticated of a user you are," Bezos says.