Amazon Fire tablets are getting a smart home control panel

Chris Davies - Oct 27, 2020, 9:41am CDT
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Amazon Fire tablets are getting a smart home control panel

Amazon is making it easier to control smart home devices from its Fire tablets, with the new Device Dashboard pulling together all of your connected lights, cameras, and appliances in a more seamless interface. The new update condenses all Alexa-linked smart home devices into a single page, rather than sending you hunting through individual apps (or, for that matter, controlling everything by voice).

With the update installed, there’ll be a new Smart Home button in the left corner of the navigation bar. That’ll be visible regardless of what you’re doing on the tablet – assuming the navigation bar is visible – including on the lock screen.

Tapping it will bring up the Device Dashboard, which aims to provide the essential controls rather than replicate everything an individual device’s app could do. Toggle switches across the top, for example, will allow users to turn all their lights on or off, control all of their smart plugs, or all of their switches.

Underneath, meanwhile, will be tiles for individual devices. The Device Dashboard will show those which have been used recently, as well as allowing individual tiles to be pinned in place for frequent access. You’ll be able to toggle lights on and off and – bulb depending – see brightness, for example, check thermostat temperatures and adjust them, and load different camera views.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen such an interface, mind. Alexa-powered Amazon smart displays, such as the new third-generation Echo Show 10, have a smart home interface, as for that matter do Google’s Nest smart displays. Of course, how useful that is depends on how close you are to that smart display in the first place, whereas a Fire tablet is something you can take around with you.

Amazon says that the new Device Dashboard will be arriving on Fire tablets from today.


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