Amazon’s Fire tablets are getting new smart home controls

Amazon is adding a Device Dashboard to select Fire tablets, allowing users to control their smart-home gadgets with taps instead of voice commands. Starting today.

The Device Dashboard will be accessible via the new Smart Home button in the left corner of the navigation bar. Additionally, it’ll be accessible from any screen, including the lock screen.

The update turns the Fire tablet into a control center for Amazon’s growing list of Alexa-powered devices, including the new, globular Echo.

Although Alexa-compatible smart home devices can already be controlled with spoken commands (including via Fire tablets), Amazon says the new interface is meant for when “touch might be more convenient than voice.” It opens up some fun possibilities, like mounting a cheap Amazon Fire tablet on a wall to use as a smart home controller.

According to ZDNet, the update is limited to a selection of Amazon’s more recent tablets: the 2018 Amazon Fire HD 8, the 2019 Amazon Fire 7, the 2019 Amazon Fire HD 10, and the 2020 Amazon Fire HD 8.

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