If you've been trying to use your Fire tablet as a home hub using Amazon's various tools, now there’s a much quicker way to take charge of your smart home devices. Slated to roll out starting today, Amazon's new Device Dashboard will be your one-stop control panel for all your Alexa-connected smart devices, from smart lights and plugs to security cameras and thermostats.
You can access the Device Dashboard from the new Smart Home button in the navigation bar of your Fire tablet, so you can quickly call up the dashboard from the home screen, lock screen, or while you’re using another app.
Like hubs on Google's Smart Displays and Apple's Home app, you’ll need to set up and configure a smart device using the Alexa app before you can start controlling it with the Device Dashboard. We haven't had a chance to test it yet, but a screenshot supplied by Amazon reveals buttons near the top of the screen that let you control all your smart lights, plugs, switches, and other smart devices with a tap.
Below those buttons are tiles for pinned and recent smart devices. For example, you can tap a tile to turn a selected smart bulb on and off or adjust its brightness, while another tile might let you view the live feed of a security camera.
While you can already control Alexa-enabled smart home devices using the Alexa app on an Amazon Fire tablet, it requires users to switch apps and dig into the Devices menu. With the new Device Dashboard, you’ll be able to take charge of your smart devices even while you’re using another app, and without having to drill down into additional menu screens.
Once you’ve configured the Device Dashboard, your customizations will be synced across any Fire tablets that are associated with your Amazon account.