Amazon Fire tablets are to get a new menu that will allow you to easily control Alexa-compatible smart home gadgets.
Amazon announced the new menu on 27 October 2020. Called The Device Dashboard, the Fire tablet-exclusive feature is rolling out and can be accessed through a new Smart Home button found on the left of the navigation bar.
According to the tech giant, the new feature, available to all current Fire HD tablets "provides a simple and convenient way to control smart home products that work with Alexa, such as smart lights, cameras, thermostats, switches, and plugs."
Amazon has said the new interface is meant for when “touch might be more convenient than voice". Keep in mind Fire tablets and other Alexa devices have long been able to control smart home devices through spoken commands, so The Device Dashboard opens up more ways of controlling your smart home. Imagine mounting a Fire tablet to use as a touchscreen smart home hub.
According to Amazon, you won’t have to close out of an app to access The Device Dashboard on your Fire tablet; just open it from the navbar. However, it's only available on newer Amazon tablets, like the 2018 Fire HD 8, 2019 Fire 7, 2019 Fire HD 10, and 2020 Fire HD 8.
"You can access the new Device Dashboard from your Fire tablet screen by simply tapping the new Smart Home button on the left corner of the navigation bar," adds Amazon in a statement to Pocket-lint. "The Smart Home button is accessible from any screen, including the lock screen, so you can easily control your compatible Alexa-enabled smart home products without having to close any apps."
For more about Alexa and Fire tablets and how they work, check out our guides:
- What is Alexa and what can Amazon Echo do?
- How to get started with Amazon Echo and Alexa
- Amazon Fire tips and tricks: Making the most of your tablet