Amazon’s Fire tablets are getting new smart home controls

Amazon is adding a new menu to select Fire tablets to control Alexa-compatible smart home gadgets, the company has announced. The Device Dashboard, which is rolling out starting today, can be accessed via a new Smart Home button on the left of the navigation bar.

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.

As you can see in the image above, the shortcut to access the smart home device dashboard is accessible from the navigation bar, and Amazon says you don’t have to close your current app to access its controls.

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.