Amazon turns your Fire tablet into a smart home control hub
- Amazon gives Fire tablets a Smart Home Control Hub in the device dashboard.
- You can control lights, plugs and switches from one place.
- It will be introduced on some Fire tablets as of 2018.
The Fire tablets from Amazon are now not only suitable for the usual TV shows, books and games, but also as controllers for your Alexa devices. ZDNet reports that Amazon is introducing a smart home area in the device dashboard that turns Fire tablets into control hubs.
Press a smart home button on the navigation bar (bottom left) and you’ll see quick controls that allow you to quickly switch between or access individual devices like cameras, lights, and thermostats. They also have switches that control each device in a specific category – for example, you can turn off all switches at night.
See also: The best smart home devices you can buy
At least for the Smart Home Hub, you need a relatively new tablet. Amazon is now providing it for the Fire HD 8, 2019 Fire 7, 2019 Fire HD 10, and 2020 Fire HD 8 models of the 2018 era.
This is in some ways overdue. Amazon has an extensive ecosystem of smart home devices ranging from smart plugs to ring cameras. It was surprising that Fire tablets did not yet have a central location for controlling all devices. Third-party Alexa hardware has been in the market for several years.
Even so, there is little doubt that this is a welcome update if you are deeply invested in Amazon hardware. You now have an easy way to manage your smart home from a Fire tablet without having to resort to individual apps or Alexa voice commands. This can be particularly helpful if you manage multiple devices at the same time or do not want to wake a sleeping partner to turn on a light in the hallway.