If you bought an Amazon Fire tablet you probably got it as a portable and affordable entertainment machine, but the low-cost slates are about to get a whole lot more useful for smart home fans.
Rolling out immediately, Amazon Fire tablets are gaining smart home controls, so they'll have a menu from which you can control your lights, thermostats, security cameras, and whatever other Alexa-enabled devices you have in your smart home ecosystem.
- Check out our Amazon Echo (2020) review
- And our Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus review
- What Black Friday Amazon deals will there be?
The slates won't become miniature Amazon Echo devices, as these controls are limited to you touching buttons in a menu, similar to Android 11's home controls, but this will be useful for those who prefer touch to talk. In this way, it's also different from the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus' Show Mode, which did effectively turn that device into an Alexa-fied smart speaker.
Given that Amazon Fire tablets are popular 'on-the-go' slates for watching movies and shows, reading books or playing games while you're traveling, smart home control will be useful for helping you to manage your devices when you're not there.
This new update to Amazon Fire tablets is rolling out immediately – you can see which models it's compatible with below. If you don't have a compatible Fire tablet, but like the sound of this new feature, Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are likely to bring some great savings, and you can also check out our Amazon Fire deals roundup for the best prices right now.
Which Amazon Fire tablets are compatible?
The following Amazon Fire tablets will get the new update, bringing smart home controls to the device:
Of course, it's almost certain that future Fire tablets will get the smart home control feature too, although we don't know which model or models Amazon plans to launch next.
Amazon's suite of smart home appliances is growing all the time, with the Amazon Luna gaming service and Amazon Halo fitness tracker the two major new devices on the horizon.
So it makes sense that, as the company launches new gadgets and accessories, it updates its older ones to ensure as much smart harmonization as possible.