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Amazon Rolls Out Smart Home Dashboard

Amazon rolls out new features and functionality to its lineup of Fire TV streaming devices and the recently released Fire TV Omni and 4-Series televisions. Smart Home Dashboard looks similar to what’s already available on the company’s Fire tablets and Echo Show intelligent displays.

The dashboard, available in the US and Canada, offers quick access and on/off toggles for connected lights, plugs, and switches linked to your Alexa system. Smart cameras get their row in the dashboard, complete with a thumbnail of their perspective — though not a live view until you click into them. You could control your smart home gadgets with voice commands through the Fire TV’s Alexa Voice Remote, but it’s always nice to have a virtual interface on the screen for this stuff.

Samsung offers a TV dashboard for its SmartThings platform, and the Apple TV has a semblance of one via Control Center. Amazon says additional features like smart home groups and smart thermostats will be added to the dashboard next year.Amazon also adding what it’s calling an Alexa Shortcut Panel that appears on-screen when you press the remote’s Alexa button. This will get you to “smart home controls, weather, news, and your video library.” The company says this feature will be “broadly” rolled out across Fire TV hardware in the United States.

Amazon is also beefing up the audio side of its Fire TV experience. The company is expanding the ability to use Echo speakers as speakers and bringing that feature to the new Fire TV Stick 4K Max and the Fire TV Omni / 4-Series.

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