Amazon is turning its Fire TV devices into the best smart home displays

Cupertino, December 8, 2021

While Amazon is dealing with the disruption of AWS, the company has taken the time to launch a lot of new features for Fire TV devices, which are turning their smart TVs into smart screens.

The first major feature that comes on its TVs is the new Smart Dashboard, which is very similar to what it is. For Fire TV users in the US and Canada, this new screen gives users quick and easy access to their smart home devices directly from the TV. Users can easily manage their devices on this screen, as they do on some of the best Amazo Echo Show displays.

It even has a row dedicated to smart cameras to quickly see the surroundings. Support for groups and thermostats will come in early 2022.

To open the Smart Dashboard, Fire TV users just need to say, "Alexa, show me the dashboard for my smart home."

Or, if you don't need the entire dashboard, the new Alexa shortcut panel is just a click away for US Fire TV owners. Now, by tapping the Alexa button on the Fire TV remote, users will have access to a shortcut panel at the bottom of their screen. This will give you quick access to smart home controls, weather, news and photo library.

An attractive feature is Alexa Home Theater, which comes with Omni and 4-Series Fire TVs, as well as Fire TV Stick 4K Max. This allows users to pair speakers like the Amazon Echo (fourth generation) with their devices for a home theater-like experience. Amazon notes that the Fire TV Stick 4K Max will need to be connected to the eARC HDMI port for this feature to work.

Finally, Amazon is bringing Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit to Omni and 4-Series, and Zoom will be available on the Omni series in the coming weeks, which will work as long as you have a compatible webcam attached.

Amazon notes that many of these features "will be launched in the coming weeks."

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