Amazon first launched a Smart Home Dashboard on Fire TV devices a little over a year ago. The dashboard has never really been emphasized or highlighted by Amazon, even though it has existed for quite a while. It always felt more like an experiment than a primary feature, but now the Smart Home Dashboard has been overhauled with a new look that shrinks controls and icons to provide a much denser view of your smart lights, plugs, security cameras, and more.
You open the new Smart Home Dashboard just like before, by saying “Show my Smart Home Dashboard” into the mic of your Fire TV remote or hands-free if you have a Fire TV Cube or hands-free capable Fire TV Smart TV. The single row of “Recently Used” smart home devices that used to serve as the home screen of the Smart Home Dashboard has been replaced by a row for your security cameras and a second row of your “Favorites.” You can add or remove favorited smart home devices through the Devices section of the Alexa mobile app.
Along the top of the Smart Home Dashboard is a navigation bar for seeing your groups, lights, plugs, switches, and cameras separately. When viewing your groups, which, again, are configured using the Alexa mobile app, you can turn the entire group on/off or select the group to see all the smart home devices within that group together on a single screen.
While viewing a grid of smart home devices using any of the main tabs, like lights, plugs, and switches, pressing the SELECT button on the remote will toggle the device on or off. If you want to adjust other settings, like the brightness of a light, you can press the MENU button while a device is highlighted to view all controls available for that device. Cameras are simply selected to view in full screen with no other options.
I don’t know if it’s related to the server issues Amazon has been going through lately or what, but my own dashboard is quite wonky. The majority of my devices, which work fine through the Alexa app and through the dashboard on my Echo Show, are listed as disconnected and inaccessible on the Fire TV’s dashboard. None of my cameras show preview thumbnails, like Amazon’s own marketing screenshot at the top of this post, but that may be limited to Amazon’s own Ring cameras, which I don’t have. Further, my smart thermostat is missing entirely, despite being present and controllable with the old dashboard design.
This redesigned Smart Home Dashboard for Fire TV devices is supposed to be rolling out now, so it may not be available yet on your Fire TVs. Perhaps, once the rollout is complete and/or Amazon corrects its server issues, the dashboard will stabalize and become more useful. There is also an “Alexa Shortcut Panel” coming soon to Fire TV devices that is supposed to provide “quick access to smart home controls, weather, news, and your video library.” You open the Alexa Shortcut Panel by pressing the Alexa/Mic button once, but it’s not working on any of my devices yet.