I’ve been playing around with the new Amazon Fire HD8 Plus and I’m really liking it as a dedicated Home Assistant tablet in the living room. I bought the bundle with the wireless charging stand so that the tablet can be moved around easily. I had the 2017 version of the HD8 which I was able to get Home Assistant to be functional, but I wasn’t happy with it. So far, I haven’t found any problems with it besides the price. I haven’t tested Alexa or Google Assistant with it, but I wouldn’t expect it to be great. Here are some highlights:
- No more lock screen ads or lock screen! Pressing the Power button from sleep mode will bring up the Home Assistant UI (assuming that was the last app you opened), just like with a regular Android tablet
- Google Play Services and Play Store are supported. I use the Amazon Fire Toolbox to easily install the service.
- Still uses an outdated Android Webview version, but there are no issues loading custom Lovelace cards
- When using the bundled wireless charging stand, the tablet screen can stay awake to display the Home Assistant UI. You need Fully Kiosk Browser and the ‘keep screen awake’ setting enabled.
- Resuming the tablet from sleep is very quick, taking less than a second.
- Home Assistant UI is snappy using the latest HA 0.111
- Battery life can last for the full day with the screen being on for hours (will likely degrade over time though)
So yeah, I’m pretty happy with it. Though keep in mind the screen size is small, so I designed my Lovelace UI to focus on media and nothing else. I’ll share some videos later to demonstrate these features. If there is anything you want me to test out, let me know!