Amazon Fire Tablets to replace keypad


Inspired by Nate, I am working to change out my two alarm keypads with Amazon tablets that I picked off Woot.  I have Fully Kiosk Browser and ActionTiles setup.  Right now I used Android developer settings to keep on while plugged in.  I am thinking of using the Fully paid option to turn off the screen and back on based on motion detected by the camera.  But the one thing I would love is some option to control my media playback.  I like to play MP3's while sleeping.  Can Amazon Fire OS do split screen?  Can ActionTiles play/pause my VLC app or other media app?  I would love easily control this media while still seeing my zones in one place.

  • Yes, you can go to the ActionTiles website, log in, and develop your panel of tiles that way. But the arrangement of your tiles will not be accurate for your pad because of screen size/resolution differences. I suppose you could try to adjust your screen attributes to that of your pad and that would help. I didn't do that. I just found it easier to have my pad with me to visualize while building the panel on my desktop.
  • Thanks Todd! I watched a couple of videos at lunch and now have an Action Tiles account. Just playing around with it on the PC for now getting use to it. I have it linked to my hub now, and gave access to all my sensors etc. Messing around with it now trying to figure out how to associate a new 'tile' with a given item registered with my SmartThings hub - sensor , light etc.

    And now I have that figured out too. This is really cool.

    Here is something that I am curious about though. Smart Home Monitor - doesn't seem to update its status across all platforms. I have both the classic and new SmartThings App on my phone, as well as Smart Tiles now.  I had planned to delete one of the Apps at some point. 

    If I set the Home Monitor to Alarm Stay in one of these, the other two consistently show the Disarmed status (or whatever the previous status was). Either App to App or App to Smart Tiles (or vice versa). Has anyone seen this?

    For example, I can see when I go to bed and I set the alarm to Armed Stay using the Fire tablet, in the morning I may want to disarm the system from my phone - but it will say Disarmed when I look at it. Make sense? Anyone else experience this?

  • After much reading there seems to be an indefinite hold on using the new SmartThings app in conjunction with the Smart Tiles SmartAPP. I get a pretty consistent update in Smart Tiles when I toggle the SHM settings in the SmartThings app. However, it is spotty when I do the reverse. The SmartThings app doesn't always receive or take a push update from Smart Tiles. Seems somewhat wonky.

    Makes me wonder if at times when they are not in sync, what is the absolute indicator of the current status of SHM? I'm gonna guess it is SmartThings at this point.

  • @Gregory Blakeney

    Stupid question but is your Smart Things App up to date?  I can't say I have had your issue but I have had, at times, Smart Things Automation not recognize that my phone was home (Present) to automatically turn off the alarm when I get home.  I think my issue is my phone just not connecting to my home WiFi router fast enough.

  • Yes, all apps up to date. I narrowed it down to the NEW SmartThings app and SmartTiles. The Classic app and SmartTiles would update in either direction, but the new SmartThings app would not. Then I found the article recommending to stay with SmartThings Classic until further notice. I’m. Along progress today. :)
  • Really happy with it now. Just got full license for Kiosk. Now to get screen saver working.
  • @Gregory

    Nice mount.  DAKBoard is a nice screen saver, even just the free version, just put your DAKBoard Private URL in Fully Kiosk and your done. I will have to play with Classic vs. New ST App to see if I encounter any delays...  If you are Security conscience you might look into NoRoot Firewall.  I have stopped a lot of Amazon's bloatware.  You get it through Google Play Store, if you did not load the APKs for the store let me know I can help.

  • Thanks!! I got DakBoard up and going. I was not able to run the scripts from this site, but found a YouTube vid that showed how to get Fully Kiosk, SmartTiles and DakBoard going. Started with the play store APKs. I’m really happy with it now. Time to get a second screen for the bedroom. Really wish I could find a small cell phone size for the room that only showed SHM. And a frame for it like this one.
  • You might contact Joseph at MotifsEtc see if he can help with a custom mount, I like his mounts, I like how it mounts to the j-box, I know he does 7 inch mounts which is close to a big smart phone now a days.  Who did your frame?

    I just know there is an order to installing the 4 APKs.  Some people mentioned problems, but most were older post issues of just rebooting the tablet after installs.  I did not have any these problems.  This is the one I followed to install Play Store (my 10' Tab is the 2017 version): Play Store

  •  Ditto on MotifsEtc. I ordered both of my HD 8 mounts from him. They are fantastic.

  • This is the mount Jason Thomas offered through Konnected. Pretty happy with it. I used it upside differently from design - judging by the way the charge cord trough was 'printed' - so I had to use m y Dremel to open up a clearance path towards the open end where the tablet is inserted. Worked out fine. Optimal for me would be something the size o an iPhone Plus for the bedroom control. 

    I remember when we moved across town one of the homes we looked at had a cool tablet sized control for the updated alarm system - and I was smitten by it LOL. This is soooo much cooler than that. We have become spoiled even with the DakBoard current temperature and time display. The weather radar in smart tiles is very handy too.  What started as a modern way to control our revitalized, wired alarm system has grown into something even larger. What a journey so far.

  • Please forgive my typing above - it is still early here. I wish there was an edit feature here :)

    And thanks for the suggestions in previous posts also. 

  • So . . . on a roll of sorts . . . I have a new 7” Fire Tablet on the way and a MotifsEtc mount as well. :)
  • I agree Gregory, Nate has opened up a Great solve/solution to our old legacy dumb wired alarm systems.  When we went to look at alternatives, the proprietary smart alarm systems were ridiculous in price, starting at a thousand plus, their only expansion options were their proprietary equipment which was double, even triple the actual cost of the add-on devices you can go buy yourself.  The companies that have you sign a 2 year contract with $40 a month avg. for monitoring are also a thousand dollars.  I guess those system/plans are great for those who are not DIYers, but seriously, Nate's solution was extremely easy to install and have huge room for expansion plus you are not married to any one company/product/device.

    A quick story; During our 2017 Christmas shopping while in Best Buy frustrated with yet another alarm company offering their over priced system, I googled DIY systems and ran across KickStarter's Konnected deal.  When we went home I further looked into this solution, new to kickstarter and with less than 2 hours left on the deal, I purchased a 12 zone system.  Like you said Gregory, wow what a journey.   We are extremely happy with our new system/setup.

    So the wife and I have our calendars on DAKBoard, which is pretty kewl, the only thing it shows our vacation/away dates too, I could see a thief coming in seeing this and smiling/laughing after reading our calendars :)  So not sure if we will continue to use the calendar in DAKBoard :)

  • Hey Greg, I had Joseph add a small hole to get to the power button, via a paper clip.  If you want to reference my order # 1386297910.  When I asked Joseph if I could drill my own hole, he did not recommend it so I let him do it for me.

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