Which tablet for dashboard?

I want to wall mount a tablet to run either ActionTiles or SharpTools, and am debating which tablet to use. I know this has been asked before but I haven’t found a good answer yet, so I’m trying here. The display would be just for AT or ST, and would be permanently mounted (it doesn’t need to be taken off the wall). I’d like it to dim during the night. I don’t care if it has motion detection to wake the screen. I don’t need to have it PIN locked.

My options seem to be either an iPad, a Fire tablet, or an android tablet. I’m very familiar with the Apple ecosystem, and I know an iPad can do what I want. But a new Fire tablet is quite a bit cheaper than a used iPad. And, the wall mounts I’ve seen tend to look cleaner for the Fire - i.e. its just a frame and the screen - no need to leave cutouts for the iPad button.

OTOH, while I consider myself to be reasonably adept technically, I have zero experience with FireOS or Android, and I don’t really want to spend a lot of time learning another ecosystem. I’ve read accounts on line saying that the Fire tablet is a bit of a PITA because you need to get rid of Amazon’s ads, install Google Play, and then install Fully Kiosk Browser (another expense?) if you want to get it to dim at night. I’m not sure what all is involved with an Android tablet.

Opinions? What are the downsides to a Fire or Android tablet? Is this easier than I’m making it sound?


Im currently running a fire hd 10 with actiontiles…im still designing my AT layout but seems to work…i havent implemented fully kiosk browser yet but i will eventually

I’m confused as to why you haven’t found a good answer in any of the existing threads on this topic, since there didn’t seem to be anything particularly new in your post. Can you be more specific as to why the following threads didn’t give you the information you were looking for? Or why you didn’t just ask in one of those?

This is a very active forum, and there’s a lot of useful information here, but it becomes less useful if there are too many duplicate threads. :wink:

Create custom dashboard? (2019)


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Yes, I saw that post - it talks a lot about AT and SharpTools. The reason for my post really has more to do with advantages of say, an iPad over a Fire or Android tablet. I’ve waded enough through smart home stuff to know they each have their own, often deep, rabbit holes. Not having any experience with FireOS or Android, I don’t know how deep those rabbit holes are. I’m sort of leaning toward a Fire tablet. Would you say that it relatively painless to get one set up as I described?

And I don’t want to clog up the forum. But, for example, if I search for “best tablet for dashboard”, I didn’t see any posts that discuss these 3 tablets, and some of them are quite old (3-4 years). Guess I’m still learning how this forum works.

Thanks for your help!

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The two threads that I linked to both discuss setting up a fire tablet. And, no, it’s not particularly easy but it is doable. The details are in that thread. The specific post I linked to is from last month, so certainly current. :sunglasses:

Since both action tiles and sharptools can run in a browser, it doesn’t matter which tablet you pick in that regard. But again, there is some discussion in the other threads.

iPads are easy, just expensive. They also give you the option to run HomeKit if you are interested in that.

Also, just so you know, in this forum we have many different members with different priorities, preferences, and budgets. And from different countries. So it’s very rare that there is a “one best“ answer for anything. Different things will work for different people. Which is a good thing.

As far as wall mounts, again, lots of discussion in the other threads and budget makes a big difference. There are many really elegant frames available for iPads, but some are very expensive. At my house we just use Sugru.

There are also multiple project report threads in the forum where people have posted what they’ve done, for example:

If all you want to do is use the tablet as a control panel with either actiontiles or sharp tools, you will be only be using the browser capabilities of the tablet, so again, there aren’t too many issues. If you want to also run the smartthings app itself, then you run into some other stuff on the Fire tablet. But that’s discussed in the other threads.

In our house, we have 2 fire tablets, 1 Samsung tablet and 1 iPad. We use actiontiles with fully kiosk on all but the iPad. We don’t use homekit and our son predominately uses the iPad for YouTube kids, so I can’t comment further on that. Having said that, I highly recommend fire tablets. They are extremely cheap, they run actiontiles very well, and being on constant charge and the display on all day, every day, neither have had any issues. And by using the Fire Toolbox that @JDRoberts linked from a previous post of mine, it is extremely easy to remove the bloat and install the necessary apks. And by easy, I mean plugging in a micro USB cord to your desktop, running Fire Toolbox, and clicking a few buttons.

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