Amazon has redesigned its Alexa mobile app with a focus on improving the software’s layout and reorganizing key sections.
The tech giant has been making incremental changes to Alexa throughout 2023, like when it added a new Home Shortcuts Bar. But instead of feeding users one by one, Amazon seemed to feel it was necessary roll out the rest of the update in one big push.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the Home tab is more structured than before. As TheVerge notes, the old app had a random assortment of “Most Relevant” and “Recently Used” items on the Home tab. The layout is more compartmentalized with a shortcuts carousel at the top, an activities section in the middle, and favorites at the bottom taking up a large amount of space.
According to Amazon, Shortcuts “organizes devices by category and” displays frequently used features such as Routines. If you don’t use certain features, users can customize the carousel to meet their needs. In that area you can even see the current status of your smart home gadgets. However, the availability of the status readouts is a bit strange. The announcement states that it will first appear for users who have “20 or fewer devices,” before expanding to others in the coming months.
Easily accessible information
Activity cards display “time-sensitive information” such as reminders or upcoming alarms. If you look at the preview image, upcoming events are placed at the front. Everything else will be hidden, although you can tap Show All to expand the menu.
Favorites provide quick access to frequently used devices so you can control them with one tap. At the time of writing, eight device types are supported, including smart lights, locks, and cameras, to name a few. Amazon says it plans to expand this list later.
The Devices page has also been revamped and essentially becomes the app’s new settings menu. Groups, at the top of this page, bundle all connected hardware in a home’s room together for easier configuration. But if you prefer to customize them individually, each gadget will appear in the list below. Amazon also took the time to upgrade the software’s search function. Now you can sort devices by alphabetical order, the date they were added, their name, or by certain keywords.
The updated Alexa app is making its way to Android and iOS, but we should mention that the latter will have an exclusive feature called Map View.
This tool creates a digital map of your home and then pins all your connected smart home gadgets so you can see where everything is. It will only be available in preview to a select group in the United States. No word on when it will be widely released or if it will roll out to Android, although we asked Amazon for more details. This story will be updated at a later date.
Until we hear back, check out Ny Breaking’s list of the best smart speakers for 2023.