(Pocket-lint) - The Alexa app has been given a major visual overhaul, complete with an improved interface and easier-to-find controls for smart home devices.
If you've used Alexa before, you'd know that the Alexa app is essentially companion software used to set up Amazon’s Echo devices. Pocket-lint has published hundreds of guides and features on Alexa over the years, with many of them focusing on how the Alexa app works. Here's a taste:
- Amazon Alexa app: How to master your Echo or Alexa
- How to get started with Amazon Echo and Alexa
- Best Alexa tips and tricks: Get more from Amazon's assistant
- What is Alexa and what can Amazon Echo do?
Our biggest pain-point with Alexa has never been how the AI works (it's amazing and getting better all the time), but actually how the app looks. Right from day one, it seemed dated, and frequently used settings were difficult to toggle between. Amazon is trying to change that, four years after the launch of Alexa, with a totally refreshed Alexa app. And the most obvious change is the design.
Starting now, the Alexa app is much more colorful. It's ditched the white icons on dark backgrounds, in favour of colorful icons and backgrounds. Another improvement can be seen in the devices tab, which lets you view all your different Alexa-enabled devices and groups on one screen, rather than having to switch between tabs. The device types are displayed as icons across the top of the screen.
Below those are groupings of devices by room, each with their own “on/off” button, and there's a small “+” button at the top right of the screen that lets you quickly add a device. Adding Bluetooth speakers to multi-room music groups is now supported, as well. The app also makes it easier to call, message, or “drop in”. Other than that, the new Alexa app largely works the same as it did before.
The update is now rolling out for both iOS and Android worldwide.