Amazon has released an update to the Alexa app that allows you to add your most used smart devices as Favorites, a useful new feature that comes with a few quirks.
This morning an ad for the new Favorites feature appeared in my Alexa app, and Amazon called Favorites a way to “quickly turn the lights on or off and more.”
The Alexa app will automatically add some of your smart devices to your Favorites, which appear in the Devices tab just above your Groups.
You can view six Favorites at once and you can slide the screen to see more. The buttons look like the ones you’ll see in the Apple Home app, and you can tap them to turn specific devices on and off.
An Edit button lets you quickly add or remove favorites, but it’s annoying that you can’t drag the buttons to rearrange them. That means if there is a specific smart device that you want to appear on the first page of Favorites, you will have to delete the existing Favorites until there is room on the first page to add a new one.
Tapping a three-dot “overflow” icon on one of the Favorites buttons takes you to the device settings screen. In the case of a smart light, that’s the screen where you can adjust its brightness or change its color temperature.
While it’s great that the Alexa app now lets you add smart devices as Favorites, it would be even better if you could add a scene as a Favorite as well. For example, I would like a Favorite that activates the scene that turns on all the lights downstairs, rather than a single lightbulb downstairs.
Also, while I understand the logic that Smart Home Favorites appear on the Devices tab, I’d rather they appear on the Home tab, which is the first thing you see when you open the Alexa app. That would save us the hassle of having to switch to the Devices tab to access our one-touch Favorites buttons.
Or how about this? Keep the Favorites buttons on the Devices tab and allow us to set Devices instead of Home as the default when opening the Alexa app? Even better, let’s ditch the Home tab entirely, as it offers little more than useless suggestions and promotions for Amazon services. Seriously, would you miss it?
In any case, you should be able to test your smart home favorites now in the Alexa app, so give it a try.