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Amazon Adds Favorites and Shortcuts to Alexa App

Amazon Alexa device

Amazon has unveiled a redesigned Alexa app, offering users an enhanced experience in managing their smart home devices.

The updated app has new customization options and prioritizes frequently used smart home controls and Alexa features, Amazon said in a Friday (Dec. 1) press release.

One update is the inclusion of Favorites on the Home page, enabling users to access their most-used devices and features, according to the release. Favorites encompass a range of device types, including Echos, lights, plugs, switches, locks, cameras, thermostats and temperature sensors.

Another addition is the Shortcuts bar, which categorizes devices and showcases popular Alexa features, the release said. Users can customize the rotating carousel at the top of the Home page to display their preferred shortcuts. The Shortcuts bar also provides real-time updates on the status of connected devices.

The Activity section has been streamlined, with activity cards now stacked to optimize space on the Home page, per the release. The cards display time-sensitive information like timers, upcoming alarms or user-set reminders.

For Ring Protect subscribers, the Alexa app will soon allow viewing of up to six snapshots from connected Ring cameras directly from the Home page under Favorites, according to the release.

Amazon has also enhanced the chat experience with Alexa, the release said. Users can engage in conversations with Alexa through voice or text in a single location within the app. By tapping the blue chat indicator on any page, users can access to a chat experience, full-screen visual responses and suggested conversation prompts.

The Devices page has received improvements as well, per the release. Users can filter content by device type, sort devices, and search for devices by name or keywords. The List View and Map View options provide an overview of connected devices throughout the home.

The new Map View enables users to create a digital version of their home’s floor plan using a compatible iOS device, according to the release. Users can then pin their connected devices to the floor plan, allowing for easy access and control of smart home devices. The feature is currently available as a preview to select customers in the U.S.

PYMNTS Intelligence found that an additional 21 million people have adopted smart home gadgets over the past year. This is one example of how they continue to integrate digital into their daily routines, according to “The ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report: The Evolving Digital Daily.”