Latest Alexa app as Hubitat app

I've been playing around with the latest version of Amazon Alexa on my iPhone and have to say it's fulfilling my desire for an easy to use mobile interface. There seem to be a few minor glitches setting up groups but otherwise it looks and works quite nicely.

I'd be interested in others opinions.

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It is an improvement. But my thermostat doesn't come through to Alexa which is a big bummer. My Homebridge to Apple Home is much better. That being said the Apple Home app itself could use some streamlining. Nothing like asking your wrist to lower the temperature just by looking at you watch.

I wish you didn't have to say "Hey Siri". I know it may seem petty, but I find it more intuitive to say "Alexa, do something" than I do "Hey Siri, do something". The way I see it, I almost never start a conversation with "Hey {{name}}" in real life.

With the latest WatchOS update you can just look at your watch and start asking it to do something.
No trigger phrase required. Honestly the "Hey" is better, because whenever you talk about Alexa or a tech show/podcast mentions her by name she goes of because the Mic's are really good at picking that up.

My motto is true automation first, so a digital assistant being used in our house means something isn't automated quite well enough. But no amount of money and smart devices can automate every weird scenario that unfolds at a house.

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I actually find talking to Siri/Homepod makes more sense than an Echo. "Echo turn on bedtime" makes much less sense than "Hey siri, goodnight".

Agreed, I hate when a movie or show triggers my Echos and you only have 4 "wake words" to choose from. All of them are pretty popular words. You don't here "Hey siri" on tv or in movies.

I guess you've never use Alexa Routines then? Every night I simply say "Alexa, good night" and she executes an Alexa Routine which turns off lights, turns off the TV, etc... We also use another Alexa Routine for "Good Morning." Alexa Routines are very nice and allow for much more natural speech.

Yea, there's a reason you hear "Alexa, ...." and "Hey Google, ..." on TV... It's called popularity. I have many iOS devices, but I rarely use Siri for anything. Siri was fun when she first was released, but I find Amazon's Alexa to be much more useful for home automation. Also, the Amazon and Google devices are much more affordable than an Apple HomePod.

Choices are good! I like that there is some healthy competition in this technology space.

I too find Siri to understand me better than Alexa.
Often I forget words of a device name and Alexa says, "Sorry I don't know what that device is" (or something) but Siri runs smart heuristics and must think, OK there's a high probability that this is what this stupid meat-bag meant, I'll do this. I really have to mess it up to have Siri not know what I'm talking about.

Also I've done Alexa, Goodnight and she's just like, "Goodnight!... does nothing else" even after I've set up a routine specifically with that trigger phrase. Siri understands that's the name of a Scene in Homekit, says something cute and does the scene.

To @ogiewon 's point, I'm extremely disappointing that my favorite assistant only exists in a $350 talent-less lump of speaker, or my favorite phone/watch...

You assume incorrectly. I have used the routines and they are clunky at best. As for hearing alexa, echo, amazon and computer (the 4 available wake words for an echo) all over the news, that's fine. But the fact that it can't tell me from the tv is a BIG problem. Siri/Homepod recognizes my voice. You could have commercials say "Hey Siri" all day long and nothing would happen on your device. If the last time you used siri was "when she was first released" you're in for a treat if you try siri again. Better yet, try a homepod. I have yet to ask a homepod to do something more than once. Lots of times I find myself asking Echo to do things over and over because it just "sorry, I can't find that"... Then suddenly, on the third try, it finds it. I didn't say what I said any different way, it just took Echo a few tries to get it right. And "affordable" is a relative term. I have no problem affording a better product. You get what you pay for. The sound quality of a Homepod is 1000 times better than the best echo.

Sounds like your setup is similar to mine. It’s HomeKit automation that fails me. I’m planning to change it back to complete HE control for better reliability.

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I've run into the "Alexa, Goodnight" thing on MANY occasions. Just says "good night, don't let the bed bugs bite" and does nothing... Or MAYBE it puts itself in do not disturb mode, but that's all.

The Homepod's smart heuristics are awesome.

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My homekit automations are dead on, every time, going through my Hubitat using tonesto7's homebridge plugin.

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Like I said, options are a good thing to have. To each his own.

Also, my wood tables aren't damaged by my Amazon/Google devices... :slight_smile: (Yes, I just had to leave that one here as a joke!)

And my wooden tables aren't damaged by my Homepods either...

That's the problem with Apple, it's just Apple.

Google Home Minis are in $20 at Badcock store.

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Yeah I've heard "meh" things about Google home. Although The Internet of Things Podcast is starting to like it in their homes. The Lenovo smart screen or whatever sounds less locked down than the echo show.

It's all still on the rise, although I think it's a little too late for Apple. Homekit prowess is the only thing that the homepod has going for it. The old Apple TV didn't have apps now the new one does, maybe gen 2 homepod will get skills and a cheaper variant.

I pay more for my iPhone because I've had an Android phone recently and found my experience less stable and uniform. Apple would have to pull off that level of bulletproof-ity to convince it's fans.

There are already basic skills on the homepod. It's really up to app developers to add homepod features to their apps. And there wouldn't need to be a "Gen 2" homepod for new features. That's the thing about Apple hardware, it's future proof and you don't need to hardware for new features unless its a new physical feature.

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Interesting to know. I just don't know because my interest in the device is killed by that price point. But as we speak Google Home is taking a huge swing at this space with a $150 speaker with a screen... Well played Google... and a proper Home app redesign... You've got my attention... Now get better keynote speakers :wink:

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You get what you pay for with the Homepod. I didn't believe it until I heard it myself. The sound quality of the Homepod makes the google assistant and amazon echo sound like a tin can pushing sound through a toilet paper tube. Not to mention that the Homepod can tell it's in a corner and turn down the speakers facing the corner. Better than even Sonos. Supposedly there is a lower priced Homepod coming but I can only imagine they sacrificed sound quality to get to the lower price point.

I like your tp tube analogy. I appreciate that and while I'm not an audiophile I am a fading Apple fanboy so I am enticed by it. I think the frugal reality of my budget ultimately takes the lead and this new home hub from Google seems like it checks a lot of the boxes.

Now if only they would realize Youtube Music was a dumb idea and stop killing Google Music...