If you’ve been using Alexa routines (not smartthings routines) to get partial integration between smartthings and third-party devices/skills that work with Alexa but not smartthings, Amazon has added some new features over the last couple of months that you might find helpful. So I thought we could use a quick roundup of the ones added in the second half of 2020.
The following are all available in the US, but may not have yet rolled out to other countries.
- Routine triggers.
A) In addition to sensors and Echo buttons, you can now use locks locking, unlocking or jamming as a trigger.
B) you can also use arming or disarming guard as a trigger.
C) you can use setting any of the three ring security modes as a trigger. This is also available with some of the other approved security systems, such as ADT.
- Routine actions
A) if you choose guard as the action, you can arm it.
B) The newest feature is really big news: you can now add one “custom action“ as the last action for a routine. This let you type in anything that you would say to an echo device and it will be processed just as if you had said it. So this gives you full one way integration with anything that has an Alexa skill. (Hopefully in the future they will add the ability to have multiple custom actions or to chain them, but it’s not there yet.)
C) if you have a fire TV device, it will now show up in action, which is mostly useful if you want to pause it at the same time that you are changing light settings. But you may have other uses for it too.
- Other features
A. Amazon has added a bunch of pre-created routines for people to start with.
B. You can also now “share“ routines. I’m not quite sure what that’s for, but it’s there.
These new features are detailed on the new splashy splash page for routines: