Alexa Helper - Change mode or phrase with a switch toggle

The current version is 2.2.2, revised just today. This fixes an issue with slot 4.


Maybe I’m doing this wrong, but whenever i make something within the app, it never saves. I hit done, it saves but when I open the app again, it is blank and no slots are full.

Do you hit Done for each slot and THEN Done to exit the app? Just keep pressing any DONE button in the upper right until you are back at the main app…If that doesn’t work, it sounds like you will need to call support as that is not normal.

@megalithic This is an old post. For me probably the hue integration is the best integration now in my setup.

1 Like

A little frustrated right now, not with this great work you’ve done but with trying to find out how to actually install it. I’m VERY new to SmartThings and although I love it and am diving in head first, finding simple answers are, how shall I put this, more torturous than the Spanish Inquisition. I’ve searched and searched but the forum is not quite the easiest place to find simple answers.

All I’m just trying to find out is how I add this app. I’ve searched through the SmartApps section of Marketplace on my phone in literally every category but I can’t find it. I see your code listed throughout this thread so that makes me think I need to somehow install the code and that it is not in the Marketplace. But honestly I can’t find anything that explains how to accomplish this.

Yep, I’m one frustrated noob.

This should help (this is a clickable link)

Also, although it’s literally just a few weeks old, the community is creating a new wiki to make it easier to find things like this. As I often say, forums are for questions and discussions, wikis are for answers. So you might also check the wiki although again, it’s very early days there. It does happen to have the same custom code FAQ so you’ll be able to find it there again in the future easier if you need it. :sunglasses:


JDRoberts has written a lot of good FAQ that has made it easier for me to learn how to install these apps you find on these forums. I felt exactly like you did and I have been a Smarthings user since day 1 when I backed the Kickstarter project. You will get a hang of it really quickly. Just read basically every FAQ posted by JDRoberts on this forum.


Thanks for the shout. A lot of community members have contributed a lot of great material, including FAQs. It’s just that it’s really hard to find in the forums. We’re hoping the wiki changes that. It also has pointers back to discussion threads in the forums so people can ask follow-up questions or brainstorm specific projects. :sunglasses:

Yes, my ST bookmarks tab in firefox is currently loaded with 14 of his posts (now 15).


And sorry, I guess it’s a bit late and I was more upset than normal. Because clearly there are some posts out there that answered the question in simple easy to understand terms a noob like me needs.

1 Like

My hope, seriously, is that in the future you’ll only need the one link to the wiki. And from there you’ll be able to search and find whatever you need including links back into the forum discussions.

One of the best things about a wiki is that a lot of people can edit it so It should stay up to date and not be so much repetitive stuff. :sunglasses:

1 Like

I am new to this. I added and published the coded date 11/17/15 via IDE. Try to install it from ST mobile app but when I tap on creating a new scenario, the message “smartthing has crashed …” popup and the smarthings app is restarted. What I am doing wrong ? Thanks.

Actually, I just did a major upgrade. Please read here: [RELEASE] Alexa Helper

In summary, there are two versions now…Version 2.2.2 which is a stand alone app that will no longer be supported (Now called Alexa Helper-Original).

The new version has two parts (a parent and child app). This is version 3.0.0 and available in the link above. It sounds like you installed the Parent app and are missing the child app. Please note…on the child app do NOT publish it…just save it.

Thanks Michaels. I added both versions to mysmartapps. For testing, I used version 2.2.2 and got the door lock to lock/unlock according to the virtual switch on/off state. However, Alexa only response to command turn on/off the door instead of open/close (or lock/unlock: is this possible ? ). What I need to do for Alexa to response to open/close words ?

Unfortunately that is controlled by Amazon. There are certain key words that mean different things to Alexa and as such, she doesn’t respond well to them. For example, I set up a virtual switch called ‘sleep in’ that puts the house into a different mode than a normal weekday so the Talking Alarm Clock (my app) doesn’t go off…Spent an hour with different combinations only to find out Alexa doesn’t like a switch called ‘Sleep’ as it is one of her key words. Another key word she doesn’t like is ‘wake’…Oh well…I now call sleeping in (no alarm) ‘Holiday Mode’.

So just a question, now that Trigger Happy is out there, is this still needed for Mode changes to work with Alexa? Is it a better option?

I wasn’t sure if this was doing something specifically related to Alexa or if this was just the same method for interacting with Alexa to get mode changes to happen using a Virtual Button Device?

I’m trying to keep my list of custom SmartApps manageable. The app has worked well, in my testing. I’m just trying to see what the best options are. Thanks!

It really depends on what you are attempting to accomplish. Trigger Happy (from my assumption since I don’t have it installed) is that you can have a variety things happen when you trigger something (i.e. a virtual switch).

For me, I have a set of routines that I want to trigger on a normal basis. These routines lock the doors, turn off lights, set the mode, turn on the alarm, etc. Another app could do that…the routines are just built in so that works well for me. That is the beauty of community built apps…they serve a purpose for some folks, and someone else will come up with another app to appeal to someone else.

However, to give my app a shameless plug, I am not sure Trigger Happy can set the thermostat to a specific temp like mine can :slight_smile: (newest version just posted this weekend). All joking aside, I make no money by creating my apps so there is actually no incentive to do it outside of the love of HA.

New Version : [RELEASE] Alexa Helper


No need for a plug to be shameless. I completely appreciate the work you’ve put in on it. What you said was exactly what I’m looking for. I haven’t really gotten into Trigger Happy, either. I’m just trying to look at options. Again thanks for the work on this app.

Thanks…Like you I want to keep my app count down and ‘keep it simple’…That is why I created my own apps. However, as ST has evolved I have actually scuttled many of them in lieu of built in apps…a good example is the Smart Lighting App…It literally replaced 2 or 3 of my independent apps…Again, I have had my apps published by ST, but this is for fun and not for profit, so it comes down to what ever works.

The Alexa app is the same way…if you want something that just triggers a routine or changes temperature on a thermostat, this is your app. If you don’t use routines and want various unique things to happen when you trigger a virtual switch, than Rule or Trigger Happy may be the solution.

Gotta love some of the aspects of the open ST model…there is never a right answer…there are multiple right answers depending on your situation.


I am on V2 hub and just setup version 3.2 of the Alexa Helper. When I click on “Create new Alexa Scenario” it does nothing. Am I missing something? I tried to quicky read through the posts here, but from what I see it should work.

You should have all 3 pieces (code above in this thread):

Alexa Helper-Parent: Sounds like you have done this
Alexa Helper-Scenario: You may be missing this code. You will SAVE it, but don’t publish it
Virtual Dimmer Code: You will only need this if you want to use the thermostat or speaker functionality. This is not an app, but a new device.

Let me know if you installed all of these.