Great points Michael, but you’re a bit off base on your statements of EchoSistant. I’d love to see you install it and get a first hand experience of what it can do for you too, instead of just “hearing” about it.
Peter and Paul, take Michael’s advice, install both apps. You will find them both very useful and the least that will happen is that your SmartThings experience will become better.
I’ll highlight some of the outstanding features of EchoSistant.
App Install ~ Both Apps install exactly the same. They both require a Lambda account and function, An Amazon Skills account and Skills, and SmartThings IDE install of the app. Both are documented extremely well and you will find them very similar… remember, the install is almost identical.
Multi-Room Control ~ EchoSistant gives you multi-room control with only the most basic creation of a Profile.
Voice Activated App Settings ~ EchoSistant allows the user to activate and deactivate app settings by simply talking to Alexa. This reduces your time wasted going into your phone to change things.
Example, for the continued commands. You may have them activated but want them off while you are working on something. You simple say, Alexa, tell my home to turn off the conversation. That’s it. No more continued command request. Then you just tell her to turn them back on when you’re ready.
CoRE integration ~ EchoSistant is also integrated with CoRE. It does not need to be integrated with the other apps like Ecobee and Nest. It can control those devices via Alexa while you continue to use the other apps.
Free Speech Engine~ In EchoSistant, you create your Profile and then you just talk to your Alexa Device. It will take what ever you say and repeat it where you tell it to.
I have a speaker in my kids room. I just say, Alexa, tell Justin that I need you to come downstairs and bring your dirty clothes.
This plays on his speaker. “Justin, I need you to come downstairs and bring your dirty clothes”.
He can the respond on the Dot in his room, Alexa, tell Dad that I will be there in just a couple of minutes. I get a text on my phone that says that exact thing.
EchoSistant gives you a custom message every single time. The Free speech Engine gives the user massive flexibility to interact with Alexa. Your family can talk to EchoSistant like they talk. They do not have to learn how to talk to Alexa, we have programmed it so that Alexa can listen to all of you, and know what you want.
App User Interface~ The EchoSistant UI is very flexible. You can configure everything any way you want it. You can select devices all over the app. It’s ok if you choose them in more than one location.
Voice Messages and Reminders ~ Echosistant has voice activated messages and voice activated reminders. Alexa, tell the Kitchen to remind me to take out the trash in 15 minutes. And in 15 minutes, you get the reminder.
I will parrot Michael’s advice, install both apps. It will only improve your SmartThings and Alexa experience.