[Deprecated] Ask Alexa 2.0.8

Announcing version 2.0.8 of Ask Alexa

Lambda code updated to 1.1.7

Utterance file has been updated with 3 minor updates.

This is a minor version number change, with the smartapp, Lambda code and utterance file needing to be updated. It is always recommended that you update your slots to ensure you are capturing all of the available variables used within Ask Alexa.

YOU MUST install both the smartapp and the Lambda code for this upgrade to be successful!

Please note that this is a single SmartApp; it no longer has a parent/child code base.

The only issue encountered so far with this unified code is on Android mobile apps. If you are editing a macro, clicking “Done” will take you back to the mobile app and NOT the main Ask Alexa menu. This is NOT Ask Alexa related, but the mobile app itself; iOS does NOT appear to be affected by this. Either way, a ticket has been opened with SmartThing to address this. If you find this issue annoying, please open a ticket with SmartThings as well to increase visibility.

Other additions to this new version include:

  • Bug Fixes-This version focuses on some errors discovered with thermostats, high/low and maximum value conflicts. These should be resolved now. Added the maximum command for speakers as well.

  • Tide Report - Compliments once again of @storageanarchy. Ask Alexa is becoming quite the use case for Weather Underground integration!

  • Window Shades - Added the windowShade control to devices and macros. To use this function, you will need to update your Amazon Developer slots to recognize the new device types.

  • Lambda Code-Completely reorganized the Lambda code. In certain situations, there should be a speed up in responses and in others there may be a momentary delay in responses. This was necessary to structure the software for an upcoming feature, personalities. It is recommended that you set your Lambda timeout to 10 seconds to accommodate the new feature forthcoming. There is one less variable to transfer to the Lambda code from the setup…be sure you copy the latest version of the variables.

  • Utterance file -Added three new utterances. Optional to install, but recommended. Allows for thermostat commands to be spoken more naturally.

  • Additional Command-Minimum Added a minimum command for thermostats that have the value set up in the settings. Works like the maximum command. If you wish to use this new command, be sure to update your List_of_Operations slot in the Amazon Developer site.


If you are using 2.0.0+, you simply need to update the SmartApp. Again, because of the changes it is advised to run through the entire setup to capture everything.

For those wishing to re-install, the instructions on the wiki have been updated:

The wiki for this app is here: http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=Ask_Alexa

As always, you should also update your custom slots on the Amazon developer site when you have the app running. Nothing SHOULD change but it never hurts to refresh these every once in awhile.


All of you have been great in asking very relevant questions and making suggestions that I end up using. Here are some helpful tips on usage and support:

  • The Echo, as it is designed currently, cannot react to switches opening or other actions within SmartThings. She will do things for you, but only at your direction and at the time of the request. The delay timer mentioned in the control macro happens at the SmartThings hub, not within the Amazon Alexa control.

  • When evaluating new features I will typically ask for a valid use case. If it can be used by others to bring them value I will put it on my list of future revisions. Not all suggestions will be used and many times I add aspects of the request.

  • There are no dumb questions, but many of the questions you may have were probably answered in the past few months since the initial release. Please take some time to go through the forum and the wiki if you have issues. And don’t be offended if I give you the specific area of the manual that answers your question. I have spent almost as much time on the documentation as I have on the app. Finally, there are some big fans of Ask Alexa that know almost as much as I do. They can also help.

  • Feel free to send me forks of utterances or even code revisions. As mentioned above, if it adds value to the overall program I will try to include it. This also goes for the wiki documentation…while I have spent about 80+ hours creating that document, I am open to it being improved; I know there are grammatical errors or syntax issues…If you find them, fix them…I will include your name (if I can) in any fixes submitted.

  • If you find a bug or a consistent crash please help me track it down by giving me repeatable steps to reproduce it. A non-reproducible bug, many times, indicates other areas that may be at fault besides the app. If you watch the live logging and see a red error with a line number, that is very helpful to me! However, I will need a full screenshot and not a copy/paste of the text. But be careful about revealing your OAuth and AppToken in your public posts. People can control you house with that information. May want to blur that out.

Revisions are getting less and less as I mature this product. And with the code base now unified, I expect less and less additions…especially as we integrate CoRE more to do some of the heavy lifting of larger condition-base automations… Any and all suggestions are still on the table for addition.

As always, I appreciate any public accolades or even donation to my PayPal account: https://www.paypal.me/mstruck . And, if you are so inclined, I also will accept bitcoins (or fractions thereof) if you have any laying around. My wallet ID is: 1CMgaiKgBfojTBCLpHLfa9KvcrW3cNxVpm



LOL! Wow, you are fast getting these updates done and I just upgraded to 2.07 yesterday. At least I’m getting a lot better installing with the extra practice! Amazing work and I really do appreciate that a non-coder like myself can install this because of your excellent instructions.

I did find a minor typo under Settings>Device Minimum/Maximum Values
In the second line, “Theremostat” Maximum Value has an extra “e” in it.

Thanks for letting me know…I have fixed it and published 2.0.8a

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C’mon Snarky mode!!! I think Alexa is already being courteous turning on the lights and running reports for me.

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To be honest, it could say thank you a bit more:)

Snarky is second, and depending on how difficult these are to code, I may do two in the next release…just wanted an order to do them in.

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This is an spectacular application for my SmartThings and after successfully installing it using the Wiki page which is very easy following the screen shots and commands, I can now follow the lamda code to help build other skills in the future. Thanks, donation sent!


Thank you Kurt! Really appreciate the kind words and donation!

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Just a note to help others.

If you use custom ending acknowledgments AND want to use continuation command options. Make sure you put a period at the end of your custom ending. Otherwise the custom ending and the continuation option get jumbled together when Alexa speaks them.


Very good point…this is actually in the troubleshooting area of the wiki.

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What is this weather underground integration you speak of?!

Lambda down?

I’m guessing so. Getting “problem accessing requested skill” response from Alexa, and I can’t access the AWS console either.

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They reported issues on the status page N Virgina was having errors


Still not able to run Macros since status page at Amazon reported errors? It was working earlier today and now it’s telling it can’t run contact the author of ask Alexa ! Anyone having issues?

@Misterwinefine @MichaelS It seem Misterwinefine have similar problem like me even at 2.0.8 + Lambda 1.1.7… Please confirm both are same issue

I update Ask Alexa 2.0.8 and Lambda 1.1.7,. and I though it will fix my problem with a single Voice Macro - Weather Status Report, but it Still fail as below
Since I already update to 2.0.8, the suggestion you tell me at 2.0.7b see lost the track anymore, If you want me to try something at 2.0.8, Please tell me the right place…

c8f9b9e4-08e8-494a-9cf0-a9f81f16c09a 下午1:56:37: debug --Begin commands received–
c8f9b9e4-08e8-494a-9cf0-a9f81f16c09a 下午1:56:25: debug There was an error processing the report. Please try again. If this error continues, please contact the author of Ask Alexa. %1%
c8f9b9e4-08e8-494a-9cf0-a9f81f16c09a 下午1:56:24: debug Param: undefined
c8f9b9e4-08e8-494a-9cf0-a9f81f16c09a 下午1:56:24: debug Cmd: undefined
c8f9b9e4-08e8-494a-9cf0-a9f81f16c09a 下午1:56:24: debug mNum: undefined
c8f9b9e4-08e8-494a-9cf0-a9f81f16c09a 下午1:56:24: debug Macro Name: weather status report
c8f9b9e4-08e8-494a-9cf0-a9f81f16c09a 下午1:56:24: debug -Macro command received-
c8f9b9e4-08e8-494a-9cf0-a9f81f16c09a 下午1:56:23: debug --Begin commands received–


I have a quick question (really for anyone). I connected to GitHub, but I am not sure if I should only be selecting the smart app in there or if I should select all of the files in there (.png, .groovy, etc)? I got this working for the most part following the wiki instructions, but I only added the app.


I am back up and running for some odd reason when I updated to 2.08a yesterday it didnt show 2.08 a on the mobile app even after published, re did that this am and it’s running again no issues.

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The files referenced in the wiki are in that GitHub locations. While a generic answer, the following items are used for these purposes:

*.groovy=SmartApp code
*.png=Used internally to the app (they are the icons)
*.js= Java script/NodeJS file for Lambda site
schema, intents, utterances = Items for the developer site

You really shouldn’t have to do anything with the GitHub files except what is mentioned in the wiki.

Make sense?

Added this site to the troubleshooting section of the wiki…

Thanks for the update. Working flawlessly for me.

I have a feature request. I would like the ability to selectively decide which Routines Alexa will execute. Similar to how you don’t have to include every device that she can control.

I have routines like “I’m Home” setup based on a presence sensor to unlock my doors when I get home. I can shout at my Echo through my outside window saying, “Alexa, tell SmartThings I’m Home” and it will run that scene. Obviously a security risk. But I love telling Alexa run routines like “Good Morning” or “GoodNight” or “Lock Doors” etc., so it would be great to have a custom slot type for routines.

Thanks for all of your great work.