Announcing version 2.1.9 of Ask Alexa
The SmartApp has only changed in this release. However, It is always recommended that you update your Amazon developer slots after an upgrade to ensure you are capturing all of the available variables used within Ask Alexa.
PLEASE NOTE: Now that this is rather stable now and I may not update it further unless some bugs are found. I am waiting to see if Google releases integration APIs for their new Google Home, and for Amazon to release their ‘push’ notifications. If you do have a great feature idea for this app, however, just let me know.
Other additions to this new version include:
- Bug Fixes - The normal things…silly misspellings, logic errors, bug reports. Found a few from the prior release when I optimized the code
- Code Optimization - Always finding better ways to do things in a shorter about of code.
- Nest Manager Report - Thanks to @tonesto7 for working with me on including Nest Manager reports as an option in Ask Alexa. When this option is turned on, you simply say “Alexa, Ask SmartThings for Nest Report” (Assuming your thermostat is named “Nest”
- More colors for the control macro colored lights-Working with @jt323bd we refined the color list to something more manageable. You can now choose from multiple colors in all area of the app, or define your own.
- Cheat sheet - A number of people have commented that then needed an easy to read “cheat sheet” for that PAF (partner acceptance factor). You now have the ability to do that from the About Ask Alexa page. Looking for suggestions on how to make this even more readable.
- Mobile App 2.2.2 retractable menu items - This was added on 11/20 after the release of the SmartThings Mobile app 2.2.2. This allows for certain menu items to be retracted to save screen real estate.
Because of the new functionality in this revision it is advised to run through the entire setup to capture everything….specifically the developer apps.
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
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:
- Sometimes it works best if I can work real time with you. To facilitate this, I have created a Slack channel: https://askalexa.slack.com. Using this tool is easy and will allow for real-time collaboration to solve the problems faster. To use this feature, I must invite you to the Slack channel. This will not be for normal questions; please use this forum for that function.
- 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. See the new Message Queue functions for similar functionality.
- 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 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 120+ 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.
As mentioned above, revisions will be less and less now. 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 donations 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