If you have a strong technical background, ask Alexa is the most popular smartapp to use with SmartThings and echo. It will let you do all kinds of things you can’t normally do with echo, such as asking whether a door is open. It will also let you play announcement through Alexa. What’s the weather tomorrow.
However, it does require that you sign up for your own Amazon Web services developer account and that you set up a host device, typically a raspberry pi.
Not complicated if you are a programmer of any kind, because you can use the code it’s already been developed, but very complicated if you don’t have that kind of background.
So I think the most popular method overall is one of the following, none of which require more technical skill then you would need to install a regular app from the App Store. These give you the usual set of features, that is you can turn things on and off. No status reports or voice announcements.
One) is the official SmartThings/echo integration. This works well most of the time.
Two) use the echo IFTTT channel. You can use this directly with your views or come back in through SmartThings.
- use the free yonomi app. This doesn’t work with smartthings, but it does work with hue and with Logitech harmony. Quite a few community members use this app just for the echo/harmony integration because it seems to be faster than any of the other methods.
So it’s up to you. You can use any or all of these depending on your specific needs, and you may find that you use different methods for different individual tasks.
But there’s no question that askAlexa gives you many more features than the others do, it’s just technically much more complex.