Fast Tips Friday: Alexa App Redesign, Where Did Everything Go?

Post Publication Date: 10/19/18 – Amazon’s been rolling out an Alexa app redesign over the past few weeks, and I finally got it. I must admit: I’m not crazy about it. Today’s post explains where everything went in the redesign, what the different icons and menu items are for, and which new features have been introduced.

 

Alexa App Redesign

 

Note that as with all Alexa features, services and Alexa app screen views may vary from geographic region to region (e.g., Alexa in the US vs. UK, Canada, etc.), and between app versions (e.g., Android vs. iOS). If the features described here are not yet available in your region, they should be coming in the future.

 

Screenshots Tell The Story

The screenshots below are from the Android version of the Alexa app, and were taken from my HTC U11 phone (UK readers click here) (Canadian readers click here) today, 10/19/18. Any gray boxes or bars you see were added for privacy purposes, they do not appear on the actual screens in the app.

1. This is the new Home screen, which loads by default when you first open the Alexa app.

Alexa App Home Screen

I’ve highlighted each of the bottom icons with a colored box. Going from left to right, the icons offer quick access to these screens/features:

Red: Home screen
Blue: Alexa calling and messaging screen
Yellow: Speak to Alexa, issue voice commands
Green: Music and Books screen
Orange: Smart home devices, groups and settings screen

 

2. Tapping the “hamburger” menu at the upper left of the home screen opens the Main Menu, which is where you used to be able to access pretty much every possible setting or function in the app. This is no longer the case. In particular, in this new version of the app you cannot access settings for individual Alexa devices by tapping the “Settings” option from this Main Menu.

Alexa App Main Menu

 

3. Tapping the Settings link from the Main Menu (above) opens the main Settings menu (below). As you can see, it’s changed a lot. This is where you can set your preferred music, TV & Video, Flash Briefing and similar settings. Many of the other “settings” you’re probably looking for have been moved to a new “Alexa Account” menu, which is the first item on the list.

Alexa App Main Settings Menu

 

4. The Alexa Account menu is where you’ll now find many things that used to be accessed via the Main Menu, as well as some new features.

Alexa App Alexa Acct Settings Menu

In Recognized Voices, you can set up voice profiles in order to allow Alexa to call household members by their names. This is also where you toggle the “Automatically Recognize Voices” setting off or on.

In Voice Purchasing, you can toggle the option off or on, and set a PIN for voice purchases.

In Alexa Voice Responses, you can access the new Brief Mode and Whisper Responses features. Brief mode keeps Alexa’s replies as brief as possible, and Whisper Responses tells Alexa that when you whisper commands her responses should also be whispered.

Amazon Household, History and Alexa Privacy are the same as they were before in terms of functionality, but now you access them here.

 

5. The Devices menu is where you go for settings on individual Alexa and smart home devices, as well as smart device groupings. You are now also able to control many smart home devices directly from this menu (e.g., adjust color or brightness of smart bulbs).

Alexa App Devices Menu

Smart home groups Alexa creates by default and those you’ve created yourself each get their own colored block here, and you can adjust each group’s settings and included devices by tapping the corresponding color block.

So what’s the difference between the Echo & Alexa item and the All Devices item? All Devices takes you to a screen where all Alexa and smart home devices are listed, Echo & Alexa takes you to a screen that only lists your connected Alexa devices.

 

6. The Selected Device menu, shown when you select an individual Alexa device from the Echo & Alexa menu, is where they put WiFi settings. This is also where you manage paired and connected devices for the selected Alexa device.

Alexa App Selected Device Settings

Quickest Path to Wifi Settings: Home Screen > Smart Home icon > Echo & Alexa icon > {specific Alexa device} > WiFi Network

 

I’ve tried to cover all the most important app changes and settings, but I’d encourage you to poke around in it yourself to become more familiarized with it.

 

Related Links

Alexa Device Maintenance

Router Problems With Alexa

Alexa Device Reset Fixes Many Issues, Won’t Delete Your Content