Much to the delight of anyone using its Hue 2.0 smart lighting system, Dutch tech company Philips announced this week a complete overhaul to its maligned smartphone application. Whereas the initial app caused more than its share of headaches, it appears the company’s second attempt at properly functioning software could be a massive hit. By keenly listening to its users, Philips dramatically upgraded the iOS– and Android-compatible app’s user interface while also adding a suite of new features and benefits geared toward pleasing its loyal owner base.
Among the slew of innovation native to the Hue 2.o’s app overhaul is a feature Philips has dubbed “Rooms.” With Rooms, users have the ability to control all the lights in a single room (or area of their home) at the same time — an add-on Philips claims was the most popular new feature when the company tested the updates with consumers. Additionally, this function also allows for the controlling of lights through voice commands such as “dim the living room lights” or “set relax in the bedroom.”
“Philips Hue was the world’s first connected lighting system for the home a little over three years ago, and since then it has become the system of choice for consumers,” says Philips Lighting Connected Home Systems business leader Sridhar Kumaraswamy. “As the Philips Hue ecosystem has grown with products, apps and partnerships with leading smart home platforms, so have our consumers. They want to do so much more with our connected lights, and with the new Philips Hue gen 2 app they can.”
Along with Rooms, Philips also added two other features called “Routines” and “Scenes.” When using routines, Hue owners can easily coordinate different lights to their day-to-day schedules. For instance, Philips’ white light recipes are designed to help people naturally wake up and feel energized in the morning while a new Nightlight recipe delivers low lighting to help relaxation in the evening. Moreover, Scenes gives users the chance to create their own personal lighting scenes. By extracting color palettes from selected pictures, Scenes chooses the five best colors to produce a vibrant feel for any room. Users even have the ability to create their own unique scenes to suit their own moods.
“It was designed for them, tested by them, taking their feedback onboard, and today’s new app gives them more control and creative freedom than ever before,” Kumaraswamy adds.
In addition to the new features, Philips also added widget functionality that’s easily accessible via the drop-down menu on the home screen, the ability to access lights whether a user is at home or away, as well as a new location setting that knows when an owner’s phone is close and automatically turns on lights. The Philips Hue 2.0 smart light system works seamlessly with Amazon Echo, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, and a bevy of other smart home-related devices.