Philips Hue gets a sleeker new app rebuilt ‘from the ground up’

The Philips Hue app is getting a big update on Thursday. The team at Signify, which makes Hue lights, has rebuilt the app “from the ground up” to make it easier to use. The new version looks mostly the same as the existing app, but it has tweaks around the edges to make it quicker to access different controls.

One of the bigger changes is faster access to room controls. Now, when you tap on a room or zone, the app will present a grid of all the available lights and pre-set scenes so you can find them right away. In the prior version, you had to switch back and forth across different tabs that were easy to get lost in.

You’ll also now be able to add new lights from within the Room tab — not just the Settings menu — and if you’re a power user with multiple Hue bridges, the app will let you switch between them from a button on the main screen.

When you open a room, you’ll now see a grid of scene and light options.
Image: Signify

Signify is replacing the “routines” feature with a new “automations” tab, which is supposed to offer more advanced options for triggering your lights on and off. The app can also now take into consideration whether another person is already home when triggering “coming home” or “leaving home” automations, so the lights won’t all turn off just because the Hue app’s controller stepped out of the house.

The new app launches Thursday for iOS and Android. Signify says that later this summer, it’ll follow up with an update introducing “dynamic scenes” that allow lights to cycle through different colors over time.

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