The Philips Hue app will receive a major 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 much the same as the existing app, but has tweaks to the edges for faster access to various controls.
One of the bigger changes is faster access to room controls. Now when you tap on a room or zone, the app will show you a grid of all available lights and preset scenes so you can find them right away. In the previous version, you had to switch back and forth between different tabs that you could easily get lost in.
You can now also add new bulbs from the Room tab – not just the Settings menu – and if you’re a power user with multiple Hue bridges, the app lets you switch between the bulbs with a button on the main menu. screen.
Signify is replacing the “routines” feature with a new “automation” tab, which should provide more advanced options to turn your lights on and off. The app can now also take into account whether another person is already at home when activating the “coming home” or “leaving home” automations, so the lights don’t all go off just because the Hue controller’s controller. app gets out of the house.
The new app launches Thursday for iOS and Android. Signify says it will follow up later this summer with an update that introduces “dynamic scenes” that allow lights to cycle through different colors over time.