Signify enhances Philips Hue app

  • June 7, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Dutch company Signify has improved its Philips Hue app to serve, it says, as the foundation for the future of smart lighting.

Previously called Philips Lighting, Signify has improved app performance and enhanced the user experience with easier automations, a new Hue scene gallery and more. It still includes familiar user interface elements from the previous Philips Hue app.

The fourth generation of the app has been rebuilt from the ground up. Added technologies improve app performance both in overall function and in communication with smart lighting systems, while also delivering an intuitive and enhanced user experience.

The app’s transformation is visible as soon as the user opens the redesigned Home tab. In this tab, users are now able to see all their lights and scenes in one glance with Tile View, making it possible to control lights quickly and set scenes without the need to navigate between different screens.

The Home tab also features a Hue scene gallery, which allows users to discover and preview the collection of Philips Hue scenes, handcrafted by the brand’s lighting experts. Another addition to the Home tab is the much-requested ability to switch between multiple Hue Bridges quickly. Users that have different homes in the same app, or separate Hue Bridges for different areas of the home, will now be able to control their smart lighting faster than before.

In the app, users will no longer set routines but will set automations instead. The former Routines tab is replaced by the Automations tab, which offers more options for customisation, enabling users to personalise their smart lighting.

One of the most requested and anticipated updates is also available: multi-user geofencing. When using a Coming home or Leaving home automation, the app now checks whether anyone else is home before running the automation. So, when the person controlling the automation leaves the house, any household members also using the Hue app that are still at home will not be left in the dark.

The way automations based on sunset and sunrise work in the app has been improved. Users are now able to choose sunset, sunrise or a specific time to start the automation, as well as to turn off their lights after the automation is over.

More than a hundred large and small improvements to the design have been made, resulting in an app that is easier and more enjoyable to use day to day. For example, the settings for lights, rooms and zones can be configured in each section of the Home tab. To add a new Hue light to a Room, this can be done from the Room tab itself, as well as in settings. In other words, the most-used configurations are in a more convenient place.

Organising entertainment areas is also easier – and more fun – with a setup in an isometric 2.5D view to determine the exact location and height of the lights. To make it simpler, the lights in the setup change their colour so users know exactly which ones they refer to.

“As world leader in the smart lighting industry, the focus of Philips Hue is to keep improving its products and services with the latest innovations,” said George Yianni, head of technology for Philips Hue at Signify. “The millions of users worldwide of the Philips Hue app are at the basis of its new launch. We analyse suggestions and reviews and even co-create with our users via usability studies and beta apps. With the launch of the new Philips Hue app, we set the first milestone in the future of smart lighting. It’s the new Philips Hue experience, and this is just the beginning. We are excited to share more innovations in the rest of the year.”

Signify has already announced an upcoming update to the new app with dynamic scenes launching in summer 2021. With this feature, each of the lights in the room or zone will slowly transition through the different colours of the dynamic scene. Instead of each light staying at only one colour, dynamic scenes introduce a level of unique light effects.

The app is available for download in the App Store and the Google Play Store from this month.