I'm loving the new Smart Home Skill API and how easy it was to get it going with my own HA system.
However, after working with the Smart Home Skill for almost a month now, here are some of my complaints:
1. "Your Devices" list in the app serves [i]almost[/i] no purpose. I can see that Alexa was able to discover my devices and I can "forget" a device. Why not be able to control the device (like when away from home)? Why isn't the device list sorted in any relevant order? Either sorted alphabetically or by the same order they were defined would be infinitely better than the random order that they currently appear in.
2. "friendlyName" need to be more friendly. Not everyone in the house calls a device by the same name. It would be nice if the friendlyName was an array so you could define multiple names that Alexa would be able to respond to for the same device. As it is, I have to create virtual devices with different names to map to the same physical device to accomplish a friendlier name capability. Example: I'd like to be able to say: Alexa, turn on the TV or Alexa, turn on Tivo or Alexa, turn on the television. These should all accomplish the same thing, but as it is, I have to create 3 devices to get Alexa to understand them all. An array of friendlyName's would fix that.
3. Why is Alexa automatically running discovery every 60-80 minutes? I see in my app logs that Amazon does a device discovery request every 60-80 minutes. I was under the assumption that a discovery only ran when you initiated it. Why does Amazon do this?
4. Why can't I teach Alexa how to understand certain device names/words? e.g. I have a Tivo device that Alexa always thinks I say Tebow (as in Tim Tebow). Believe me, I've articulated the V many different ways and Alexa does not understand it. Alexa also doesn't like TV. I have to say: Alexa, turn on the television. TV or Tivo would be much easier, but Alexa doesn't understand it.
5. Why does Alexa always have to remind me to check my Philips Hue bridge every time I run discovery? I don't have a Philips bridge. I will never have a Philips bridge. My discovery runs just fine and returns about 120 defined devices, yet Alexa always tell me to check my Philips bridge if my devices were not found. Turn this off! Only make it an option if I configure it to look for a Philips bridge.
6. Streamline the "Device Links" screen and hide the unnecessary options. As the Smart Home devices expand, the options in "Your Device Links" will become less applicable to more people. Most will only have one or two device links and don't need to always see the options to link to Nest, Insteon, Lutron, SmartThings, Wink, LIFX, TP-Link, Sensi, etc.
7. Please add more device capabilities (actions)! Look at what SmartThings has defined for their devices and capabilities. There are so many more things we could do with the Smart Home Skill if there were more actions. There are some work-arounds, but they're kludges. Currently, I have a virtual device called "stereo" which is defined as a light switch. I can say "Alexa, set the stereo to 55 percent" to change the volume to 55 db. It works, but it's a kludge. More available actions would make for much more intuitive and natural control of devices.
OK, there's my short list... what do some of you see as areas that need improvement?