View the map on the Amazon Alexa app

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Amazon Alexa just got a much-needed upgrade in favor of a better user experience. Amazon has announced that the Alexa Map View feature is now available on a preview basis on some devices to make it easier to control smart home devices.

If you’ve ever used the Alexa mobile app to control your smart home, you’ve probably noticed that it can be a tedious experience. Scrolling through a list of dozens of randomly named devices to find the one I need doesn’t make the user interface easy to use. Map view may change that.

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“Even I’m struggling with this,” Charlie French, Amazon’s smart home director, explained during the company’s initial Map View announcements in September. “Scrolling through a long list to find this device with a name I can’t remember.” “We knew we had to make it easier.”

Map View is a visual layout of your home, easily accessible to Alexa-connected smart devices. Using the Alexa app, consumers can create a map of the rooms in their home and then drag and drop each smart device to its own location, making it easier to find the device they need in less time.

Map view will only be available on some devices. In an initial interview with ZDNET, French explained that LiDAR-enabled iOS devices are essential to the room scanning process that creates the map. At this time only iPhone 12 Pro And Pro Max, 13 pro And Pro Max, 14 pro And Pro Max, 15 pro And Pro MaxAnd iPad Pro (4th generation or later) will be able to use Map View in the Alexa app.

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I’ve been looking forward to Amazon improving its Alexa app for a long time. I told French that I have at least two smart plugs plugged in somewhere that work but I have no idea what their names are, making them effectively “missing”. My husband has woken me up from a deep sleep at least three times by accidentally turning on a bedside lamp to 100% when he was trying to turn on a light bulb in the living room.

How to use Map View on Amazon Alexa

A quick demo of how Alexa scans rooms.

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What you will need: Amazon Alexa app included with any compatible smart devices and compatible Apple device.

Open the Amazon Alexa app on iPhone 12 Pro, Pro Max or later, or iPad Pro 4th generation or later.

Open the Amazon Alexa app

Map View works on the Amazon Alexa app, not the Amazon Shopping app.

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Tap Devices at the bottom of your screen in the Alexa app.

Select devices

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Tap the pin icon in the upper right corner of the Devices screen. This is where you can access Map View after setting it up.

Click View Map

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The first time you enter Map View, you’ll be introduced to the feature through a few slides. These introductory pages explain what Map View is, that it’s a new Alexa feature only available in the US, how you’ll use your phone to create 3D models of each room, and some privacy information.

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Press “Next” at the bottom of the screen through each one.

Go through the introduction to the map view

Click “Get Started Now” to get started and read the next few pages.

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Select the floor you are scanning first. I chose the first floor since I started with the home office in the basement.

Select the floor you are scanning first

Press Next and choose the floor you scan first, or create a custom floor.

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The app will guide you on how to create your own floor plans using your phone. Make sure your rooms are well lit, so you can pick up every wall from floor to ceiling and all pieces of furniture, and only sweep one room or area at a time.

You can always edit these maps later and even separate areas into an open layout.

Learn how to create your own map

Once you’ve read the scanning instructions, you can click “Start Scan” at the bottom of the screen.

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Start scanning your room using your phone. Move your device to capture the area with the camera, and move and turn to make sure it scans the entire room.

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When you’re done, tap “End Room” at the top right.

Start scanning

Scan your room and click “Finish Room” when you’re done.

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Select or enter a name for the scanned room. I selected “Office” since that is the room I scanned.

Name the room

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Make sure your room’s floor plan looks accurate. Then, you can add a New Room or click All Done to finish for now.

Finish your room layout

I selected All Done to finish the mapping and start adding devices to my room.

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Find Room Devices from the circular list at the bottom of the screen and start adding them. Drag and drop each one of them and place them in the room they are in.

Drag and drop your devices

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You can click “Done” when you are finished and start controlling your room’s devices from your map.

Office planner

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