If you're trying to add smart lighting to your home, it's tough to beat Philips Hue. Whether you're looking to create multi-colored zones or just add some ambiance to a room, switching to Hue lights make it super simple to control everything right from your phone. Of course, it doesn't matter how good Philips's bulbs are if the app itself provides a terrible experience. Thankfully, Signify has an all-new iteration of its Hue software now available for download, improving a lot of the faults of the old version.
The latest version of the app streamlines a lot of the experience of controlling rooms and zones around your house. While the interface should feel familiar to existing users, it does improve ease of use. A new Home tab displays all lights and scenes as tiles on a single page, with a new option to switch between multiple Hue Bridges around your house. Meanwhile, the Routines tab has been replaced by Automations, complete with more advanced settings for extra customization.
By far, the most important addition to the app is multi-user support for geofencing. Hue now checks if other users are in the house before running any automation when leaving or coming home, which should prevent lights from turning on or off on your partner or roommates. However, motion sensor actions are kept in the individual device settings, not in the new Automations tab.
If you're looking to customize your experience further, a new gallery lets you download "handcrafted" scenes from lighting experts. Signify also plans to launch dynamic scenes in another update later this summer, giving lights in Rooms or Zones the ability to transition through various effects slowly.
Philips Hue 4.0 is now available on the Play Store for download. Existing users will get an update to their app sometime this week.