iRobot's Roomba series is easily among the most well-known names in the vacuum world. While the Roomba 980 debuted nearly 2 years ago, it still tends to outperform many of the newest robot vacuums in many areas. Now iRobot is updating it's iRobot HOME app to not only match what some other robot vacuum's apps already do, but exceed them in many ways. Starting off is the addition of Clean Map, which visually shows the data the Roomba 980 and 960 already collects regarding its whereabouts in your home. This map will show not just the areas that have already been cleaned, but will also include a feature only the Roomba 980 and 960 have: which spots were the dirtiest.
The Roomba 980 and 960 have a special dirt detection sensor that other robot vacuums lack, and because of this it has the ability to make multiple passes in areas it deems extra dirty. This data is presented along with other data Roomba already provided in previous versions of the iRobot HOME app, such as square footage cleaned, cleaning time and other pertinent data for the past 30 cleaning jobs. This new feature is only available on the Roomba 980 and 960, as they're the only connected Roomba's with the dirt detect feature as well as the visual mapping system iRobot introduced with the Roomba 980.
In addition to this, iRobot is fully integrating an Alexa skillset to give voice commands to all connected iRobot smart products. Using your Amazon Echo family of products, saying something as simple as "Alexa, ask Roomba to begin cleaning" will get the Roomba started. Pause and stop commands also work here, and iRobot is saying they'll be rolling out the Alexa skillset sometime in Q2 2017, which is right around the corner. Roomba 980 users can head to the Google Play Store right now and download the update, if their app hasn't already automatically been updated, and enjoy seeing just how clean their home is with the new Clean Map functionality. iRobot hasn't specified whether or not this functionality will be coming to other iRobot products just yet, but we imagine any products with visual mapping functionality could have the possibility of a visual map within the app in the future. For now check out the look of the update in the screenshots iRobot provided below.