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Author Topic: Brief Review from New ImperiHome User - and long time automation user  (Read 6435 times)

Offline Aaron

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After using IH along side AHD for a few weeks now I have updated my review.

I've been using Authomation HD  (AHD) since early days and only recently tried IH. 

This is a critique from a new user of IH and a user of many automation GUIs over the last 20 (yes 20) years, not meant to just be complaining.

What I like:
- NFC; I like that it exists but too limited currently, needs more features, see "Could use improvement" section below
- multiple system support
- Favorites
- Custom Dashboards, nice but has gaps and usage issues (see below)
- Multiswitches are separated into separate items on the IH screen ... very useful!
- Integration with a Vera plugin that can do cool things like bring up a camera feed (even though this is VERY limited and doesn't support my Samsung SmartCams)

Features needed that do not exist or Need improvement:
- Android Device Shortcuts for quick access to a single device. Great for replacing your garage door opener, quick access to lights, etc.
- Android Widgets ... for showing status of devices. Great for monitoring security
- NFC is too limited currently... needs: trigger/set any device in Vera (switches, multiswitches, etc); open to a Dashboard ... useful moving from room-to-room to have a dashboard for each room, or even your car ;-)
- Lack of quick access Group (room) Menu. Scrolling though all rooms is tedious. Need a dedicated/separate button to open Group Menu.
- Native usability gaps... cannot modify the dim level without opening the device. I do set dim often, far more than on only.
- Custom Dashboards... usage and editor is not intuitive. For instance, you can change the config of a widget on the main usage screen but Not in Edit mode? Kinda backwards guys. And, you can add a widget in User mode, but NOT edit mode?  Seems like there is a serious rethink needed on Dashboard editing
- List view GUI difficult to use/view since the device rows are so close together. I like an efficient layout but it is too crunched... the level % is difficult to read.
- List view GUI look'n'feel is outdated... on/off buttons, basic black or white background. 'Cards' would make separate items easier to follow
- Dashboard GUI look'n'feel is outdated... Material design is needed
- Composite widget ... does not support Dim... big miss
- Composite widget ... no way to see what devices are in the switch without scrolling through the entire list of all you devices; another huge miss
- Dashboard... no way to hide Android status bar or IH top menu; this would be valuable for dedicated tablets!
- Dashboard Light widgets... the additional on/off buttons are not needed, and redundant. The light bulb icon itself should be used to toggle on/off and show status (which it already does)
- No Weather widget
- Dashboard... no menu of dashboards, while in Dashboard mode. thus, users have no idea what dashboard exist until they scroll left/right through all of them. Not very user friendly

Support:
No dedicated forum for users
No formal feature request method
No way to see reported bug and status from IH (open, fixed, fix eta, etc)


Summary:
- AHD wins as a Daily Driver for my phone.
- IH wins specifically when using the Dashboard feature on a tablet perm in a specific room (in-wall or on table) but not for roaming.


Interested in the larger user bases' feedback... let me know what I should be looking at to fill the gaps I'm having.

thanks!
« Last Edit: May 31, 2015, 03:23:34 am by Aaron »

Offline integlikewhoa

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I stopped using AHD a while ago and moved here. I only use dashboard I hate list view (to many devices probley).

I think most of your problems are also related to list view. Dashboard has a slider bar for dimming lights.
Imperihome has widgets. Add a widget to you desktop and you can customize it to open a page or run a open garage door scene or what ever. View your cameras also.

Quick access group is in dashboard.

Buttons can be what ever you want them to be and with a custom icon in dashboard.

Switch to dashboard and I think 90% of your complaints will be gone. 

Offline Aaron

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After using IH for a few weeks now I've updated the review... I like it better but i cannot get past gaps that seems like they should be easy for IH devs to

And it seems there is no formal way to submit, or track, feature requests and bugs. Am I missing the site for that?

Offline integlikewhoa

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And it seems there is no formal way to submit, or track, feature requests and bugs. Am I missing the site for that?

I think your idea of formal is probley not going to like this but the devs have a beat testing form which is where you can do this. Since ImperiHome is made for several Automation Boxes they don't spend time on each forum. They answer questions and take requests in the the beta testing forum of their own on google plus.

https://imperihome.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/203063998-How-can-I-join-ImperiHome-BETA-testing-program-

and

https://plus.google.com/communities/112155070666432294966

Offline Aaron

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And it seems there is no formal way to submit, or track, feature requests and bugs. Am I missing the site for that?

I think your idea of formal is probley not going to like this but the devs have a beat testing form which is where you can do this. Since ImperiHome is made for several Automation Boxes they don't spend time on each forum. They answer questions and take requests in the the beta testing forum of their own on google plus.

https://imperihome.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/203063998-How-can-I-join-ImperiHome-BETA-testing-program-

and

https://plus.google.com/communities/112155070666432294966

I'll join just to see what's up and if there are improvements... but really for the cost of this app (compared to other apps) they really need better support and the app itself has a lot of gaps and poorly-thought-out execution.

Offline integlikewhoa

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And it seems there is no formal way to submit, or track, feature requests and bugs. Am I missing the site for that?

I think your idea of formal is probley not going to like this but the devs have a beat testing form which is where you can do this. Since ImperiHome is made for several Automation Boxes they don't spend time on each forum. They answer questions and take requests in the the beta testing forum of their own on google plus.

https://imperihome.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/203063998-How-can-I-join-ImperiHome-BETA-testing-program-

and

https://plus.google.com/communities/112155070666432294966

I'll join just to see what's up and if there are improvements... but really for the cost of this app (compared to other apps) they really need better support and the app itself has a lot of gaps and poorly-thought-out execution.

Curious to see what app you end up with. I have really only used AHD and this one for Android. AHD Doesn't compare (lack of features) to this one but it is 6.00 cheaper. What other big players are out there with custom layouts, icons, graphing and such even at a higher price point?

Offline Aaron

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Curious to see what app you end up with. I have really only used AHD and this one for Android. AHD Doesn't compare (lack of features) to this one but it is 6.00 cheaper. What other big players are out there with custom layouts, icons, graphing and such even at a higher price point?

Not sure what you mean AHD has a lack of features?  If we are strictly talking about integration with Vera (which is all I care about), then there are only a few small things IH has over AHD, which I noted in my review. AHD has much better daily usability: much better GUI layout, usage flow (swiping, menus, etc), Desktop shortcuts.

For a tablet that might sit in one room and serer a single purpose IH has the lead by a nose... only because of the Dashboard - but even that is lacks functionality that should have been in by now (Weather, tab for quick changes of screens, etc)

Offline integlikewhoa

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Curious to see what app you end up with. I have really only used AHD and this one for Android. AHD Doesn't compare (lack of features) to this one but it is 6.00 cheaper. What other big players are out there with custom layouts, icons, graphing and such even at a higher price point?

Not sure what you mean AHD has a lack of features?  If we are strictly talking about integration with Vera (which is all I care about), then there are only a few small things IH has over AHD, which I noted in my review. AHD has much better daily usability: much better GUI layout, usage flow (swiping, menus, etc), Desktop shortcuts.

For a tablet that might sit in one room and serer a single purpose IH has the lead by a nose... only because of the Dashboard - but even that is lacks functionality that should have been in by now (Weather, tab for quick changes of screens, etc)

Yea I find the opposite I guess. I only use dashboard view on all my devices. I don't like a list. I also have 3 houses and IH got me covered eaisly showing all 3 veras at the same time, no switching between. IH also has my cameras direct not going threw VERA. (had problems with vera when all cameras were added)
The GUI and layout of IH is what you make it in dash board. All icons are custom. My hot water heater, blinds and more have my choice of icons. So looks and color and layout are all my choice vs. black and white generic device icons. All of this makes it look good to me but makes sense to my wife and kid that have a harder time understanding what is what. There is a ton more features like what the IH vera plugin is capable of doing. Such as if a camera is tripped it forces IH to the camera page. Not that I use it but it also has it's own built in notifications (I use vera alerts). There is so much more also. To say AHD has half of the features (maybe none of them matter to you) that IH has would be false.

Also I have personally requested support for several plugins and have received everyone within a few weeks.

I use weather in IH and not only does it do it, if you have datamine setup and click you can get a charts (another feature). I'll post a few screen shots but everyone had their own idea of what looks good and bad. So hard to compare only looks. Feature list is easy tho.

Offline Aaron

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Curious to see what app you end up with. I have really only used AHD and this one for Android. AHD Doesn't compare (lack of features) to this one but it is 6.00 cheaper. What other big players are out there with custom layouts, icons, graphing and such even at a higher price point?

Not sure what you mean AHD has a lack of features?  If we are strictly talking about integration with Vera (which is all I care about), then there are only a few small things IH has over AHD, which I noted in my review. AHD has much better daily usability: much better GUI layout, usage flow (swiping, menus, etc), Desktop shortcuts.

For a tablet that might sit in one room and serer a single purpose IH has the lead by a nose... only because of the Dashboard - but even that is lacks functionality that should have been in by now (Weather, tab for quick changes of screens, etc)

Yea I find the opposite I guess. I only use dashboard view on all my devices. I don't like a list. I also have 3 houses and IH got me covered eaisly showing all 3 veras at the same time, no switching between. IH also has my cameras direct not going threw VERA. (had problems with vera when all cameras were added)
The GUI and layout of IH is what you make it in dash board. All icons are custom. My hot water heater, blinds and more have my choice of icons. So looks and color and layout are all my choice vs. black and white generic device icons. All of this makes it look good to me but makes sense to my wife and kid that have a harder time understanding what is what. There is a ton more features like what the IH vera plugin is capable of doing. Such as if a camera is tripped it forces IH to the camera page. Not that I use it but it also has it's own built in notifications (I use vera alerts). There is so much more also. To say AHD has half of the features (maybe none of them matter to you) that IH has would be false.

Also I have personally requested support for several plugins and have received everyone within a few weeks.

I use weather in IH and not only does it do it, if you have datamine setup and click you can get a charts (another feature). I'll post a few screen shots but everyone had their own idea of what looks good and bad. So hard to compare only looks. Feature list is easy tho.

Maybe I'm missing a lot of stuff but I have tried. And to add to my point, IH devs have not even replied to my post here. Thier lack of involvement in this forum and no dedicated forum for the app shows overall low level of support IMO.

I've looked for good documentation and there is no use manual i have found. The only docs I can find are posted here... https://imperihome.zendesk.com/hc/en-us ... 99% useless. Since they don't have a dedicated forum makes it near impossible to get good info.

I noted that they do have more features but many are poorly executed... like Dashboards. Missing Dimming on Composite widgets, etc. I can do 85% the same type on AHD since with IH I'd need to create vera code to make composite dimming work.

I'm not trying to bag on IH... i think it has a TON of potential... but I think the devs are missing things / implementation is only half-thought-out.

Offline BOFH

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I have both AHD and IM on my Android devices but use AHD the most as a daily driver as well. What I do like about IH and which will likely cause me to shell out for the pro version is the fact it can seamlessly merge  multiple Vera's. I have it setup to access both my Ui5 and Ui7 Vera and on the UI it looks like just 1 Vera.

Recently I've also been starting to use SmartAbode a lot as it turns my LG G watch into a neat Vera remote. It's still in it's infancy but has great potential. It's made me back out of buying an Amazon Echo which I intended to interface with Vera via the Echo plugin. As I wear the watch most of my awake time it's my ideal remote and negated the need for Echo.

I'm also currently running the beta of the new Vera app. If they decide to put in full support for rstrouse's Virtual Panels and implement it right, it's going to be a serious contender to the title.
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Offline jeromeadams

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Re: Brief Review from New ImperiHome User - and long time automation user
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2015, 08:02:04 am »


but really for the cost of this app (compared to other apps) they really need better support
[/quote]


You guys are pathetic! the devs give you this app for free and you still complain about the price! Last I checked the pro version cost a meager AUD7. Compare that to the amount you have all spent on hardware for your systems & its peanuts. Maybe if you weren't all such tight asses the devs could afford to eat and would therefore be more inclined to respond to your whinging complaints & demands for new functions! And no, i dont know who the devs are...just have a respect for how much effort goes into these apps.

Offline Aaron

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Re: Brief Review from New ImperiHome User - and long time automation user
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2015, 10:53:28 pm »


but really for the cost of this app (compared to other apps) they really need better support


You guys are pathetic! the devs give you this app for free and you still complain about the price! Last I checked the pro version cost a meager AUD7. Compare that to the amount you have all spent on hardware for your systems & its peanuts. Maybe if you weren't all such tight asses the devs could afford to eat and would therefore be more inclined to respond to your whinging complaints & demands for new functions! And no, i dont know who the devs are...just have a respect for how much effort goes into these apps.
[/quote]

... while you have a few valid points, they would really come across much better if it also didn't sound like you were taking personal offense (for no reason) at the same time.

Offline kigmatzomat

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Re: Brief Review from New ImperiHome User - and long time automation user
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2015, 08:23:52 pm »
I bought ImperiHome Pro so I have no qualms complaining.

My biggest peeve is the thermostat widget only shows the heat set point when my heat pump is in auto mode and actively cooling. It means I can't use the +/- buttons in summer.  It isn't any more work than AHD but I have to lock the functions to avoid turning the heat on in summer. Furthermore the protect only works on the temp and doesn't block mode change.

That is a pure UI problem independent of the hub.

I like the dashboard ability for a home remote for my wife but it isn't my ideal.