Over the past several years I've only gone as far as dipping my toes into the "smart home" / "home automation" world. It all started with SmartThings in 2014 when my company (InfernoRed Technology) built their original Windows Phone app (back when they were still a startup). I picked up several SmartThings "things" including the original hub (which I'm still actually using), multi sensors, etc. and started tinkering around with things. But I never got past a few light/dimmer switches and plugs because I kept letting the fear of getting locked into a single platform get in my way, along with over researching everything - "should I avoid Wifi things and stick to Z-wave things?", "Does Z-wave have a future?", etc. For a while, I really felt Z-wave was the way I wanted to go - but I kept having connectivity issues in my house with the z-wave things. I also went down the rabbit hole of trying to figure out if and how I should segment my "things" from my main network. On top of all that, I was never really successful in getting my wife to adopt the SmartThings app (on iOS) - it's a great app, but not extremely user friendly for the non-tech enthusiast who just wants to turn things on or off from their phone.
Over the past few years I've all but ignored HomeKit... originally because the lack of a single app, and also because of the limited marketplace of "things"... But I started looking into it over the past couple months and really liked what I was seeing - the "Home" app seemed very clean and simple to use, the security seemed solid, and it looked like "things" vendors were starting to really adopt and build for it... So right around Christmas time I went out and bought 3 iHome plugs that were on sale at the time for $20 at BestBuy and hooked the Christmas trees up to them (we had 3 trees setup throughout the house ).
First of all, the setup was so simple - was able to do it all within the Home app and didn't even download the iHome app. I setup a Scene that toggled the 3 Christmas trees on and off and that was it. It literally worked 100% of the time and the Home app was super easy to use - in fact my wife figured it out without me showing her (she's the first to admit she's not tech savvy at all) and she used it every day with no complaints, so spousal approval is high so far. Now that the Christmas trees are back in storage I've repurposed those plugs for some lamps around the house... and so far we are still really enjoying the Home app and as far as connectivity, it just works 100% of the time, it's great.
So - I think I'm sold on HomeKit now, but I still don't want to lock myself into a single platform... And to avoid that I've looked for "things" are HomeKit, GA, and Alexa enabled so at least if I decide to abandon HomeKit at some point my "things" are still usable with other platforms. For example, those iHome plugs I mentioned work with all three platforms as well as SmartThings so it was a low risk way to give HomeKit a shot.
Next steps for me - dimmer switches for the LED ceiling lights throughout the house and for the outside lights. Also planning on getting into the HomeKit automation stuff a little deeper - I don't expect it to be as sophisticated as SmartThings, but honestly, my requirements aren't that complex. I currently don't own an Apple TV, but planning on getting one to enable remote access to the HomeKit "things".
Will try and report back to this forum to share my experiences as my HomeKit adoption evolves.
I'm used to the Tweetum App in Windows that allowed me to manage multiple twitter accounts but now that I've moved to Android I'm not sure what App to go with for the same/more utility. What are you folks using?
RESET Forums now has an Android app on the Google Play Store. I don't see it via search since it just hit but I have a hard link to it.
You can install it from there. If you are a TapaTalk user it will look familiar with one caveat. You login with your RESET Forums credentials, not your tapatalk creds. Once logged in you will notice more options for your interaction, notification, etc.
I hope you enjoy this app. iOS is coming soon.
Panos Panay just wowed the Microsoft crowd with two incredible hardware reveals. The first was the SurfaceBook i7 with a whopping 16 hours of battery life. The second was Surface Studio. I dare you to call it an "All in One" after today.
I'll be chatting about all this gear on my new podcast, RESET. Find it here: mccabe.io
The specs of Studio are impressive but visually it is stunning. It has 28" of wow that can be manipulated to however you prefer to create.
Screen: 28" PixelSense Display
Resolution: 4500 x 3000 (192 DPI)
Color settings: Adobe sRGB, DCI-P3 and Vivid Color Profiles, Individually color calibrated
Touch: 10-point multi-touch
Aspect Ratio: 3:2
Zero Gravity Hinge
Quad-core 6th Gen Intel Core i5 or i7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M 2GB GPU GDDR5 memory or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M 4GB GPU GDDR5 memory
It looks like a creative persons dream machine. Apple picked a bad week to follow Microsoft when it comes to hardware reveals. I personally would like to try the Studio and Dial with some video editing software. I think it will be great for that.
Look at the Microsoft Store online for more photos. It really is a nice looking Surface. Link Here.
The Surface Book is plain and simple; More. More graphics and more battery. It's a little heavier and starts at 3.6 pounds where last year's Surface Book was 3.3 pounds. Maybe it's the new 6th Gen Intel Core i7 or the i7: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. That's nice but Panos stated they just put in more battery! It's nice to see that. Adds a little weight but for those that want the battery life it's a welcome change.
The Dial is impressive. It's compatible with any Windows 10 enabled PC, laptop, or tablet as long as it has the Anniversary Update. Don't try this with your Surface Pro but it will stick to the screen of the Surface Studio! It will have optimized off screen compatibility with Surface Book and SP4.
It's a jog dial on steroids and Panos and software partners demo'd many uses of it. Color wheel, zoom in, etc. It's $99 and can be purchased now for delivery on November 10th.
Thanks for shopping with my links. Maybe I can get one too!
Today's show features an interview with VIA about their new hardware releases. Pay close attention for some very interesting tidbits that you won't learn from anywhere else.
News and Items mentioned on today's show.
HP Mediasmart Server Ex485 - Click here to go to HP Shopping, enter coupon code - SV0708. Thanks goes out to the mediasmartserver.net community and forums for that coupon. Check the link for more coupon codes. Get an EX485 new for under $500!
Add-In: SqueezeCenter for Windows Home Server 7.3.3
Add-In: MyMovies 1.05
Add-In: RipNAS 1.5
Windows Home Server Team New General Manager, Kevin Kean
Microsoft opening retail stores
VIA Interview Links
A1000 - DataSheet and Specs
Detailed photos of A2000
Detailed PHotos of the NSD-7800
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