Homey Community

Can you live with Homey without worrying


#1

I’m aware this may not be the best place to ask this question as the views are bound to be a bit biased but you guys are the ones that know the product best. I just need an honest answer.

I’m not new to smart homes and home automation as we’ve been selling electric window blinds and automation solutions for years.

However I’m just about to embark on my own smarthome and I’ve basically decided that Homey looks like the ideal solution for bringing a variety of devices together in a much more cost effective way than hard wiring everything.

But here’s the big question… can you live with Homey without constantly worrying that the next update is going to screw your house up and make life a bit of a nightmare? Basically, how reliable is Homey? The more you look at this community the more problems people seem to be having (but obviously this place is for collecting problems at the end of the day - I get that).

Please bear in mind I’m not a developer but I do have a competent grasp of electronics and technology. Setting up Homey for me won’t be an issue but I want to know what it will be like to live with… honestly.

I’m sure there will be a lot of opinions but hey - lets hear them! :slight_smile:

Thanks!


#2

Yes you can! As long as you don’t enable experimental updates right away without at least thinking about consequences. And disable the automatic updates for firmware and applications. In every situation where there are updates, for instance laptops, phones, etc etc there is always a small chance that things break. So its always a good thing to disable defaults to prevent that from happening.

To disable firmware updates you need to go to Settings -> updates:

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and to disable automatic updates on apps you need to open the Settings -> apps window and uncheck the update checkbox:

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It takes a bit more effort to check for updates automatically but you can use: https://apps.athom.com/app/com.squaretronics.newhomeyapps for it to keep track. So in my situation I get a notification when an app is updated. This way I can decide myself if apps get an update.

This way you can be a bit more certain that things are always working as you expect. But ofcourse, there is always room for error. There where some things in the past that didn’t workout quit well but overall, in my situation, it works.


#3

I didn’t know about app “New Homey apps” ! Very useful ! Thanks for advice


#4

Thanks @Jeroen_Somhorst - that’s good to know


#5

I agree with Jeroen, homey is working fine!. But switch off the updates.

Remember many apps are created by the users (open source), so how sure are you they are tested well?

I learned my lesson the hard way. Came home twice finding my home in complete darkness, because of automatic updates. (The 2nd I found out you had to switch off the updates for every app seperately…)

BUT there is also the “me” factor: do not change or add flows just before your holiday or busy week.
Flow changes can mess up a stable working system, new flow can interfere with excistong flows.
Especially since homey does not have the “backup” functionality yet.

I used to make a backup before any changes with my previous home automation system. So I could easily turn back changes.
Saved me several times


#6

And ironically:

… the App „nee Homey Apps“ is not for Homey 2.0 FW.
:grin:

Personally I need to say, that for a huge amount of money you get a pretty old-fashioned hardware w/ pushing the main responsibilities to voluntary developers. Though I like the approach of Homey, it is still to „nerdy“ in many ways; simply not looking like an UI - and Strategy- experienced Marketing Director on board of that ship.

However - there are many companies out there in 2019 to bring up huge changes to the smart home environmental landscape; Homey will get one shot with the 2.0 App to convince users and maybe they will. Hopefully. Otherwise it will be outran by others as the next steps take too long.

Perhaps (most likely) in one year or two there will be an aggregator who will work with a big team, more professional, transparent and reliable in terms of timelines, stability and technical development - plus being quick to the market.
This is not going to happen to be done by a very small company as resources are key. May be Apple, already opening their standard. May be Amazon or even Google, even though they sell data they’re already in many homes.

To me:
No, I cannot live with homey without worrying, yet. The answer is: simply because focus is not on usability and to much workload is outsourced to devs. This is not how to gain trust in a company.


#7

Thanks for your honest reply @Mario_Me

It’s good to have another side of the argument… however this won’t necessarily put me off buying Homey! It will be interesting to see what Homey 2.0 brings.


#8

My 10 cents on this topic are that I was deciding to use Homey for 2 reasons:
-open community support
-capable hardware.

Homey supports rudimentary all protocols needed for domotica out of the box. If you also expect a perfect coverage (e.g. in the 433) range, i would promote to build an own platform based on Domoticz, then experiment with antennas.

For me Homey is perfectly capable of doing home automation, but i wil allways create a system of systems.

E.g for my lamps I will have the Hue Bridge. This bridge including components wil have to do real time things like switching lights. Homey then can do the fancy things like, switch light when the curtains close.

My alarm will not be based on Homey, but Homey might be capable of getting statistics out of it. I dont want Homey to decide to switch it off (.e.g).

So in time, Homey will give a lot of extras which are not available in other systems, providing you don’t expect it to run 24/7 and fully rely on that.

Cheers, Menno


#9

No worries; go and get one - I like my homey - it’s sometimes fun to try around; sometimes frustrating though.

Homey has a great concept but of course a concept alone won’t keep a boat swimming. So I see a huge amount of potential in there, that has to get unleashed via a clear target line, transparent roadmap and obvious mission Charta.

Just keep on hoping that the company will develop its market skills to push this into the product environment.


#10

You have come to our little piece of the internet at a very turbulent alot of the problem are are seeing at the moment is in regard to the v2 app, which was released to beta about a month ago. So the testers (called experimental here) are coming across problems and reporting them.

Make sure you have a good mesh, do not run the experimental (beta) software and do not download beta apps.

– As for Athom updates, small teams are agile, generally there are diminishing returns its widely known (in the industry) as the mytical man month - and explained as 1 woman takes 9 months to have a baby - 9 women can have a baby in 1 month.

If I had to choose just one thing as my favourite in the v2 experiment, it would be the speed of updates - to the core and app. Loving it.


#11

Thanks @Jamie
When will Homey V2.0 be available? I’ve ordered from Vesternet but been told stock isn’t available. I guess this is because testing hasn’t finished yet?

I agree small teams are agile - I work in a small team every day and as long as customer needs are met, no one cares what size the team is.


#12

Homeys are available again and will be shipped out this week.

There is no official announcement of when Homey v2 will be released, however 4 hours ago on facebook they annouced “4 days” with this video, so read what you want into the count down.

Video Here …


#13

I’m not that long time user of Homey but around 6 months I would say. Up until now never any issue or problem with my Homey or devices I’m using (Netatmo + Fibaro + KAKU mainly). I do agree V2.0 is just around the corner (next week?) and with this I do expect more and more improvements as this was really big milestone to continue with new features and improvements like user config backup (announced for V2.1) and similar.

I definitely never regret switching to Homey and would recommend it absolutely.


#14

I have my Homey for a year and a half now I upgraded to homey 2.0. Why? You ask? Because latest stable build was just to slow for all my devices. Also some issues were promised to be fixed in 2.0. Anyway it was anounced older version wil not be developed anymore so I see no point to hold on to the old stuff.

2.0. app is not designed for tablet. It works but, It is the same as for android phone. No tablet optimizations, not even rotation is possible on ipad. Since athom killed the desktop tablet app version is a priority. Hope athom listens to user requests.
My luck is that I created flows in older version and I needed to slightly modify them after the upgrade to 2.0. Don’t even imagine if I would need to start from schratch in 2.0 on tiny mobile display…

  • Insights(graphs, and device history), are now only on the web. Missing the point of forcing mobile only then have some stuff like insights move outside of the app. Insights should be also in the mobile app for easy and quick look. Good in 2.0 is that insights work fast now.
  • besides regular insights I’m missing graphs under devices to be able to see for example daily, weekly, monthly, yearly pie chart on watt usage for devices, rain or temperature…
  • backup restore (was promised in 2.0)
  • flow templates.
  • for example simple thing such as adding a timer to turn off the light after there is no motion for a minute is quite complicated.
  • tags work now but editing is a pain. Tags can’t be draged to different position in logic formulas for example.
  • flow editing is not as good as PC version.
  • dashboard is mostly notifications. Devices, flows, notification screen section should be user adjustable.
  • no temperature, watt, percentage, … is visible on devices, the need to sellect each device to se basic info is just not usable and a step back from all mobile apps created before. And what shows on device tiles should be fully configurable.
  • athom should put some effort on user experience and homey could realy be as good as promised it will be in 2.0.
  • as writen before by someone, athom lacks roadmap and does not stick to dedlines.
  • they constantly move support and peoples requests and issues form github to forum from forum to blog.
  • Trello user requests that were made by people have just dissapered and many devices I waited for at least 1year stayed just a promise.
  • I agree with Mario_Me that to much is dependant on community and good will of developers at home. Idea of community contribution is good but major device manufacturers should be covered by Athom or at least take some open source community apps and contribute to home developers.
  • I also agree with Menno_van_Eck that homey is best used to control other systems like HUE. Sadly I would be in the dark lots of times if I depended on homey for lights. But I don’t agree I should satisfy with less than 24/7 and stability.

Athom has resource management or lack of resources issue. Potential is good and I will stick to it for now as there is no other product that offers this kind of integration of multiple protocols and devices. Hope Athom soon takes control and starts delivering on promises.


#15
  1. They will come to the mobile app, athom just wants to do this right on a mobile phone, which takes time.
  2. then look at the top right in insights, you can select what range of insights you want to see, 24 hours, weekly, monthly, etc;
  3. it was announced for after 2.0 (not in 2.0)
  4. flow templates?, if you mean sharing flows, that is also something after 2.0
  5. this is exactly the same as pre 2.0
  6. tags are still being tweaked, did you file an issue about it yet?
  7. that is just getting used to
  8. there is no dashboard yet, it is an homescreen
  9. info not updating is a known issue and athom is working in this, but did you file an issue for this as well?
  10. athom is and will continue working to make 2.0 better and better.
  11. athom will never give out a roadmap, and this will stay that way (only very course ones), deadlines have never been mentioned anywhere, so a little bit hard to not stay within the deadline if there is none.
  12. issues has never been pushed to the (community) forum/blog, ever since 2.0 is in experimental, everything was transferred to the new support.athom.com page.
  13. trello wasn’t kept up to date anyway, so the info there was already way out of date most of the time.

But anyway to stay on topic.
I have been living with my homey for almost 3 years now, and has never been this stable.
The only time i sat in the dark was because of a thought error of myself (it gets way too early dark!) or the hue hub itself not having a good connection, or the occasional dead battery.
so i have definitly lived all this time without worrying, especially the last 2 years.
I did disable auto updating of homey itself, as I really like to be there when homey is updating, even though it has never been really necessary.
Apps i left usually untouched for auto updating, had only a few times where an update broke (temporarily) the devices, usually fixed within 12 hours by the same community developer.

Currently running 26 apps, 200+ flows, and 103 devices (where there are 52 Z-wave) without much issues.


#16
  1. OK. Someday then…
  2. I’m talking about different type of graphs, like PIE chart. For example how much KW/h has been used today, yesterday, week, month, year. Curently insights doesn’t contain any logic, only shows history.
  3. OK. Someday then…
  4. OK. Someday then…
  5. Yes, same as before. No improvements.
  6. If athom couldn’t produce support for 3-clamp Aeotec power meter in more than 1 year (lots of tickets and emails with support). I’m not going to open ticket for hard to edit tags. I don’t have the will power anymore.
    And support usualy answers: “We will forward it to our development team so they can take a look at this issue and try to fix it as soon as possible.” and 30 days later no update. So I write on community
  7. I just expresed my opinion. Maybe when tablet version is released it will be manageble. Someday then…
  8. If it’s called homescreen then it is OK to be limited in usage… Dashboard, maybe someday then…
  9. I’m not talking about device data not updating on screen bug(That I can live with I know 2.0 is still experimental).
    I’m talking about information that Athom should add information on device tiles/icons. Like temperature, humidity, wattage, … without the need to “long press” device to view the temperature for example.
  10. I believe that Athom is trying their best. We wait…
  11. OK. So we wait…

Nice that your homey runs smoth. I don’t know what it was but mine works faster after 2.0 upgrade so I guess there is still hope. We just need to wait …


#17

Well, worrying is up to individual.

My experience after 6 months of use is that it is surprisingly
stable, though I was and still am worrying. I have a moderate
setup with about 15 APPS automating switches, TV, aircon,
fan,smart lock, door sensors, motion sensors etc.

only once something really broke due to a chrome update
and even then it was only the app didnt work. Homey got it fixed in a week or so.

My main complaint is the poor support of Google home/assistant.

if you intend to use it heavily, Homey isnt for you.


#18

So far I did not turn off app updates but turned off homey update.

Given I intend to stay away from 2.0 for at least 3 mths ,
maybe 6, I better also disable homey apps in case developers updating to work with 2.0 break those on older versions.


#19

Why? Heavier means, quite often anyway, more zwave/zigbee-devices so a better mesh…


#20

I agree with, a lot of the problem we see on the forums could be solved with a solid mesh…

But @Groundhog might be talking about heavy use of google home, though that seem to be a problem specific to the netherlands - the rest of the world uses alexa. :stuck_out_tongue: