By now almost everybody knows that we are working on a big homee update. Day after day we get feedback or questions from our users. Most of those requests have already been taken in account, since the opinion of our users is very important for us.
It’s obvious that we want to spend most of our time with the development of homee and not only with support and social media activities. Still, you, that is our users, shouldn’t be forgotten. We value that you place your trust in us when buying homee. And we know, that this also means, that you invested in the development of our product. That is why we think it is time to provide an insight into our work. The following lines shall give you an overview over all the activities concerning homee. And of course, they are also supposed to be a confirmation, that we are handling your trust and your investment with great care.
Concept & design (Katharina)
My part concerning the update is limited to the concept and design of the app. This contains the iOS Apps (iPhone & iPad), Android Apps (Smartphone & Tablet) and the Web App. That is why I can ensure you, that many things changed in the concept and design of the homee app. I already prepared a detailed blogpost about the redesign process, which is why I won’t dwell on this here. But I can give you an insight into the things that will change with the update:
On the one hand, and this I kind of revealed already, we will have an independent tablet version of the app. In this Version the gained space will be used accordingly. This means, no matter if you use a 7“, 10“ or 13“ device, the app will always cut a fine figure.
On the other hand there is the new app design. We now use the colors of the cubes in the app and differentiate more between iOS and Android. Of course, the basic elements will stay the same on both platforms. All Android users can look forward to a material design app and iOS users will get an universal app with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus support. I hope that you will enjoy them as much as we do!
Last but not least: There are many new features! We even planed that many features, that we most certainly will be busy implementing them for many years. ;)
Naturally, not all of those features will be part of the first update – otherwise you would have to wait for it to long. But they are already considered in the concept and design.
In order to let you know what you can expect from the update, I prepared a small feature list:
- devices: configure (e.g. LED color) devices in the app
- devices: individual manuals for the teach in of the devices
- homeegrams: and conjunctions (conditions)
- homeegrams: actions can be executed immediately or delayed
- homeegrams: homeegrams will be displayed as a readable sentence
- homeegrams: individual icons
- homeegrams: editing in iOS
- groups: individual icons
- groups: homeegrams in groups
- user management: several users per homee
- user management: user rights
- homee management: several homees in the app (quick switch)
- homee management: user chosen name and icon with color
homee core (Tobias)
Not only the apps will be updated. Tobias also revises the whole homee core. An important part of that is the changeover to WebSockets. Thereby all the transmissions will get more performant and dynamic. For you this means that you won’t have to manually refresh your app anymore, in order to see the latest changes and the current values. You will thereby get quicker and clearer feedback about the success of your actions. On top of that we made the handling of the data respectively the visualization of the devices more flexible, so that future updates will be easier.
Radio protocols (Thomas)
Because we restructured the handling of the data, Thomas had to rework the radio specific communication modules. Some work went into the goal to support different devices using the same radio protocol more universal.
Thomas and Tobias also put some effort into supporting allready integrated products more extensive.
Android App (Waldemar)
Of course, the changeover to WebSockets also affects our app developers. The new, more dynamic and flexible API requires extensive reworking of the app’s back ends. This equally affects the iOS, Android and Web App.
The outstanding factor of the Android App is the new design, which is oriented towards the material design of Android 5.0. Naturally this big change affects the programming workload of Waldemar. In order to not only support Android devices with the latest software, Waldemar has to put some effort in the app development since he can’t rely on prefabricated libraries. His front end will be developed dynamically, to also support the tablet design.
iOS App (Jochen)
The new design and the adjustment of the core also requires a new iOS App. The current app was programmed with iOS 6 in mind, for the big iOS 7 update we only did the most necessary adjustments in order to keep the app functional. The new universal homee app will be supporting all iOS devices from iOS 7.1 and up – which also includes iPads, of course.
It’s important that we provide the according basis, so that we can implement lots of new functionalities in the future, like the support of the Apple Watch or Widgets.
Web App (Timo)
The Web App will quite certainly get the biggest update yet. Since we kind of neglected the Web App in the past, it is time to bring all the apps to the same level. Different functionalities on different platforms will be a thing of the past.
This means the back end as well as the front end will shine like new! Thanks to Timo the Web App will be totally responsive and will therefore be usable on every modern browser and every display. The new structure makes use of the gained space. On smaller devices however, the user won’t be confused with too many and too small elements.
I hope that we were able to give you an insight into our work on the big homee update. We feel very confident that the hard work and all waiting will pay off. It makes us happy when we realize that our users are willing to wait for the new version. We appreciate that you put great trust in us and in our work and we want to thank you for that. We are sure that we won’t disappoint you and we’re looking forward to advance homee further together with your help.