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  • Originally posted by dzee View Post
    Having used HSTouch for years, I was hoping Mobile would be an improvement. Silly me. This shouldn't be released yet.
    Agreed. HSMobile was a flash in the pan. There was a good amount of development at first. Then the last beta was promoted to be the "Release" version, even though it needed many more beta cycles. And then development all but stopped and HST moved on to something else. Such is their pattern it seems...they work on something until it works "just good enough", and then they drop it and move on to something else. Nothing ever gets polished. It's like the software development version of ADD. Shrug.

    Originally posted by dzee View Post
    (please take a UX class or read a book on it)
    This may seem like a good idea, and for sure would be better than nothing, but at the end of the day you would still have programmers developing the UI. Bottom line is they need to hire an actual UX designer, plain and simple...

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    • Cannot get Homeseer Mobile to connect to my system. I can log into MyHS using a web browser but every time I try the same username and password with the mobile app I get a connection error message.

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      • Originally posted by Monk View Post

        Not sure why I think this but I'm not sure HS authors this themselves - maybe recruits interns or whatever - probably wrong, but it doesn't feel right.
        Yeah, I'm a CTO by day, and while I'm guessing too, based on the look and basic problems of the app, my gut tells me HS3 Mobile was:
        • coded before establishing sufficient requirements or user stories, with priorities on functionality and minimum viable features for release
        • potentially developed by someone or a small group who weren't experienced app developers - maybe even learning on the fly
        • did not involve professional designers who know UX/UI conventions, did not know what's in style as far as design language, or follow Android/iOS design patterns
        • not methodically tested, and then released before easily discovered bugs were worked out. This software hasn't earned a 1 before the decimal point yet.
        It's really a shame, because I think HS3 was one of the best HA platforms because it was open and many things operated locally. I'm not happy about everything I do going out my router and having to give every cloud account access to each other so I can turn on a light.

        New software products are one of those cases where you don't get a second chance to make a first impression. Even if you start over, rename it, and release something great, a sizable percentage of your user base, and particularly those who were already invested say, "Yeah, yeah, I'm sure it's great, just like the last one".

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        • Originally posted by feman View Post
          Cannot get Homeseer Mobile to connect to my system. I can log into MyHS using a web browser but every time I try the same username and password with the mobile app I get a connection error message.
          It looks like some have found that even the login name may be case sensitive. I noticed that when connecting to myhs.homeseer.com, when you access your system it ends up going to a local address. So, on a PC web browser, you're actually talking directly to the HS3 install at home and not through the internet. On the phone, I haven't run a network sniffer, but I'm wondering if that is actually connecting locally or only through myHS.

          Finally, (and I'm grasping at straws here) I don't have any invalid JSON characters in my password. That shouldn't be something you have to worry about because these should be escaped by the programmer, but if that wasn't done properly and you've used a double-quote or backslash in your password it might interfere with the JSON API calls or authentication.

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          • Originally posted by dzee View Post

            Yeah, I'm a CTO by day, and while I'm guessing too, based on the look and basic problems of the app, my gut tells me HS3 Mobile was:
            • coded before establishing sufficient requirements or user stories, with priorities on functionality and minimum viable features for release
            • potentially developed by someone or a small group who weren't experienced app developers - maybe even learning on the fly
            • did not involve professional designers who know UX/UI conventions, did not know what's in style as far as design language, or follow Android/iOS design patterns
            • not methodically tested, and then released before easily discovered bugs were worked out. This software hasn't earned a 1 before the decimal point yet.
            It's really a shame, because I think HS3 was one of the best HA platforms because it was open and many things operated locally. I'm not happy about everything I do going out my router and having to give every cloud account access to each other so I can turn on a light.

            New software products are one of those cases where you don't get a second chance to make a first impression. Even if you start over, rename it, and release something great, a sizable percentage of your user base, and particularly those who were already invested say, "Yeah, yeah, I'm sure it's great, just like the last one".
            I don't think there is anything particular wrong that HS outsourced HomeSeer Mobile development to a bidder online. It makes sense to enable it to be developed concurrently and quickly.

            The shame is they paid the developer to write it, fixed a couple of bugs, and then abandoned it.

            I could write a book on the number of bugs with HomeSeer mobile that have driven me to insanity - really really obvious and serious bugs that significantly break the product. To just release it like that and then walk away is heart breaking - why even develop it in the first place?

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            • Originally posted by Tillsy View Post

              I don't think there is anything particular wrong that HS outsourced HomeSeer Mobile development to a bidder online. It makes sense to enable it to be developed concurrently and quickly.

              The shame is they paid the developer to write it, fixed a couple of bugs, and then abandoned it.

              I could write a book on the number of bugs with HomeSeer mobile that have driven me to insanity - really really obvious and serious bugs that significantly break the product. To just release it like that and then walk away is heart breaking - why even develop it in the first place?
              You assume it was outsourced....

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              • Tillsy, I hadn't heard any official indication that it was abandoned. Is that really true?

                In either case, HSTouch is really the better direction, but it too needs work. Neither HSTouch nor HS Mobile is a lost cause (no code really ever is).

                The most frustrating part of HS for me hasn't even been bugs. It's that every HomeSeer program has somewhere around 75% of the capabilities needed to make it one of the top agnostic platforms, and accessible to a developer base so it's ecosystem thrives.

                For example:
                • THE most important thing in HA (IMHO) is the logic that supports conditions to make the devices and sensors more than the sum of their parts. Newbies to HA are thrilled to be able to turn their lights on or off while away from home, but I think they're missing the point. HA really shines by allowing sensors, devices, and logic do things that respond to conditions that DON'T require a human operator to intervene. To do this requires a robust and complete trigger logic. The triggers can't happen in script, so it has to be in the point-and-click interface.

                  In the primary HS3 product, there are basic logic operators missing in the triggers like NOT. There are situations where when something happens you need to make sure some other condition is NOT met. The only option is to drop into a script and test the other conditions. The lack of an IF/ELSE makes things very challenging to debug by requiring multiple events to handle the condition or it's opposite. An IF/ELSE would go a long way to making this more accessible to people who want to use the point & click interface. I used to use StarGate and its event language was far superior.
                  .
                • In HSTouch Editor, there is no zoom in/out to allow you to layout high resolution screens. It was already cramped for a PC screen at 1920x1080. Now that mobile devices have 4K and higher screens, it's nearly unusable. The layout controls are excellent for aligning, but it's hard to select 2-3 items because you just can't see much in the 1:1 pixel ratio.
                  .
                • The HSTouch dimmers and basic controls are serviceable, but the graphics are dated. HSTouch has themes / sets that I believe could be augmented with new look and feel without any code changes, yet could really make the app look a lot more appealing to prospective newcomers.
                  .
                • HSTouch even has centralized editing so you can create, then deploy to your devices. Like others, I'm shocked this basic feature was not available in the HS Mobile app. The HS Mobile layout is probably already stored in HTML/CSS or perhaps XML or JSON (it would be nearly unforgivable if not) and those are essentially just text files that could be copied to other devices, so long as they used some scaled coordinate system. There are numerous responsive libraries out there to diminish the developers tasks and support rotation, scaling, and presentation layer to different device screens so they could focus the effort on functionality.
                  .
                • In the HSTouch Mobile app (I've only used Android), it is not tolerant of switching between wifi and cellular without an app restart. The ability to log in again behind the scenes without user intervention if it cannot reach a local address is a pretty small reach, not even worth a major version number.
                  .
                • Finally, HSTouch Mobile doesn't support common phone gestures like swipe between screens, ability to use the "back" button in Android, or even offer a "hamburger" menu control to give you quick access to a list of screens or events. I haven't seen the code, so the swiping could be a big rewrite, but adding a menu control and supporting a back button could probably be done without a major rewrite.
                HS isn't thinking big enough, and yes, there will be a cost but HS3 and the plugins pale in comparison to what is spent on devices, sensors, and hubs, not to mention the hundreds of hours of time we put in as hobbyists and contractors, many of which would be unnecessary if not for these shortcomings.

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