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    New iOS App: zHome

    I gave up on all the weak iOS Apps. HSBuddy and ImperiHome move over (ImiperiHome actually rolled over dead long ago). There's a new kid in town. I started using zHome from the App Store, and I couldn't be happier. Dan, who is the developer is super helpful and very responsive.

    Sami

    #2
    Glad you like it, I've been using it for about 2-3 months now as one of the original beta testers. Dan is very responsive and very open to suggestions.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by George View Post
      Glad you like it, I've been using it for about 2-3 months now as one of the original beta testers. Dan is very responsive and very open to suggestions.
      True, he really is always looking for suggestions and asks for feedback.

      Comment


        #4
        That's good because there is feedback.

        Apps like zHome are also used by our wife and kids. Therefore the user experience should be fantastic.
        And right now the zHome GUI is bad, really bad.

        Just one example:
        The settings buttons cannot be pressed like any other button on an iphone.
        No, you have to keep it pressed for the settings pages to open.
        Who has ever seen this?

        And some more:
        - The graphics, colors and fonts are absolutely horrible.
        - customizability should be a lot better: per device I want to select which information is shown (which text, which icons, which controls, which control type (button, toggle, slider), etc)
        - username: has to be filled out (on my local network I don't want to use that, but it may have to do with the way the app interacts with HS (on port 11000 which may need an authenticated user?)


        However, I do applaude the fact that people write applications for Homeseer.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks Sami for the kind words. I'm working on your suggestion for a way to have certain devices confirm that you actually want an action to be performed... Ie turn a device on / off... I will start a new thread on the forums soon ... as I want to get feedback from the other TestFlight users on this.

          I'm not sure what DJF3 is referencing as far as the settings button... Settings is a tab control at the botton of the screen. Or are you referencing the individual settings after going to the settings screen? Haven't had any other complaints about this... so I'm confused as to what you think it should be doing. I tap on a setting and it will go to the screen. There is a settings option for Touch Settings where you can set the amount of time a long press gesture requires to fire off the touch.


          The complaints about graphics.. well we use the graphics for devices and such that are configured in a HomeSeer system... its not our graphics... so if they are horrible then they need to look at how they have configured their HomeSeer graphics for a device. We may someday look at letting colors be configured... but for now it's the Henry Ford model... you can have any colors you want as long as they are the ones we use. I will never be able to please everyone in regards to colors and such. So I chose to please my wife.

          The text and control types are configurable via your HomeSeer status graphics pages for a device.... we display what yo have configured in HomeSeer... You set the control types in HomeSeer. I'm not going to write a different approach to configuring the control types when you can do this already in HomeSeer. We actually have done this for the classic interface as far as slider controls go... you can configure the slider to be a stepper type control for z-wave interface devices. Most people seem to be using the tiled interface style.

          Yes you have to authenticate with HomeSeer so you have to give the app a username and password that will let it authenticate with HomeSeer. Not sure why this is an issue...

          Comment


            #6
            Dan,

            I think he means on the settings screen the setting boxes should be touch to go to next screen not 'press' to go to next screen. That also was a quirk that I noticed, but once configured I hardly ever go into the settings page. But when I do, it just touch it and then remember I have to long press it.

            I'll be responding to your email on the TestFlight changes. I may have a couple of other suggestions.
            g

            Comment


              #7
              Probably a leftover from when I originally coded it.. back then I was using 3D Touch... but stopped supporting that and defaulted to long press. I really liked the 3D Touch but Apple decided to drop that. I will look at it.

              Comment


                #8
                I have a build now for the TestFlight users that has the change for allowing the user to flag a device / feature to require a confirmation from the user before sending to HomeSeer. I also looked and tweaked the settings buttons so they now act like a single tap without requiring a longer press to open the window.

                No idea exactly why the person feels the GUI is bad, really bad... It's pretty much standard fonts so not clear to me what the complaint is on that issue. Posting things here doesn't usually get them seen by me.. There is a link on the About section under settings for email and that is the best way to send complaints, suggestions, etc. I never intended originally to even release this app on the App Store. I appreciate suggestions and ideas though. I just need to understand what is truly being asked for. Subjective comments of not liking a choice doesn't tell me what someone is wanting instead of the options I chose. If it's possible to provide choices then I'm happy to do so.

                I am confused about the complaint that the graphics are bad. Not sure what exactly they are referring to that they don't have control of. If its the lack of graphic images for rooms then I probably will never fix that as the app lets you set your own graphics either from your photo library or by using the iPhone camera to use your own custom photo for a room icon. To legally use other peoples images for these tings and include them in the app means to get quality I have to pay for the images. No matter what choices I make someone will find them not to their liking. So they have total control of that by either using the camera or chasing an image from their own photo library. If they have an image they want to use they just need to add it to their photo library and then select it as the graphic they want to use.

                As far as the icons used for devices and status they have compete control of that via HomeSeer. We use whatever graphics they have configured via the Status / Graphics screen for the device in HomeSeer.

                I really am confused about the statement that it's not customizable enough. The text and control types are controlled by how you configure a device / feature in HomeSeer.

                I also don't get what the issue is with configuring the username and password that HomeSeer requires us to use for being able to communicate with their ascii control port. We could by pass this if we bypass using only the local network control via JSON, but then its not a great user experience. Our ability to reflect status changes and such are much better using the ascii control port. We have to authenticate with HomeSeer to do so.

                We try and leverage as much as we can from the configurations of devices and such in HomeSeer. This way we have one place to make changes and they will reflect then across all the devices that are using the app. So instead of having to configure your iPhone, iPad, and even macOS device separately you can set many things in HomeSeer and it will be the same across all your devices. Changing the layout of the buttons for a control on the Status / Graphics page will affect how we lay out the buttons on the pop up controls for devices. So if you want button A to appear after button B in the app then changing their layout in the HomeSeer screen will also reflect in zHome Plus. There are a few caveats on that ... if the control type is a slider stye device then it will alway be on a row by itself.

                I am sure there are lots of tings that can be improved. I just need to clearly understand what the underlying issue is and what exactly someone thinks should be changed. All of us have different tastes in UI and I'm happy to provide choices... I just need to understand what the actual choice that someone wants. Some of the issues raised are things that can be controlled by the user via HomeSeer.

                I believe that if we can leverage HomeSeer configurations is the right place to do so.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by lakehawk View Post
                  No idea exactly why the person feels the GUI is bad, really bad... It's pretty much standard fonts so not clear to me what the complaint is on that issue. Posting things here doesn't usually get them seen by me.. There is a link on the About section under settings for email and that is the best way to send complaints, suggestions, etc. I never intended originally to even release this app on the App Store. I appreciate suggestions and ideas though. I just need to understand what is truly being asked for. Subjective comments of not liking a choice doesn't tell me what someone is wanting instead of the options I chose. If it's possible to provide choices then I'm happy to do so.
                  .
                  Note that I think it's great that you have written this application. It's fantastic that the community is building things that help others. Also remember that the "tone" of a message can easily be interpreted more negative than it actually was ment to be.

                  Just to be sure, we are talking about "zHome Plus", right?
                  Right now I can't test the application anymore because I ran out of my 7-day trial so some things I can't re-test or

                  > "Posting things here doesn't usually get them seen by me"
                  I was unaware of this and should have send a direct message with my feedback.

                  Status icons: agree, they are coming from what you configure in HS
                  Connectivity: in the "Homeseer Mobile" app I connect to HS directly without username/pwd. For me the experience is quite good. It's not a big thing.
                  Graphics: What I am referring to is generic user interface choices: colors usage, lines around buttons, I see approx 3 different fonts used (title, buttons, settings buttons) and there was more but I can't remember or test it.

                  Nowadays we are spoiled with fantastic user interfaces all over the place that create certain expectations. User-experience is something I can get very passionate about :-)
                  but at the end of the day we can't all be user experience designers and functionality is more important than looks.

                  Please continue to develop the application and turn negative feedback into something positive that helps you to understand a growing group of users.

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