I’ve been battling a nasty flu for going on two weeks now, which puts me at the generally-exhausted-and-finding-it-hard-to-get-out-of-bed phase at the moment. This morning, though — whilst peeking at the iOS store through crusty eyes — I noticed an update for my Control4 MyHome app and positively leapt out of bed with the sort of glee that only geeks can muster for operating system updates. The new Control4 OS is here, though! Squeee!
Why all the excitement over an operating system upgrade? For one thing, OS 2.3 brings with it Control4′s big lighting overhaul, with a new UI for lighting that makes it much easier to see what’s on at what level, and to make quick adjustments — not to mention the overhauled Lighting Scenes functionality, which allows you to make adjustments directly from Navigator.
Another biggy is SDDP – Simple Device Discovery Protocol — which supports automatic discovery of and driver loading for an ever-growing list of third-party devices. At CEDIA, we discovered that the Dish Hopper is one of those devices, which means that with 2.3 here, I’ll now be able to control my Hopper via IP instead of kludgey IR. Bonus points! In addition, 2.3 brings “nearly two dozen new drivers and provided updates to over 300 drivers.”
One thing I wasn’t expecting from the previews of OS 2.3 is just how much faster the MyHome iOS app connects now. I’m not saying it was a drag before, but if I were pulling up in the driveway with a few bags of takeout, I had gotten into the habit of firing up MyHome as soon as my front wheels hit the driveway, so that it would be loaded and ready to unlock my front door by the time I got parked, got Bruno leashed up, and grabbed my bags. Now, MyHome loads up and connects to my controller pretty lickity split.
For light commercial users, 2.3 also brings a new passwork protected Access Agent, which limits unauthorized access to the control system; a new Themes SDK, which allows for branding customization; and FieldServer driver support for commercial HVAC systems.
Here’s a video from Control4Fans that shows the new lighting UI in action at CEDIA Expo this year: