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  1. kayak

    Iris vs SmartThings

    I left Iris for ST about 16 months ago. I noted at the time that the grass wasn't really greener, and I'd stick with that. It's just different. I've learned to work around many of my issues, but there are things Iris is simply better at. Things I like about ST: Flexibility. We have accent lights that do all sorts of cool stuff - change colors to note when doors are left open, change color with the weather forecast, the seasons. Fun stuff, and fun to program. (If you think that sort of thing is fun. Big learning curve, so not for everyone.) Much better camera. I can actually tell what's going on. Better selection of devices. That being said, a lot of the Iris stuff is still as good as or better than other options out there, so I still use most of them. (I just wish that half of my Iris motion sensors wouldn't fault out and kill their batteries once a month.) Stable. A few dropouts (always Iris devices though), but it's not common. Not sure how that compares to Iris of today though. Things I don't like, or miss from Iris: Iris is simply way better at being an alarm system, as Smitho notes above. ST inexplicably still doesn't have a delay when the alarm is triggered, or good keypad support. Presence using your smartphone is usually great, but even with a large radius sometimes just doesn't pick up. I am so sick of the false alarms, it's inexcusable how ST has failed improve this aspect. Lack of any new native features. I always enjoyed the steady flow of new features with Iris. Not sure how it's been since, but it was nice that functionality was continuously added. Other than maybe getting buttons for changing the temperature in the app and a passable dashboard, I can't think of any feature in ST that I want that was actually improved in those 16 months. In the forums, ST has said they are working on stuff (important stuff - like a delay before the alarm goes off!), but no idea where any of it is. Yes, you can add third party stuff, and the flexibility (like with CoRE) can be fantastic. But that (at least when I tried it a year ago) added so much lag I couldn't deal with it. In the end, I'm happy my switch because it's a fun system to tinker with, but if that's not what you're looking for, Iris is in many ways more compelling. While I was frustrated with the v2 change on Iris, in the end I came away with a very positive impression of Lowe's, for doing what was right for the customer. And now have a better impression of Iris, seeing that the steady improvements it always had just aren't present (at least natively) with ST.
  2. kayak

    Back to Instability

    Because it still doesn't work right - we don't have the function we bought into with v1, specifically (for me) the modem. I do appreciate that Lowe's has been reasonable with returns, but we've also been more than patient sticking with them waiting for the functionality to be restored. I don't want to get burned because I trusted they'd get it right.
  3. kayak

    Back to Instability

    I was kind of assuming Lowe's would give us some advance notice of such a policy change? Or at least wait until parity with v1 and the major bugs are worked out... Bad assumption?
  4. kayak

    The Grass Wasn't Greener

    cbount, Scorpy, thanks for the perspectives. Interesting that you didn't have some of the issues I had - hopefully some of them clear up for me. (I'm jealous your stuff paired fine - took me a dozen tries with one Smart Plug.) To be honest, if it weren't for the alarm delay, I would have just stuck it out with ST. But the little glitches I still have with ST and the hope that the cell modem will get fixed are compelling points for Iris - will be a tough choice if/when ST adds a delay. I did have one dropout with ST (or at least a device that just stopped functioning), but it was an Iris Smart Button, so who knows whose fault it was On the app, I like how Iris has a bunch of info on the dashboard. Yes, ST does label theirs as a Dashboard, but it's just a couple bits of info. From their forums, apparently they used to have a really good one with their v1 app, but parity has been coming soon for about a year Totally agree with the rooms grouping, a nice feature. The reason I like the phone call is that it's much harder to miss a ringing phone than a quick text chime or push notification. But Scorpy, pretty sure you're right, IFTTT is a workaround for this. With respect to the SmartApps, yes there are a lot of them, but everytime I found one that did what I wanted (SmartAlarm, Rule Machine), the developer had dropped it. I'd hate to buy hardware assuming you'll have some function, only to have it pulled later. Will have to look at CoRE though - thanks. Definitely agree there's no one system for everyone. Just wish that one or the other would iron their bugs out and get all the basics running consistently!
  5. kayak

    The Grass Wasn't Greener

    Well, after the long-awaited 4G modem turned out not to work correctly, I decided this past weekend to dump Iris and move to Smartthings. Well, as warned, the grass isn't all greener, so I'm back to Iris, at least partially. (Mods, I'll make sure I keep this professional and unbiased, but if it's too off-topic please delete.) My weekend with ST made me appreciate that Iris is in fact getting a lot of stuff right: Iris is fast. Really fast. Hit a button in Iris, and the response is faster than you can time with a stopwatch. ST has a noticeable (~0.5 second) extra delay. Uncommon glitches aside, the Iris app usually works without delay; the ST app is usually similar, but can have delays of 1-30 seconds between screens. This all makes for a more refined experience with Iris. The Iris app is better. ST has no shortcuts or dashboard, really basic stuff like +/- buttons for the thermostat are not available, and what thermostat control there is is buried three screens in. I can't even set a schedule or use the hold function for the thermostat. Nice visualization features like the "Care" graph, or the sortable History aren't present. While ST has more flexibility, it's not cleanly executed. You add in "SmartApps" to get extra function, but much of that is simply built right into the Iris rules, and sometimes the Iris rules are more powerful. Another example is when you replace a device - Iris keeps but disables your rules, ST requires them to all be deleted and rewritten. ST flat out fails as an alarm system. A keypad isn't directly supported (though you can add one - ironically the Lowe's keypad seems to be the most popular choice in the forums). But there is currently zero delay before the alarm sounds once triggered. In my house, this would mean the siren blaring nearly every day, as we always forget to turn off the alarm before opening the door in the morning. The whole ST approach is a little different - you are supposed to use your phone for everything, and it relies heavily on phone presence for setting/disabling the alarm. Which is pretty cool for when you leave the house. But entirely impractical for when their version of "Partial" (called "Stay"). They did note that a delay is planned. Iris can call you when an alarm is triggered. ST will text directly, which is nice, but for the important stuff a phone call is a lot harder to miss than a text. There are of course, some things I'd like to see Iris learn from: Energy monitor, battery percentages, web interface - stuff we don't have back from v1 is there. The supported device range is huge. Some work natively, others are supported by the community (that's how you can get the Iris v2 sensors to work on it). Adding the community code in is pretty easy, though pairing consistency is spotty, just like with Iris. ST can actually add capability to Iris hardware, such as temperature offsets, and a long-press function for a Smart Button! ST is more flexible, though I don't yet understand the scope as the interface isn't simple. I assume it had a more advanced rule system, but it doesn't - you have to write real code. Which I'll do at some point, but it makes for a learning curve I haven't had time to tackle yet. ST Staff responds directly to posts in the forums - I'm really impressed with that level of communication. In the end, I realized both systems have big holes and lots of opportunity for improvement. Lack of alarm delay was a jobstopper for me. I ended up moving safety/security type stuff back to Iris. Lights, buttons and other "fun" things went to ST (can't wait to get the Arduino shield for it!) Thermostat is with ST, since the "for Iris" CT-101 isn't supported fully yet under Iris v2, but seems to work fine under ST. Can't wait to move it all to one system or the other, but the jury's out still on which one that'll be. But I have learned to be a little less critical of Iris - v2 could be better, but so could the alternatives.
  6. kayak

    4G Modem Doesn't Work Reliably

    Drat, was hoping that #2 was an uncommon glitch as I only tried it once. Looks like the modem isn't too useful until they fix it. Another weird thing, I noticed later that my iPad showed push notifications about the broadband/cellular switches, though my iPhone didn't. So at least they're trying to alert you. The iPhone is set to display all notifications, and had one work correctly earlier in the day. So not sure if this is an Apple bug or an Iris one.
  7. The new cell modem has three bugs: - If a door is opened before the switchover to cellular (which I believe takes at least 30 seconds, possibly sometimes up to a couple minutes), it takes 2-3 minutes to notice and sound the alarm. - It can fault out, rendering it useless. While it worked initially for me, after running on cellular for 5-10 minutes, it completely faulted out, leaving the system without any communication or function. App figured out it had lost communication a couple minutes after the hub started blinking red. I gave it about five minutes, but it never reconnected. I've got solid Verizon 4G coverage, so it wasn't Verizon. - It doesn't log anything about loss or regaining broadband to History.
  8. kayak

    4G Modem Email, Post Here if You Received it.

    Okay, was able to get mine today, too. Mine paired effortlessly, too, and found the cellular network without issue. Impressively seamless activation process. Strangely, the modem faces down, so you can't see the status light. I started this off writing a pretty glowing review of it, but did a couple extra checks and, well, it doesn't work right consistently. First the good bit: When I tested it by pulling the Ethernet cable out, it didn't switch immediately. Could have sworn it took over a minute the first time I tried it, but when I timed it the second try it was 30 seconds. When it did, it correctly showed "cellular" under "connect" for Devices/My Hub. Function on cellular was great for turning on and off a light - maybe half a second, granted a little slower than the almost instant change on broadband, but quite impressive. Thermostat worked okay. But for some reason changing the alarm status took about 10-15 seconds, though it's less than a second on broadband. However, I found three issues, the first two major: - If a door is opened before the switchover to cellular, it takes 2-3 minutes to notice and sound the alarm! - After running on cellular for 5-10 minutes, it completely faulted out, leaving the system without any communication or function. App figured out it had lost communication a couple minutes after the hub started blinking red. I gave it about five minutes, but it never reconnected. I've got solid Verizon 4G coverage, so it wasn't Verizon. - It doesn't log anything about loss or regaining broadband to History.
  9. kayak

    4G Modem Email, Post Here if You Received it.

    They tried delivering mine today. FYI, looks like they're being delivered with the requirement that someone be home to sign. And they've disabled the option to sign for it online so FedEx would deliver without a signature. Grumble.
  10. kayak

    Cellular backup must be right around the corner

    Correct, I was a v1 cellular customer. I just sent you a PM with the e-mail in it.
  11. kayak

    Cellular backup must be right around the corner

    I asked the Iris support team on the phone, and was told very clearly that it wouldn't be. I then wrote an e-mail to customer service telling them that although the rep on the phone said there would be no increase, I was skeptical. The e-mail response confirmed that they were not considering an increase. Maybe they really weren't at the time, maybe since then someone did a calculation and figured that the extra $36/year per user was worth the customer dissatisfaction. But even if that's the case, it's still rather a slap in the face for customers who bought into this system and have stuck with them during this mess. I don't want to be overly negative - I appreciate all that people like you, the other admins and a couple of the Tier 2 reps have done to help. I'm just tired of the poor or absent communication from Lowe's, the lack of parity, the huge bugs and the need to beta test a system we've paid so much for and continue to pay for... and now will have to pay even more for. Apologies for my grumpiness, it's all just wearing on me a bit.
  12. kayak

    Cellular backup must be right around the corner

    WHAT?! I've been trying to be patient with Lowe's and give them the benefit of the doubt, but they said there would NOT be a price increase. It's bad enough to not have the service available. But to tell customers you're not going to have a price bump, then hit them with a 60% increase is pathetic.
  13. kayak

    Which water leak detector?

    I've also got both Utilitech and the new Iris - same reason as scunnyngham. Never had an issue with either on v2. One Utilitech in the basement would drop frequently in early v1, but the long cord let me put it right up by the ceiling which fixed the issue. The Utilitechs worked fine when I tested them in water, and the Iris sensor worked beautifully when the washing machine started spitting some water on the floor.
  14. kayak

    Pitiful response from Iris Support

    RetroDave, I totally understand your frustration. Any time a customer service group is dumb enough to use the work "inconvenience" for something that sucks up hours or days or your life, it's a clear sign they just don't get it. That being said, I (and many others on this board) have been able to - with a lot of work - get (mostly) usable v2 systems. As obnoxious as the wording in that note is, there are some bits of truth there. The v1 extenders are useless, but they were under v1 also. The v2 smart plugs seem to do work well, though yes, you may have to buy several to keep everything from dropping out. I've got all the v1 devices that worked with the v1 hub working under v2, and only the thermostat has occasional dropouts, sounds like you've got the same. Lowe's blames RT and says they're supposed to provide an update so Lowe's can make a fix, but there's no date for this to happen. As for the lack of web interface, it's often a pain, but once you get used to the mobile interface it's passable. And now you can change a lot more stuff more quickly when you're not home. The slew of system bugs is unfortunate, but at least they are slowly being fixed. If only Lowe's would learn to provide straightforward communication without the excuses and weasel words, they'd keep the frustration levels a lot lower!
  15. kayak

    Alarm Just Spontaneously Disarmed!

    FYI, they didn't fix the issues. Has happened three times since they deployed what they thought was a fix. Losing faith in the developers here... (BTW, they did confirm it's not the fob - nothing in the record to show the fob was out of contact.)