Tuesday 1 June 2021

What's happened to Hue-topia?

The Hue-topia Mac app goes back to November 2013. To be frank, it has been in a vicious cycle of very little interest / therefore very few updates, and has not kept up with changes from Philips such as additions to their API and dropping of support for the v1 (round) bridge.

From the start, Hue-topia had its own interface concepts which it shared with LIFXstyle. These didn't always align with the concepts of the Hue system. Therefore HT was doing a lot of conversion / bridging. This led to a lot of unnecessary complexity and inconsistency within the app,

Hue-topia version 4 is a new version for 2021 and way more of an overhaul than it may appear from the interface.  It is intended to be more of an interface with your bridge, and have concepts which align with the Hue system.

Key changes include:

  • Presets are now Scenes. The scenes list is a nice way to control your lights (click to select a scene appropriate for the mood or time of day, using manual controls for creating those scenes). HT4 allows you to add your own photograph / icon to represent a scene.
  • Uses newer additions to Philips' API, such as 'localtime' rather than 'time'. These changes tend to make HT less complex and more likely to work as expected.
  • Sunrise and Sunset functionality used to be managed pretty heavily by HT. It calculated times using your location, allowed you to select from the various definitions of sunset/sunrise, and could regularly update scheduled times on the bridge accordingly. Now the Hue Bridge has its own daylight functionality with configurable offsets and it's more appropriate to make use of that. (not yet implemented in the v4 beta).
  • Support for sensors. The motion sensor, besides detecting motion and having a little configurability, also has a temperature sensor which can be viewed in HT4.
  • Effects and the effects designer are no longer a feature of Hue-topia. We feel it's more appropriate for this functionality to form a separate app, which we'll do if people ask.
Version 4 is just about ready for beta. ie most of the functionality (that's intended for v4.0) is there but is in the testing / fixing stage. It'll be freely available for public testing very shortly. 

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