iConnectHue User Review: Is it Worth it?
If you are familiar with the Philips Hue app and the basic features and settings, then you will be pleased to know there is a whole lot more you can do, and iConnectHue is an app that will unleash a whole lot more from your Hue system.
iConnectHue User Review
After many weeks use of the iConnectHue app available for both iPhone and iPad here is how I got on, what I thought and what I loved about it.
What is it?
There are many Hue lighting apps that have a specific purpose, from themed lighting, being a remote, turning your home into a disco, but iConnectHue is a lot more than that. The best way to describe this app is the Philips Hue app which I am sure you have used just for setting up, but an unlocked version with all the features and more.
When using the official Hue app it does what you need to do and does it well, but you feel there should be more, more options, more flexibility and more features, iConnectHue gives you that unleashing the full power and more from the Hue system.
What it can do
iConnectHue can become the go to app for controlling your home lights, you can add new lights and switches through the app, you can create rooms, and group them too. You can do everything you can do in the Philips Hue app and much more.
So what makes this so good?
Groups – First off you can create groups, groups by rooms, groups by area within a room, or how about a group for upstairs and downstairs. You have a lot more flexibly for being able to turn on and off lights by using groups. This is a really useful feature and something you will certainly use if you have started converting your home to use Hue bulbs and lamps.
Animations – Within iConnectHue are a whole range of animations you can use and download, linking them to bulbs or groups you have set up. In app purchases can be made of seasonal animation packs can be bought that gives you a range of new animations you can use, for example the halloween pack was on offer recently which had custom animations made ready for you to use. There is also a Christmas pack which different animations, ice crystals, Christmas tree, lights, Santa, they are great and an easy way to create fun scenes in the home.
While you can download animation packs what I really like is the animation editor, with the app you can create one animation for free to test it out. Here you can add colors, change the fade time, wait time and the brightness per step. Using this on the iPhone it was actually quite simple, straight forward and fun.
The screenshots above show an animation created to look like a flame and fire.Different shades of oranges are faded through creating a warming glow.
Devices – The reason this app stood out to me was the custom changes you can make to switchers. On the Hue dimmer you can only customise the on button and that is limited to scenes only. Through iConnectHue I have been able to set the on button, on the dimmer to turn on different bulbs, setting the scene while also have animations start on certain bulbs. You cannot do this through the Philips Hue app.
This app allows much options and function for the Hue tap and motion sensor too as well as the dimmer switch.
Quick overview of other key features
- Edit your lights on/off state, lightness and color
- Create better timers with more function and flexibility
- control your lights when not at home
- Add new lights, buttons and bridges
- 3D touch support on app icon
- All settings, scenes and lights all stored on your bridge saving your phone battery life
- So much more to list – View it all here.
The Great Stuff
I have only detailed key points that stood out for me when using the app, there are many other features that I either haven’t used or have no need for at the moment, you can set up more complex timers, do clever things using the motion sensor just to name a few.
iConnectHue is well designed and has all the feature you could need and more. From using the app it has run well and once you get use to using it and what you can do it is fun and also now the the main app for controlling my Hue lights.
The flexibility the app gives you is incredible and takes the Hue system to a new level, it makes your smart lighting even smarter. I love there is an app designed for the iPhone, and an app designed for the iPad using the extra screen space.
If you have an Apple watch then you can set the scene without even needing to look at your phone as the iConnectHue is compatible with the Apple Watch.
As the Hue system uses a bridge to talk to the bulbs, all the settings and changes you make via this app are stored and saved on the bridge.
One thing you want with apps is support and improvements, this app is well tested and works so well, there are constant improvements and tweaks made to the app as well as the release of new in app animations and scenes.
The app has so much function and so many options it is actually well designed in terms of a user interface and user experience, however on screens such as the groups section I feel it could look a little more interesting and visually appealing, perhaps a picture of the room where you can then pin the bulbs would be cool.
Without being to picky the only real point here is cost. First off this is a paid app and for what you get it is actually great value, my negative point is the in app purchases, to create more than one animation you need to get the animation editor which is an in app purchase, animation packs again are in app purchases, adding an extra bridge is an in app purchase.
Within the app I have made additional purchases for the animation editor and to test some scenes, they have been worth it, I think the point here is the app may cost you more than you think once you have paid to download it, and more once you have bought the extra features you may need. While this is noted as a ‘bad point’ I must say though that the app is great value and it is still worth it.
Finally this app is for Apple users only, it works and looks great on both iPhone and iPad, however there is no Android version.
Is it for you?
If you want to get more out of your Hue lighting system then this will do that, if you have converted your whole home to Hue bulbs then this will certainly help make it easier to control and setting up fun scenes and groups too. You will use this app every day.
If you only have a few bulbs in one room then this app may not be as useful, but as soon as you start having bulbs in multiple rooms then this is ideal.
If you want to add more control and function to your Hue dimmer or Hue tap switches then again this is ideal for adding more complex function to these.
iConnectHue is almost a must have app for your Hue smart home, it takes a great system to a new level by giving you more features and flexibility. An easy to use app that will become the control panel for your home lighting system.
For me this is well worth the cost, it is a well built and well tested app that works flawlessly, it has a lot of function and currently more than I need when using, however it has also got more from my Hue set up and makes the Hue lighting investment even better.
Find out more about this app at http://iconnecthue.com
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