January Updates from abode
Hello Abode Family,
Happy New Year! We appreciate all of your support in 2016 and look forward to our journey of enhancing the best Home Security solution available in 2017.
Keeping to our strategy to continuously improve abode’s software, we released a new update today with important improvements. We will also be releasing a new mobile app (Android & iOS) in the next week that has functionality to support our “Nest Protect abode Alarm” with some other additional enhancements.
We appreciate the feedback that we’ve received from our community of users. It is great to have such enthusiastic and passionate owners of abode and helps us drive the product forward in the direction you’d like to see it go. We also wanted to say Thank You to our Reddit community; your discussions and feedback here have been extremely valuable to our product development. We are working hard to incorporate this feedback into each release to continually make our product better, so please keep sending us your feedback.
We have a lot of good improvements to share in today’s update! Thank you again for choosing abode.
The abode Team
Nest Integration Improvements
Based on feedback we received since rolling out our initial Nest integration; our team has been working hard to make improvements and enhancements to make the Nest integration more valuable.
Would you like to take a Nest Camera Snapshot anytime your basement door opens? Or set your Nest Thermostat temperature to 65 degrees, when all phones have exited your home geofence? No problem! You can now use all three Nest devices as triggers and actions in abode Automations.
Nest Camera Improvements
In our previous release, Nest Camera events could only be integrated with the Timeline when your abode System was in Away mode. In this release, we allow the user to determine the modes in which the Nest Camera(s) should be integrated with the Timeline. These Nest Camera configuration options are available in the Nest Camera Device edit dialog for each camera. They can be accessed by clicking on the “Edit Pencil” next to your Nest Camera in the abode Web App.
By default, your camera is still only integrated in Away mode, but it can be configured in any abode System mode or can be configured to only integrate during an alarm regardless of the system mode.
Once you’ve decide which system modes you would like to integrate, click the “Event Types” tab to determine which Nest Events you want to include in your integration.
Please note that during an abode alarm, ALL events from your Nest Camera(s) are integrated into the Timeline regardless of your settings on the Event Types dialog.
Finally, if you have Nest Activity Zones configured, you can determine which Activity Zone are integrated by clicking on the “Zones” tab. Activity Zones are a nice way for you to reduce the events integrated into the timeline to only the events relevant to the security of your home.
Nest Protect Improvements
Per the Nest Terms of Service, if you have a Nest Protect integrated with your abode system, abode is NOT permitted to automatically notify emergency personnel if a Nest Protect triggers an alarm until there is “human confirmation” of the alarm.
In this release, for those of you who have integrated a Nest Protect and a professionally monitoring subscription, we’ve implemented a “human confirmation” feature that allows the Nest Protect to trigger an abode alarm but hold the notification to our monitoring center until the event has been verified by you (or someone you have given abode access to). As shown in the screenshot below, we do not send alarm to our monitoring center until the someone clicks the “Verify Alarm” button.
Please Note: You’ll need to upgrade your mobile app to V.3.8.5. It will be available in the app store in the next week.
Nest Disconnect Issue:
We are working with the Nest Team to identify the issue that results in your Nest Integration being randomly disconnected. Until we can resolve the issue, we have added a Nest Disconnect event to your timeline that will notify you when your integration has been disconnected. Please know that resolving this issue is a priority for abode.
We received a lot of feedback from the user community wanting the ability to control abode notifications based on the abode system mode. With this release, you can now control notifications based on system mode.
We’ve also added new notifications for Quick Actions, abode Automations (Status, Schedule, Location) and your Nest Integration. If you are receiving these new notifications and do not want them, just go to the abode Web App >> Account >> Notifications and turn them off.
We are beginning a transition to make the abode timeline more useful by adding more information to each timeline event. This will take some time and will require a couple of firmware updates to our abode Gateway, but it is starting to come to life. Our goal here is for you to be able to see and quickly understand what happened in your system.
With this release, you can see which events have been triggered by IFTTT and Alexa. For all system mode events, you will also be able to see who armed/disarmed and how it was armed/disarmed (keypad, key fob, mobile app, web app). We will continue to add to this functionality until all events have their originating source.
Also, for those users with a cellular subscription, you will now see timeline events when your system connects via cellular network titled “Connected to Cellular” and then “Connected to Ethernet” when it switches back to the Ethernet connection. Please remember that our cell card is for backup only. If your system has been running on the cell card for longer than it should, please contact support for assistance.
Our Reddit community has been asking for us to increase the Quick Actions limit. We heard you! We have increased the number of quick actions from 10 to 25.
Amazon Alexa Update
We have submitted our Amazon Alexa skill for certification. The certification process usually takes a couple of days. When it is complete, we will update Reddit and Medium. This skill enables users to access their abode Quick Actions via voice commands. We have also made changes to reduce the likelihood of Panic Alarm being triggered accidentally.
If you run into any scenarios where Alexa isn’t executing the proper command, please send a screenshot from your Alexa app that shows what Alexa heard and what command was executed to firstname.lastname@example.org. We can easily update our abode Skill to correct any additional issues.
We have Firmware updates for the abode Gateway and the IP Cameras that will be released in the next couple of days. We will release both updates at the same time. For users with abode IP cameras, when you run the firmware update on your gateway, it will also update your IP Cameras to the latest firmware at the same time.
This firmware update will enable the additional timeline metadata for all devices except (dimmer and garage doors). It also decreases the time it takes for the gateway to switch from Ethernet to cellular when the gateway is experiencing connectivity issues. Finally, it includes several bug fixes to improve performance and stability.
IP Camera Firmware
This firmware update has a bug fix to prohibit the issue where cameras randomly drop offline until they have been power cycled.
Our mobile team has also been working hard. We will have a new mobile release in the next couple of days that provides the following functionality.
IOS and Android Widget
We’ve received feedback from many users asking for a quick way to see and change their system mode without opening the abode app. We have implemented an IOS and Android widget that enables this functionality.
After using the widget, please let us know if you have suggestions for enhancements that would make them move useful. We researched some of our competitors and understand that they also provide things like the last 5 events, but we want to hear from you what would be valuable and why.
Improved Device Toggle UI
We’ve made some changes to make the device toggles easier to understand in our mobile UI. They even toggle in the same left to right fashion as well! ☺
Nest Protect Alarm Support
To support the Nest Protect abode Alarm where “human intervention” is required, this release supports the required workflow. All users who have a Nest Integration and are professionally monitored will need to get this release as soon as it is available.
Since this update is too long already, I will provide a separate update in the next week or two that outlines what you can expect in the next release.