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App Overview

We'll take a brief tour through the user interface using screenshots from my Samsung S7. Here's the Home page

Hive Main Menu - Android

Hive Main Menu - Android

For those using an iPad, your screen will look like the one below. The iOS app takes advantage of the additional screen real estate to make the user interface more approachable. Note, however, that the functions are arranged in a very similar manner to the Android app.

Hive Main Menu - iPad

Hive Main Menu - iPad

My Hive Home - In the Android app, tapping on the My Hive Home displays a screen showing installed devices. On either platform, tapping on the device allows you to control it and configure schedules for active devices such as lights and plugs. The status of each device is shown and you can tap and hold an icon to re-arrange it on the screen.

Manage devices - This screen shows the status of each device, signal strength of the connection to the hub, power source and, for sensors, battery status. You can also rename each device or remove it from your list of installed devices.

Install devices - This puts your Hive Hub into discovery mode to install additional devices (light bulbs, sensors, plugs) or install a camera or thermostat.

Actions - Actions allow you to create rules to control active devices when conditions of sensors change. In the gallery below, I created an action for my Motion detector. When the motion detector, named Stairwell detects motion, then the light named Hive Light 2 will turn on and, as configured, will stay on indefinitely.

You can also change the duration to 30 seconds, 1, 3, 5, 10, or 15 minutes. Additionally, you can configure a schedule during which actions run. By default, they always run. You might, for example, only want to detect motion during non-business hours. In addition to turning on/off lights and plugs, you can also configure actions to notify you through in-app notifications or email notifications. SMS notifications are not currently supported.

Settings - This menu allows you view your account details, change your Hive password, and to create a PIN lock to protect access to the application.

Help & Support - Help provides access to searchable articles for all Hive products as well as contact information for customer support. Email and 7-day phone support is provided. If you have an idea for product improvement, you can also post it using this menu.

Let's take a closer look at each of the products in the Pack.

Hive Active Light

Hive Active Light

Hive Active Light

The Hive Active Light has a standard US threaded screw base and is a 60W equivalent LED light. It produces 805 Lumens and has a color range from warm white (2700K) to daylight (6500K). It has an estimated life of 25,000 hours and a beam angle of 230 degrees. If you want to purchase additional bulbs, this one costs $29.99. Hive also offers a less expensive, non-tunable white light (2700K) with the same power consumption and output as the tunable white bulb for $17.99. If you want a color (16 million colors) Hive bulb, it will set you back $49.99.

For these screenshots, again, I have used the Android version of the app as the screen layout lends itself better to composite side-by-side images. If you tap on one of the light bulb icons in the My Hive Home screen, you see a screen that looks like the one on the left below. Taking a quick tour of the screen, at the top left of the screen, you'll see a circular "re-sync" icon. tapping that will force the application to resynchronize with the Hive's servers. (In the iOS version, you tap and pull down the screen to synchronize.) Below the "Last updated" notice there are three choices for Control, Edit Schedule, and Action. We'll look at Schedule shortly.

Welcome Home Pack LED Light control

Welcome Home Pack LED Light control
In the center of the screens are the controls. On the left, you can control the brightness by tapping one of the orange dots. Adjustments are only in 10 % increments. The brightness changes to correspond to the changed setting. Tapping on the center of the light bulb icon turns the light on/off. On the right, to adjust the color temperature, just drag the outer colored circle clockwise or counter-clockwise. To change controls, tap either on the Tone icon (left) to change to color control, or the Dimmer icon (right) to change back to the dimmer mode.

Both screens have a mimic mode. The mimic mode allows you to give your home a "lived in" look while you're away. To enable the mimic mode, tap on the icon, select which bulb you want to participate in the action and set a schedule. The mimic mode will turn light on/off at various times during the mimic schedule within the set schedule. Note: If the mimic mode is enabled, you can't manually control the lights.

At the bottom of the screen, there's a control that shows the next scheduled action for the light bulb. If you toggle it to Manual, all schedules for the light are disabled. On the iOS version of the app, there's a notice at the top of the screen that indicates whether the schedule for the selected bulb is active or not.

The Actions icon takes you to a screen that shows in which actions the selected device (Hive Light 1) participates. From that screen, you can add new actions, turn on/off the action and edit parameters. It's worth noting that this feature is only available on the Android version of the Hive app. It's missing on the current version of the iOS app. However, you can create actions on both platforms. It looks like the Android app may have been upgraded first and the iOS app will catch up.

The screenshot on the left below shows the "Edit Schedule" screen. You can select the day of the week to display the schedule for that day. The icon to the left of each schedule shows both the brightness and the color of the light during the schedule period. If you tap on the "+" icon at the bottom of the screen you have the option of creating another time slot, resetting the currently selected day's schedule, or copying the currently selected day's schedule to any (or all) of the other day's schedules.

Hive Welcome Home Pack LED Light schedule

Welcome Home Pack LED Light schedule

If you tap on a scheduled time, the edit screen shown on the right appears. You can edit the brightness and tone as well as the start and end times for the schedule. Toggling the "Light Tunable" switch enables/disables the schedule. Hive might want to consider re-labeling the control.

One feature missing that I frequently use in my home with competing smart home products is scheduling based on sunset or sunrise times. It's nice to set a schedule once, say for sunset or 15 minutes after sunset, to turn on lights and have the schedule automatically adjust throughout the year.

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