LIFX Developer Zone

LIFX App 4.0 Beta Release

We’ve just launched our new app experience to public Beta - App 4.0. Lots of ideas, designs, tests, redesigns, coffees and re-tests have gone into something we’re really proud of. But it’s not there yet. This Beta stage is crucial to make sure we can make it as good as it can be.

Our aim is to start off by making the app more engaging but also simpler. Fewer clicks to do what you want. Personalize with your own photos. Schedule, group and activate scenes and your favorite effects more easily.

But in future releases, we are planning even more to improve the smart home experience. Eventually, everything we do will be to make you use your phone less and enjoy your home more.

Next week we will have a survey sent to beta testers to gather feedback. We hope to hear from you then.

Click here to join the iOS beta
Click here to join the Android beta

2 Likes

Ok tried it.

It’s a big re-skinning —- I understand you said this is only the start. But if your gonna move everything around then address some of the long standing issues as a reward for the effort involved in having to relearn the app all over again.

1st. —- a new schedule is required to turn a lamp on and another to turn it off. Fix this — it’s ridiculous.

2nd. — integrate day and dusk with sunset and sunrise times. I want a lamp to come on at a time that varies with the season and then to start a routine varies the colour / briteness over time.

Andrew

1 Like

I’m sorry but I don’t know if I can give any feedback on this as it looks like you’ve decided to choose a completely opposite direction than I’ve been hoping for years for it evolve into. I’ve sent a lot of feedback during the years and many of my suggestions ended up in the old app and for this I am very grateful of. But during the last year things seem to have changed.

I’ve been a beta tester since the beta version came available but suddenly I couldn’t even find where to submit but reports (or general feedback) of the app. I’ve tried to ask what is the currently intended channel to do that by publishing Play Store beta feedback, emailing customer support directly and also by asking on this forum. I’ve yet to receive any acknowledgement that my messages have even been read.

Are you planning on the feedback questionnaire to be more like a multiselection form or a two way discussion? If a two day discussion, why not ask the feedback here, on your community forum?

Have tested new release for a couple of hours. The only feedback I can give is that you kept all bugs and features unchanged, but totally screwed up interface and usability. Definitely not something to be really proud of.

Prettier bugs, nice. How about fixing some issues? Please start with the fact these “smart” bulbs can’t handle a power outtage. FFS.

1 Like

@egosapien has the new version been written from scratch? The primary feature of the app, color/brightness wheel, looks almost exactly the same but it has a worrying amount of regression :cold_sweat::

  • sideways swipe from the middle of the wheel does not change tabs
  • after using the other tabs, the color wheel brightness does not occasionally respond before dimming the brightness
  • taps on tabs get registered only if the tab label text is tapped (happens all the time on my 10" tablet)
  • after returning from another app, the previously open color wheel or its power toggle do not work (100% reproducible on my Galaxy Tab S2)
  • animation is jerky
  • colors from the palette turn the brightness to maximum

Other notable regressions:

  • the light name is cut short as it no longer can span into two lines. I have specifically reported this as a bug around 2 years ago with the previous app and it was fixed after my report
  • the on/off switch of a group turns all the lights in instead of off of one of the groups lights is on (this came out as a blinding experience last night when trying to turn off the bedside table reading light)

The inconsistencies and inpracticalities of the new UI are so numerous I won’t bother listing them for this alpha version. I feel really bad that I have to say all this after clearly a lot of hours poured in… But as a usability oriented developer and as a beta tester for multiple years, my wish and a recommendation is to either pull this release out and return it back to the drawing board or release it as a separate “LIFX Alpha” app. Even us regular beta testers cannot be expected to control our lights with a broken app. I am forced to leave the beta program for the first time. I will also backup the current production version of the app and will continue using it until someone reports the new app is suitable for daily use again.

P.S. Some of the readers might be interested to know that the true discussion about the beta release happens actually on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/lifx/comments/e1uczr/lifx_app_40_beta_release/

@egosapien

I like the update! I think the transition to the new app is easier for me as I’m new to Lifx (about 3 weeks). I’m a UX/UI designer by trade, so the UI is a huge improvement IMO. One (UX) feature I think will make a huge difference, for me, is pressing and holding down the switch for the group (or individual light when you expand the group card) and allowing me to quickly change the color. I can see this being a global feature for any time there’s a toggle switch present.

One criticism, the group card light switch should be on the left side of the card. (I am right-handed) so when I am scrolling in the app I find myself accidentally turning on the lights (instead of scrolling I turn on and increase the light intensity by trying to scroll). Since the majority of people are right-handed it’ll help others as well. At night, I sometimes accidentally turn on the nursery lights when trying to scroll, waking up my kiddo :grimacing:

Keep up the good work guys!

Julio

Can we please get the option to disable the on/off switches for at least the location(s) and group(s)? Turning on 50+ lights by mistake is not as much fun as you’d imagine.

I just don’t see why most of this couldn’t have been made as incremental improvements on the old app base. I’ve been hoping for LIFX to make it possible to adjust the brightness of the groups, lights or even themes from the big old buttons. Long pressing as you suggest could have worked great with the old UI.

With this said, although I’ve uninstalled the beta from my phone, I’ve kept it on my tablet to evaluate it a bit further. I’ve found two things I like about it. It’s great to be able to adjust a groups brightness without first opening the group. I also like that the individual lights are within the groups as we’ve got 15 lights in our home so toggling individual lights had already become a bit unpractical.

But both of the above could have been integrated on top of the old UX instead of writing everything from scratch. I wouldn’t be surprised if it took years until the basic features work as good as they did. It took years to get to that point. I’m not saying it was bug free or worked in a consistent or intuitive manner all around as it didn’t. However I had reported the bugs and inconsistencies I had found a long time ago. The issues could have easily been fixed but I can now understand why I suddenly stopped receiving acknowledgement to my feedback. It wouldn’t have made sense to fix them when the dev team was busy rewriting the app altogether.

Wow. I just went on and read the 50 or so last reviews of the current Android app. I didn’t know so many are having serious issues with it as I’ve had very little myself (except with onboarding LIFX Mini lights on a dodgy WiFi extender setup). Based on the feedback I can better understand the rewrite from scratch approach. Hope you guys will be able to resolve the core issues as it really felt bad to read all the 1-star reviews.

I still remember times when the LIFX app was better rated than the ones from competing brands but suddenly it seems the other way around :slightly_frowning_face:. I also hope it isn’t about cutting costs on the hardware side as most of my lights are 2 or more years old. What I have just recently noticed that’s changed with the hardware is that the brightness range of all lights bought since the first IR bulb have had a lot smaller dynamic range on the brightness. The older generation E27 bulbs have at least 10% more levels of brightness on the lower end…