Some Complaining…

I just want to write this to get some of my recent gripes out of my system, and maybe someone that works for these companies will address these.

“Smart” Home Gadgets

I really think some of the smart home gadgets are really, really overrated. We have a MyQ garage door opener and I sometimes can’t believe how poorly it works.

  • The app takes forever to open. Sometimes I’ll be on my bike and I would love to open the app and open the door as I approach my house. It consistently takes 60+ seconds for the app to even launch.
  • The most basic feature I would want is missing: with careless kids, we keep having situations where the garage door is left open. All I want is a feature where I can automatically close the garage door if it’s been open for more than X minutes. Nope! Not possible. I can schedule the door to open or close on a regular basis (why would I want that?), but there’s no way to automatically close the door if it’s been open for a long time. I would settle for a notification if that’s all they could do, but they can’t even do this. As a result, our garage door has been left open overnight or for several hours during the day numerous times and it makes me so nervous for my bikes. I’m this close to just setting a schedule and having the door automatically close every hour, but what a pain.
  • The app functions mostly as a giant advertisement for their other products or for other services they want me to use. I don’t use the app that often (because it sucks) but every few times I launch it I have to dismiss some new popup trying to get me to try Amazon Key, or Walmart+ or something I have absolutely no interest in whatsoever.

I recently replaced our Google Nest with an Ecobee thermostat. I had two motivations for doing this: 1) to stop sending data to Google, and 2) to integrate into Apple HomeKit. Honestly, I kind of hate the Ecobee.

  • The app is so minimal and basic, it’s nearly worthless. You can’t even see a history of when the HVAC system was used within the app, you have to login to the website to use their HomeIQ feature—and this view is clunky and barely works on a full computer, and is super clunky and only basically functional on mobile.
  • What equipment is currently running is hidden within the app, and not something you can quickly see like with the Nest which makes it very clear with making the background blue/orange or showing a blowing fan icon.
  • The scheduling is extremely basic. Switching between home/sleep/away is about all the scheduling options you get.
  • I really miss Nest’s ability to schedule the fan to run XX minutes per hour between certain times. I want to schedule the fan to run from 12 noon to 6pm for 15 minutes every hour. There is no way to replicate this functionality within Ecobee. I can either set the fan to run XX minutes per hour for the entire 24 hour day, or set a schedule and keep the fan on continuously for several hours.
  • The Ecobee app also seems mostly like a giant advertisement for all their other products. If their other products are missing such basic functionality — no thank you.

I’m so unhappy with the Ecobee I might get rid of it and replace it with a newer Nest with Matter support, but I still don’t like the idea of sending more data to Google.

I had another category of things I wanted to complain about but that was cathartic enough that I’ve completely forgotten what it was. I’m sure it will come back to me. But in the grand scheme of things, my life is pretty easy.