CES 2018: Philips Hue Announces iOS App Redesign, 'Hue Sync' for macOS, and Outdoor Bulbs Coming Mid 2018

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Philips Hue is back with a handful of new announcements at CES today, following Monday's news of a collaboration with Razer that allows your Hue lights to react to any game played on a device that features Razer Chroma. Philips continued that announcement by reiterating that even more partners across the gaming, movie, and music industries will debut in the future.

Philips calls this "Hue Entertainment," and added that a "Hue Sync" app for macOS High Sierra and Windows 10 devices will be coming in Q2 2018. Hue Sync will let you create and customize light scripts for games, movies, and music played on a Mac or Windows computer.

Also in Q2 2018, the company plans to update its iOS and Android apps to version 3.0, bringing about a redesign of the app inspired by comments and feedback from current Hue users. Philips said 3.0 will "enhance" existing and new features so that the smart home lighting system can be activated "with even more ease."


Design changes were not yet specified, but Philips said the new interface will allow you to "instantly access" last used scenes, as well as simplify how lights are grouped together.
Early in Q2 2018, Philips Hue will introduce a redesigned Hue app for both iOS and Android. Based on comments, feedback and ideas from Philips Hue users, the redesign will enhance both existing and new features, to help consumers light their home smarter with even more ease. The new app will improve daily use, and ensure seamless setup and integration of Hue accessories and new Philips Hue Entertainment partnership integrations. The interface will also enable consumers to instantly access their last used scenes, and to simply group lights and select their desired color temperature or color.
Finally, this summer Philips will introduce an outdoor line of Hue bulbs so that you can sync and control lighting in a backyard or elsewhere through the connected Hue app. No other information regarding the outdoor line and its price tag were given.


Over the past year Philips has been expanding the Hue line, launching new light fixtures, expanded starter kits, a candle light bulb, and table lamps, while extending its HomeKit support to the Hue Tap switch, Hue dimmer switch, and Hue motion sensor.

Article Link: CES 2018: Philips Hue Announces iOS App Redesign, 'Hue Sync' for macOS, and Outdoor Bulbs Coming Mid 2018
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
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I fell in love with Hue bulbs a few years ago but they have stagnated and the competition has more than caught up. When LIFX became Homekit compatible I tried them out because they offer higher lumen bulbs AND no hub. Unfortunately, a bit too late for me as I have a house full of Hue but I won't be buying anymore unless they come out with a 90-100w equivalent flood. I do only gift LIFX now.

To me Hue's two weaknesses, which don't seem to be fixed here are ditching the need for a hub and brighter bulbs for home's with recessed lighting.
 

H3LL5P4WN

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I still have to laugh about people complaining about the need for a bridge. Sorry, I'd rather have one connection to my network from Hue, rather than 11 (one for each of my bulbs).

At any rate, these changes sound promising, but... where's the mention of this Hue Entertainment and Hue Sync on Apple TV? Cause that's where my movies are. I can count on one hand the programs I watch on cable, and can count on no hands the number of programs I watch on my PC or Mac.
 
I still have to laugh about people complaining about the need for a bridge. Sorry, I'd rather have one connection to my network from Hue, rather than 11 (one for each of my bulbs).
In theory this sounds like it could be right, but in practice is it true? Each bulb still needs to connect to the bridge so I could see that just adding one unnecessary device. And then of course there are other devices (such as the new echo plus) that can be used as a bridge. I think also maybe iPad and/or apple tv?

FWIW I'd like for Hue's bridge strategy to be the best technically, because I just recently bought into the ecosystem
 
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acblue94

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I still have to laugh about people complaining about the need for a bridge. Sorry, I'd rather have one connection to my network from Hue, rather than 11 (one for each of my bulbs).

At any rate, these changes sound promising, but... where's the mention of this Hue Entertainment and Hue Sync on Apple TV? Cause that's where my movies are. I can count on one hand the programs I watch on cable, and can count on no hands the number of programs I watch on my PC or Mac.
It’s 2018. Bridges are ridiculous.
 
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H3LL5P4WN

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In theory this sounds like it could be right, but in practice is it true? Each bulb still needs to connect to the bridge so I could see that just adding one unnecessary device. And then of course there are other devices (such as the new echo plus) that can be used as a bridge. I think also maybe iPad and/or apple tv?

FWIW I'd like for Hue's bridge strategy to be the best technically, because I just recently bought into the ecosystem
That's my way of thinking. Of course all of that traffic still goes through the network, but instead of (in my case) 11 separate connections, I only one, the bridge. My Apple TV (in the living room) is hardwired as well, so it's not like it's a big deal.

It’s 2018. Bridges are ridiculous.
I live in the City of Bridges. You're ridiculous.
 

FrancoisC

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Jan 27, 2009
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Let’s see. Hue bridge cost me 50$, and each bulb is 15$.

Lifx require no bridge, but cheapest I can get it is 70$ each bulbs (All those are canadian prices).

I mean I understand the practical side of not needing a bridge, but as long as prices stay that way I really don’t mind having to use one.
 
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That's my way of thinking. Of course all of that traffic still goes through the network, but instead of (in my case) 11 separate connections, I only one, the bridge. My Apple TV (in the living room) is hardwired as well, so it's not like it's a big deal.
Are you saying you use your Apple TV instead of the Hue Bridge? I didn't know you could do that. Any advantages/disadvantages?
 

LiveM

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Oct 30, 2015
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Are you saying you use your Apple TV instead of the Hue Bridge? I didn't know you could do that. Any advantages/disadvantages?
No, you cannot. The reason you need the bridge is because the lights use Zigbee, which uses less power than Wi-Fi.

Echo Plus incorporates Zigbee but you won’t get the same firmware support for your lights if you don’t use the Philips bridge.

Each bulb acts as a transmitter to create a mesh network rather than each light having to connect to the bridge.
 

jclardy

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Oct 6, 2008
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It’s 2018. Bridges are ridiculous.
They really aren't though, at least not until we have a decent short range, low power, secure mesh networking technology that is built into our phones, or routers. Bluetooth is unreliable still. Wifi works, but only for things wired into power and it increases the cost of everything because now every device needs a relatively expensive wifi chip vs cheaper Zigbee or z-wave radios.

Wifi means you have larger devices (say motion sensor or door sensors), have to change batteries more often and generally more expensive products. It doesn't make sense for embedded systems like a light bulb to have an entire wifi stack onboard.
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
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I still have to laugh about people complaining about the need for a bridge. Sorry, I'd rather have one connection to my network from Hue, rather than 11 (one for each of my bulbs).

I don't really understand that logic. I have a Hue "network" and also a hub-less LIFX bulb I bought to test out. My problem with the hub is that if the bulb is not in decent range of it, it does not work. OTOH the hub-less LIFX bulb uses my Wi-Fi so it just works.

Example: when I first set up my Hue hub I connected the hub to my router so it would be out of sight. But my router is in the basement and the hub's signal wasn't strong enough to reach my bulbs two floors up on the bedroom level or the 3rd floor loft. I had to move the hub to the master bedroom and connect it to a Wi-Fi extender. Only then did it cover the entire house. That is quite a compromise IMHO. I don't see how it's advantageous in any way.

Also Homekit/Siri is quicker to turn on the LIFX bulb than any of my Hue bulbs, presumably because the LIFX bulb doesn't have the extra traffic signal the Hue bulbs need.
[doublepost=1515595226][/doublepost]
Not really. For instance, HomeKit Automation wont work if the device is turned off. Having a bridge solves this problem. What is ridiculous however is the need to use an Ethernet cable.
Nope. If I manually turn off my lamp then my Hue bulbs cannot be controlled by HomeKit or the Hue app. In this regard both the hub-free LIFX bulbs and hub-based Hue bulbs work exactly the same. You need to switch on/off the lights from Siri or an app, not the lamp or wall switch.
 

imola.zhp

macrumors 6502a
Jun 1, 2010
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Mud Island (Memphis), TN
Just started our Hue addiction at Christmas after holding out for years, watching close friends add and add and add to their addictions, I mean collection of course. 3rd gen starter kit on Amazon for $140 on or about black friday was the last straw. Looking forward to a new app, just wanted to post that there are lots of 3rd party apps that control them, I'm sure most of you probably already know this. Some are better than others.
 
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err404

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Mar 4, 2007
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I love my Hue system but the app is appalling. Here's hoping that the new version is a huge improvement.
Agreed. Needing a 3rd party app to have a light fade into another color over time is a big oversight. On the plus side, they have built fairly robust and open support for these apps.
 
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brett_x

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Apr 25, 2005
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I'd just like Philips to give us an option to restore the bulb's last known state after power outage, instead of turning all lights on at full brightness (which really sucks in the bedroom after a quick power-blip at 2AM).
There's a discussion that spans 3 years and over 300 posts of people complaining about this.
https://developers.meethue.com/content/there-way-change-startup-color
 

Baumi

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Mar 31, 2005
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In theory this sounds like it could be right, but in practice is it true? Each bulb still needs to connect to the bridge so I could see that just adding one unnecessary device.
The bulbs are not part of your network; your computer and router don't even know they exist. Hue uses a ZigBee mesh, which is separate from your WiFi. That's why you need the bridge to "translate" from one to the other. If everything is set up properly (i.e. no radio interference between the two networks), the ZigBee traffic won't influence your WiFi at all, and vice versa.

As others mentioned, the big advantages of ZigBee over WiFi are cost, size, and power efficiency. I doesn't have anywhere near the bandwidth of WiFi, but you don' need that for sending home automation commands.

But yeah, I wish Philips would offer a WiFi-connected version (instead of Ethernet) of the bridge.
 
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celer1ty

macrumors member
Oct 20, 2014
33
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Nope. If I manually turn off my lamp then my Hue bulbs cannot be controlled by HomeKit or the Hue app. In this regard both the hub-free LIFX bulbs and hub-based Hue bulbs work exactly the same. You need to switch on/off the lights from Siri or an app, not the lamp or wall switch.
I'm referring to iDevice, not bulb.
 

Iconoclysm

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May 13, 2010
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I still have to laugh about people complaining about the need for a bridge. Sorry, I'd rather have one connection to my network from Hue, rather than 11 (one for each of my bulbs).

At any rate, these changes sound promising, but... where's the mention of this Hue Entertainment and Hue Sync on Apple TV? Cause that's where my movies are. I can count on one hand the programs I watch on cable, and can count on no hands the number of programs I watch on my PC or Mac.
That's not really how it would work though. The bulbs talk to each other in a mesh network, there would be only one connection needed in a perfect world. And that would be a Bluetooth Low Energy connection to an Apple TV or iPad for Homekit or other hub/bridge for other ecosystems. You could actually make a "bridge bulb" if you think about it, and install that bulb as the closest to the Apple TV or whatever.

To be clear, I'm not complaining about the bridge, but all of these bridges are a pain in the ass if you really go all in on automation. Eventually, they need to be eliminated.
[doublepost=1515600017][/doublepost]
In theory this sounds like it could be right, but in practice is it true? Each bulb still needs to connect to the bridge so I could see that just adding one unnecessary device. And then of course there are other devices (such as the new echo plus) that can be used as a bridge. I think also maybe iPad and/or apple tv?

FWIW I'd like for Hue's bridge strategy to be the best technically, because I just recently bought into the ecosystem
Most of the bulbs don't talk directly to the bridge, they talk to each other and the bridge in a big mesh which gives them much better range around the house.
[doublepost=1515600086][/doublepost]
The bulbs are not part of your network; your computer and router don't even know they exist. Hue uses a ZigBe mesh, which is separate from your WiFi. That's why you need the bridge to "translate" from one to the other. If everything is set up properly (i.e. no radio interference between the two networks), the ZigBee traffic won't influence your WiFi at all, and vice versa.

As others mentioned, the big advantages of ZigBe over WiFi are cost, size, and power efficiency. I doesn't have anywhere near the bandwidth of WiFi, but you don' need that for sending home automation commands.

But yeah, I wish Philips would offer a WiFi-connected version (instead of Ethernet) of the bridge.
And if it were wifi, embed that bridge in a bulb. But really, they just need a "homekit" version that relies on Bluetooth as the bridge.

Zigbee isn't cheap though, there are licensing costs that I doubt exist with wifi.
 
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thisisnotmyname

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How about just fixing the lights to do simple things light not turn every light in the house on after a power outage or remember the last color temperature setting if you turn them off and on with a standard light switch? You know, useful things that make sense.
 
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Iconoclysm

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Agreed. Needing a 3rd party app to have a light fade into another color over time is a big oversight. On the plus side, they have built fairly robust and open support for these apps.
Just a little redesign can solve the problem, there isn't a need for a bridge other than wanting customers to be able to use Hue as its own standalone environment.
[doublepost=1515600365][/doublepost]
How about just fixing the lights to do simple things light not turn every light in the house on after a power outage or remember the last color temperature setting if you turn them off and on with a standard light switch? You know, useful things that make sense.
Sometimes I get the feeling that these companies do not have in house developers or that the turnover is so great that they can only keep the product updated instead of rethinking its design.
 
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Mizhou

macrumors member
Oct 15, 2012
47
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What we need is an Apple Airport router with built-in Philips Hue support.
I would like an AirPort router that can have plugin software modules, for Hue and also for other IoT. Hur is not the only one using a bridge. Currently I only have Hue bulbs that need a bridge, but I want to get other home automation stuff too, and I don't want to end up with 10-15 bridges for all the stuff. I would rather have one central AirPort Extreme, and I also hope that Apple could make AirPort access points, so it's easy to extend the network. As it is now you have to extend with another AirPort router.

I'd just like Philips to give us an option to restore the bulb's last known state after power outage, instead of turning all lights on at full brightness (which really sucks in the bedroom after a quick power-blip at 2AM).
There's a discussion that spans 3 years and over 300 posts of people complaining about this.
https://developers.meethue.com/content/there-way-change-startup-color
I agree. The hub should be able to keep track of the last colour/brightness and on/off state of each bulb and set it to the appropriate value when power comes back.
 

dannys1

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Sep 19, 2007
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What we need is an Apple Airport router with built-in Philips Hue support.
So while people are moaning that you can't change the iMac Pro and it's not modular, you're asking for a £150 device to have a small hub that can connect to it with one cable built in...

You can power and connect the Hue Hub from the Airport Extreme already, two cables, what's the point in building it, keep it modular connect whatever you want instead.

My Hue hub is powered from my SmartThings hub via one of the USB sockets.
 
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