Amazon Silk Browser experiences?

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Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:43 am
Different Computers offline
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Amazon Silk Browser experiences?

Woot has Fire tablets on sale starting at $35. Before I pull that trigger, I wonder if anyone has experience using Indigo Control Pages in the Silk browser? Is it any good? I've never used a Fire tablet.

Refugee from SmartThings and so happy to be on Indigo now.
Sierra on an i5 running Harmony Hub, Hue, Security Camera, DomoPad, EPS Device Extensions EPS Smart Dimmer, MatplotLib, Plex, Scale Adapters, uniFiAP, Wunderground.

Posted on
Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:33 am
roussell offline
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Re: Amazon Silk Browser experiences?

I noticed that woot this morning, beware that it seems to be an older model, and remember that you can get a new one for $15 more. I can't speak to the older model, but the new ones make great CP devices. I have a few of them around the house. Also, more importantly than the silk browser, it only take about 10-15 minutes to load the Google Play store and then Adam's awesome Domopad, then you have a true client that is in my opinion better than the IOS version! Again, this is info from a new Fire 7 perspective. I have no clue if it will work as easily with the older Fire.

Terry

Posted on
Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:23 am
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Re: Amazon Silk Browser experiences?

Thanks for the info!

Refugee from SmartThings and so happy to be on Indigo now.
Sierra on an i5 running Harmony Hub, Hue, Security Camera, DomoPad, EPS Device Extensions EPS Smart Dimmer, MatplotLib, Plex, Scale Adapters, uniFiAP, Wunderground.

Posted on
Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:57 am
RogueProeliator offline
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Re: Amazon Silk Browser experiences?

Thanks for the kind words, Terry! For what it is worth, those tablets looks slightly under powered... I do run an older, large Android tablet with v4.0.4 so I think the OS on there is capable, but the 1GB of RAM could be troubling if you have a graphically-intensive control page. Every now and then I run out of memory on said older tablet which has 768MB of RAM. As mentioned, for the small increase in price I would go with the newer, beefier versions.

Out of curiosity, Terry, do you use these on table tops as I know you've posted pictures of the larger screen control panels before...

Posted on
Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:57 am
roussell offline
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Re: Amazon Silk Browser experiences?

RogueProeliator wrote:
Thanks for the kind words, Terry!

Well deserved praise, Adam! Since the rumor mill (aka Durosity) indicated there will be minimal, if any UI improvements in I7, I'm gonna be pesting you for list-controls, sliders and all sorts of UI goodness that I encourage you to charge us for! I know you have plenty of free time in between flood recovery and picking up bits of weather station from your driveway! :shock:

RogueProeliator wrote:
Out of curiosity, Terry, do you use these on table tops as I know you've posted pictures of the larger screen control panels before...

I've got one on each side of the bed that rests in a cheepo $2 picture frame stand (stock photo below) and another thats' usually downstairs in the media room or out by the pool. They run a digital clock app, Domopad, the Sonos app and a couple of other things every now-and-then, and I've had zero problems - including the 'hacked' Play Store install persisting (and working) across FireOS upgrades. By far the best $50 tablet you can get.

Different Computers, I'm thinking of getting another Fire Tablet, this one for my 4 year-old and keeping it in her room with a special kid-friendly CP displayed on the Silk Browser just for the music and lights in Her room and play area. I'll use Silk (or just install Chrome through the play store) because I want it to open directly to HER CP and not the family's... Hmmm, maybe that's another feature request for Domopad - multiple accounts!

Terry

Terrys super-creative tablet stand.jpg
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Posted on
Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:07 pm
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Re: Amazon Silk Browser experiences?

I'll use Silk (or just install Chrome through the play store) because I want it to open directly to HER CP and not the family's... Hmmm, maybe that's another feature request for Domopad - multiple accounts!

I'm working on some behind-the-scenes updates and efficiency changes that will be going out to beta very shortly... that is actually to setup beginning some of the "console" style enhancements. One thing is likely to include launching straight to a control page -- and requiring a PIN or fingerprint (depending upon tablet) to exit. My thoughts are that there will be three "securable" points:

1. To launch the application
2. When setup to launch straight to a control page, in order to leave the CP area (could navigate to any "sub-pages" that you have manually linked, but to break out of that or get to settings / other areas would need to authenticate
3. On specific devices... this is a bit trickier; but perhaps doable.

I'm gonna be pesting you for list-controls, sliders and all sorts of UI goodness that I encourage you to charge us for! I know you have plenty of free time in between flood recovery and picking up bits of weather station from your driveway!

I'm torn on this -- I want these too, but don't want to spend a ton of time on them to have to re-implement whenever Matt/Jay get around to control page enhancements. They have all-but-said on here that, as you mention, they wouldn't be in the I7 initial release, but no telling if it is in 7.1 or 7.2 or 8. I don't know that they would even be sure given there are likely to be tweaks or fixes or what not for I7 before major enhancements are made. Long way of saying... "we'll see..." :)

Adam

Posted on
Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:43 pm
roussell offline
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Re: Amazon Silk Browser experiences?

#2 sounds awesome! Could #1 also request a PW when awaking from sleep, or from an app switch?

I'm torn on this -- I want these too, but don't want to spend a ton of time on them to have to re-implement whenever Matt/Jay get around to control page enhancements. They have all-but-said on here that, as you mention, they wouldn't be in the I7 initial release, but no telling if it is in 7.1 or 7.2 or 8. I don't know that they would even be sure given there are likely to be tweaks or fixes or what not for I7 before major enhancements are made. Long way of saying... "we'll see..." :)


I hear ya. I still just control lights and temp with my CPs, I've wanted to do something more extravagant for years, but I didn't want to go around the world just to work around the as-delivered deficiencies, so my pages sit in their sufferable, dated UI and I task switch to other apps to get various things done. (outside of Indigo its Sonos, shopping lists and such, other media controls (TV/Movies, live motion security cameras, etc.). Yeh I know Indigo is capable of displaying that stuff, but frankly it's way too tedious for me to worry with. I believe Indigo is the ultimate "control" platform, I just need more UI goodness. To that end, I've been playing with iViewer and a couple of other apps (iRule, SimpleControl, Control-Freak) to see if the trouble in integrating a 3rd party UI is more/less effort than working around Indigo's UI short-comings. CommandFusion's iViewer is fan-f#@&ing-tastic, but expensive @ ~$90 USD per client. It will do most anything though. Control-Freak (aka Net-Commander) looks interesting, and is open source, but is a complicated install that I fear could lead to problems as it has many dependancies. SimpleControl (roomie) is super nice on the AV side, but there's little flexibility in their controls. iRule seems like a good middle-ground, but I don't like their designer being cloud-based...

Back when I was toying with writing a client, I had thought of decoupling the control from the "thing" that populated the control as much as possible, thinking that when Matt/Jay get around to a native implementation, I'd just have to redo the backend control-populating bits. My thought was it would hopefully save a bit of time as I'd already have the visualization pieces coded up.

Terry

Posted on
Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:36 pm
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Re: Amazon Silk Browser experiences?

#2 sounds awesome! Could #1 also request a PW when awaking from sleep, or from an app switch?

Was kind of thinking something along the lines of how LastPass does it... I don't know their exact formula, but it is along the lines of an authentication is required anytime the app re-displays (sleep / coming from another app / first launch) UNLESS you had authenticated within a minute or so. That timer allows switching applications and back without re-authenticating.

Back when I was toying with writing a client, I had thought of decoupling the control from the "thing" that populated the control as much as possible, thinking that when Matt/Jay get around to a native implementation, I'd just have to redo the backend control-populating bits. My thought was it would hopefully save a bit of time as I'd already have the visualization pieces coded up.

Well, in that respect I guess there is some argument that you aren't re-doing everything... but still the definition code could take some time. Perhaps can come up with some easy-to-use way with images or something for more advanced users. However, still have the issue of how it displays in Indigo Touch for mixed-use households.

You know you can always do a popup action for things... e.g. dimmers could have an image representing their current %; have on/off buttons and if you click the image you get a popup with the slider. Also, proper modal popups are supported in the control page for further customization. For example, I have a popup to control my Niles Audio zones that can load from the Devices list as a popup or as a modal popup on top of larger control pages.

Posted on
Tue Oct 11, 2016 2:05 pm
BeeEss offline
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Re: Amazon Silk Browser experiences?

I bought one at Best Buy on a $35 sale a while back. Using Silk browser, bone stock. I put it in fullscreen mode, point it at a Control Page, and it really works great. Mine is stuck to the side of the fridge with magnetic tape:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14361993/IMG_4872.jpg

I've since updated the Control Page with a lot more functions, but it's basically there to control the A/V in the kitchen, as well as flash up reminders for stuff (for example, "Thaw Chicken" shows up in big red letters on Thursday morning to remind me to do exactly that, lest there be no lunch next week.)

The only oddity I've encountered, and I'm not sure if it may be by design, is with my volume buttons. They link to the Harmony Hub plugin, and trigger IR volume up/down commands to a Samsung TV that sits atop the fridge. If I tap the button one time, I get one volume increment/decrement (so the TV goes from volume level 8 to level 9.) Makes sense. But if I tap it again immediately, or if I double-tap it, it does a "hold down" of the volume button and makes the TV increment/decrement by 10 steps (I don't think it was planned that way, it's just that it triggers an IR command "hold down" that lasts for exactly long enough for the TV to go up or down 10 steps.) In my specific case, this is actually great. The TV's volume increments are really minor, so in order to avoid having to hit the button like 40 times it's a welcome feature. But if the volume control was a lot more sensitive, I'd have to figure out another option.

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