Indigo 6 v6.0.0 Released

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Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:20 am
matt (support) offline
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Indigo 6 v6.0.0 Released

Indigo 6

We're extremely pleased to announce the immediate availability of Indigo 6 v6.0.0. Indigo 6 has been under development for quite a long time and we're very happy to finally be able to ship it. We know that you'll be as excited as we are about it. Read on to find out the details.

A little history

Before we talk about new stuff, a little history: in 2003, we introduced Indigo 1.0, which supported the most popular do-it-yourself home automation technology of the time: X10. As we all know, X10 is less than perfect in terms of reliability and many of you were less than enthusiastic about trying to use it. In 2006, we introduced support for the new INSTEON technology. INSTEON promised to improve many of the shortfalls of X10 and in many respects did so. Over the next few years, we hardened our support for INSTEON so that we're one of the few products on the market that supports most of the INSTEON feature set (remote linking, remote configuration, automatic link replacement on devices and controllers, etc).

Unfortunately, our friends outside of North America couldn't really benefit from the increased reliability of INSTEON since it was not available in those markets. We have been evaluating various technologies (Z-Wave®, Zigbee®, KNX®, CeBUS®, etc.) while at the same time hoping INSTEON would become available globally. In the meantime, we started work on Indigo 5. We made significant changes that would allow 3rd parties (and us) to create plugins which would allow rapidly extending Indigo to support new hardware and provide additional functionality. This has worked out extremely well: thanks to some of our talented Indigo users we now have over 40 3rd party plugins available that offer a wide range of hardware support, integration features, and new functionality.

Almost two years ago, after we were satisfied that Indigo 5 was quite solid, we began working on changes in anticipation of adding a 3rd major home automation technology to Indigo. This required a rethink to several aspects of Indigo. We also wanted plugins to feel less bolted-on and more directly integrated into the Indigo UI. At this time, we also made the decision of which new technology we were going to support: Z-Wave®.

Why Z-Wave?

Z-Wave® is a wireless (Radio Frequency) home automation technology. It meets all the requirements that we had laid out for our evaluation (in no particular order):

  • It's available internationally - we really needed a technology that would be a solution for our worldwide customers.
  • It's available in North America as well - we want to expand the breadth of supported hardware globally.
  • It's wireless. After many years of fighting with power line signal noise, we felt very strongly that we needed to support a technology that was RF-based. We're quite sure that we'll find issues that are somewhat synonymous to power line signal noise, but at the very least they'll be different problems. Some homes will work better with RF technologies (lots of power line gremlins), whereas others may work better with power line technologies.
  • There is a wide variety of modules available: switches, plug-in modules, thermostats, energy meters, sensors of various types, etc.
  • There is a variety of vendors making the modules - you'll have many options from which to choose based on the features you desire.
  • It's available - the hardware is readily available to consumers (not just professionals).
  • It's reliable.
  • It's affordable.

Indigo 6 New Features

So, what exactly is new in Indigo 6? Glad you asked:

  • Z-Wave Devices and Features
    • The tested and supported Z-Wave interface for Indigo 6 is the Aeotec Z-Stick Series 2 and the EZController / Z-Troller (minimum firwmare 1.17 required). Like the other technologies that we support, you need an interface that plugs into your Mac that allows Indigo to communicate with the device network. We think the Z-Stick and EZController / Z-Troller offer the best functionality for the price. Other interfaces may work (they generally use the same/similar serial API) but we're only officially supporting the the listed interfaces at this time. The Z-Stick is also widely available internationally: UK, Mainland Europe, Australia/New Zealand.
    • Dimmer and relay devices - these are the typical switches and plug-in modules (wall-warts). Relay devices only support ON/OFF and are used to control non-dimmable loads like coffee makers, fluorescent fixtures, low-power transformers, etc. Dimmers should only be used to control dimmable loads (incandescent bulbs, dimmable LED and dimmable CFL bulbs, etc.). We've tested a limited quantity of these types of devices, but the Z-Wave API basic control should work across different manufactures and models.
    • Sensors - devices that will detect some physical condition and report it. We've tested door/window sensors (contact closure), motion sensors, multi-sensors , leak sensors, temperature sensors.
    • Associations - this is one of the features that allow devices to more directly control other devices. If a device supports associations, then Indigo can help you manage them.
    • Network Healing - Indigo supports network healing (fixing routing tables) of devices during the define/sync process.
    • Thermostats - we currently support the Trane, Honeywell, CT-100, and Danfoss Radiator (Living Connect-Z) thermostats and others may work as well. We're also working with users to add support for some other models.
    • Energy monitors - we support the Aeotec whole house monitors and several individual devices that report energy usage.
    • Device Configuration - we've added quite a few device-specific configuration parameters to the various devices Indigo supports. If you have a device that supports advanced configuration and we don't currently support it let us know and we'll add it to the list to investigate.
    • Locks - we know a lot of people are interested in adding locks to their home automation system. Although we are continuing to investigate lock support, at this time we have been unable to support Z-Wave locks. See this post for details.
  • INSTEON Enhancements
    • Added support for the Leak Sensor
    • Added support for the Smoke Bridge
    • Added support for the DIN Rail Dimmer and On/Off modules
    • Added support for the Micro On/Off, Dimmer, and Open/Close modules
    • Added support for revised KeypadLinc, SwitchLinc, Outdoor ApplianceLinc modules
    • Added support for modules that contain bad firmware version numbers
    • Added and improved support for the 2441 series of thermostats
    • Improved FanLinc UI
  • Virtual Devices Interface (Pro Only)
    • Device Groups will help you track a group of devices and allow you to easily record their current settings to use later
    • Virtual On/Off Devices that allow users to easily create custom devices without having to build a full plugin
  • Timers and Pesters (Pro Only) - This plugin adds a new "Timer" device type which works like a kitchen timer. You can set how long the timer runs, pause, continue, reset, etc. You can trigger off of changes to the timer status and show how much time is left on a control page. It's a very useful new object type when a Schedule doesn't have the flexibility you need. Menu items allow you to control and manage timers and pesters.
  • New Actions: (Pro Only)
    • WeatherSnoop plugin now has new leaf and soil sensor data.
    • Action Collection now has a Email Log... menu item so you can interactively email the log - useful for support requests.
    • Action Collection now has a new Toggle Variable action (in the Variable Actions group) that will toggle a variable value between 2 values.
    • Airfoil plugin has two new actions: Connect All Speakers and Disconnect All Speakers
    • Light Controls has a new Match Brightness action to set one dimmer to another dimmer's brightness

Indigo 6 Usability Improvements

  • The user interface has been refreshed with new icons and graphics, and has a more unified appearance across all the windows.
  • New deletion warning dialog and contextual menu for Devices, Triggers, Schedules, Action Groups, and Variables which shows all object dependencies (you double-click to edit the dependents). The window is also available through a contextual menu on each object type.
  • Additional Security and Reliability
    • The password field in the Start Local Server dialog will now show you the strength of your password as you type so you can determine how secure it is.
    • We've added additional checks to warn the user when they are configuring their server in an insecure way.
    • The installer is now more intelligent about correcting permission issues that may have been introduced by other rogue installers and applications.
    • The prism reflector service is now even more reliable.
    • The plugin sandbox architecture is more robust and automatically relaunches crashed plugins.
  • The Action selection UI is now a hierarchical menu with several groupings for more easily finding actions. Plugin-defined actions are now directly integrated alongside built-in actions.
  • Condition Editor now supports contains and does not contain comparisons in device states and variable values.
  • Condition Editor UI performance has been improved.
  • Action delays are now be specified in hours, minutes, and seconds using the standard time UI control. No longer do you have to specify seconds as hundredths of a minute!
  • The description field in the Device, Trigger, Schedule and Action Group dialogs is now titled Notes and is displayed with multiple lines. You can now enter much longer and more descriptive information.
  • There are significantly more ways to get context sensitive help. Device help will now point you into the new device specific wiki areas.
  • We've added a new Supported Devices web application that will allow you to see what INSTEON devices we officially support along with what Z-Wave devices have been tested with Indigo either by us or other users. The details page for a device will also point it to the device-specific wiki page and discussion forum.
  • (Pro Only) Control Page Editor now has page size presets for iPhones and iPads, portrait and landscape, both for normal and retina displays.
  • (Pro Only) iTunes 11 is now supported by the iTunes plugin.
  • (Pro Only) Improvements in Scripting and 3rd Party Plugin Integrations
    • All plugins are now more integrated into the UI. Selecting plugin devices, triggers, and actions is now much easier with more direct integration into the UI, and you can now manage your plugins directly from the preferences window.
    • Plugins can now add menu items that can run actions interactively, including actions that target devices
    • The script editor can now identify objects by their selected ID when right-clicked (along with additional improvements to make scripting easier)
  • (Pro Only) 3rd Party API Improvements
    • New dialog layout options add font color, size, and position selections
    • Ability to specify a red device error message in the State column
    • Config UI templates allow shared template file includes of config dialog UI XML that needs to be shared across multiple device types
    • Menu items can now call actions with a device filter (a device selection popup will automatically be added to your dialog)
    • Plugin configuration dialogs that collect passwords can now show bullets (•) to avoid exposing passwords in the UI
    • New <DeviceFactory> functionality that allows plugin-driven adding of multiple devices at once
    • New device states and expanded options for displaying the states
    • New optional battery level and energy attributes on all device instances
    • New APIs to substitute both variable values and device states in strings
    • New Automatic device state icons for plugin devices based on the value of the display state

Notes about Trials

As with Indigo 5, we are only offering a Pro trial; no Lite trial. However, while the trial is active, you'll notice PRO icons in various places in the UI. These indicate a feature that is Pro-only, so plan accordingly. If you use Pro features during the trial, then decide to purchase Lite, everything will remain saved in your database -- even those settings that use Pro-only features. However, they will not be active or editable. Devices that aren't supported in Lite will be disabled as will triggers and any plugin devices and triggers. Action Groups will continue to execute, but any actions that are Pro-only (including plugin actions) will be skipped. Schedule actions that have advanced scheduling options will not fire. Also, when using a Lite installation that has Pro features in the database, you'll see those items in red text so you can more easily decide what to do with them.

Mac OS System Requirements and Indigo Touch Compatibility

Indigo 6 requires Mac OS X 10.5.8 (Leopard) or better. Any Mac hardware that's officially supported by Mac OS X 10.5.8 is supported. This version is only compatible with Indigo Touch 1.7 or higher. Both of these are the same requirements as Indigo 5.

We think this is the most exciting Indigo release ever, and would love to hear your feedback on the new features.

Matt & Jay

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Z-Wave® is a registered trademark of Sigma Designs, Inc. Indigo's support of Z-Wave hardware is neither endorsed nor certified by Sigma Designs.

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