At the end of December, Staples Connect released the much anticipated update for their new D-Link hub which included new features such as Modes, a Migration Assistant, and support for additional devices. Let’s take a brief look at each of these new features:
With the new Modes feature, you have the ability to change the way your house is setup with the touch of a button. The Mode section comes predefined with 4 modes: Home, Away, Sleep, Vacation. You are able to go into each mode to adjust what actions you want to take with the connected devices in your home. Modes can be triggered manually, or you have the ability to have another device automatically active a mode.
For instance, when you push the Home mode button, you can have a living room light turn on. But you are also able to have another device trigger the mode. In that case, opening a front door with a sensor can put the Staples Connect into Home mode without having to go into the app.
Along with the 1.6 update came the migration assistant. As I bought my D-Link hub back in November, I just manually moved all my devices over. But those who waited for this update and have bought the D-Link hub can now use the automatic migration assistant which will bring over the setup from your old Linksys Staples Connect hub (white version) to the new D-Link Staples Connect hub (black cylinder) or any future device.
New Device Support
The more anticipated feature upgrade, to me at least, was the support for additional devices. Customers with the new D-Link Hub now have the ability to add Zigbee light bulbs. Staples Connect officially works with the LG Zigbee LED bulb, which can be found here at BestBuy for now. The bulbs will be sold directly through Staples later this year.
An interesting side note, I was able to manually add the GE Link bulbs to the Staples Connect hub. Once the Link bulbs were added, I was able control them like any other light in my house, such as the Lutron switches. The response was instant when changing a bulb setting. This is in contrast to the Wink app, which still seems to dilly dally when adjusting a bulb, or a group of bulbs. It amazes me that the Staples Connect hub can have much more responsiveness with the GE Link bulb, even more so than the Wink hub they for which they were designed. But hey, that just goes to show the software side of things for the Staples Connect is that much more reliable.
— Adam Miarka (@adammiarka) December 24, 2014
Outside the changes above, the Staples Connect app works much the same as it did before with the same look and feel. One feature I would love to see incorporated into the app is location awareness. So that when I come home, it could automatically fire off a Mode. That would be ideal, instead of having to dive into the app and select a button or having to rely on another sensor. Nit picking of course, but I find that having actions kicked off in your home based on your context is valuable as well.