New things in the works

Remote Two has been out in the wild for over half a year now. We’ve been following with curiosity and interest how you all use your remotes with your setups. We are happy to see that in most instances it works quite well, but we also noticed there are areas, that need improvement.

Software updates have been rolling out on a regular basis to fix bugs, improve existing features as well as introduce new ones.

However we recognised the need for a user experience that makes it easier to set things up. A few months ago we started thinking about how we can improve the setup and configuration process.

We have also researched alternative technologies of what we are using at the moment. The remote’s user interface is built with Qt and QML, which has been serving us well, despite some of its downsides. However there has been advancement in technologies and tools. We evaluated alternatives to replace Qt with a more modern alternative, that has better developer experience, easily runs on different platforms and has a bigger community. In short, something that allows us to move forward faster. We’re not going to reveal what it is just yet, but we have already started to port our ui application over to this new platform.

Design/UX updates for the remote UI and the Web Configurator have been in the works for a few months now. There’s still a lot to do until the release, but as we’re getting closer to the finish line, we’ll be sharing more and more of the new looks and features, what we’re changing and how we’re planning to make configuration easier.

As a first teaser, here’s the new dashboard, a place where you can start setting up and customising your remote. And yes, we’re bringing support for mobile as well.

We won’t stop updating and improving the current version until this release, so you can still expect regular software updates. With the latest software update it’s possible now to opt-in to beta releases. This means that you’ll be able to sign up to receive beta software, but be aware that these updates might not be stable. We don’t recommend using beta firmware on your devices you use daily.

We’re really excited about what we have in the works and can’t wait to show you more as we think it will elevate the experience of using Remote Two!

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Thanks on opening the beta for folks wanting to take the risk to get features quicker.

You guys are on a role now. Some ease of setup things would be glorious, e.g., easy access to icon libraries, easy ingest of global cache or other IR remotes. [the ability to copy activity and remote screen setups, the ability to jump between pages in and between activities, and killing state would be amazing]

Thanks for making steady progress on key on features and I’m hoping the momentum will grow. With the hardware IR blaster workaround and Home Assistant it was much more than expected in terms of effort, but great progress.

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@marton

Thank you and the team for continuous improving the RC2. I think we all are invested in Unfolded success and want the best experience possible for us a future customers. Stay encouraged and know the community is supportive and thankful for Remote 2.

This type of information is really welcome. It’s important for customers of this niche product to know that the developers are equally keen to get the product better. :+1:

This isn’t the place perhaps, but boy would I like a swipe down menu instead of getting lucky to hit the small area top right of the remote control for menu. Just like an Android phone.

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hey @marton ,
thanks for your great efforts continuously making r2 better.
do you also have plans about new hardware features? e.g., aa additional non-charging ir dock?
this is something i really would need since the place comfortable for charging is not suited well for controlling my ir devices.
alternatively, are you planning to provide better support for 3-rd party docks, like the one i am workkng on? api is alredy open, thanks for that, but things like ota-updates, cusom dock images for the configurator, or customizing which ir controlling channels are availabe on the dock, would help to make custom docks integration much better.

best
alex

I dont want to be the one that brings the optimism of the thread and the announcement down - I think it is good to finally actually speak to your community about what is going on in the background and what is forthcoming, in addition to the firmware updates that have been rolling out with good timeframes since the New Year. But…

We are now being told that there is an “awesome” UI experience coming - up to this point there has been little to no help from the team regarding how the current UI works. - its just been left to the community to “figure it out”. Everything we know about how to do “this and that” has been through the community coming together as well as individuals feeling their way through the darkness of no guides or manuals (yes I am aware of the Google Doc which as I pointed out was built by the enormous generosity of the community).
And then you will drop a whole new way of programming the remote that will come with its own learning curve, JUST after we finally work out how the current one works?

I’m all for improvements but how about you walk before you can run and sort out the basic limitations of this remote?
I have three devices only - a TV (IR), an amp (IR) and an NVidia Shield TV (integration) - a very basic system compared to many on here and yet after months I can only reliably control the TV with your remote. I have partial control of the Shield but it is pretty useless without the “long press” function. And then my amp, I’ve given up. Oh, I have Roon too, and that works 50% of the time.
So please, sort out the important stuff first, the pretty UI can wait.

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Can’t wait to hear more about the future, it sounds exciting!

God to hear that the UX will be improved and also gets optimised for mobile but but i also have a few concerns about switching to the alternative technologies mentioned.
I wouldn’t have expected such a move so soon after the Kickstarter release. Somehow I now have much less motivation to report bugs in the UI when everything will soon be thrown overboard again anyway.
I hope that with the change there will also be a proper and understandable documentation for everyone. The current FAQ articles are almost all quite short and also cover just very specific topics.

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I fully respect the decision to make the move. I’m assuming it’s not only made it more difficult for the end users, but also for the dev team. And it’s a sign that they’re listening, even when communication is not so great.

The website has sold this all along as “Intuitive and easy to use”, “Simple. Powerful. Fully customizable.”, and “easy to use interface”, and that’s just the home page. Hopefully this next move will come closer to the sales pitch for the non-developer types who have backed or bought the remote, or have been following along.

It’s not usually an easy decision to fish or cut bait, but sometimes it’s better to change direction sooner than later and have less backtracking to do. Kudos for making a tough decision.

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Thanks for the transparency!

Hi ALL,

Just wanted to add my 2 cents.

I currently have the R2 doing everything my Harmony Elite used to do and way more such as interfacing with HA Green allowing me to control some lights, a ceiling fan and 3 Wi Fi thermostats all through the R2. I am WAY satisfied with the R2.

However this path was strewn with a LOT of pull-your-hair frustration. I initially couldn’t read IR codes from some of my devices. After many posts here I found the Global Cache of IR codes and again with helpful posts figured out how to use them. Then I had trouble configuring my Activities, especially the exit sequence codes, which it was not fully clear they were not yet implemented. Finally got all that to work and then I bought HA Green and it was another path of frustration and MANY posts here to get that working.

All along I got very used to the user interface to program the R2. On my cable DVR there are the colored buttons which I only seldom use. But I just realized that the diagonal corner buttons around the OK hard button are the colored buttons. It took me only about 5 minutes to read in the Pronto codes for the colored buttons and then assign them to the R2 buttons.

What I’m getting at is this type of remote will NEVER be easy enough for non-technically oriented people to use. This was also true for the Harmony Elite. So i fully expected to spend a lot of time getting it to work. However at least the Elite had some documentation to help even us technical types to get it working. That type of documentation was sorely lacking for the R2.

So my caution is when this new type of user interface comes out i hope that there will be a fair amount of documentation released along with the new implementation that will be usable for both transition from the old interface and for new users as well.

Gerry

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I second the requests for better documentation to go along with the new UX.

I second that notion for the swipe down feature. I often struggle to get to the settings page by pressing that small area.

3 on the swipe.

My bigger request is to get all the 3rd party stuff better integrated, e.g., icons, WebOS integration, etc., or at least a pointer to something that doesn’t require setting up a virtual machine.

There is a vibrant community to take advantage of.

It’s already on the roadmap to upload custom integrations to the remote wich doesn’t require to run them on an external server anymore: Upload custom integrations to the remote · Issue #79 · unfoldedcircle/feature-and-bug-tracker · GitHub
Not sure if this is still planned for Q1 or they just forgot to move it to a different milestone.

That would be great. I know you are one of the smartest contributors (it amazes me how much)

I gave up and sold mine, £500 for a remote that can’t be set up in 15 mins is a non starter. Why they couldn’t of had a database of codes like 99% of other manufacturers is beyond me, to have to go scrabbling around the internet looking for codes, or trying to get the damn thing to accept codes from an old remote is an awful UX.

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I know the community wants bugs fixed for usability, and that makes total sense. With that said, when are we able to get back on track with the 2024 Software Roadmap timeline? We are in the 2nd quarter now and Q1 items are still a work in progress, I guess.

More stable, or rapid reconnect to web, ie a lightweight daemon in remote with low power draw to keep connected.

And then…?