Don’t buy it.

As many tech workers, I’m highly skeptical of home automation. But in the end, I gave up and bought into Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem with Eve gear. The main reason being that the devices don’t connect to the Internet. I’ve got two thermostats, bunch of indoor air quality monitors, and a couple of smart plugs.

They work fine, the app is fine. I have no complaints.

The Problem

The problem is that due to the lack of Internet connectivity, you need to be in Bluetooth range to interact with the devices. My flat is small, but not that small and it has walls.

Nowadays, Eve switched to marketing Thread-based meshes on whose quality I can’t comment. But their former solution is Eve Extend1, a device that connects to your WiFi and bridges the connection to the Bluetooth devices. It’s the only option if you have older Eve products (like I do), it’s still sold around the Internet, and it’s total junk.

I know because I have two of them. As Amazon reviews show, there’s a bunch of problems you can encounter. But the biggest one is their incredible flakiness:

Every few days, it loses its connections to the devices its supposed to control and HomeKit reports that the devices aren’t reacting. The Eve app usually says that the Eve Extend is fine and all devices are connected, but if you try to access the devices themselves, it fails too. The only way to fix this is to power-cycle Eve Extend.

This is incredibly frustrating, because switching on power sockets becomes a lottery and I have a very low tolerance for that.

The Solution

The ironic solution that I’ve embraced is to connect Eve Extend behind a timed power socket and restart it every night.

This largely solves it, but still I’ve had one instance of an Eve Extend not making it through a day.

So if you’ve already bought one: invest in some cheap timed power sockets. If you see it sold somewhere: think twice.

  1. Fortunately, it’s nowhere to be found on their homepage anymore. ↩︎