If I could only show the amount of fancy algorithms and hardware that makes this possible
Yes, the great thing about a cloud based IoT device is we will continually be updating, forever.
I really love this post for a variety of reasons. Thanks for understanding that applying a concept like flex schedules (managed allowed depletion, water balance approach, etc.) is very difficult with mostly estimates of a zone characteristic and sometimes inaccurate weather data. I'm sure we do have a large number of customers where all of the data does work, but I'm also sure we have customers where it does not. Without sensors in every zone there will always be cases where flex just won't work for someone. If it isn't working our fixed schedules still have smart cycle, virtual rain delay, etc. that were equally difficult to build.
One change I do see for next season flex is allowing you to easily change the watering frequency, like we allow changing water duration. Yard too brown, increase frequency (some multiplier), yard too green, decrease frequency. This way, we abstract away all of the advanced zone settings (allowed depletion, etc.)
Like I've said before, when these sensors get to a point where they are affordable and durable, we have a great platform to easily integrate them.
Next year? Probably not, unless there is a sensor with IFTTT integration.
The year after? Who knows, but I feel a high chance.
Thanks for this intelligent posting.