Rachio Gen 3 Hardware release, Homekit Support For Gen 2 still Coming?


#1

With the release of the Gen 3 Rachio hardware, I sure hope that the Gen 2 systems still get Homekit support when it’s released. Any updates on this?


#2

I was surprised to see that the just announced Gen 3 doesn’t list HomeKit.


#3

This has been the final straw for me, I’ve been through two upgrades and constant HomeKit delays. I’ll be listing this on eBay and going with the new orbit b-hyve that actually supports HomeKit.


#4

Hey @designzguy, @aristobrat, & @Jstrick3!

No word on HomeKit yet, unfortunately. Until Apple officially releases an irrigation profile, we cannot comment on HomeKit.

Lo :rachio:


#5

@laura.bauman @designzguy @aristobrat @Jstrick3

Apple released a sprinkler profile for HomeKit with iOS 11 a few months ago. Here is the Apple Developers page for it on how to code/implement it. There’s more info available when you login as a paid Apple Dev:

https://developer.apple.com/documentation/homekit/water_valves

Help me understand what am I missing for why Rachio (especially the new Gen3 just announced) doesn’t list support for it?


#6

I can’t link within my paid Apple Dev account but here’s (albeit very limited) more info where Apple has defined “irrigation” in particular:

https://developer.apple.com/documentation/homekit/hmcharacteristicvaluevalvetype/2935518-irrigation

No reason Rachio can’t comment about it.


#7

Hey @Jer-

While the irrigation profile is open to developers, it is not officially deployed yet. I would recommend you check out the WWDC 2017 presentations for a list of upcoming HomeKit partners.

McKynzee :rachio:


#8

@mckynzee

I know you guys are on the list as partners. I was one of the first people to order your product when you launched so I am all in and a big supporter.

My point is, Rachio CAN say something if they want to. There is no embargo by the Apple Dev portal by Apple to not be able to announce HomeKit support on announced and documented frameworks within HomeKit so Rachio shouldn’t be using that as an excuse.

It’s disappointing to see new Gen3 announcements with no definitive answer on HomeKit. It can be included in the press release for the new hardware if Rachio wanted to - it’s not an Apple restriction as stated above.

I am not going to upgrade my Gen1 until you guys have HomeKit support but you may announce that after the discounts by the April 13th date expire. That’s not cool.


#9

i don’t blame you for waiting on HomeKit, but devil’s advocate is that apple is so slow rolling out HomeKit updates (which is why they are falling behind Amazon for smart home support) that it doesn’t make sense for Rachio to overpromise support they may not be able to deliver for a long, long time and at a support cost in older discontinued products that doesn’t make sense. For example had Rachio promised to support HomeKit for Gen 1 or even Gen 2 they would be forced to do it whenever Apple finally delivers even now that both generations will soon be no longer sold and for a small company and niche business (sorry guys) that may not be sustainable. I’m hopeful that when/if Apple finalizes support for irrigation profiles that Rachio will choose to support it with whatever the current generation product is (if not past generations) rather than making it a tentpole of a future hardware launch but I understand Rachio’s unwillingness to promise something that depends on another company delivering support that historically is very slow and delayed to arrive.

PS: Ring (now bought by Amazon) has specifically PROMISED HomeKit support for their Pro doorbell and never delivered 2 years later and still says it is “coming.” Users are rightfully pissed so at least Rachio isn’t overpromising although I sure wish at some point they overdeliver to make users happy!


#10

@boldblue737

I agree with you to a point. Apple doesn’t have anywhere close to the amount of skills and integrations Amazon’s Alexa does. That’s a fact. To be honest, I am only buying home automation products that support all 3 of the major players - Apple HK, Google, and Amazon Alexa - in case one drops support. And yes, I have been watching the Ring fiasco before purchasing as well. It will be interesting to see if Amazon’s purchase kills that long-in-the-tooth promised HK support or speeds it up. My guess is the former.

Again, my point is that Rachio CAN say something if they wanted to. Blaming Apple is a scapegoat since the sprinkler/irrigation framework has been available for quite some time. If they don’t want to pre-announce anything like Ring has for 2 years, then say that. Be honest. Rachio is on the Apple WWDC prezo from last June. It’s not a secret they have been working on it. Just be open about it since they CAN talk about it.

P.S. Rachio couldn’t have announced HK support for Gen1 or Gen2. The framework didn’t exist in HK for sprinkers/irrigation when the hardware debuted. With the announcement of Gen3 today, they CAN announce HK support if they want - the HK framework exists, it has existed for months, and Rachio was listed as an Apple Dev Partner last June.


#11

I’m not sure that’s true. It may be, but the other ball in play is that manufacturers like Rachio have to do an additional (and different) agreement with Apple to get into Apple’s MFi device certification program. I think it’s one thing for a company to say “we have access to the Sprinkler accessory type within the HomeKit framework” vs. “we’re working to get our products certified through Apple’s MFi program”. It’s the last sentence that anyone here gives a crap about, and my guess is that it’s covered under the MFi NDA, because IMO it’s been extremely difficult to find a company who talked about their product when it’s going through that process.

The only sprinkler manufacturer I’ve seen pre-announce HomeKit support is Orbit, with their b-hyve product. They did this during CES 2018 (there are all sorts of quick tech write-ups about it), but if you surf over to Orbit’s b-hyve website today, there is zero mention of HomeKit support in how they describe the product, or in the products tech page, or even in their FAQ.

In their user forum, they do generically answer HomeKit posts with a “our product has the MFi chip and will support HomeKit at a future time” blurb, but from looking at the hoopla surrounding their CES pre-announcement vs. how they describe HomeKit with their product now, it does look like someone (Apple?) asked them walk back the HomeKit support blurbs. In the end, b-hyve forums update isn’t much different than what Rachio has been implying since WWDC 2017, when their logo was shown as an official HomeKit manufacturer, IMO.

Still intrigues me that six months after Apple announced Sprinkler and Faucet support, Apple still does not publicly list those as current HomeKit accessory types:


#12

Who uses Apple? Ewww. Nothing like android, smartthings and Alexa to home automate!

Rachio does need to work on the Alexa skill. No way to run a schedule. 50 ways to start a zone though… Dumb.

Time to step up integrations, Rachio!

Mike


#13

You’re right about Apple’s MFi cert being a different NDA. However, it doesn’t preclude anyone from announcing support. To your point at CES 2018, Orbit announced support. Others that announced HK support that fall under the same new HK framework (faucets) are Kohler, Delta, and Moen.

Manufacturers don’t have to have the HK MFi chip in products for certification anymore. Hopefully, that speeds up HK adoption by other manufacturers this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Gen3 Rachio doesn’t have one to save $$$ but they may have already been down the path with it before Apple announced they didn’t need it.

I know I am beating a dead horse here but my point still is Rachio could be more transparent about HK support if they wanted to at this point in time. Last year at this time? No.

I also do think it’s weird Apple doesn’t list anything publicly under faucets or sprinklers but my guess is no manufacturer is ready with product yet.


#14

It’s also possible that Rachio has been invited to speak at WWDC 2018 on the condition that they announce their product support at that show. Apple is notoriously vindictive toward companies that steal what they see as their thunder. It’s total conjecture on my part, but it’s the only reason I can think of that Rachio doesn’t say “HomeKit will be supported on Gen 3 at a future date” or “HomeKit is not planned for Gen 3 at this time.”, whichever is true. I wish, however they would say. I need a news sprinkler system. If I KNEW Gen 3 (or a previous version) would be compatible with HomeKit once Apple finishes ****ing around with their HomeKit software, I’d buy it and use the iOS support until HomeKit is made available. But I don’t want to buy hardware unless I know.


#15

I still do not understand why people think Rachio needs HomeKit support, it runs at 4am on its own. The very few times per year I need to run it manually it really takes all of about 5 seconds to open the app and start watering manually. Sometimes it takes longer than that for Siri to first hear acknowledge I am attempting to get her to process a command, and then process what I said and make the command work. I use HomeKit for a lot of lighting controls and I have to admit I am still pretty new to it. How exactly would HomeKit make this device better?


#16

If your HomeKit cameras in the garden senses motion at night it can turn on the sprinklers to scare the animals away.

If your HomeKit compatible alarm system senses fire it can turn on the sprinklers to water down the brushes next to the house.


#17

You have that feature with Nest that can activate the Rachio…
Check under Nest setting works with Nest… I have that working with Rachio…

My house is full apple since apple started in 70/80’s and work with them since at the beginning and I would say Apple HK is not that great with their app interface.
Its a half arsed product that need serious makeover.
Rachio 3 is great with flow sensor but screwed up the power supply only for US 110v ac. Got the wifi 5ghz and tks for that…


#18

Yeah, that seems like a bit of a narrow use-case scenario. I don’t have animals in my gardens, thankfully, and I don’t plan on having any fires.


#19

Hopefully, the FAQ for Gen 2 doesn’t hint at what’s to come. See screenshot below. Gen 3 FAQ simply says they can’t comment on HomeKit Support. :confused:


#20

Well iOS 11.3 was released today it’ll be interesting to see if Rachio says anything about sprinkler HomeKit support now. No more excuses for not being able to give an answer on this question from customers. Rachio your move!