Update September 10, 2020: I''ve been attempting to use this product for over two years, and I''ve finally just given up and put the two units I have in my e-waste pile. The software is still terrible after all of this time, even worse than I realized initially. By far...
Update September 10, 2020:
I''ve been attempting to use this product for over two years, and I''ve finally just given up and put the two units I have in my e-waste pile. The software is still terrible after all of this time, even worse than I realized initially. By far the biggest problem is that sometimes, for no apparent reason, the units will just stop performing their scheduled "smart watering" routines. If this happened due to some glitch and I was informed of the problem, fine. However they stop watering and most of the time I''m given no notice whatsoever. So I will look at my plants and think "hmm, those look really unhappy..." and then open the app to see that no watering has happened for the past week or two despite clear, sunny California summer weather. They units will still have working batteries, they will have a connection, and I can perform manual watering. On occasion I will be given a low battery warning, or a device disconnection warning, but the vast majority of times I will only learn that something is wrong with the Orbit B-Hyve devices because I can see my plants are in the process of dying. I would strongly recommend against anyone attempting to use this product, if you care at all about keeping your plants alive.
Review from on April 5, 2018 (three stars):
I was excited to buy two of these to replace existing Orbit "dumb" faucet timers. The hardware that attaches to the faucet looks and feels solid, and I assume that it will stand up to the elements as well as past Orbit products. The hub appears to be a USB dongle permanently glued into a power adapter, with a sticker prominently placed saying "DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REMOVE". This strikes me as a bit odd, like they didn''t have the time or resources to design an integrated unit, but it seems to work just fine, so whatever.
I only experienced one problem while doing the initial setup and configuration. During the setup you''re taken through some of the steps twice, entering the same information over again. In retrospect, I think that this is to configure both the hub and then the faucet timer, but this is not clear at all. At the time I assumed something was wrong so I quit the app. When I came back it appeared that my devices were all configured, but I could only connect to the faucet timer directly over Bluetooth, and not through the hub. After a bit of fiddling I just deleted both devices from the app, reset the hardware (click the button 5 times), and started the pairing process over again. I went all of the way through, got up and running, and the connection has been fine ever since.
Using the app, I have been able to configure a schedule and control the two separate faucet timers I have installed. Each of my faucet timers are using a different hub since they''re at opposite ends of my house and I doubt that the Bluetooth range is sufficient. So, I''m pretty happy about that. The devices work, the connection seems reliable, and the app (iOS) doesn''t crash on me or anything.
HOWEVER, the software is real bad. First off, the design and layout are just confusing. You have devices, device groups, zones, programs, etc. In some parts of the apps you''re looking at things by zone, others by device, others by device group. Going to the "Home" section of the app shows you the information for one active device, but then when you look at a calendar or zone it''s unclear that what you''re seeing is filtered to only display things corresponding to the one device, or which device that might be. It would be far more useful if the home screen showed you the status of all of your devices. Then there''s just a bunch of bad user interface design components. You are allowed to touch the text indicating the current active device and switch to another one, but there is zero indication of this. The prominent button used to go to the home screen inexplicably changes to a remote once you''re there, while all of the surrounding buttons stay the same, etc. The smart watering option appears in multiple places, and sometimes it looks on and others it looks off, and I can''t tell when that is referring to a smart program, versus a smart override adding rain delays to my fixed schedule...
Then there are the bugs. None are showstoppers that keep the app from functioning, but they are pretty egregious for a shipping product. Links to help within the app have bad URLs that don''t work. The calendar for some reason shows my watering times, but on the wrong days. The battery indicator doesn''t seem to change when I look at different devices. Asking Alexa when my next watering is seems to give me the answer in GMT instead of my local time zone (I think?). The website basically doesn''t work at all, so don''t plan on using that. The basic options from the app don''t even exist, not all of my devices are shown, etc.
So... I really want to like this product, but the software needs some serious help. Overall things appear to function (my landscaping is getting watered), and I''m not going to return the product to Amazon, but I''m really hoping that they make some serious app updates in the near future. I''m a bit wary that Orbit doesn''t have the software development expertise to handle this, but hopefully this one was just rushed out the door, and they have some UX and QA people on staff who are dedicated to getting things into shape.