The new Homey & Homey Bridge FAQ

Hey everyone!

Yesterday’s keynote has definitely created some questions we didn’t anticipate, especially for Homey (Classic) and Homey Pro users. In this post I’d like to answer some questions I see many of our customers have. So let’s go!

Will Homey Pro be discontinued in the future?
Absolutely not. Homey Pro is of extreme importance to our company — not only monetary, but also for the community and great apps.

We have great things planned for Homey Pro I can’t wait to share. Soon™!

Will Homey Pro require a subscription or cloud connectivity?
Homey Pro will not change. It’s our flagship product, that works completely offline, and you buy it once and don’t have to pay a recurring fee.

Of course there’s Homey+ (which we’ll rebrand to Homey Pro Backups soon to make it simpler to understand) to create daily backups automatically. This is the only subscription you may purchase for Homey Pro, because well, cloud storage costs us money.

Why must developers pay € 99 to publish for cloud-apps?
The target audience for Homey and Homey Bridge is much more mainstream than those you’ll find here on our forums. For Homey Pro, many apps are absolutely great, yet some are simply too technical.

Imagine someone you know that isn’t technical figure out how to enter an IP address, right? For them, Homey (and that’s what it is to them, an app), should just work.

Reviewing those apps takes a lot of time, and we want to be able to help them out to create a great app. Those apps also run on our cloud servers, so we better make sure they work nicely.

The fee of € 99 is specifically targeted at companies. We want manufacturers to eventually take complete ownership of their products integration. And with the huge user numbers we can suddenly achieve with a free version of Homey, that’s a lot more viable!

The best part is that Homey Pro users also benefit from this. Because an app made for cloud usually also works for Homey Pro, this means that you, as Homey Pro user, can also install the official apps. And that means perfect device support, someone you can actually complain to if something isn’t working, etc.

So the fee isn’t meant for current community developers. Publishing for Homey Pro is still free. In fact, we can loosen some restrictions now that we have a clear defined non-technical audience. We’ve already started allowing two apps for the same brand. One official, e.g. LIFX, and one community, LIFX LAN. Yeelight & Yeelight LAN is also such an example.

Homey Pro is for those who enjoy diving into configuration screens. Homey Bridge is for those who just wanna turn their lights on. The app store will eventually reflect that as well.

What about Homey (Early 2016), Homey (Early 2018) and Homey (Early 2019)?
Those Homey models are now considered part of the ‘Homey Pro’ family. Free upgrade! :wink: They share the same operating system, receive the same updates, etc. The only difference is their hardware, of course.

Why did you market the keynote to me, when it wasn’t for me?
We want to share everything we do, and this is a big step. Also because it helps us grow as a company, which means we can invest in new things, that benefit both the new Homey and Homey Pro users. Remember, they share the same mobile app, web app etc.! Their back-end codebase is approx. 90% the same. What we build for one, is almost instantly available for the other, and vice versa.

Also, we think Homey as an app, and Homey Bridge is a great choice for people you might know, but didn’t want to recommend a € 399,- Homey Pro to. I know that a lot of my friends and family want Homey Bridge now that they’ve seen it. A few of my other friends absolutely want Homey Pro. To each their own!

So, Homey Bridge, does it require a subscription?
Not at all, only if you want to connect more than 5 devices total. Let’s say you have 2x Yeelight (cloud-to-cloud), one Z-Wave and two Zigbee devices. That’s free. Adding a sixth device then requires Homey Premium. Homey Bridge itself doesn’t count as a device.

If you have more questions, I’d be happy to answer them. We were also thinking about doing a video-AMA (Ask Me Anything) somewhere next week, maybe we can answer them there as well!

— Emile