As a manufacturer of industry leading residential control systems, Savant has made big strides with the release of it's new app, simply called "Savant." While It doesn't appear that the new app will replace Savant's older offering "TruControl II," it will definitely make adopting a Savant control system much easier and user friendly. With a near perfect rating on the iOS app store, and added android support, the new Savant app offers an impressive list of new features. Here are five of our favorites at Realm.
5: Remote Access
Remote access isn't anything new, but is the cornerstone of any decent home automation system. Controlling devices directly in front of you is nice, but issuing commands from anywhere in the world adds another level of convenience, customization, and power. Remote access in the new Savant app has been updated to be user login based. This means that after a user account is created with Savant and linked with a control system, remote access is immediately available (90 day trial included). Gone are the days of network wizardry and complicated port forwards. Because remote access is only useful when it performs consistently, Savant has eliminated a lot of the existing points of failure and streamlined the login process. Once you have provided Savant with your email address and password, controlling your system while away from home is easy and automatic. An added benefit is the ability to share your system with multiple user accounts. Have someone that you want to be able to keep tabs on your system? (Hint: think Realm.) Add their Savant login as an authorized user of your system and they'll be able to view or control it from anywhere.
4: Custom Services Buttons
TruControl II is still the most customizable Savant app, but the new Savant app has added a nice "Commands" category for accessing custom buttons. Have a lift or TV mount that you want to control? Want to be able to switch between 5.1 stereo and Dolby Surround easily? The commands category is the place where you will find custom options that your Savant integrator has already created for you. These buttons are now movable and unobtrusive, so they will be available when you need them, and out of the way when you don't. Often times having too many control options can cause more harm than good, and Savant's "Commands" service is taking significant steps to combat this problem.
3: Volume Button Control
This next one is a "who cares?" for some and a "life-changer" for others. Starting with the 7.1 update of the new Savant app, service volume can be controlled using the hard plus and minus buttons on the side of your iOS device. This is not only an added convenience for app control, but an example of the ongoing integration between Savant and Apple products. Being able to control the volume of your home's music and video services is one thing, but being able to do it from your pocket like a secret agent from the future is something else entirely. Now we can only hope this might carry over into Apple Watch integration somehow...
2: Rooms Layout
Being able to switch rooms is a necessity for any whole home control system, but it has never been this beautiful, useful, or fun. In Trucontrol II, choosing a room was like putting on your socks, it needed to be done before you could take the next step. Rooms in the new Savant app are something else entirely. Every room in the house is now represented by a beautiful photo of the user's choosing. These photos aren't device specific either; anyone who uses the control system will be able to enjoy them. Imagine scrolling though rooms of your house visually as opposed to reading labels that may or may not represent each space appropriately. Lighting, security, and climate controls are also vastly improved with the rooms layout. Each room's temperature is now represented visually on the home screen, and control options are only available for the specific room that you've clicked on. This makes lighting control much more intuitive because you no longer have to hunt through a whole house list to find the dimmers attached to the room you are in. Swiping up, down, left, and right through the rooms of your house is a joy in the new Savant app. It is so enjoyable that I can see users pulling out their iPhones to give virtual "tours" of their new Savant equipped homes.
This one is a game changer. Users can now set custom macros called "Scenes" that can perform any number of tasks from powering on cable TV to adjusting lighting with an obsessive degree of detail. Not only can Scenes be run any time the user chooses, they can also be scheduled to activate at any date or time. Scheduling is also repeatable, including: hourly, weekly, monthly, and day of the week specific. Want to wake up at 7:45 with your favorite music playing, lights low in the bedroom but bright in the bathroom, and Sportscenter showing without volume on the Kitchen TV? It's easy to do with the Savant app. Want hard rock in the gym for weightlifting on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, but easy listening and a Yoga DVD on Tuesday's and Thursdays? Also easy. Thanks to Scenes every Savant system is now user customizable. Scenes are located in their own category, and contain buttons represented by photos and text labels of the user's choosing. Savant has even included a gallery of photos to help users get started. Scenes represent a nice new direction for Savant, and creating, naming, and scheduling them are a total breeze.