Undoubtedly, one of the most eagerly awaited features for InControl has been a proper room manager so we were extremely pleased when we saw this make it to the top of the v4 release notes. Not only can you organise devices by room (as you'd expect) it also includes a built-in room occupancy detection option. Devices can be turned off automatically after a configurable occupancy timeout period has elapsed for all motion and door/window sensors reporting no activity. Power to these devices can also be restored automatically when sensors are re-triggered. This is a very well implemented solution to a common home automation requirement.
Version 4 now allows you to add integration with other 3rd party applications through custom HTTP commands. The commands are configured as a part of any scene and may be used to control smart TV's, BluRay players, WiFi-enabled lighting and much, much more. This extends InControl's capabilities even further and provides a means of controlling just about anything that exposes an application programming interface (API).
A really nice new feature in v4 is the Z-Wave topology map which enables you to visualise the available routes between devices within your network. Connections between nodes are colour-coded indicating "quality" of the route and clicking on a single node highlights all routes specific to that individual device. This is an invaluable diagnostic tool, enabling you to quickly check the health of your network and help isolate problematic nodes.
You can now retrieve an event list in the main GUI of when a device was switched on or off and by whom. This information has generally been available previously in the log file and even through locating the file has now been simplified (available via the Help menu) trawling through its contents can be a little cumbersome at times. Having this data built right into the main interface is a nice addition.
Another great addition to scenes in v4 is the ability to send push notifications to your mobile device. Notifications will show up in the notification area of your device and can be customised with the text you'd like to display when the scene is activated either manually or by a trigger. You can also customise whether similar notifications are grouped or shown as individual messages.
We've only just scratched the surface here but all-in-all, InControl HA v4 offers some nice new features over its predecessor. With the additional device support and bug fixes also included, we think it certainly makes for a worthwhile upgrade. For a complete list of changes, please refer to the official release notes.
If you're new to home automation, we do recommend checking out InControl as it's still one of the most affordable and simplest ways to experience this technology.