Fast-forward to now and the situation is a lot better. The last couple of versions (currently v7.0.6, otherwise known as v1.7.569 for the VeraLite/Vera3) have worked well with the majority of devices we've tested, i.e., most of our product range. Of course, there are still bugs to be ironed out (as you'd expect with any major software release) but overall, we think these are fairly minor and will probably go unnoticed by the majority of users.
In terms of actual look and feel, the interface has been criticised for its use of big device controls and excessive use of white-space. Honestly though, we're not too fussed about this. We think the layout makes sense and it should be a lot simpler to use for beginners which has been a primary objective for Vera with this release. In any case, once you've setup your devices and created the scenes you need, there shouldn't be much reason for spending hours in front of the UI manually controlling your home. This is the exact opposite of what home automation is all about!
Perhaps one disappointment for us relates to the new Vera mobile app. Yes, it’s free and looks nice (a responsive theme consistent with the desktop look and feel) but it is painfully slow, especially when first connecting to Vera, even over WiFi. We are confident this will be addressed in a future update, particularly since one of the selling points of UI7 is centred on the improved authentication system, but for now, we find it too slow and tedious to be taken seriously.
UI7 is clearly the future for Vera and you can expect it to become bigger and better over the course of the year. Overall, we like it a lot and feel it has many great improvements over previous versions. We’ll continue monitoring its progress closely so stay tuned for more updates.
See our range of UI7 enabled Vera home controllers here.