The eagle-eyed among you may have spied that a new app update is now available - version 3.2.2, to be precise. If you haven't already, update Skylark on the App Store.
Now, I'll preface this early by saying upfront that there's not a ton of new stuff in this new release, but it's significant for a couple of good reasons, which I'll explain in just a sec.
WHAT'S NEW IN SKYLARK VERSION 3.2.2
Here's a quick rundown of what's included in this minor update:
- Email subscription - You can now opt-in for the Skylark newsletter via the login screen, (here's an example issue, in case you're curious). Yes, this is me, trying to grow the Skylark email list, but I also tend to read a lot about the Internet of Things, AI and smart home tech, so I like to share the most interesting news and info I find with you guys, too!
- Backend housekeeping - It's hard to believe that Skylark's been around since 2014 - and a lot has changed in the iOS and smart home ecosystem in just 3 short years. No software runs forever, so we've updated a couple backend systems that really no-one is interested in (but will be needed to support future updates), and added in some internal usage monitors to help me make better decisions for the future, based on how you guys are using Skylark (don't worry, it's all anonymous, and no-one is selling your phone number, email address, DNA samples or firstborn rights).
- Twitter Follow & Facebook Like - Again, yes, this bolsters Skylark's social media following, but it also helps me get the word out to you guys quickly when there's important news you should know.
SO WAIT, WHY'S THIS IMPORTANT AGAIN?
Boo, all this sounds super-boring, right? Well to be honest, that's actually partly by design. Here are those good reasons I promised you.
1. IT'S A FOUNDATION FOR BIGGER THINGS
Many of you may not have heard, but Skylark has actually been under new ownership for several months now, and this was the very first update released on my watch (we'll get to the topic of who I am, down below). I wasn't gonna let you guys down!
My primary goal with this app update? Just don't break everything.
And the secondary goal? Lay the groundwork for future betterment - and that betterment is coming in the form of some new features currently in the works, which I'm excited to finally tell you guys about:
[NEW!] NEST 2-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION
First of all, smart home and IoT devices have been grabbing a lot of headlines recently for being used as a new attack vector for hackers. No-one should have to choose between their automation working reliably, and their online security and privacy, which is why we'll be supporting Nest's implementation of 2-Factor Authentication in the next Skylark update. (Read more about 2FA on the Nest blog).
[NEW!] MULTI-LOCATION SUPPORT
If you have multiple places that you call home, or if, say, you've hopped onboard with the sharing economy as an Airbnb host, it'd be pretty handy to have all your thermostats automatically, and independently switching between Home and Away modes, right? Daydream no longer - support for multiple locations is on the way.
[NEW!] ECOBEE3 & 4 Compatibility
I've been watching the reviews, and you guys' comments on the EcoBee lineup of thermostats closely over these past few months, and suffice to say, they've been sufficiently glowing. So glowing, in fact, that we've decided to add support for the Ecobee 3 and 4 to Skylark in the coming weeks!
A WORD ON TIMING
Giving schedules for software releases is a notoriously slippery exercise, and my personal MO is usually to make promises I'm confident I can keep. With that said, I expect to release all of the updates mentioned above over the course of June and July.
OH, RIGHT, WHO ARE YOU AGAIN?
Hi, the name's Jason - I'm the new owner and Chief Coffee-Maker at Skylark.
I'm a software entrepreneur and product manager by trade, and I took over the reins back in October 2016. Since then, I've been steadily learning the ropes, and getting to know some of you in the support forum.
I'm fascinated by the Internet of Things, AI, and generally split my time between helping web and mobile app developers grow their products, and wondering what life will be like when the robots can do all the work, leaving us with more time to enjoy ourselves - and improving Skylark to help with your home automation is my little contribution to the cause!
How you can help Skylark
The biggest, best, and absolutely most impactful way you can help is to write a review of Skylark on the App Store. App businesses like us live and die by their user reviews, and we don't need anything too in-depth - something like the following is perfect:
"I [EMOTION] Skylark, because it helps me with [TASK I HATE DOING MYSELF]. I've connected it to my [THERMOSTAT BRAND], and am going to [KEEP USING IT/DELETE IT] because [REASON]."
If you're just not feeling chatty, no problem! You can still help us immensely if you simply tell others about Skylark.
Feel free to contact me with questions about Skylark via the Support Forum. Or, if you'd like to connect, come find me on Twitter, Quora, or Medium. In the meantime, keep an eye out for future announcements!