My first iOS app – hue⁺

When I first heard of Philips hue I really liked the idea of controllable LED bulbs. I googled a little bit to understand how it works and finally found out the it is based on ZigBee Light Link. So I had the idea to buy one of these starter kits and build some AVR based controller for them on which I wanted to implement the protocol myself. On the embedded world 2013 in Nürnberg I even found some non-Philips stuff from Dresden Elektronik that was compatible to ZigBee Light Link. So I bought a ZigBee Sniffer from Dresden Elektronik and some XBee ZB modules and was ready to start.

hue⁺Unfortunately a few days before everything arrived Philips announced their public hue API together with an iOS SDK. So I thought this would be great idea to finally write an iOS app. Actually that wouldn't be my really first iOS app, as I wrote a little game almost two years ago but that wasn't really finished and stayed for ever in beta :). So I ordered the starter kit and while I was waiting for the delivery I freshed up my Objective-C skills with a nice workshop from @roddi.

While thinking of what kind of app would be nice for hue it become clear to me that I don't wanted to make some one-time fun app but instead something for daily usage. As I had some problems to configure the bulbs the way I wanted with the official hue app I wanted to write an app which provides simple and fast control for the bulbs.

After a few weekends of programming and testing I finally released Version 1.0 of hue⁺ on the App Store in April, 2013. I got a lot of feedback from early buyers and so I could improve the app over time. I'm very happy with the current stage and hope that Philips will release a new version of their API very soon, so that I can implement more features.

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About the author

My name is Tobias Müller. I'm interested in com­puters, physics, elec­tronics and photo­graphy. more …

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