The latest Crestron Home® OS update gives homeowners the ability to create their own custom macros with Apple® Shortcuts and improves the Crestron Home Configurator
Feb. 7, 2023 - Every Crestron Home® OS update is driven by feedback from dealers — sometimes generated by the integrators themselves and occasionally in part generated by clients' wishes. Version 3.18 is an excellent example of that process.
"In typical Crestron Home fashion, we're continuing to open up the ecosystem more and more and letting homeowners customize the experience," says Jason Oster, Crestron's director of product management for residential solutions. In this update, that includes Apple® Shortcuts.
With this version of the Crestron Home OS, users simply launch the Apple Shortcuts app and build their own customized macros. "A homeowner can target the Crestron Home app, and then once they choose Crestron Home, they'll see all the quick actions that the dealer set up, and all of the scenes," Oster explains.
"Once they have that shortcut, that's really where the magic happens," he says. "A shortcut could be triggered from your Apple Watch. A user can see a list of things — let's say, for example, you have an 'Arrive Home' scene that's configured. When one presses that, it's going to call into Crestron Home and trigger all the lights to turn on, bring the music up, adjust the thermostat — whatever the client wants.
"This offers one-button functionality from any Apple device when the user is on the local Wi-Fi network."
Triggering actions via Siri® voice control are also available in this update — as is putting an oft-used shortcut right on the lock screen. "You don't even need to unlock your phone to trigger a Crestron Home command," says Oster.
More Quality-of-Life Improvements for the User
In addition to the big Apple-specific news, this update includes some other features — user-friendly items that Oster refers to as "quality-of-life" improvements. One of those is a better multi-room audio user experience. "When you want to listen to music throughout the home, you can press the multi-room button," says Oster. "But the list you'll see is now much more concise." Suppose one wants to send their DM NAX™ Audio-over-IP streaming content to several rooms — that list will now only show the rooms in which DM NAX is available and exclude spaces (such as closets) where there is no connectivity.
Setting up individual music services on the Crestron DM NAX™ system is now easier with this update, too. "You no longer need to go to the Crestron DM NAX webpage and set up all the providers for the homeowner," says Oster. Simply put, when the kids are old enough to have their own Pandora® music account, there's no need for their parents to call the dealer for such a simple change. The logins for the music services can now be changed and added, all directly from the Crestron Home app.
An International Solution: 24-Hour Clocks
"We've also added an important feature to help out our international friends," says Oster. This update allows the user to switch between 12-hour and 24-hour clocks — something we take for granted in North America, as Oster notes: "The rest of the world tells time a bit differently." In fact, most Europeans would look completely askance at a clock that relays time in a 12-hour format, as the bulk of EU nations and Britain use what those in the U.S. call "military time" as a standard. The use of the 24-hour clock isn't limited to EU nations; South Africa and Brazil are among the countries beyond Europe that rely on the standard.
Improvements to the Crestron Home Configurator
There are some big Crestron Home Configurator improvements in 3.18. "First and foremost, we made the URL simpler to remember," says Oster (it's now crestronhome.io). Beyond that, the update adds quick actions, scheduler actions, and sequences to the Configurator, allowing dealers to set up all of that functionality off-site at their convenience. "The ability to do all of this before driving to the job site can be yet another tremendous timesaver," says Oster.
If you'd like to be part of our beta-testing program for the Crestron Home platform, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.