Phone app takes too long to connect to Garadget


#1

Garadget works well with Alexa - 100% over the past couple of weeks - so I am totally satisfied with the product. However, it has some shortcomings with the phone app. Quite often, I will open the app on the phone, then after losing patience, walk from the front of the garage to its back door, get into the car and open the door using remote inside the car, and the app still hasn’t responded. It isn’t the Garadget itself, since it responds to Alexa within a second reliably. And it isn’t a problem with the wifi signal to the phone - I can hold a wifi conversation started in the house and it will not cut out until I actually get into the car parked in front of the garage door and, anyway, there is now a wifi extender with a strong signal in the garage to installed to enable Garadget. Why does the app often take so long to connect?


#2

Currently there are released iOS, Android and web apps as well as betas for iOS and Android.
Which one are you using and do you experience the same issue in any others?


#3

I am using Android. There is no “About”, so I cannot tell which version, but it will be the “default” version that would have been in effect when I bought the device.

  1. Some more data: the app starts and the space where the garage door should appear remains empty. The garage door will only appear after I swipe from the top to refresh, but not always.
  2. Sometimes, when I click the door icon, the phone app behaves as it should visually (i.e. the animation runs) but the door does not open/close. I press the icon again and the animation reverses and then press it again and then it works. However, sometimes I have to go trough this repetition twice before it responds.
  3. To be honest, I have really given up on the phone app as being too slow and unreliable to be helpful (quicker to go in via the side door and open the door with the remote in car).
  4. Garadget always works perfectly using Alexa/IFTTT, so I have just got into the habit of yelling at Alexa before exiting/after entering the house.
  5. Since it cannot be anything to do with my network, I assume that this must be being caused by poor response from whatever web service you are using, so I suspect that it will never be solved until you either service from a private server or change the app to attempt to reach the device via the LAN first before reverting to the WAN.
  6. However, I think that the app is flawed in that it says the door is opened/closed based on it having sent the appropriate request, without checking that it has received the signal from the garadget registering the status change. The app should always report either the correct status of the door or that it is offline.
  7. I have a hunch about what the problem might be: it could be to do with the phone changing networks. Leaving home and walking to garage: phone might be dropping main router and connecting to the garage extender. Arriving home: phone drops cellular network and connects to garage extender then as I am walking to house (trying to close the door), it might be dropping the extender and connecting to the main router. I have checked that the phone has re-established the WAN connection by testing another app, so it isn’t that issue. However, perhaps, the app gets no response at some point during these changes and waits too long before retrying. Eventually (after minutes not seconds) the app will display the garage icon at the correct status, if I do nothing.
  8. I still love my garadget!

Regards

Steve


#4

@genesisv, thanks for detailed write up and continued support of the project.

  • Indeed there can be a moment of non-responsiveness while the phone is switching between the cellular data and WiFi connection.
  • The servers don’t add much to the latency; as you pointed out there is not much delay when you use Alexa/IFTTT, yet they’re also sending their commands through the cloud. The issue is likely to do with the phone’s connectivity and the app.
  • Please check out the web app - I just keep it in one of the browser’s tabs. If you prefer, you can even add it as an icon to your home screen. There’s also an updated version of app in the works. You’re welcome to join the testing and provide your feedback.