Develop a "basic backup schedule" mode for when Tado outage or loss of internet

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  • @Jurian Thank you for taking the time to answer, even if it was a long time coming (which is aimed at Tado not at you personally).

    Unfortunately I do think it's a bit of a non-answer to essentially say "it's designed this way, we don't plan to change it". I certainly disagree with your statement that an internet outage is "very rare" - for many in rural locations in particular, it can be quite common. That is the reason this feature is so highly requested, so I think it's wrong to just assume your customers are wrong.

    Whilst I am not privy to Tado's specific architecture, I do not accept that it is as complicated as you are making out. I think many of us commenting on here are involved in related industries, I'm CTO at a tech firm myself, so let's not pretend this is a mammoth effort with no workable solutions. I also work with IoT devices a lot so I know that things aren't always as straight forward when you're working within these limitations.

    But as stated in previous posts here, it seems logical to me that a local backup schedule would be pushed from the Bridge via the Smart Thermostats anyway, since you want the TRVs to run in the lowest power state possible, so new TRVs should not be necessary which is the main expense in the vast majority of situations.

    If it is genuinely the case that the Tado team cannot work on this as well as fairly simple features like Child Lock and Global ON/OFF, then that is quite revealing as the development team must be one or two people maximum.

  • @mschieszl This exactly what I was talking about. We would rather spend our embedded developer resources on improving overall connection stability. For me, this is the root cause of the problem. Having a local schedule would only be a fix for one of the resulting problems of not having a stable connection to all tado products.


    Thanks for all the further comments, I do not want to really start a discussion, just know that there are many difficulties into bringing this feature to the firmware. We already have multiple different hardware revisions of the V2, V3 and V3+ tado bridge with different firmware running on them. And even if you run the schedule on the internet bridge, it does not even solve the issue for the people where the connection between the bridge and the tado device is not stable.

    Developing features for a field of more than 1 million connected devices is not as simple as you might assume. Take the Child Lock feature for example, how do we allow people who have no internet connection to still have control over the heating if they "child locked" their Smart Radiator Thermostat? How do communicate clearly that a device is child locked, to avoid a surge of customer requests of people who think their device is no longer responsive after they forgot they just activated child lock? In what way do you bring this feature to the different hardware revisions with different limitations?

    If you live in an area where your internet connection is so unstable that you have multiple outages over a heating season, maybe tado V2/V3/V3+ is not the product for you. Our current product offering requires a stable internet connection to function properly.

    As stated before, we will put more resources in the following areas to assure a better user experience for people who rarely have an internet outage but might still have issues with tado connectivity:

    • Improve the reliability of the radio connection between the tado bridge and individual devices.
    • Improve the reliability of the connection to the cloud from the tado bridge (making sure the bridge does not lose connection unless there is a real internet outage, which is very rare).

    I can't speculate about potential future hardware, but rest assured that your feedback regarding the requirement of a local schedule will be taken into account.

  • @Jurian Thank you for the reply although I really don't know why it has taken Tado 2 years to give an answer. It would of saved people a lot of frustration!

    I

  • @Jurian many thanks for the clarification - it is great that someone at tado is finally giving feedback.
    I agree that Improving the reliability of the connection to the cloud from the tado Bridge will solve most of the problems - this is a major issue at the moment, so thank you for acknowledging that.

    I also agree with you that without a reliable Internet connection, tado is probably not the right solution.

    This leaves the following questions from me:
    1. What happens if your servers go down? (happened a couple of years ago)
    2. What would happen if tado were to cease trading?
    3. If homekit can control the heating locally (I don't have anything apple to try it) can you not also link to other local solutions like hubitat or home assistant for example with the current hardware for those so inclined who wish to avoid Internet issues and have local control?
  • @johnbur Thanks for that feedback.


    1. Our uptime is quite high, in the event of our servers going down, the schedule will be resumed as soon as the servers are back up. In the mean time, you still have local control via your Smart Thermostat. You can see our recent uptime percentage here: https://status.tado.com/
    2. What would happen if Google cease trading? And Amazon AWS ? Or Britsh Gas? Or Netatmo? This is a very difficult hypothetical thing to answer. Over the last year, during corona times, our company has had a very successful sales year once again. There is no reason to suspect this will stop any time soon since we are far away from market saturation and have a sustainable business model with recurring revenue streams.
    3. In the bridge, there is a special Apple chip. This allows for the local control and also answers your question as to why other brands can't have local control. It's because they do not have a chip inside the tado bridge. All other integrations happen over the tado cloud API.


  • Ditsy
    Ditsy ✭✭✭

    @Jurian I didn't realise that HomeKit is a potential solution to this, because we barely use iOS. We do have an iPad, which I'm vaguely aware is able to act as a "home hub", as I set it up a while back when trying to solve a different problem. We've still had a cold house at least once since this was set up, I don't consider our Internet to be particularly unreliable, plus every other smart device we have gracefully recovers. Is Apple HomeKit conflicting with Google Assistant use? Are we forced to choose one or the other? What triggers HomeKit to know that it needs to take control of the schedules?

    Given tado is part of the Thread Group, and a couple of my Google Nest devices are thread capable, are there thread options to use instead of HomeKit?

  • @Jurian great answers. I guess most people are so worked up about this because there was no response for a long time.

    I don't want to argue tados priorities. I know its always about tradeoffs. Improving connection and/or providing repeaters and the like would be awesome. And stable internet must be a given.

    Now, guess what. I did restart my bridge yesterday and it does connect to the radiator two stories down, form my office to the basement (which is half underground)!!! That is fan-freaking-tastic... I could not get a Zigbee mesh to get that far.

    So long that this is working I'll be happy with the scheduling. I will also try for one room to do the scheduling via HK only to see what I prefer.

    Anyhow, you proved great communication skills on this thread - that's the way to keep the users engaged even though opinions are like a...h... - you get it ;-)

    Have a good day

  • Jurian
    Jurian | Admin
    edited February 2021

    @mschieszl Thanks for that feedback. Yes, I noticed our communication on the forum has been lacking. We have been giving priority to direct customer contacts because we have been overwhelmed with the amount of sales and the accompanying customer requests that follow.

    For the next winter season, we will look at putting dedicated roles for community interactions and give it priority even when it gets very busy in our customer contact centre!


    @Ditsy If you use HomeKit, it will be manual modes in the tado app. So to combine homekit and the tado app is not ideal.

    I can't speculate on any potential future hardware (regarding Thread).

  • We would rather spend our embedded developer resources on improving overall connection stability. For me, this is the root cause of the problem.

    @Jurian Do you have any data to back this up? Or is it just an assumption? The comments on this thread would suggest that this is maybe not the case.

    And even if you run the schedule on the internet bridge, it does not even solve the issue for the people where the connection between the bridge and the tado device is not stable.

    Why not both? Besides, the difference is that stability between the bridge and Tado devices can be improved by taking practical steps within the building. For many, it is not possible to move to a more reliable internet connection.

    If you live in an area where your internet connection is so unstable that you have multiple outages over a heating season, maybe tado V2/V3/V3+ is not the product for you. Our current product offering requires a stable internet connection to function properly.

    And where is this advertised, exactly? I see nothing that suggests that on any of these pages, let alone states it explicitly:

    I have a stable internet connection myself, but I've chosen other solutions for two family members' homes because they live in areas without stable connections.

  • @mschieszl I agree, the lack of responses will likely not lead to positive interactions when someone from Tado finally visits the forum here. Which will probably make any employee think "whew... so that's why we don't interact with customers".

    However, this forum was created and announced as a forum for product suggestions. It seems that Tado do actually monitor it, but all it needed was a comment on the main threads once per week or so to really show that they are monitoring these ideas. In general, I've seen a lot of technical people on this forum who have given their time to come up with well-reasoned suggestions. To not even send a reply once a week is really not good for customer relations.

    Personally, I'd much rather a developer spend 15 minutes on here per week than a dedicated CS representative who provides generic answers 24/7.

    @Jurian It's not a knock on Tado, I've had Tado in every room for a couple of years now and it's been rock solid, and I personally like the way it is positioned compared to Netatmo, Nest, Evohome etc. It seems your priorities are stability, reliability, "just working" with minimal interaction from the user and simple but beautiful design.

    I like these things, and don't think you should add silly features for the sake of it. But actually most of the highly-voted feature requests on this forum are regarding actual issues people are having.

  • @Will Thank you for your feedback.

    Even though this topic of a local schedule is big on this forum, please keep in mind that the forum is mostly used by a very specific subset of "power users". We have a complete overview of all tado homes and all tado users, the vast majority of our customers have never visited our community forum. Also keep in mind that even on the community forum for other languages, this whole topic of a local schedule is not as popular and tado sells to many European countries.


    About your feedback on having the local schedule on the bridge and on the devices, this would even increase the development cost by many factors.


    Good feedback about not mentioning the requirement of a stable internet connection. I think it was there on a previous version of the tado website but it might not have been ported to the new one. I will forward this to our marketing team.

  • @Jurian I for one, am very grateful that you are now regularly giving feedback on here - many thanks!
    It is great to get feedback from tado - even if it is not always the answer some people want to hear ;-)
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ ✭✭✭

    @Jurian I would also like to thank you for reconnecting with us users here. As a software engineer for over 40 years and a product manager for the past 10 years I can say for sure that the best way to keep customers engaged and 'positive' is to engage in a constructive dialogue with them and, as far as is reasonable, share product plans, development priorities etc. as you have now started doing. Even if the answers you give are not always what everyone wants to hear, it is much better than no communication and at least we then have an understanding of the thinking within Tado.

    As someone who has in the past suffered somewhat from connectivity reliability issues, both within my home amongst my Tado devices and for the cloud service (despite my internet connection being extremely stable) I can say that recently (some months now) I have not had any such problems. Perhaps some of the work you mention regarding these areas has already been rolled out?

    I am also a big HomeKit user but I can say that I do not generally use HomeKit at all for my Tado devices. Why? Because the Tado app and functionality is far richer and more powerful than what is available via HomeKit. In particular, scheduling via HomeKit is extremely primitive. However I do think that having HomeKit integration is vital and it can be a useful fallback in the event of a prolonged Internet (or cloud service) outage.

    So thank you again and please keep up the good work both in development and communication.

  • adamgp
    adamgp
    edited March 2021

    Sad to hear this (assumed) basic feature isn't supported and has completely put me off investing in Tado. For a system marketed around reducing heating costs and saving money this is a clear flaw that should have been catered for during inception.

  • Living in a rural area where my ADSL goes down frequently, and my internet bridge goes down even more often after purchasing it 4 moths ago... this is bad news for me.

    Even tado email support is non helpful, Santana never gives a proper answer and Laura just told me that if I don't have administrator access to my ISP provided ADSL router, my problems wont go away. I wish that was stated on the website before buying the kit.


    So, no planned feature to fix the dumb smart schedule, 1 because it's too complicated for upcoming tado v4, and because other language forums don't ask for it. Guess what, english is not my first language but I posted here because it's the most active forum.

  • XVG
    XVG
    edited March 2021

    @what_a_tado nah, email support said it's just 1 month warranty. I guess it's my fault for buying it before winter season.

  • Ditsy
    Ditsy ✭✭✭

    You don't even need Internet instability for this to be a huge issue. Once again this week we woke up to a cold house. There is zero indication that we lost Internet, so I'm left wondering whether the Tado kit just isn't fit for purpose, or the Tado service perhaps went down? Either way, why does it fail to gracefully recover? Why does it work for many weeks, then spectacularly fail?

  • Hi @Ditsy,

    Shortly after installing Tivo in my house (including a dozen SRT's) I had an instance of overnight heat failure with no warning. In my case it turned out to be as a resullt of the boiler locking out on low flow because the lockshield valve on my single bypass rad was not open enough.

    Do agree howver that the current Tado backup situation is not ideal. Seems that the majority of smart controls are on the Tado servers and that this is not likely to change any time soon. Possibly one generic solution is 4G broadband backup. BT do it - at a cost. Not sure if there are any other more cost effective ways to cover temporary loss of broadband...

  • Ditsy
    Ditsy ✭✭✭

    I'm not convinced the issues I'm seeing are Internet access failure. We have a fast Virgin Media connection that rarely fails, but if it does, everything else in the house recovers, so there is no excuse for Tado kit not to. I can't justify the costs to switch out the modem for one that does failover, plus an additional Internet service when it's simply not clear that this will resolve the issue. If the Tado system loses connection to the servers, be that through loss of Internet, or as it seems here for other reasons, it needs to have a robust coping mechanism in place which is just doesn't seem to have at the moment.

  • johnbur
    johnbur ✭✭✭

    @Ditsy You are correct, it is usually not an internet issue - many people throughout these forums have found that the bridge will lose its connection and not reconnect unless it is power cycled - not much use when it happens in the middle of the night and you wake up to a cold house.

    I have already raised a suggestion to improve it here:

    https://community.tado.com/en-gb/discussion/7025/improve-internet-bridge-so-it-reconnects-automatically#latest

  • To follow up on @Jurian's post on Feb 11th replying to @johnbur, while the Tado bridge may well have the HomeKit chip in it, this doesn't stop non-Apple devices controlling it via HomeKit. As @Qwerty2k has mentioned, Home Assistant can connect locally to the bridge via HomeKit, as can any Python script using the homekit_python module.

    Home Assistant can be installed on a Raspberry Pi and made to control Tado locally. What would be nice to see is that component developed to allow Home Assistant to let Tado function normally, but step in when internet is disconnected and/or it discovers that Tado has missed a scheduled change.

  • Good Idea, I have voted for it 😀

  • RetsimLegin
    edited April 2021

    The Android/iOS app (or a web browser/PC) is used to create Smart Programs (i.e. on/off scheduling of Hot Water and temperature scheduling for heating) and requires internet access before it will work. I understand (not, yet, from experience) that if the internet connection to the Internet Bridge is lost, all of this will cease to work and the system will simply continue in whatever state it was in at the moment the connection dropped.

    It seems to me that this total reliance on the Internet (and Tado's server) isn't necessary; indeed the only routine function that by its nature is web dependent is remote control away from the home. Since all the equipment is co-located inside the premises at other times, it seems to me that all communication could and should be kept local.

    My Android device connects to my router by WiFi; my PC connects to my router by WiFi; the Internet Bridge is hard wired to an ethernet port on the same router and has an IP address all its own.

    I propose therefore either

    1: (Preferred) That an Android or iOS device (or a PC) connected to the same router (LAN) as the Internet Bridge can communicate directly with the Bridge and thereby the system, so as to maintain control over it without needing an active web connection, and transmits Smart Program timers to the devices as required or

    2: (Less ideal) That an add-on device is developed which pairs with the Bridge (just as Thermostats and Receivers do) or connects to the router (WiFi preferably) and can similarly hold a Smart Program and communicate timers to the devices without the need for an internet connection.

    3: The Internet Bridge itself is redeveloped such that it can retain Smart Programs and continue to operate the system as long as it has power (only). And the mobile app (or an add-on programmer device; or a PC conected to the Bridge's IP via the LAN) can update these settings, again, locally.

    Parallel reference for comparison: my PC can communicate directly with my set top box via my home network and transfer contents to and from the onboard hard drive; no internet needed; just the local network.

  • Such is the way with searching forums. I did so before I posted this

    and then, only afterwards did this very thread appear in front of me. (Sorry - feel free to merge it).

    I have seen Tado's "official" position on the matter. I'm not convinced about things like "server timekeeping" and certainly not "as designed" as being showstopping. For 25 years I have had a programmable wired thermostat which held a rudimentary, two-temperature "program" set in hour chunks and for each day of the week; and a clock which kept time well enough for heating control. It doesn't need to be precise to a fraction of a second.

    Having replaced this (and the CH/HW timer switch adjacent to the boiler) with a wireless starter kit, I'm minded to put that thermostat back so I can keep it in situ as a backup, at least to stop the place over-heating. It wouldn't be that hard to add a manual bypass switch for the Tado Receiver to keep the CH side of the system "on" in conjunction with the wired 'stat to stop it getting too cold, either. Ditto the HW side.

    My view is - I shouldn't have to contemplate this. Tado's server uptime may be world class; but Tado has no influence over the local end of the connection. Routers, wired internet services and mobile (cell) connections all have their moments; as do routers/modems. My own router needs manually restarting around weekly - no use if I'm not here to do it. Too many potential points of failure. So I wholly support a local fallback as being pretty much essential, and my above post throws some suggestions to that effect.

  • ...and, as if to prove my (and others') point, this morning I woke to an unheated house and the app showing no remote access. Restarted the router and up it all came. Single point of failure.

    Maybe I'll put the router on a power timeswitch that restarts it daily in the small hours. But again - why?

  • I had the same issue until I gave the bridge a fixed IP address in router never had the problem since
  • and in the next refresh please add thread support

  • I have already done so

  • I agree. It seems remarkable that the whole system is floored by a loss of the internet and becomes totally dumb. I seem to think I have read that the reasons for this is that the timing functions are handled by the server which keeps the device hardware and firmware much more straightforward and hence cheaper and less complicated. I can understand why some things would be lost by not being able to phone home (such as geofencing) but surely, when an app (phone etc) is on the local network, it should be possible, in my view, to make it provide a better degree of continuity until the internet connection is restored.