DemoControlHD Users Forgotten?

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Stik
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DemoControlHD Users Forgotten?

Post by Stik » Sat Dec 05, 2015 1:47 am

After visiting the Demopad website to update my DemoDesign software, I found that DemoControlHD appears to have been discontinued in favor of their new CentroControl App. This app requires the user to have the Centro hardware on the network or pay an additional $40 to use the software. Furthermore, it appears that the Demopad model may be changing to a subscription based one through their new HDL Demopad Cloud Portal.

I do not need, nor am I interested in, "Cloud storage." But it appears that if you want access to the "Pro Design" software, you are required to pay a monthly fee. I do not know the difference between the "Basic"' and "Pro" design software, but I have been frustrated with some of the limitations of the design software I have been using to this point and counting on improvement as it evolves. I am hoping this doesn't also mean we will be relegated to a second tier of design software that is no longer improving.

After spending countless hours setting up our home automation control and continuing to refine it using Demopad, I am quite concerned that I may be held hostage by Demopad demanding more money and/or changing the terms to continue using software that I have already purchased. I emailed Demopad Support with these questions yesterday, but have not yet received a response. If anyone is aware of these changes, and what they mean to us DemoControlHD users, please share what information you have.

Thanks,

Andy

asimp11
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Re: DemoControlHD Users Forgotten?

Post by asimp11 » Sat Dec 05, 2015 1:21 pm

It does seem like a big change. This must have been thought through, the problem with subscriptions also is that you tend to cancel them when not in use. I assume that it is ok to setup multiple free accounts for your clients then just pay the in app purchase fees for each project? It also says that one third party device is allowed but not if this is IP based or ports, I am assuming you can have a combination of serial and IR.

My intention is to give this a try, first with a basic cloud account and in app purchases. After all the cloud idea is great for updating projects remotely.

Tony

cdneh
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Re: DemoControlHD Users Forgotten?

Post by cdneh » Tue Dec 08, 2015 12:20 am

I share this concern.

If I am reading the Cloud page correctly, it appears that projects developed and maintained with the former Demopad tool and iOS app can be distributed as is without further charge. However, changes to a project utilizing 3d party IP devices (and not Centro) will trigger additional fees!?

Are you seriously proposing to charge paid, licensed users additional fees to modify and maintain existing projects on existing devices?

While I'm perfectly fine with your shift to a subscription revenue model, it is obscenely unreasonable to force existing paid users to pay duplicate or multiple license fees for projects deployed on licensed, pre-existing target devices.

Allow me to repeat: Obscenely. Unreasonable.

- Chris

cv27
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Re: DemoControlHD Users Forgotten?

Post by cv27 » Wed Dec 09, 2015 6:15 pm

Quite a shake up indeed. I see good things in there, but I am a bit worried because I can't fully assess the impact on my particular usage.

My understanding:
1- DemoPad Designer continues on and still free (there's the Pro version, but another story)
2- DemoControlHD iDevice app is at end of development, but still available
3- No change for existing home users, except no new features
4- CentroControl iDevice app is free if only one '3rd party device', else another 40$ hit
5- If one goes the CentroControl app route, then cloud storage is mandatory
6- Cloud storage is free if only one project, fine for most home users
7- One can still upload a project to any number of iDevices, regardless whether using DemoControlHD or CentroControl

My questions:
1- Is my understanding above correct?
2- The site mentions "... a DEVICE is not an iPad or iPhone, DEVICE means an IP control device such as Global Cache etc ..."; what is the definition of an IP control device? I've personally developed interfaces with five AV components, the Insteon hub and two HomeSeer connectors; are these IP control devices?
3- Why is the Global Cache IP2IR considered an IP control device? DemoPad provides no special interface, driver or pre-defined commands for it
4- Are devices user created as 'type IP generic device' considered IP control devices?
5- When new features are introduce that require a change to DemoPad Designer, how will it flag they're unusable for DemoControlHD uploads?

We (home users) really need DemoPad's comments on this.

starwarsmike
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Re: DemoControlHD Users Forgotten?

Post by starwarsmike » Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:43 pm

I personally don't see any issue with what DemoPad is doing, they are a business after all, they have R&D costs which need to be paid for. I have only paid £30 to date, I am sure like many others I have claimed this back in support time from DemoPad (again thank you for your help).

If I reading this correctly for £40 extra (pro version) to get additional development/functionality like Apple Watch & various others, now that's a good deal.

If I am paying a small fee periodically to keep DemoPad profitable then I have no issue, otherwise we could find DemoPad as a business is not viable, & then where would we be?!!!

Or am I missing something completely?

Mike DemoPad
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Re: DemoControlHD Users Forgotten?

Post by Mike DemoPad » Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:07 am

Unfortunately change is always great news for some and not so good for others. Everything we do is designed to enhance user experience and most of it as a direct result of requests from customers. I understand this is a big change so I will try to explain some of the reasons behind it. DEMOCONTROLHD App. The cost was high because we only made money from Apps. We continuously develop the software and provide excellent technical support. Some customers requests included: Can we have a FREE App to work with one device so we can try before they buy, we don't want to pay for graphics packs or other "In App purchases" some wanted the option to use the PRO version software even if it was at extra cost to them, professional users also have a need for secure off site project back ups ( we have had two instances of professional installers not having a disaster recovery plan and lost data) also on Pro installs there can be issues with some low tech home routers blocking local App uploads and a solution has been to upload to FTP servers to assist them. DEMOCONTROLHD should only be used if you need iPad 1 compatibility and the cost has been reduced. For everything else use the FREE Centrocontrol App - graphics and specialist drivers are now free also - if you use a Centro C or Centro 8 then the App is free no matter how many devices you have from any manufacturer. If you do not use our hardware then the Centrocontrol App is free with one device and for a one off in App purchase of US$ 40 you can use as many as you like. The basic Cloud is free and if you need tech support its easier for us to help you. If you want to pay a subscription then can do so and cancel at anytime, So to use the Pro version for a month is just US$ 8 or £ 5. After you cancel your paid subscription your project still works, go back to the free Cloud.

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Re: DemoControlHD Users Forgotten?

Post by DemoPad » Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:41 am

cv27 wrote: My understanding:
1- DemoPad Designer continues on and still free (there's the Pro version, but another story)
2- DemoControlHD iDevice app is at end of development, but still available
3- No change for existing home users, except no new features
4- CentroControl iDevice app is free if only one '3rd party device', else another 40$ hit
5- If one goes the CentroControl app route, then cloud storage is mandatory
6- Cloud storage is free if only one project, fine for most home users
7- One can still upload a project to any number of iDevices, regardless whether using DemoControlHD or CentroControl
Correct on all points except point 3 & 5 - DemoDesign will continue to be updated, but DemoControlHD app will not. And there is no requirement to have a cloud account if using CentroControl. You are required to have a cloud account in order to use the pro software (which includes the ability to save your own building blocks / auto assign commands to buttons, use 3rd party drivers, use a matrix UI wizard etc)

For further clarification:

DemoControlHD users: the app will continue to work, and you can continue making changes to your projects on all your devices. There is no requirement to use the cloud system, or pay any fees.

The CentroControl app is recommended for new DemoPad projects, or any users who wish to take advantage of new features going forward which were never available in DemoControlHD, eg Apple Watch support. This app is free if using our hardware, and/or a single IP device. An IP device is defined as one of the devices in the tree view of DemoDesign - ie something which has an IP address that you send commands to. If you have multiple devices in your project, and are not using our hardware, then an in app purchase is required.

Separately, there is now a free cloud system which stores backups of your project(s) and allows for easy remote deployment using a QR code if using CentroControl. Use of our pro software requires that you upgrade to a paid cloud subscription.

asimp11
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Re: DemoControlHD Users Forgotten?

Post by asimp11 » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:45 pm

I see where my problem was. I was using and apdapting old projects for new jobs, these tree listed multible IP devices which I had long since dead ended (killed the pages of) were qualifying additional purchase fees. So of course it asked me for in App purchase costs, not knowing that i was being lazy, not wanting to delete commands to inactive devices and restart my graphics from scratch. Why should I care anyway, my clients are the ones that pay for the App on there itunes accounts (90% of the time anyway if they remember their passwords).

I think the thing here is to keep the changes and instructions very precise and very simple.

AKWillows
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Re: DemoControlHD Users Forgotten?

Post by AKWillows » Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:26 pm

Have emailed support for a bit more detail, but in the meantime, my main concern is another £30 in app-purchase.

I am a home user who uses Demopad to control almost all of my lighting and audio/visual equipment. I had previously bought the better graphics sets as an in-app purchase. Because my partner also uses the app, I had to make this purchase twice as Apple family sharing does not allow the sharing of in-app purchases. I am now faced with needing to make the in-app purchase of £30 again TWICE as I control more than one IP device. This is to use the same project in the same house, but just on two different Apple accounts. If the app itself was priced at £30, I could use Apple home sharing for this one off cost - it just seems REALLY expensive to continue using Demopad.

I understand I could "stick" with the existing DemoControl app but I feel this is very soon going to reach end of life as it won't allow the use of any enhancements in the design software.

Don't get me wrong, I've had really good support from Demopad and don't mind paying, but £60 again on top of the previous payments... it just leaves a nasty taste in my mouth. :cry:

Mike DemoPad
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Re: DemoControlHD Users Forgotten?

Post by Mike DemoPad » Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:00 pm

Thank you for letting us know your concerns. Obviously any unhappy customer is one too many but finding a model that suits everyone is very difficult. The recent changes were made after a long series of requests and consultations and the overall effect is to improve the solution and lower the cost of using Demopad software.
The DemocontrolHD App has support for iPAD 1 and later Apple software features are not backwardly compatible with all models, so we have to change to a new App to accommodate newer Apple technology. Over time more older iPad and iPhone models will cease being able to support new features but this is beyond our control.
The Centro App is free and the InApp purchases are also now free, as requested by users. To sustain this we make money on our hardware, where we do not receive any hardware revenue we have to make a small charge. Support continues to be free and user feed back is that the service continues to be rated excellent. But no surprise it costs us a lot of money to provide it.
The Cloud service is not the start of some new revenue generation initiative - its free and optional not compulsory, it provides a more convenient way for you to deploy a project - with QR codes and update / back up storage in the Cloud. Also if you have a tech issue and allow our team access, they can quickly look at your file and resolve issues without a lot of question and answer time.
Also for the first time the Pro version is open to everyone. Previously our Professional users paid over US$ 500 per year for access to the Pro software, technical support and assistance so at US$ 15 a month its a massive cost reduction and now there's the option to use it for just US$ 8 a month. You can cancel at any time and your project will still work afterwards. Compare this to the cost of using some other systems and you will find it very affordable. I can assure you no one is being forgotten, but if we follow your logic we should provide free tech support and free upgrades and free new features for life. That really is a challenge.
Mike Cain CEO DemoPad

AKWillows
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Re: DemoControlHD Users Forgotten?

Post by AKWillows » Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:18 pm

member_236 wrote:Thank you for letting us know your concerns. Obviously any unhappy customer is one too many but finding a model that suits everyone is very difficult. The recent changes were made after a long series of requests and consultations and the overall effect is to improve the solution and lower the cost of using Demopad software.
The DemocontrolHD App has support for iPAD 1 and later Apple software features are not backwardly compatible with all models, so we have to change to a new App to accommodate newer Apple technology. Over time more older iPad and iPhone models will cease being able to support new features but this is beyond our control.
The Centro App is free and the InApp purchases are also now free, as requested by users. To sustain this we make money on our hardware, where we do not receive any hardware revenue we have to make a small charge. Support continues to be free and user feed back is that the service continues to be rated excellent. But no surprise it costs us a lot of money to provide it.
The Cloud service is not the start of some new revenue generation initiative - its free and optional not compulsory, it provides a more convenient way for you to deploy a project - with QR codes and update / back up storage in the Cloud. Also if you have a tech issue and allow our team access, they can quickly look at your file and resolve issues without a lot of question and answer time.
Also for the first time the Pro version is open to everyone. Previously our Professional users paid over US$ 500 per year for access to the Pro software, technical support and assistance so at US$ 15 a month its a massive cost reduction and now there's the option to use it for just US$ 8 a month. You can cancel at any time and your project will still work afterwards. Compare this to the cost of using some other systems and you will find it very affordable. I can assure you no one is being forgotten, but if we follow your logic we should provide free tech support and free upgrades and free new features for life. That really is a challenge.
Mike Cain CEO DemoPad
Hi Mike - thank you very much for your response. I love the product and absolutely want you to have a viable business that can continue to evolve as technology moves on, and to provide the income you deserve. As you say, your product and support are excellent. I did just want to query one thing in your response and that is
The Centro App is free and the InApp purchases are also now free, as requested by users.
. From what I can see, the in-app purchase to control more than one IP device is still £29.99. It's this bit that I find difficult. As my family uses two different Apple accounts (as most families probably do), even though they are linked via Family Sharing, I will need to pay for the in-app purchase twice to use my project on both of our phones/ipads in the same household. Is there no way a demo version of the app could have been offered with control for 1 IP device and then a "full" version at £29.99 which would then have allowed Apple Family Sharing across all devices in the household for one payment. In families where there are more than two people, this could get prohibitively expensive!!

Also, you mention it's free if you own a Centro device... any news on the proposed Centro M timescale? Is it still likely to happen?

Thanks - and appreciate your responses so far.

cv27
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Re: DemoControlHD Users Forgotten?

Post by cv27 » Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:31 pm

Centro-M future also on my query list

Croftman
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Re: DemoControlHD Users Forgotten?

Post by Croftman » Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:19 pm

I read this post a few weeks ago and I must admit I felt gutted. I didn't want to respond in an off the cuff way, but I have to say after a period of time I still feel gutted. I am a two iPad, two person household that has been using Demopad since 2012 for there own personal use for full control of home automation and audio purposes. I purchased The Pro graphics after some thought making Demopad the biggest single app purchase I have ever made. My estimation on the outlay and the benefits it was giving to me I was happy with the cost. I have had good support from Demopad and members of the community.
I and users like me are never going to bring big bucks to a company, we are the bread and butter users that help establish this app were it is now. We have now been left behind by a restructure that is designed for the professional installers which we will never be. None of these changes would have been requested by the small time user who has a few single IR devices and and a few single ip devices. This is to a move that is totally biased towards the big boys.
I think it is totally unfair and I feel that a lot of the people that bought into the Demopad model at the begining, would not have done so at the time if the present pricing structure had been in place at the begining.
I want to stay with it but I have to say that with no future development of DemoHD at some point there is going to be a pull to go elsewhere. I have no issue paying extra for development but not when the the development is leaving the needs of the little man behind.
I think this is such an emotive subject because to get anything worthwhile out of Demopad you have to put a lot of work in, and when you see changes for the worse being made that is quite a difficult pill to swallow.

wallee
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Re: DemoControlHD Users Forgotten?

Post by wallee » Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:34 pm

Hi,

I feel the same as the other members.
I got the following answer from support:

Hi - there is no requirement to pay again. The app you purchased, DemoControlHD, is still on the app store, and will continue to work on your devices. We are just no longer making any future updates to that app. This is to maintain compatibility with older iPad 1 devices for example - instead we have moved development to our new CentroControl app, which support iOS8 or later. There is no requirement for you to purchase this, unless you want to take advantage of new features which DemoControlHD does not include, eg Apple Watch support.

I replyed:
Hi,

What about stability updates? Is DemoControlHD is getting these in the future or are old customers now on its own?
Im still wondering why you switch to a new app? It has the same look and feel and is running on Ios9 also..
To be honest but im not sure. Is this to get again money from customer? I feel a little bit disappointed as i like the product and the good support!

--

Im very curious what they say..
This is really not nice to treat customers like this. We already payed for the professional graphics and i think this is a done to get some extra cashflow!

Walter Leemput

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Re: DemoControlHD Users Forgotten?

Post by DemoPad » Wed Jan 20, 2016 4:42 pm

wallee wrote: This is really not nice to treat customers like this. We already payed for the professional graphics and i think this is a done to get some extra cashflow!
You paid to use the professional graphics with the DemoControlHD app. You can still do this.

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