ESP-Mesh app is buggy - A note for Espressif APP Developers

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fasani
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ESP-Mesh app is buggy - A note for Espressif APP Developers

Postby fasani » Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:57 am

Dear ESP-Mesh app developers,

the Android App needs a serious update. In mobile phones it works quite acceptable apart of the fact that it "restarts" each time when it looses focus, something that is quite annoying for the users.
The Android tablet version is really buggy and at this point for me unusable:
Image

NOTE: Also the SWITCH typo on the left Menu (Not important but looks bad)
The app let's me configure the Lamp, but then when reading it, it stays forever in an endless look with "Load events..."

Also for me as a user if I want to setup a demo in a place without WiFi just using my mobile Hotspot is really annoying that it forces you to select the WiFi where your current device is connected to:
Image

That should be a "suggestion" but not a requirement. Since I could select my own Hotspot instead of needing a second device to configure the lamp.

This should be taken care of. ESP-MDF is a really nice technology but the App is not user-friendly and it's buggy at this point. And that is a pity because it has a lot of potential.
Also the Button example at this time is unusable and too much complicated to start with. I've one of the white plastic buttons and I could never configure it. It's just unusable and not well designed IMHO. I also tried to compile the button in an ESP-WROOVER but could not do anything useful with it. It just lacks the right documentation to start anything with it.
It's simply like the developers did the example from themselves without thinking that someone else could find it useful.

This things should change and be redesigned so developers can use it wihout needing to be a NASA scientific to set it up. And also our clients, that don't necessarily have to be Tech-experts, could do something useful and control their IoT devices with it.
That's the only way this will be better adopted in the future. Otherwise it will remain something for Tech-Nerds but it won't have the potential to conquer the real end users.

I tried to send also an email with this suggestion to espressif developers but I still didn't have a reply.
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ESP_LBB
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Re: ESP-Mesh app is buggy - A note for Espressif APP Developers

Postby ESP_LBB » Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:43 am

Hi fasani,

Thanks for your support for MDF and feedbacks about the App.

Here are some comments from our team:
By saying "it "restarts" each time when it looses focus",does it mean after you swich the App to run in the backgroud, each time it needs to restart totally when you open it again? If this, there is nothing we can do, this depends on the smartphone and its policy to kill the App. If not, hope you can describe more so we can be in the same page.

The version for Android tablet, we've made some bugfix and are testing it. Really thank you for pointing out. We will update it on the website when it's finished.

For the current light demo, we need the router to forward the message, for discovering or controlling, so we forced the App to use the system's Wi-Fi info, to ensure that the App is in the same Wi-Fi condition as the devices. We will consider your situation and see how we can design this.

For the button, as we designed it as an ultra low power device, we need to connect it with USB power supply if you want to configure it, and there should be mesh network first, as the button can't become a root. Here is a simple video for this: http://demo.iot.espressif.cn:8887/cmp/d ... n_Demo.mp4

Your suggestions are really appreciated, and we will reflect how we can make things more proper and user friendly.

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Re: ESP-Mesh app is buggy - A note for Espressif APP Developers

Postby fasani » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:51 pm

Thanks you very much this makes me very happy since I'm planning to use always the Esp-Mesh app instead of installing a WiFi Manager.
By saying "it "restarts" each time when it looses focus",does it mean after you swich the App to run in the backgroud, each time it needs to restart totally when you open it again?
Yes exacly. It comes back the intro screen and so on. At least would be cool to show the info screen only first time and reduce somehow the restarting time. There is no app setting for this in Android to avoid full restart (Browser sometimes sometime keeps state) If there is not at least should remember what things where configured to allow a faster start up time
The version for Android tablet, we've made some bugfix and are testing it. Really thank you for pointing out. We will update it on the website when it's finished.
Thank you very much if you need so, I will send my exact Android version and device Model (Samsung 9" Tablet) I don't have much time since I work as a Web-Developer but I least I could activate Developer extension and send you some more logs if that is needed.
For the current light demo, we need the router to forward the message, for discovering or controlling, so we forced the App to use the system's Wi-Fi info, to ensure that the App is in the same Wi-Fi condition as the devices.
That's technically OK. But I can prove with screenshots that even that my mobile has no WiFi Open and only a mobile Hotspot, I can control the light. I will add some screenshots here:
Image
Note: That I do not have WiFi activated at all (I set this up from the Samsung Tablet)

Image
Image My selbst-made RGB Light

So it's technically possible to control a light only from one Mobile Hotspot. If it's not possible to set it up from this only one device it's only because the Frontend App does not allow a free textarea to define any WiFi I want.
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ESP_LBB
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Re: ESP-Mesh app is buggy - A note for Espressif APP Developers

Postby ESP_LBB » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:49 pm

Yes exacly. It comes back the intro screen and so on.
Understood, I will talk with my team to see how to avoid this.

It's OK you don't need to send the exact info for the tablet, we have one and reproduce the same issue successfully. Will fix this soon and have more test before our later release.

Thanks for the screenshots and descriptions, it's much more clear. After testing the smartphone at hand, here is some guess from my team:
When the App asking for the devices list, it will braodcast UDP packets, however the smartphone won't forward its own UDP packets via hotspot. So when you pull down to refresh the page, you will not be able to get the devices list. This is what we have by testing the smartphone we have.
However, when the devices is powered on or some of them are powered on or off(means that there is change of the topology), the root will broadcast its current info via UDP, somehow the smartphone can get the UDP packets, so the App can get the devices list.
As long as the App gets the devices list, it can control them as the control commands are sent via TCP. And the smartphone somehow can forward the the TCP packets.
We will take a deep research into this later and confirm the root cause. Also we will consider how to modify the App accordingly.

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Re: ESP-Mesh app is buggy - A note for Espressif APP Developers

Postby fasani » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:59 pm

Thanks a lot ESP_LBB !

If you guys are preparing a new version, could you please also add the missing translations for the following section:

User -> Statistical (All missing)
I would like to understand also, how it is the app collecting statistics ? It is persistant or the statistics are collected only on the current App session ? I mean after a new start, the old statistics are still there ? Thanks in advance!
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ESP_LBB
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Re: ESP-Mesh app is buggy - A note for Espressif APP Developers

Postby ESP_LBB » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:07 am

Hi Fasani,

This part is another function Demo that we are still developping. It's not the App collecting the information, it's the devices.

As ESP32 supports Wi-Fi and BLE, we can enbale Wi-Fi sniffer or BLE scan, to detect if there is any device(like smartphone, smartwatch) that is able to send beacon(if it enable Wi-Fi or BT). We can roughly assume that one smart device is one person(we can filter by its manufacturer). In this way we can count how many people around.
This function can be deployed in supermarket or warehouse to track people or important equipement(stick with a Wi-Fi or BLE lable).

Also this is supposed to realize indoor location function, which we are also trying.

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Re: ESP-Mesh app is buggy - A note for Espressif APP Developers

Postby fasani » Wed May 01, 2019 1:05 pm

Thanks for the update is working very stable in modern Android devices now. And I can also manually set my own device as a Mobile hotspot for a client-demo.

Now my last request in this direction will be to make an "I-phone App" upgrade since many clients complained that the App is not reliable enough. It works but it just show part of the connected devices instead of listing all of them. So it would be great to have an update in the next months.

One question I would like to ask that I could not find in the documentation is:
How is possible to discover what lamp is the root node ?
I'm trying to make an intranet App that I'm going to open in Github so you can also control the lights from any connected laptop. Now after reading the [url=https://docs.espressif.com/projects/esp ... tml}M-Link Api guide[/url] and understanding how the lights communicate I still need to understand how to query the mDns service and ask for the root.
Thanks in advance, as much I learn more about this, more interesting it gets :)
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Re: ESP-Mesh app is buggy - A note for Espressif APP Developers

Postby ESP_LBB » Sun May 05, 2019 7:19 am

Hi fasani,

Sorry for the late reply because of the vocation in China.

By "I-phone App" you mean the version for iOS ?
It works but it just show part of the connected devices instead of listing all of them.
This may be caused because we set the scan time too short. We've updated a version lately, could you please update and try again ? Also we've released the source code for this version too, so you can modify or create your own app based on this:https://github.com/EspressifApp/EspMeshForiOS
How is possible to discover what lamp is the root node ?
In the current version, only the root will start the mDNS service with its own info inclueded.

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Re: ESP-Mesh app is buggy - A note for Espressif APP Developers

Postby fasani » Mon May 06, 2019 9:10 pm

Sure, will try to install the new app and give you guys feedback. Thanks for making it open source!

Great then I can just query the Root node making requests to http://esp32_mesh.local
I would like todo a very simple intranet so I can leave it running in a raspberry pi or similar and then I can also control the lamp from any computer in the home network. If it’s usable I will push it to a GitHub repository too.
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