Chapter 5. Organising your Devices

The SwitchThat philosophy is to let you organise your devices your way. You can easily create rooms to mirror the layout of your own home, and place your devices in their respective rooms. You can filter the Home screen or the current room to quickly find specific devices. You can also create custom Shortcuts to provide persistent and instant access to groups of devices according to different criteria.

5.1. Rooms

Rather than having all of your devices in the Home screen, you can organise them into rooms. Rooms can mirror the physical rooms in your home, or can simply be a convenient way to group devices together.

You can also add controls to a room, allowing you to control the devices in that room collectively.

5.1.1. Adding a Room

On the Home screen, tap New Room, found in the right-hand side control panel on larger tablets or by tapping the Customise button on the left hand side of the footer toolbar on phones or smaller tablets.

You will be prompted to give the new room a name. Enter a name and tap OK to continue.

The new room will be created, and you will be taken to the Configure page for this room where you can:

  • Change the image used for this room in the Home screen
  • Rename the room
  • Choose which devices should be in this room
  • Add some controls to the room
  • Remove the room

Each of these topics is discussed later in this section, but first of all, let’s take a look at the new room.

Return to the Home screen by either tapping Home in the titlebar, or the SwitchThat logo at the top left. You can find your new room at the end of the tiles. Tap on the room’s name to open the room. The room is still empty, so you’ll see a message suggesting that you configure the room to add some devices.

Tap the Configure button to return to the Configure screen for this room.

Configuring a Room

Configuring a Room


5.1.2. Adding Devices to a Room

When first created, a room is empty, so you’ll almost certainly want to add some devices:

  1. Find the Device in this room section, tap Add devices and a list of all the available devices will appear.
  2. Check the box next to each device that should be moved to this room.
  3. Tap Update to finish.

Adding devices to Room

Adding devices to Room


The display will change to show the devices that are now in this room. You can change this list of devices by tapping Change these devices and following the same process. Note that:

  • If you select a device that is already inside another room, that device will be moved into the new room.

  • If you un-select a device then that device will be removed from the room and returned to the Home screen.

Now that you’ve moved some devices into your room, let’s view it again. You can switch between viewing the contents of a room and the configure screen for that room easily by tapping either the View or Configure buttons found in the right-hand side control panel on larger tablets or on the left hand side of the footer toolbar on phones or smaller tablets.

Tap the View button to view the room contents. You should now see the devices that you added to the room.

5.1.3. Change the Image Used for this Room

Rooms appear as tiles in the Home screen and, as with device tiles, they have an image to represent them.

A new room is given the image of a folder by default. This image can be changed to better illustrate the type of room, e.g. a TV for the lounge, a desk for the office or a bed for the bedroom. Make sure you are on the Configure screen for the room and then:

  1. Find the Details section, tap Change room image and a list of alternative room images will appear.
  2. Tap on your preferred image to select it for this room.

Changing a Room Image

Changing a Room Image


5.1.4. Rename a Room

A room can easily be renamed if required. Make sure you are on the Configure screen for the room and then:

  1. Find the Details section and tap on the Rename button, next to the room name.
  2. Enter the new name in the box and tap Save

5.1.5. Adding Controls to a Room

You can add controls to a room, which enables you to control the devices in that room collectively.

For example, if you have a number of coloured lights in a room, you could add a colour control to that room, which could be used to set the colour of each light simultaneously. This will work regardless of device manufacturer – you can have coloured lights from both Philips Hue and LIFX in the same room and set the colour of all the lights using the same room colour control. Some variation in colour between light bulbs from different vendors will exist due to their differing colour capabilities.

To add controls to a room, make sure you are on the Configure screen for the room and then:

  1. Find the Controls section, tap Add controls and a list of all the available controls will appear. (If you have previously added controls to this room, the button will be labelled Change these controls)
  2. Tap on each of the controls you would like to add to the room. Tap on a control again to remove it
  3. Tap Done to finish

Adding Controls to a Room

Adding Controls to a Room


Once you’ve added controls to a room, tap View to view the room. A button labelled Show room controls will be visible below the devices. Tap this and the control(s) will appear.

Note

An important thing to consider when adding controls to a room is that a device will only work with a room control if that device has the same kind of control. For example, if you add an on/off switch to a room, only the devices that also have on/off switches will be affected when you flick the switch. Similarly, if you add a light bulb colour control to a room, changing the colour will update any compatible light bulbs but will not affect other devices.

5.1.6. Removing a Room

A room can be removed if it is no longer required. Make sure you are on the Configure screen for the room and then:

  1. Find the Actions section and tap Remove this room
  2. You’ll be asked to confirm you want to remove the room. Tap OK to continue

Any devices that were inside the room will be moved back to the Home screen.

5.2. Shortcuts

A shortcut is a way to group together a number of devices according to certain criteria. Unlike rooms, which provide a fixed organisational structure, shortcuts allow more flexible ways to find and view your devices. For example, you can create shortcuts to show:

  • All of your lights.

  • The devices that Helen uses most often.

  • The 3 corner lights that you like to turn on/off together.

5.2.1. The Shortcuts List

Shortcuts are stored in the shortcuts list. On larger displays this is found in the control panel on the right hand side of the screen. On smaller tablets and phones this is found by tapping the Shortcuts button on the right hand side of the footer toolbar.

Simply tap on a shortcut to view the devices it groups together.

Your One Hub comes with a small number of predefined shortcuts, to give you instant access to common types of device, e.g. lights or power sockets. You are free to modify or remove these shortcuts according to your needs.

Your One Hub also comes with a special shortcut, called All devices. This shortcut gives you instant access to all of your devices in a single screen. The All devices shortcut cannot be modified or removed.

5.2.2. Adding a New Shortcut

On the Home screen, tap New Shortcut, found in the right-hand side control panel on larger tablets or by tapping the Shortcuts button on the right hand side of the footer toolbar on phones or smaller tablets.

You will be prompted to give the new shortcut a name. Enter a name and tap OK to continue.

The new shortcut will be created, and you will be taken to the Configure page for this shortcut where you can:

  • Rename the shortcut.
  • Choose which devices should be in this shortcut.
  • Add some controls to the shortcut.
  • Remove the shortcut.

Each of these topics will be discussed later in this section, but first of all, let’s take a look at the new shortcut.

Return to the Home screen by either tapping the Home in the titlebar, or the SwitchThat logo at the top left. You can find your shortcut at the bottom of the list of shortcuts. Tap on the shortcut name to open the shortcut. The shortcut is still empty, so you’ll see a message suggesting that you configure the shortcut to add some devices.

Tap the Configure button to return to the configure screen for this shortcut.

5.2.3. Adding Devices to a Shortcut

When first created, a shortcut is empty, so you’ll almost certainly want to add some devices.

Find the Device in this shortcut section, tap Add devices and a number of lists will appear. You can use these lists to select what devices will appear in this shortcut:

  • Devices lets you explicitly select individual devices.
  • Devices in Room lets you include any devices that are inside a particular room.
  • Device Types lets you include all the devices of a particular type.
  • Device Categories lets you include all the devices of a particular category.

Adding Devices to a Shortcut

Adding Devices to a Shortcut


You can tick the box next to as many options as you like to select which devices want to appear in this shortcut. When you are done, tap Update to finish.

The display will change to show the devices that are now in this shortcut. You can change this list of devices by tapping Change these devices and following the same process.

There are some important things to note when selecting which devices to include in a shortcut:

  • You can mix and match between the different lists to build up the exact selection of devices you want to see in your shortcut.

  • Even if a device matches more than one of the chosen selection criteria, it will only appear once in the shortcut.

  • If you select an item from either the Device Types or Device Categories lists, your shortcut will automatically update when new matching devices are discovered (or existing devices are forgotten.) For example, a shortcut that matches the device category ‘Light’ will always show all of the lights that your One Hub knows about.

  • If you select an item from the Devices in Room list, then, if devices are subsequently added to/removed from that room, they will also be added to/removed from the shortcut.

Now that you’ve chosen some devices to be grouped in your shortcut, let’s view it again. You can switch between viewing the contents of a shortcut and the Configure screen for that shortcut easily by tapping either the View or Configure buttons found in the right-hand side control panel on larger tablets or on the left hand side of the footer toolbar on phones or smaller tablets.

Tap the View button to view the shortcut contents. You should now see the devices that you selected.

5.2.4. Making Shortcuts Private

Shortcuts are visible to all by default. However, you can also make them private so that they only appear for you and the other people who use your One Hub don’t see them. This enables the various people in your home to make their own personal collections of devices.

To make a shortcut private, make sure you are on the Configure screen for the shortcut and tick the Visible only to me box.

Note that this setting only affects the shortcut; the actual devices will still be visible to all (Owner and Standard) users.

5.2.5. Adding Controls to a Shortcut

You can add controls to a shortcut, which enables you to control the devices in that shortcut collectively.

For example, if you have a number of coloured lights in a shortcut, you could add a colour control to that shortcut, which could be used to set the colour of each light simultaneously. This will work regardless of device manufacturer – you can have coloured lights from both Philips Hue and LIFX in the same shortcut and set the colour of all the lights using the same shortcut colour control.

To add controls to a shortcut, make sure you are on the Configure screen for the shortcut and then:

  1. Find the Controls section, tap Add controls and a list of all the available controls will appear. (If you have previously added controls to this shortcut, the button will be labelled Change these controls).
  2. Tap on each of the controls you would like to add to the shortcut. Tap on a control again to remove it.
  3. Tap Done to finish.

Adding Controls to a Shortcut

Adding Controls to a Shortcut


Once you’ve added controls to a shortcut, tap View to view the shortcut. A button labelled Show shortcut controls will be visible below the devices. Tap this and the control(s) will appear.

An important thing to consider when adding controls to a shortcut is that a device will only work with a shortcut control if that device has the same kind of control. For example, if you add an on/off switch to a shortcut, only the devices that also have on/off switches will be affected when you flick the switch. Similarly, if you add a light bulb colour control to a shortcut, changing the colour will update any compatible light bulbs but will not affect other devices.

5.2.6. Removing a Shortcut

A shortcut can be removed if it is no longer required. Make sure you are on the Configure screen for the shortcut and then:

  1. Find the Actions section and tap Remove this shortcut
  2. You’ll be asked to confirm you want to remove the shortcut. Tap OK to continue.