The core of LiVo’s creative features is the ability to provide fully customizable user interfaces for your smart home accessories. Before digging into the deeps of the WYSIWYG panel editor let’s first provide some general information about the different kinds of panels, widgets and their customizability.
Dynamic versus Custom Panels
As mentioned before, LiVo provides a (nearly) zero configuration feature, to provide a predefined, yet customizable user interface for your smart home accessories. Based on the previously defined Apple’s HomeKit homes and rooms or in openHAB sitemaps, “Dynamic Panels” provides a user interface which is automatically built out of an existing home and accessories configurations.
A “Dynamic Panel” shows a navigation sidebar containing all rooms defined in the corresponding home as well as the action sets defined. Once a room is selected, LiVo automatically builds a widget set addressing all services related to the selected room. This view is automatically generated out room / accessory structure previously defined within the accessory management view.
For openHAB accessories, this information is built out of the sitemap definition.
Dynamic panels can be customized by assigning a stylesheet, hiding or showing rooms and widgets and by re-ordering rooms and widgets within the corresponding sections.
Other than dynamic panels, custom panels do not provide a predefined navigation structure. Widgets can be placed anywhere on custom panels which makes them quite flexible, yet the responsiveness to different device sizes and orientations is reduced to the capabilities of the floating layout (if selected within the panel settings view).
As dynamic panels are well suited for the typical mobile use, where you could often change the device orientation and may be even the size (with the new side-by-side multitasking features of iOS9), custom panels sticks to their size and widget arrangement and so they may be better suited for static applications (for example a wall or stand mounted iPad).
For your first steps with LiVo, we would suggest to start with a dynamic panel. It is very easy to configure and to use and it has an immediate benefit as you can start right over using your smart home accessories with LiVo without putting too much configuration effort in it. Once you are familiar with the concepts you could start providing your first customized stylesheet and go on creating your own individual smart home user experience.
Tap on the Panel tile in the main menu and select a previously created home. If you already created some panels, the detail view on the right will show a list of panel thumbnails.
Tap on the + symbol either on the menu bar or within the collection to add a new panel. Panels are alway created out of an existing template, very similar to the well known office apps.
Create an empty dynamic or custom panel by tapping on the corresponding template. Just select the “Dynamic Panel” template if you want to create a dynamic panel.
Within the panel collection view, you can tap on the panel name to change it. Tap on the “Return” key to save the new panel name once you have changed it.
Saving panels as templates
Within the panel editor you will also be able to save a complete panel as a template. These templates will be stored within the “User Defined” templates section. You can select this section by tapping on the corresponding toggle on the top of the templates collection.
With templates you will be able to reuse standardized panels or to create templates for a consistent navigation. To save a panel as template go to the panel settings and select “Save as template…”. The name of the template is assigned automatically based on the name of the panel it is created from.
When creating a new panel, the panel template collection is opened. For user defined templates you can change the name of a template by tapping on the name field below the thumbnail. To delete a user defined template tap and hold until a popup menu appears. Tap on „Cut“ to delete the panel template.
The panel is continuously saved in the background so that you can interrupt your work at any time without loosing any changes. Once you leave the panel editor (for example by tapping on the home button) a preview of the panel is automatically generated in order to better recognize the panel in the home panel overview.
Other panel management functions
To copy, delete, export or import panels you will have to navigate to the panel overview . Here you can activate the selection mode („Select“ button in the menu bar on top) of the panel collection and select the panels you would like to export, duplicate or delete. To edit a panel make sure that the selection mode is not activated (Either the „Select“ button shows on the menu bar or tap on the „Done“ button to stop editing mode), then tap on the desired panel to edit it. You may have to change to editing mode in the panel selector.You can transfer panels between different devices by exporting and sending them via email to another device. Make sure, you have configured and assigned your accessories to the right home on the other devices. LiVo tries to re-assign all available characteristics to the corresponding widgets on the device where the panel is imported into. Therefore it looks automatically for accessories and services on the other device and recognizes them by their unique identifier if available.