Toughen for HomeKit and Thread render this water valve smarter than most, but Android users are left excessive and dry.

eve aqua lifestyle 03

Eve Systems

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By formula of desirable watering timers designed for garden hose or drip irrigation—the put “desirable” is defined as “connected to the online”—the pickings are luminous slim. There’s the Orbit B-Hyve Trim Hose Water Timer; the Melnor RainCloud Trim Water Timer, which we web now got yet to evaluation; and the Eve Aqua, which we’re reviewing right here.

The Eve Aqua is doubly rare for now no longer most efficient being in Apple’s HomeKit desirable house ecosystem but for also supporting the low-energy wireless desirable house fashioned Thread. However you’ll want an iPhone or an iPad to make utilize of it, plus a HomePod, an Apple TV, or (all once more) an iPad in case it is doubtless you’ll per chance admire to manipulate it whereas you’re away from house. The assorted is to make utilize of Bluetooth and withhold watch over the instrument most efficient within the neighborhood.

This evaluation is half of TechHive’s protection of the most efficient desirable sprinkler controller methods, the put you’ll safe experiences of the competition’s offerings, plus a purchaser’s handbook to the aspects it is doubtless you’ll per chance web to light take into story when buying for this sort of product.

The instrument’s producer, Eve Systems, prides itself on its user privacy protections, so there’s no product registration required to open a product guarantee, no cloud products and services to enroll in for, and all communications are between your iOS instrument and your HomeKit hub with stop-to-stop encryption. However that dependence on Apple products reach Android users can not utilize any of Eve’s products, including this one. The Eve Aqua also would no longer strengthen Alexa or Google Assistant, so you’ll must count on Siri in case you select to manipulate the desirable valve with direct instructions.

eve aqua hose connector Michael Brown / IDG

The Eve Aqua is designed for set up between your exterior spigot and your garden hose.

Organising the Eve Aqua

The Eve Aqua is a cuboid instrument measuring 3.74 x 3.23 x 3.25 inches (WxHxD), now no longer including the threaded hose connections. It operates on 2 AA batteries, which near within the sphere along with a plastic like a flash-join hose attachment in case you web the matching connector to your hose. You’ll must program watering instances within the Eve app, but there’s also a energy button on its face that might open its valve when pressed and shut it when pushed a 2d time. That it is doubtless you’ll put a default shut-off time within the Eve app, and likewise you’ll safe a shrimp bit one lock there that disables the button in case you difficulty mischief-makers.

The Eve Aqua person manual suggests you set up the batteries, mount the desirable valve to your spigot, and then join it to your smartphone by potential of Bluetooth. After doing it that formula, I would suggest the easier reach would maybe per chance be to set up the batteries, join it to your smartphone by potential of Bluetooth, let it safe two sequential firmware updates (the 2d of which is in a position to suggested its onboard Thread radio), and most efficient then mount it to your spigot. I did this with a 2d evaluation unit that Eve sent, but wasn’t in a position to total the final step because I learned they’d inadvertently sent me a European model which has diverse hose threads.

eve aqua with quick release Michael Brown / IDG

Eve involves a brief-join hose fitting within the sphere, but you’ll must create the matching connector that suits to your garden hose.

You’ll also must lift care when installing the batteries, which involves urgent on one facet of the cube to push all the face of the valve up. Now not incandescent how the compartment opened, my inclination modified into once to grip the valve with my fingers on its face, which supposed I modified into once combating with myself to web it opened, for the rationale that face pops out. After I moved my fingers away from that put, the compartment slid up with such force that it popped exclusively out and modified into once dangling by the wires that join the valve to the button. Fortunately, there’s sufficient slack in these wires that they didn’t prick free from their soldered connections at either stop.

The Eve app

Eve Systems has a single app for all its desirable house products, which is fabulous because or now no longer it is going to be valuable to learn factual one person interface for all the pieces. It’s also complex, for the rationale that app will get populated by every diverse HomeKit instrument you web build in. That left me with higher than two dozen squares to navigate within the app’s house show veil—labeled At a Search—which appears exclusively diverse than the house show veil in Apple’s House app. Fortunately, that it is doubtless you’ll limit the units that demonstrate up right here by designating a puny quantity of them as “favorites,” and likewise that it is doubtless you’ll re-expose how they’re presented in a three-across grid.

eve aqua running Michael Brown / IDG

That it is doubtless you’ll configure the Eve app to demonstrate you all of your HomeKit units in its At a Search show veil, but that’s overkill unless you’re deploying a great deal of diverse Eve units that you just in actual fact must work on the side of diverse products.

Four icons take a seat across the bottom of the app: A house icon takes you to the At a Search show veil I factual described, a Rooms button shows which HomeKit units are assigned to every room to your individual house, an Automations button takes you to a show veil the put that it is doubtless you’ll operate those situation-based mostly actions, and a Settings icon drills down into diverse instrument configuration alternate choices.

You’ll utilize the Rooms tool to operate virtual rooms and put up your diverse HomeKit units internal them. This show veil shows your desirable house units in step with form: Energy, for things equivalent to desirable bulbs, desirable switches and dimmers, ceiling followers, and the admire; Establish, for units admire motorized window coverings; Contact, for door/window sensors; and Temperature, for desirable thermostats and any diverse temperature sensors you web got deployed.

Right here all once more, in case you seek all this records to be overwhelming, that it is doubtless you’ll limit the instrument forms which might even very properly be displayed on this glimpse, and likewise that it is doubtless you’ll arrange the expose whereby they’re listed in any formula that is like a flash-witted to you.

If truth be told, it’s now no longer no doubt an valuable to configure all your HomeKit units within the Eve app—but being an obsessive form, I on the opposite hand spent several hours organizing all the pieces in a formula that happy me. It’s doubtless you’ll per chance must total this a minimal of to your Eve units, because it is going to web things more uncomplicated whenever you happen to web to the Automations half of the app, which is a few of the spellbinding tool of all of them. That is divided into three tabs: Scenes, Timers, and Guidelines.

eve aqua battery compartment Michael Brown / IDG

The Eve Aqua runs on two AA batteries, but lift care when opening the battery compartment as its rubber seals web for a tight match.

Scenes allow you to withhold watch over extra than one HomeKit units on the same time; so, in case you had one Eve Aqua to your front yard and a 2d one to your again yard, it is doubtless you’ll per chance operate a scene that controlled both of them with a single elaborate: “Whats up Siri, water the yard.” That it is doubtless you’ll even also elaborate a default duration for the scene, so as that the valve(s) will robotically shut after an outlined duration of time elapses—wherever from 10 seconds to four hours. Even because it is doubtless you’ll per chance admire a visible reminder that you just’re running water, it is doubtless you’ll per chance even add a situation that turns a light-weight on whereas the scene is running. There doesn’t appear to be a formula, nonetheless, for the scene to turn the light off when the valve closes.

eve aqua timer Michael Brown / IDG

As you’d query of a desirable water timer, that it is doubtless you’ll operate schedules that withhold watch over when, how in most cases, and for the style long your garden or garden will be irrigated.

Even as you wished to turn the water off earlier for irrespective of motive, it is doubtless you’ll per chance either press the button or operate a 2d scene to end the valve: “Whats up Siri, stop watering the yard.” Even because it is doubtless you’ll per chance admire an irrigation match to recur on an ongoing basis, that it is doubtless you’ll operate a timer that might repeat that scene every few days or every few weeks. You put the day you’d like the valve to open and the frequency at which you’d like watering to recur. The time that the valve stays open is determined within the scene you created earlier.

The Eve app will document the last time the valve modified into once feeble, the default duration, and the estimated water consumption on a weekly and month-to-month basis. Unlike the competing Orbit B-Hyve Trim House Watering Timer, nonetheless, the Eve Aqua received’t calibrate your water float payment on its salvage.

Eve recommends as a replacement that you just manually enter a float-payment price (in gallons per minute) per your sprinkler’s documentation (the app has a default price of 4.8 gallons per minute). Even as you don’t web that records, that it is doubtless you’ll select a float meter or merely build the sprinkler in a bucket, turn the valve on for one minute, and measure how a lot water is within the bucket.  

Additionally no longer like the Orbit product, the Eve Aqua doesn’t web an computerized rain- or wind-delay feature. Orbit’s B-Hyve has a “desirable watering” feature that might enforce a 24-hour delay to prevent the instrument from watering if rain is forecast (which would rendering water needless) or solid winds are coming (which would maybe per chance raise water away from the areas you’re looking out to irrigate, or dissipate it a lot that it would maybe per chance factual evaporate) per your zip code.

eve aqua consumption report Michael Brown / IDG

The Eve app will screech you when your gardens were watered last and the plan in which a lot water you’ve consumed for irrigation capabilities, among diverse things.

Eve form of presents a piece-around for this, but it’s per Siri Shortcuts and is therefore now no longer computerized. However after I attempted it on my iPhone 12, I got the message “This shortcut can’t be opened because your Shortcuts security settings don’t allow untrusted shortcuts.” If I were to allow this untrusted shortcut, it would maybe per chance take a look at the Climate app build in on my cellphone, and if rain is forecast, Eve will terminate watering. However I would must make certain to traipse the shortcut by asserting “Whats up Siri, take a look at watering.”

The base line

Even as you’re a hardcore HomeKit person, the Eve Aqua is a good tool for keeping your landscaping inexperienced without wasting water. Its extensive privacy aspects, nonetheless, prevent it from offering some advisable aspects you’ll safe in competing products, equivalent to computerized rain and wind delays. You’ll also must manually calibrate it in case it is doubtless you’ll per chance admire factual water-utilization experiences. And whereas that it is doubtless you’ll withhold watch over it by potential of Bluetooth, its HomeKit and Thread strengthen are its most efficient aspects. However which reach you’ll need to web a HomeKit “house hub” (all once more, which reach an Apple TV, an iPad, or a HomePod mini) put up to lift full profit.

There’s also the price to take into story. Whereas it would maybe per chance be argued that the Orbit B-Hyve Trim Hose Watering Timer is much less sophisticated because it depends on Bluetooth and a Bluetooth-to-Wi-Fi bridge, and that it’s much less sensitive to your privacy because it is miles depending on a connection to Orbit’s servers within the cloud, Orbit’s product is also a lot much less costly. As of this writing, one valve bundled with the Wi-Fi bridge modified into once selling for about $56 on Amazon, and every extra desirable valve price $39. The checklist mark for the Eve Aqua is $99.95. Organising a four-zone plan (e.g., front yard, again yard, and two facet yards) would price $400 with the Eve Aqua—or about $500 whenever you happen to consist of a $99 HomePod mini within the equation—compared to factual $168 with Orbit’s answer (yes, I’m comparing avenue to checklist prices right here, however the Eve Aqua wasn’t yet accessible at retail as I modified into once scripting this).

Even as you’re of the who-can-build-a-mark-on-privacy mindset, that mark distinction couldn’t bother you. Ditto in case you suspect HomeKit is the be-all, stop-all of desirable house abilities (and I must admit, it is miles popping into luminous good). Other than those two concerns, Eve’s product isn’t necessarily superior to what the competition has to supply, and it’s very pricey when put next.

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  • The Eve Aqua is a resplendent instrument for irrigating your garden without wasting water, which is one in all our most treasured resources. However it is going to be of hobby most efficient to Apple users, it’s now no longer necessarily superior to competing products which might even very properly be unfavorable platform, and it’s very pricey.


    • Computerized desirable garden and/or garden irrigation
    • A whole lot of Eve Aquas can even even be controlled simultaneously
    • Works with either Bluetooth or HomeKit and Thread
    • Swish privacy provisions


    • Now not acceptable with Android units, Amazon Alexa, or Google Assistant
    • No computerized rain- or wind-delay feature
    • Eve app’s complexity items a finding out curve
    • Costly compared to the competition

Michael covers the desirable-house, house-entertainment, and house-networking beats, working within the desirable house he inbuilt 2007.