Igor Kromin |   Consultant. Coder. Blogger. Tinkerer. Gamer.

This is part two of the Parrot Flower Power review. In the first part of the review I talked about the actual device itself, in this review I am going to concentrate on the software that makes it all come together. The app will only run on iOS for now, there is an Android version in development, but it's not ready yet. There are limitations on which device it will run on too, you will need one of iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad 3, iPad mini, iPod touch 5th generation or later iDevices.

I did my review on an iPhone 5 and overall I found the software easy to use, however there are some issues with synchronisation, both with the device and with the cloud. The cloud sync is needed for the processing of results, so there is no escaping that.

The first thing you see is a nice greeting screen, it's quick to load and doesn't get in the way. You have to register for an account to do anything useful, the app takes care of that, then once you're registered, you can go ahead and add the Flower Power to your list of devices. There is nothing special to do, the software will find the Flower Power by itself.

IMG_1709.PNG IMG_1656.PNG IMG_1657.PNG

It took some time to establish a connection to the device, but once it did, things were rolling ok. This issue came up a few times. Once the flower power is set up and you are on the device screen, the busy indicator icon is rolling, but no Bluetooth activity is going on, it took me several attempts to get connectivity to happen here.

When a new Flower Power is set up, there is no plant being monitored, this essentially makes it a live-monitor only and pretty much useless, so you have to set up a plant to monitor. Something I didn't do at first was tell it what the plant was, which also seemed to restrict the what the software did. Only after I told it what the plant was that the app started to 'monitor' it.

Adding the plant is easy, just tap the New Plant button. You can take a photo of the plant itself, give it a nickname, tell the app how its' planted, etc. Once that's done, the plant will appear in the My Garden tab.

IMG_1658.PNG IMG_1660.PNG IMG_1666.PNG

Something I thought was really cool and unexpected was the app detected a firmware update for the device itself and was able to update it view Bluetooth. I'm always hesitant with firmware upgrades, but went ahead anyway, the new version was downloaded and then sent to the device, which then restarted and was working without issues.

IMG_1662.PNG IMG_1663.PNG IMG_1664.PNG

When connected to the device, the software is quite easy to use, there are four options, water, fertiliser, temperature and sunlight. Each one presents a graph that can be scaled from Live, to 1 day and all the way up to 1 year. The fertiliser option is not available in live mode because it relies on cloud processing to have been done.

IMG_1665.PNG IMG_1668.PNG IMG_1670.PNG

The most useful part of the app is the ability to monitor the plant over time of course. There is a caveat here, you can't add your plant and access this feature immediately. You have to wait 24 hours for results to be collected and sent to the cloud to be processed. A minor inconvenience, especially if you are impatient like me. Oh well, 24 hours later...the message telling me that I have to wait changed to a message telling me that I had to be connected to my network, which I was. I tried closing the app down a few times, even restated my iPhone, no luck. I left the app alone for a few hours at this point and it just started working by itself eventually. You also have to be within range of the device to check it.

IMG_1672.PNG IMG_1683.PNG IMG_1684.PNG

Now when I finally managed to synchronise with the cloud, this is what happened...a bunch of alerts! This was not unexpected because I've replanted all of my chillies a couple of days before and the soil has not stabilised yet. The alerts appear in the plant monitoring screen in either red or yellow, depending on how severe it is. Each alert is also shown in the To Do list.

IMG_1692.PNG IMG_1693.PNG IMG_1694.PNG

You can ignore alerts and access previous alerts in the To Do list, which is a handy feature I think.

This app is quite good for what it aims to do, despite some of the connectivity issues, the app is easy to use and provides the information that the device measures. The Plant DB has large amount of plants to choose from too.

The only thing I would love to have different about Flower Power is WiFi sync ability, not just Bluetooth. This is because I am on the road during the week and am not within physical limits of the device, so a WiFi sync would mean that I could actually monitor the progress of my plants when I am away from them.

Overall, I would recommend this gadget!


Have comments or feedback on what I wrote? Please share them below! Found this useful? Consider sending me a small tip.
comments powered by Disqus
Other posts you may like...
Hi! You can search my blog here ⤵
Or browse the recent top tags...

Recent Blog Posts

How to fix Google Cloud SDK dev server error - No module named ipaddr

Adorable but totally metal - Metal Earth 3D Guardians of the Galaxy Groot model kit

Riverside Expressway Cam shut down permanently

Inserting Google DFP ads with Backbone, Underscore and jQuery

How to resolve the domain is already mapped to a project error in Google App Engine

A quick look at the Nyko Super MiniBoss wireless controllers for the SNES mini

Loading and displaying a collection from bootstrapped data in Backbone.js

Add this handy function to your Bash profile file to display the compiled JDK version for a .class file

How does PCBWay stack up as a low budget PCB fab

Resolving the Cannot reference X before supertype constructor is called compiler error in Java

Recent Galleries

BMB-012 Nanoblock T-Rex Skeleton Model assembly

Tiny Arcade revision 6 kit assembly and decal application

Atari Lynx repair - Part 5 - McWill LED screen mod installation

Atari Lynx repair - Part 4 - screen cover replacement

Atari Lynx repair - Part 2 - re-capping the motherboard

Atari Lynx repair - Part 3 - broken speaker replacement

Atari Lynx repair - Part 1 - introduction and case disassembly

Building a custom Atari Lynx game box storage shelf unit in a day

Protecting old Atari Lynx game boxes with snug fit plastic sleeves

Monument Valley 2 is released and does not disappoint

Blogs and Friends

Matt Moores Blog
Georgi's FlatPress Guide
Perplexing Permutations
The Security Sleuth
Ilia Rogatchevski
Travelling Fairy

Blog Activity

Blog Activity