Netatmo's Energy app

Easy to download and set up
Yes
Assistive technology compatible
Yes
Ability to customise
No
Good visual features
Yes
Easy to operate
Yes
Responsive
Yes
Easy to understand
No

Our overall accessibility score:  3.4/5

What can it control? Netatmo’s smart thermostat and radiator valves, security and smoke alarms, video cameras and sensors.

How can it be controlled? Via an Android or Apple device or web browser.

What are the download requirements? The app is free to download via the Apple store on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad (iOS version 9.0 or later) and the Google Play store on Android phones and tablets (version 4.2 or later).

Money-saving features 

  • Multi-zone control: Yes
  • Boost function: Yes
  • Program modes: Yes
  • Temperature reports: Yes
  • Geolocation: No
  • Optimisation: Yes
  • Weather forecasts: Yes
  • Weather responsive: No
  • Open-window detection: Yes

Ease-of-use features

1. Easy to download and set up

  • The download and set up of the app is extremely straightforward as it involves very few steps and provides clear instructions throughout the whole process.
  • Pairing products with the app uses a Bluetooth connection which makes the set-up a lot easier than other apps, especially for blind users.
  • You can download and trial the app before purchasing the product to see if it is accessible for you.

      Score: 5/5

2. Assistive technology compatible

  • The app works reasonably well with Apple’s VoiceOver and Android’s Talkback’s screenreader and accurately reads the labelling of most features in the correct order. Both screenreaders helpfully provide instructions on how to navigate and operate the app.

      Score: 4/5

3. Ability to customise

  • There are no options to change the colour contrast, alter text size or chose how information is displayed to you in the app’s settings.

      Score: 1/5

4. Good visual features

  • The app’s design is simple and minimal and important features and information are visible on the screen without needing to scroll.
  • The colour contrast of the screen is predominantly black with occasional orange text on a white background.
  • The target temperature is displayed in bold white text on a white background, while the current room temperature is displayed in large and bold black text on a white background.
  • A number of features (i.e. frost protection, away mode and manual boost), are displayed as symbols which are relatively clear but not labelled with text.

      Score: 4/5

5. Easy to operate

  • The app requires minimal swipes to get from one page to the next and the ‘back’ and ‘close’ button are placed at the top left-hand side of the screen making it easy to navigate back to the home-screen.
  • The current room temperature is adjusted in half degree increments by tapping on + and – symbols positioned above and below the target temperature.
  • Start and end times and temperatures for heating schedules and away mode are selected via drop-down menus.
  • A choice of four pre-configured temperature settings (e.g. comfort, night, eco) are available when setting heating schedules.

      Score: 4/5

6. Responsive

  • The app’s predictive heating (i.e. Auto-Adapt) function will use the outdoor temperature to programme when your heating will come on to reach a chosen room temperature at the time specified in your heating schedule.
  • The background of the temperature control screen will turn orange and an orange flame symbol will appear to inform the user that the boiler is on and heating is in progress.
  • The app will alert you when the batteries of your thermostat are low and when there is a problem with your heating system.

      Score: 4/5

7. Easy to understand

  • Most of the information displayed on the app’s homescreen is easily understood. However, features that are displayed as symbols (e.g. frost protection, away mode and manual boost) could be more easily recognised if they were labelled with text.
  • Features in the app’s settings (e.g. manage my home, heating schedule and operating mode) are quite complex and difficult to make sense of.

      Score: 2/5

Is there anything I should watch out for?

  • We would strongly advise downloading the app and trialling it before purchasing the product to check if it is accessible for you.
  • A number of features (e.g. heating schedules, program modes) need to be accessed via the app’s settings rather than the temperature-control screen and are difficult to understand.
  • Apple’s VoiceOver works less efficiently with the heating schedule function than Android’s Talkback equivalent. The screenreader announces days of the week as letters and does not clearly distinguish between set times and temperatures (i.e. it doesn’t specify figures in time or degrees) which could confuse users.
  • Information about past energy usage, which is displayed on the app’s heating graph, is not screenreader friendly.
  • Current room temperature adjustments require you to specify a duration in ‘manual boost’ by holding and swiping on a horizontal slider, which could at times be problematic for people with dexterity impairments.
  • The text size describing certain features (e.g. eco and away mode, manual boost) is sometimes displayed in visually challenging grey text on a white background.

Who might this app be good for?

  • The app’s reasonable compatibility with Apple's VoiceOver and Android’s Talkback screenreaders make it accessible for blind users. However, screenreader compatibility with certain features (e.g. heating schedules and the heating graph) needs to be improved.
  • The app’s minimal use of colour and predominant use of black text on a white background make it ideal for people with colour perception difficulties.
  • Simple tapping gestures are required to adjust the heating and there is adequate spacing between features to target them by touch making the app suitable for people with dexterity impairments.

To find out more about Netatmo's Energy app:

https://www.netatmo.com/en-eu/energy/thermostat

This app was user-tested by RiDC's researchers and members of our consumer panel in November 2020. Individual scores of ease-of-use features represent an indicative interpretation by RiDC of the feedback received from members of our consumer panel rather than scoring by consumer panel members themselves.