HomeKit Devices: Eve Weather Tracks Outdoor Temperature, Humidity, and Air Pressure

 Eve Weather Tracks Outdoor Temperature, Humidity, and Air Pressure

Yet another HomeKit-compatible sensor from Elgato is Eve Weather ($49.95), which tracks outdoor temperature, humidity, and air pressure. In my previous posts in this series on HomeKit devices, I've covered iHome's SmartPlug and Elgato's Eve Room and Eve Energy

Eve Weather

While Eve Room monitors indoor temperature, humidity, and air quality, Eve Weather lets you track outdoor conditions. You can mount it outside or simply place it upright on a flat surface, such as a porch or picnic table.

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The big question, of course, is this: Do I really want to expose a $50 gadget to the elements? Here's what the minuscule documentation says: "Eve Weather is water resistant, so a little rain won't hurt, but please make sure it doesn't drown." So out on my porch it sits, with plenty of rain in the forecast today. We'll see how it holds up.

Its form factor is pretty much identical to Eve Room: about three inches square and an inch deep. Like Eve Room and Eve Energy, it uses Bluetooth to communicate its data to your iPhone or iPad. (See my Eve Room review for more detail.)

Tracking temperature, humidity, and air pressure

Eve Weather, like the other Elgato devices, not only gives you the current reading but also lets you track the data over time. The overview screen lets you see the conditions at a glance.

You can also get a more detailed view of the conditions over time by tapping on one of the readings.

And, like Eve Room and Eve Energy, you can get an even more detailed view if you tap the three dots. This view gives you a choice of seeing a graph for the past hour, day, week, or month.  And if you turn on the Compare feature, it will display a graph that compares the current period with the previous one.

The Eve app mostly works in portrait orientation, but I noticed in playing with Eve Weather that the most detailed view can be viewed in landscape mode.

HomeKit-compatibility

I'm loving HomeKit. As I review each device, I learn more of HomeKit's capabilities. Here's one feature, among many, that I like: When I add a new HomeKit-compatible device to the Eve app on my iPad mini, it automatically also gets added to the Eve app on my iPod touch.

During setup, in order to satisfy HomeKit, the Eve app asked me to specify which room Eve Weather is in. But of course, it's not in a room; it's on my porch. So I simply named the room "porch." And because Eve Weather is a HomeKit device, I can ask Siri, "What's the temperature on my porch?" and "What's the humidity on my porch?"

But Siri draws a blank when I ask, "What's the air pressure on my porch?" The same thing happened with Eve Room, as I noted in my review. Siri can answer about temperature and humidity in my office, but not air quality. Not sure what's up with that.

Why would one need Eve Weather?

Given that I already have weather apps that can tell me the outdoor conditions — as can Siri — without the need of an outdoor sensor such as Eve Weather, why would I need to spend $50 on such a device?

It probably wouldn't be that useful to many people. But I can think of several instances in which it would be worth purchasing:

  • If you want weather info from an app or Siri, you need an Internet connection. But if you're in a situation without the Internet, then Eve Weather is the ticket, because it communicates with your device via Bluetooth. (And Bluetooth range is such that Eve Weather can be outdoors while you can be comfortably indoors reading the settings on your device.)
  • You need a convenient way to track weather conditions over time and to compare with previous periods.
  • You live in an area where the generalized reporting of weather apps doesn't always accurately report your immediate conditions. 

Possible battery drain

In the last couple days I've noticed that my iPad mini battery seems to be draining at about 25 percent more than usual. The main difference between now and before is that I have several of these devices communicating with my iPad via Bluetooth. I turned off Bluetooth, and it seems to be more normal. I can't really say for sure it's a problem, though, since these issues are often hard to pin down. And in any case, you can simply toggle Bluetooth on only when you need it for the Eve app or other specific purposes. Many people do that in any case.

Pros

  • A handy device for tracking local weather data, and for being able to know the current conditions without needing an Internet connection.

Cons

  • Unless one has a specific need, such as those noted above, this device may not be that useful. Multiple HomeKit devices with sensors may affect battery life.

Final Verdict

In general, I'm enjoying these Elgato devices, and Eve Weather is a fun addition. But I don't know that I'd have a great enough need to spend $50, whereas I'd definitely consider purchasing Eve Room and Eve Energy.

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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.