Ecobee Built-In App vs Universal Ecobee Suite

As a relatively new user, I generally try to use the built-in apps as they are officially supported. However, for those of you with more extensive experience, what are the advantages and disadvantages of utilizing the built-in app vs the third party Ecobee Suite app? As always, thanks for any feedback regarding actual experience with each as I have just replaced a few old malfunctioning thermostats in my home with Ecobee’s.

Oh, and before anyone gets into the totally local vs cloud issue (and some of the past problems with Ecobee’s cloud servers) please respectfully understand that this query is about the two Hubitat options to integrate with Ecobee. For what its worth, I chose Ecobee because of form factor and ease of use for the WAF, and because even when it loses cloud contact, the thermostats can still be used as regular programmable thermostats without the cloud features. I utilize the same philosophy of using dedicated systems when it comes to UL approved and reliable security systems (DSC via Envisalink) as well as Lutron lighting (Caseta) and my Camect system, which I have all integrated with my HE. As much as HE is an incredible integration hub, I don’t like to rely on it completely for mission critical things that other systems are specifically designed for (security, fire/smoke/CO detection etc).

Currently, my needs are relatively simple as I did set up the built-in app to switch my thermostats to AWAY mode when my DSC is AWAY ARMED, etc. Again, thank you in advance for any insight you can offer comparing the pros and cons of each app. This community is the best!

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What are your needs? Also, there are two third-party ecobee integrations. Which one are you referring to?

FWIW, when I had an ecobee thermostat, the built-in app was sufficient for my needs. But if you want to integrate other things - like zoning using Keen/Flair vents, then you should consider one of the other integrations.

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@aaiyar, thanks for chiming in.

I was only aware of the Ecobee-Suite from SANdood and was not aware another third party Ecobee app existed (I assumed that the one posted by storageanarchy was the same one). If there is another one I am not aware of that you are familiar with and have used, please correct me if I was wrong and clarify.

For my simple needs (changing thermostat state depending upon whether or not the security system is armed or if any specific doors or windows are opened) have so far been met using the built-in app. Again, I usually prefer to utilize the built-in apps whenever possible as they have been “certified” by the HE team, unless of course a third party app provides functionality I may need or desire. However, as is usually the case with HE and the ingenuity of this community, I was just wondering if there was anything I was missing out on (FOMO of thermostat related use cases) that was addressed by the third party apps (either one of them). In other words, what are they capable of that the built-in app is not, and are there any specific advantages of using them over the built-in app that I may not have even considered?

In addition to the suite by @storageanarchy, there is also an integration from @yracine66. Both Barry and Yves describe in detail features offered by their integrations. Only you can decide if those features are of value to you and the HVAC setup in your house.

Since you were unaware of Yves integration, I've linked to it below.

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There is another one, but it is not-free. The author has previously been ... difficult.

Update: @aaiyar linked to it.

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I've used the Universal Ecobee Suite (or it's predecessor) on SmartThings since they came out in 2016. When I got my Hubitat C-7, I was used to it so I just kept on using it. My original reason for using it was the code had the ability to keep your Ecobee auth token when the Ecobee servers messed up. I don't think that's a problem anymore.

I don't do anything special with UES, and the built-in app might be sufficient for my needs, but I've still never tried it.

Thank you all (@aaiyar and @jlv) for your input. It is really appreciated and what makes this community great. Best wishes for the new year.

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