As you may know, LIFX published Firmware 2.0, which changes quite a few thing.
Currently, LIFXtend is not compatible with 2.0, neither is LIFXcl. But after some digging yesterday, I have some preliminary information:
What are the biggest changes?
There are a lot of changes, but I will concentrate on the network side.
This update removes bulb mesh networking capabilities to improve reliability.
This is in itself a very big change. Until now, one bulb was the "Gateway" bulb, and all commands went over wifi to your gateway bulb, then on another network (the mesh network) to the actual bulb.
This has always introduced problems with reliability, because sometimes the bulb wouldn't receive the command, and you had to check that manually if you wanted to be sure (LIFXtend does this in "managed mode").
Therefore, I am very happy with this change. I will have to redo a lot of the networking part of LIFXtend, but it should actually be easier now. And reliability has been the biggest hassle in using LIFX.
BUT, this decision also has downsides: Each bulb is now directly on your wifi. Which is OK if you have 2-10 bulbs. But imagine a restaurant with 100 bulbs... each one its own device on your wifi. Thats gonna be a problem.
But more importantly, I suspect the idle power usage will be now as high as a gateway bulb for each of your bulbs, which is about 2.7 W (I did not actually test this yesterday, these are just assumptions).
How long will it take to make LIFXtend compatible with firmware 2.0?
I cannot give a definitive timeframe, but I hope less than a month from now. If LIFX would properly document their protocol, It would be ready in a day. But as it is, I have to decompile their android app, read trough some strange open source python code on github (which seems to be outdated) and use wireshark to capture the lifx related packets on my wifi. It is quite cumbersome.
Why is LIFXtend still the only solution to control LIFX from Windows?
Out of curiosity I searched for another Windows Application, but I found none. For OSX there are plenty. (if you do find one for windows, please let me know)
LIFX released some source code to easily control your bulb from OSX, you just need to design the UI and write some code to connect everything, but that is really straight forward. On windows on the other hand, you have to write all the networking code yourself. With no documentation to help.