Charging for apps?


Hey folks,

Simple question…I’m considering building a native android application that interfaces directly with home assistant to check on your devices and arm/disarm them, get notifications, etc. I know there’s the html5 app, but want something more native. I think it’ll have broad appeal and be welcomed by many, but I have small kids and a 9-5 (more like 8-7) so to justify it, I’d really need to charge at least $5 - $10 for it, as the effort is not insignificant, especially when adding in support, updates, etc. I get that some users would be willing to pay and others wouldn’t be. That’s not my concern…instead, my concern is, were I to do this, would I be hit with backlash from within the community saying that I am violating the spirit of HomeAssistant and there’s no place for HomeAssistant commercial apps? Or, is it free as in speech, not as in beer, and there’s absolutely room for it and in fact be welcomed?


If you’re just accessing an interface I don’t see why you couldn’t charge. No different than a database editor, or IDE, or whatever.

The big thing is, what exactly would you offer that isn’t offered now? Anyone using the web interface can already check devices, change statuses and receive notifications.


There are already other apps available (both iOs and Android), which also include push (actionable) notifactions. For sure I don’t want to discourage you and your enthusiasm. But you might start re-inventing the wheel.


Ariela has a free tier and a paid tier, just like many android apps.


Ok, thanks everyone! Again, just didn’t want violate community spirit, so glad to know I’m not. I’d most likely offer a free version as well, with a pro upgrade with some unlocked functionality.

As far as what I’m looking to accomplish, mainly just a different UI design. I haven’t given the html5 as an app on Android a shot yet (I’m migrating from SmartThings and haven’t made it to that point yet), but I’ve never been a fan of the tiles approach. Gives me a Windows 8 feel, which I was never big on. I am looking forward to trying it out though and hope it’s a good fit. In general though, I like more Google Home Hub feel combined with the new SmartThings app, combined with a modern alarm control panel feel. Just personal preference. I do Android dev and UI design for a living, and smart home as a hobby, so would be interested in releasing something.

****Just to reiterate I’m not knocking the current app. I haven’t used it and am not able to make any judgements. Just wanted to make sure the option existed before I finished my migration.