There is a problem with the companion menu option inside of the home assistant app for phones period. I have been reading the forums and many, many people have raised this issue of sensors not updating over the past year however it still remains. Since this is a community driven project, this post is more for the end users pulling their hair out as to why their sensors on their phone do not update, sometimes update, update when they feel like it, etc.
-I run home assistant on a vmware virtual machine (stupid high resources) It runs rock solid, amazing production in general.
- Nothing with home assistant is exposed outside of my network and it runs on http not https
-I have 3 phones that all run the home assistant app:
Pixel 7 (running Graphene OS)
All phones have the same(ish) issue, simply put the sensors do not automatically update on their own, they must be triggered. Now HOW they are triggered is a little different
Crapple: You must start the app AND it must be in the foreground. This is the most important part, if you leave the app running in the background, nothing updates; however, leaving the app running in the foreground and everything works as expected and boy do I mean instant updates…very very instant fast updates on ALL sensors.
The two android phones are exactly the same issue. Let me be clear here before people jump into permissions, battery restrictions, etc etc. This is not the issues on either phone. Also for those who have not tried GrapheneOS you have even deeper control of permissions (it’s amazing) however both phones having full wide open permissions, no background restrictions, sensor update frequency = “fast always” etc etc they act exactly the same. Sensors do not update on their own. This is where is gets weird. If the app is started and running in the foreground, with some sensors, say the “is the phone charging” sensor, well it acts as expected, instantly letting you know when I pull the cable or put it back in. This sensor also works with the app in the background - but wait…it even updates when the app is not running at all! Again, same symptoms for both android phones. Now, let’s talk about other sensors like wifi. I really want certain automations to happen based on if my phone is connected to the house wifi or not. Looking in the companion app, under “Network Sensors”, all are “instant updates” with the exception of “public ip address” Here is the thing, not a damn one of them update in any way unless you 1) have the app running 2) it’s running in the foreground 3) you go into the companion menu 4) you actually CLICK ON any sensor once.
BUT WAIT!!! there is more!!!
If you ONLY click on the companion menu, two sensors update in home assistant, “wifi link speed” and “wifi signal strength” no others even though you can clearly see in the phone app ALL the other wifi sensors values!! So…on the phone, let’s now click on “wifi frequency” which on the phone says 2462 Mhz and home assistant says “unknown” Gues what…BOOM the home assistant now shows the frequency. Ok on to “Network type” phone says “wifi” home assistant says “unknown” right now…clicking on the sensor now and…BOOM home assistant, logbook, etc now show the network type as wifi.
Serious serious bugs and problems - serious. Again, this is more of a stop pulling your hair out notice, and more of a “this is just broke, deal with it for now” message.