Home Assistant Community

When will there be an official Home Assistant for Android app???

#1

1 year, 11 months and 17 days ago or 716 days ago, I announced Home Assistant Companion for iOS on this blog. Ever since then, at least once a week, sometimes far more often, I am asked a question that I haven’t been able to truly answer until today. It’s a question that has gotten on my nerves almost every time I’ve seen it. I could understand why people were wanting an official Android app to mirror the functionality of the iOS app. But I never thought of myself as the person to best deliver on that idea.

Recently, these requests have reached a ear shattering volume and I had enough. It had been almost 2 years and no official app had materialized. It was time for me to act. So I bought a Pixel 3 and re-immersed myself in Android, not having used it for more than a few minutes since my Nexus 5. It’s changed a lot, for the better in my mind, since that time. I knew I could do this. I did it once before. It will require learning a new language, Kotlin, but I learned Swift to build the iOS app and that worked out well.

So here I am, announcing to you, that the official Home Assistant Companion for Android will soon be under development.

I’m going to try to duplicate the timeline of the iOS app as much as possible, although with less time between releases to start. The 1.0 will feature three core features:

  1. A location engine to rival the iOS app. This means location updates while out and about as well as region monitoring.
  2. Push notifications that aim to be just as powerful as iOS. Actions and sounds will be added to start and eventually I hope to add embedded content like camera streams and maps. No more need for HTML5 notifications.
  3. A full screen view for the beautiful web UI that Paulus and co have built. That’s right, no native UI, at least for now.

Long term, I hope to provide a similar feature set on Android as on iOS. That means Android Wear support, sensors and widgets.

If you’re an iOS user reading this, don’t fret. Here’s the current timeline I’m working on:

  • April 1, 2019: Announce the Android app
  • No later than April 31st, 2019: Release iOS 2.0 to the App Store
  • Early to mid summer, 2019: Release first beta of the Android app
  • Mid to late summer, 2019: Release 1.0 of the Android app to the Play Store
  • Late summer to mid fall, 2019: Adopt new features in iOS 13 into the iOS app, version 2.5.

I’ve already laid the groundwork in Home Assistant itself by implementing the utterly fantastic mobile_app component which provides a very secure and featureful integration system for mobile apps.

Now, i’d like to take a moment to address the elephant in the room: What about the other Android apps that have cropped up to fill the void left without having an official app for so long? The answer is, nothing. The authors of those apps are absolutely welcome to continue to build their apps as they see fit, we at Home Assistant will of course do nothing to stop them or hinder their progress.

You might be wondering why we are choosing to do this now, other than the previously mentioned constant questions. Recently, we’ve seen a worrying uptick in the number of apps making poor integration choices or outright horrifying security choices. Furthermore, Home Assistant will always remain free and your privacy is a key part of our mission. Because of that key ideal, we don’t like seeing ads in Home Assistant mobile apps as they have been previously shown to not care about your privacy and in some cases be downright dangerous. We wanted to provide a full featured solution that was open source and cared about your privacy.

So that’s it. The app that 74.15 % of you have been waiting for. Coming soon to a Play Store near you. You’ll be hearing and seeing progress on it very soon via this blog, Twitter, Facebook, Discord, and more.

Finally, I’m going to make a public plug for my Patreon which will hopefully soon enable me to spend 100% of my time on Home Assistant for the rest of 2019. That means full time on iOS, Android and more fun. Thanks in advance for your ongoing support.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.home-assistant.io/blog/2019/04/01/android/
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Ariela - Home Assistant Android Client
Ariela - Home Assistant Android Client - Updates Thread
#2

April fools?

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#3

That’s awesome, thank you, I was afraid that this was somekind of April fools

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#4

Godspeed, my friend

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#5

I hope it’s not april fools, as already HTML5 notifications on androidstart to suck… :slight_smile:
I hope one of the first features would be it and coords reporting. Rest can be (at 1st release) just lovelace-webview.

good luck!

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#6

Incredible news!

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#7

There’s a pretty good app under development at [BETA] HA Client - native Android client for Home Assistant

Which, IMO, is getting it right at being fast, lightweight and reliable. Perhaps a join effort could be done?

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#8

I feel that I need to voice my position.

  1. Home Assistant Companion 2.0 for iOS is absolutely incredible.

  2. Ariela for Android is really great, and a $4 one-time payment for the ads-free version is totally normal. It’s rated 4.8⭐️ on Google Play with reason.

  3. Mobile App component that you’re working on is a great foundation.

  4. BUT I’m afraid spreading your focus on EVERYTHING will probably hurt quality and growth of the iOS app.

Competition is great when it comes to Android vs. iOS vision difference as every side can get inspiration (like cams, tre/hum sensors on Android and native integrations on iOS), but not inside one platform when the official status of the app kills innovation and already invested efforts.

I believe the better way is to overcome obscure frictions with Ariela developer @Ionut.

I will support your every decision, but that’s something to consider.

@balloob @robbiet480 Please join the discussion.

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#9

Paulus have opened up for the existing android apps to become official, but apparently that doesn’t seem to be something they want. On the latest podcast he explained what is needed of app devs to make an app official. There need to be an official app.

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#10

Hi there, actually even few days ago i made the proposal of making Ariela open source in order to became the official Android app for Home Assistant, proposal which was rejected for a couple of reasons. Still, the idea of having an official Android app is a very best one, and if i can and if i am allowed i will like to contribute to the new application and of course support and add new features to Ariela. Having multiple apps to choose from will allow users to have best Home Assistant experience based on their needs, users being what it matters for me and i suppose for the team behind Home Assistant.

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#11

@teachingbirds I think you miss my point.

@Ionut I didn’t see it, what were the reasons for rejection?

There’s always a place for discussion.

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#12

@mu3 the main reasons for rejection were:

  1. Ariela tend to have native implementation for the UI, and a web based UI is preferred
  2. The application do not use the new mobile_app component yet
  3. Ariela makes wrong assumption about the way users needs to use the authentication (they always need to use the web login)

Anyway, like i said before, there is no reason multiple apps couldn’t coexists for Android users. At the end users will choose the best app that suit their needs in order to have best Home Assistant experience. And of course if i can i will going to support the new official android app.

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#13

I personally only use the web UI (Lovelace) inside Ariela on all Android-based dashboards, and obviously use all these fancy custom components.

So these reasons sound ridiculous to me. Especially, when you compare fully functional, well-known and powerful app to something that don’t even exists.

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#14

Robbie will be THRILLED to have someone else assisting him with this app. His biggest problem with the iOS app was doing everything himself and not having any help. He would welcome your assistance with both arms…

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#15

H @Ionut Love the Ariela app, so big thank you there.

In regards to the items mentioned of why it was rejected, would it not be possible to overcome them so that it could become the official app, that way yourself and robbie have a good base to start with?

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#16

Yes, from my end its possible to resolve those issues but at the end its not my decision if Ariela can be official Android app or not

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#17

I’ve tested most of the current Android apps.
With every each of them I have issues either regarding visual side or vision for development.

I’ve just looked up HA App in Apple Store (as I don’t own apple device) - and it’s exactly what I would require from app! It supports GPS, notifications and pure webview.
I like my lovelace UI, why does all the devs try to do anything with that… :slight_smile:

I hope to see just an clone from iOS on Android and called ‘official’ so it’s always up to date with the API and growing with HA.

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#18

Still no issues with this one: Ariela - Home Assistant Android Client
Really great app!

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#19

I’m using Ariela and very happy with it, but generally, I think having more options is a good thing so I welcome the news.

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#20

I’d love to try an Android app with HA, but I’m sort of stuck on justifying it. I mean, I can already use the browser into Lovelace, and it works great.

I can certainly see the benefit of carrying around an HA client in your pocket, if you’re doing presence or location detection, but I haven’t gotten into that yet.

Is there some other killer feature an app offers which would bring me into the fold?

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