Android/iOS App Status?


#21

What do you think the app is going to connect to? It's going to be the same as the website.

Most Android/iOS apps use APIs to the underlying data source so that the data is consistent between the web and "app". For Hubitat, that would be the Maker API and/or Dashboard API as their primary interface now is web based.

An app isn't going to be any faster than opening the mobile browser from a bookmark. In fact, it will probably end up being slower due to having to go through a secondary render after the API (be it Maker or something else) call to get devices returns.

As a real world example, call the Maker API on your full device list. Right now, with all the devices I have, the FULL device list (with capabilities and such) takes ~2 minutes to fully load. Now, in an app, that's going to take even longer as the app is going to have to parse all the JSON to objects, then perform logic on those objects (looking at capabilities and all that), THEN finally render to the display (including all the overhead of dealing with screen resolution calculations and such that the OS does). Granted, they could call directly to the internal database on the hub, but then you run the risk of race conditions and such.


#22

I guess that was my point. If the app and the dashboard go to the same place on the back end (which I believe they do), then there is no speed advantage to the app.

in fact, since the dashboard shortcut goes straight to the dashboard it's actually less presses than the app is.


#23

The reason i see a demand for the app is because people cant yet grasp that tue dashboard are in fact the app with a differente user exeperience l/User interface.
People are too much into aesthetic and the concept of a app aesthetic vs a Tile dashboard is two big a gap to help people reconcile that they are the same thing.
The day we can bring an editor with fully CSS customizations at full layout into individual granular tile elements than you have the perfect app. Do we need it at that level of detail? No. I don't think so but we want it.
Dash 2.0 is a big progress into that goal.


#24

The desktop shortcut launches in a cut down browser rather than the full browser. On Android it is called WebView (may be the same in IOS as well) and many apps are in fact HTML web apps that use WebView.


#25

I couldn't disagree more. Where is the 3rd party bandaid and pieced together solutions of creating a single shortcut? It is more work to download, install and sign into an app, than click the "add to home screen" button in a browser.


#26

There is no "opening another app then opening a website". Simply add a shortcut to the Hubitat dashboard to your home screen. One click and you are into that dashboard. I know, I do it many times a day. One click. How much easier do people want it?!


#27

Here is my "app"

!

Press it and I get this (and very fast)


#28

Clearly I've hit a nerve here with the engineer types. You can explain it away all you want but put yourself in the shoes of an average person. If I'm a regular person, not an engineer, and I go out and buy a Hubitat and a motion sensor and I want to receive a push notification on my phone when the sensor is triggered, my understanding (and maybe I'm wrong because I am new here) I have to go and install PushOver or some 3rd party app. To a normal person, that makes no sense, who/what is PushOver, why am I trusting them with my info, I bought a Hubitat why don't "they" support this natively?

Clearly you can make Hubitat do almost anything you want if you put in the work and that's awesome and obviously one of the core ideals behind the entire system. But that's not for everyone, especially for simple standard functions. Despite downloading an app and signing in and whatever being a few more steps, that's what most people are comfortable with these days.

It's almost like some people want Hubitat to remain this exclusive club that only engineers that spend forever reading the forums can use.


#29

You are wrong. Hubitat can text you on the basis of any event without any 3rd party apps. There is a limit on the amount of texts per day, but it is natively supported.


#30

Having an app makes no difference to how easy or hard it is to do things in Hubitat and if you need to be an engineer or not to do it. It is simply an interface to it.


#31

I apologize if this comes off as rude. It's not my intent. Just my opinion on the subject.

The entire basis of Hubitat is that it is local for processing, automations, etc. It can run without any internet connection at all and that's they way I've seen it marketed since day one. It's a system that is still growing and still has a lot of growing to do. Maybe Hubitat will eventually make the system more "normal" user friendly, but it's never been marketed that way (that I've ever seen).

"Experience Home Automation that is Local, Reliable, Fast, and Private."

An "app" will eventually have to expose your hub to the Internet or some cloud provider to be useful. I am sick of seeing "[insert company name here] was just hacked and millions of records were stolen", so I want to keep my home automation as local as I possibly can. Yes, I use Pushover and Life360 and I do allow some functions to happen from outside my local network (locking/unlocking of doors, etc), but I don't like it. Hubitat is already doing some cloud services with the hub (cloud dashboards and Maker API), but it was never the stated goal. SmartThings, Hue, Iris, Vera, etc all have apps and all of them have had various security issues over the years.

This article was from less than a year ago:

If one is OK with their hub being out on the Internet and setup as a potential attack vector for their home automation, that's on them. My home and devices will never be hacked, despite me inviting people to try.

As @Geoff_T said, Hubitat does send out texts, so it's not like they don't provide a notification system out of the box.

Not at all. Hubitat out of the box is easy to use and will achieve most goals that even "normal" users can accomplish. I enjoy helping new people get setup with their hubs and showing them what can be accomplished with local-only processing and security in mind first rather than "send me a notification if my cat trips my motion sensor". This whole mindset of "I need a push notification if something happens at my home" needs to change.


#32

I'm not trying to start any arguments here, I'm the new guy here and my question was answered that yes an official app is in the works. That being said, I do understand that Hubitat comes from a different mindset than SmartThings or the other home hub systems with local control and privacy being one of the primary goals. Any remote control or app access should be something that can be turned off completely if someone so chooses.

I guess the point I was trying to make is that the app is necessary, if people don't want to use it, or don't see any value in it, don't use it. Obviously since the app is in development, Hubitat has recognized this need too so I'm happy to hear that. I hadn't seen any indication before that they actually acknowledged the app was being developed so that is why I asked the question, since then I did notice an official response on reddit from a few weeks ago.

With local control being the focus though, there's still the capability of controlling it remotely which some people would like to use. So there's no reason that it can't be done both ways, obviously the remote control is a lower priority since it's not the focus of this system, but as the platform grows it's going to be a feature that people expect on some level and an app is a key part of that.

Oh, and I'm not sure I'd say Hubitat is really being marketed toward "normal" people just yet, but all of the marketing speak and videos on the main page lean that way. With all the uncertainty surrounding Wink and the recent Iris shutdown, this seems like an opportunity for Hubitat to pick up the pace a little on that front.


#33

It’d be funny to see a button labeled β€œ install App” appear on the main system menu, which when pressed, makes a Browser Shortcut on a home screen.... Ta da, an App on your devices home screen !
:joy:


#34

The interface definately has a direct effect on the ease of use for any software product.


#35

I get what you're saying, but to put it simply, if smartthings released a hub that did 100% local processing, hubitat may be out of business immediately if not before. Why? Because the ONLY complaint people have with smartthings is that things are processed in the cloud, and as such is affected by one's internet connection and the Smarthings' cloud processing reliability otherwise. Hubitat's claim to fame is that it eliminates the shortfall smartthings has, but it shouldn't be striving to only do the one thing smartthings isn't able to do YET. It should strive to beat the competition on all other fronts and having a great looking and functional app is a necessity to do that.

Hubitat is already more expensive, almost twice the price. Tinkerers like us will buy it, but to ensure it's absolute success, it has to be marketed to non tinkerers as well. All the reviews and shootout of smarthome hubs we've seen, smartthings almost always wins out, because of ease of use and a big part of that has to do with a simple to use and good looking app. And as others have pointed out, those who don't need the app can simply not install it. Use dashboards or nothing at all. But for the platform to succeed, it must be able to compete on the most basic of fronts...UI.


#36

That and SmartThings support has pretty much stunk since Samsung got involved.


#37

In my mind, smartthings as a business has to change soon. The business model makes no sense to me. We pay for the hardware once, yet it costs Samsung a lot to be processing all these requests per second in the cloud. Eventually they may just release a full local processing hub and be done with cloud processing.


#38

That is FAR from the only complaint. Spend 30 minutes on the ST forums and look at all the complaints posts. I guarantee you that most of that are due to instability in both local and cloud processing and the way support went downhill once Samsung took over.

Valid points, but that leads to the next one...

There's the rub. Once an "app" is released, it becomes a security vector. Plain and simple. Even having the cloud dashboards and Maker API links in HE makes the local security weaker.


#39

I'd love it if the app has some intelligence to determine if it is running on the local network, and then display a pwa version of the local dashboard, and then if it's external AND you've chosen to use the cloud dashboard, then it displays that instead. That would be nice mix of local control, reuse the dashboard efforts, and the choice available for adding weaknesses for external control.


#40

There's nothing more secure than manually turning your light switches on manually with your finger lol. But something tells me you're willing to give up a little bit of security for the convenience factor these additional options bring. The app would be one such convenience I'd be willing to take a small chance on.