Controlling things easily

I'm dabbling with the HE hub and have several devices configured. Now I'm trying to find the best way to make these easily accessible and useable.

For example, I'd like a widget on my Android phone with buttons to trigger actions in Rule Machine. Is this doable easily without needing 3rd party ActionTiles or Sharptools? I also want these same widgets available on my wife's phone.

I know I can do this via voice control but I really sometimes just want to press a button to do certain things all at once instead of blurting out a voice command.

And the answer is "Yes, of course you can".

A larger than average number of enthusiasts here in this Community are "Automation" proponents. For that reason the bulk of the answers will be something along the lines of... "don't focus on remote control when automation is where you want to be."

However, you're in good company just wanting to get comfortable with remote controlling your switches and dimmers. It's the entire focus of Alexa and Google, after all. :slight_smile: And the answer is "Yes, of course you can". Take a look at Hubitat's built in Dashboard. There's very little visual WOW factor, but it works. Also take a look at Virtual devices, like switches. Often you can create a virtual switch, let Alexa know about it and via Rules, have that switch do just about anything.

As I said, a lot of us have gotten bored with pushing a button or shouting out commands and gotten our homes to do most of what we want without. It's the Fully Automated home solution.

4 Likes

I am exploring the Dashboard. I setup some tiles but how do I get these readily accessible?

Right now my experience is as follows:
Launch Hubitat App on phone -> wait for Splash screen -> click on "Dashboards" along the bottom -> Click on the dashboard I want -> Click on the actual tile/button.

Is there a way to get a particular dashboard to show up as a widget?

I can appreciate the whole automation thing but I haven't been able to consistently follow a routine well enough to eliminate the need for manual input thus I'm trying to make this manual input as readily accessible as possible and since we all have our phones on us 24/7, I want to utilize that.

The answer to that is also yes... I just need to remember how. I think I may have achieved that by navigating to them in chrome and selecting "Add to Homescreen".

2 Likes

Check out this community release, Android widgets are supported.

5 Likes

Use the app HttpRequestWizard and MakerAPI. Bingo! You have HE widgets. What are you waiting for? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Widget :musical_keyboard: I've got a widget :musical_note: I've got a widget :musical_score: A widget I have got :musical_note:

4 Likes

lol, marking this as the solution!

Tasker can also create widgets that will do HTTP Requests. It's $4 and is probably a little more complicated to setup then something with "Wizard" in its name. :grin:

1 Like

You can get to dashboards faster by using this process:
instead of using the app, open your hubitat url in chrome app, get the direct link to your dashboard from the "apps > dashboard settings" and load the dashboard you want in a chrome tab. Click on the 3 dots menu and select "Add to Home Screen". This should create a shortcut that pulls your dashboard up directly without having to load other hubitat items and navigating. you can create 1 for each dashboard you want quick access to.

If you specifically want widgets or "action buttons" on your android home screens, then you need to look at the Hubitat Dashboard - Android app linked above, or look into tasker (android) and how it can communicate with maker api on hubitat.

2 Likes

Thanks for all the answers. It does seem that it is not as user friendly as I suspected. Seems this entire space is very homebrew and not really usable for the bulk of the population. Hubitat is powerful but it's not what it advertises itself to be. Should be "elevate your frustrations" instead of "elevate the environment" but it's a good thing to keep tinkerers busy.

HE is fairly friendly (and getting better) but keep in mind this is an extremely complex subject with lots of gotchas. The public has been fed a line of bs with Home Automation in general thanks to clever industry marketing regarding how easy it all is... Once someone goes beyond the simple "turn lights on at xxxx time" things get tricky.

Fortunately HE is as flexible/customizable as it is or we would be waiting forever for cool stuff like improved dashboards, connectivity etc. "Homebrew" is a major advantage on this platform but it is definitely not required for simpler setups.

5 Likes

What's wrong with homebrew... :grin::beer:

5 Likes

Not quite sure what you are talking about there, examples?

This is a relatively new platform, it has only been around about 3 or so years? There have been significant changes in that time, and things are always evolving. Just go back and look at changelogs, every update brings major additions and improvements.

I am sure that things like widgets are on the radar, as are probably 1000 other things, but with a small team, it takes time to bring these things to life.

Can’t argue with that!

2 Likes

Lots of people think that a wifi device that you can access on your phone is home automation! Just read the home automation forum of reddit sometime. Some pretty bad misconceptions. Probably a close runner up is calling a smart speaker (Alexa) a home automation device.

On the other extreme, all of Reddit is saying Home Assistant is easy, and should be adopted by the masses! Nothing could be further from the truth. Nobody wants to make turning on a lightbulb a full time job.

It is a complex topic, and Hubitat is somewhere in the middle of all that. It is very powerful if you need it to be, and it is simple enough for someone who has some experience with a wifi device, or Alexa or whatever the case may be. Not that a total noob couldn't jump right in, but knowing a touch about IOT stuff helps.

With all this stuff there is definitely tinkering involved, especially at first. But for the most part I haven't messed with my core rules and automations much for the past year. They just work.

4 Likes

I agree, there are huge misconceptions about HA. I just say to people if you have to do something to make things happen, that’s remote control, not Home Automation. Home Automation just happens - after its been set up, of course. But then once you’ve started, it’s never really completely set up, is it? :joy:

2 Likes

I too am in the set and forget camp. I use some dashboards just to glance at for information. That said, I have to agree with HE being in the middle. I can make a dashboard to mimic any system I want and yes that takes time. If you go to the show us your dashboard thread, 1000's of examples. I don't think the learning curve is steep, even my non technical wife gets how to write simple rules she wants in RM...(She likes the new basic rules app). The fact is comparatively speaking with hubitat vs everything else that's true HA out there, HE does a really good job. It's 100% local (unlike a lot of other stuff) and it's pretty accessible by the masses. Is it a perfect product? No, nothing is, but it's getting better everyday and the community and company support is second to none.

3 Likes

Hubitat is to Home Automation what Democracy is to Systems of Government. It's not all that great, but it is the best we got.

Arguably the best job.

4 Likes

Really easy. I use a Google Assistant routine to trigger what I want and put the shortcut on my homescreen.

I don't mind that it's not straight/native Hubitat. Hubitat is good at local control. Google is good at cloud control. Google talks to Hubitat, which means it works even when I'm away from home.

Just wanted to leave this here for anyone else who might benefit from it.

I found these cheap ZigBee buttons. Each button can trigger up to 3 different routines/scenes/rulemachine rules

I'm placing a few of these in key strategic spots around my house where I can use it to trigger commonly used actions.

So if I want to quickly activate scene lighting for movie watching, I can do so with a click of the button. Or click the button by my bed to activate the good night routine.

I like this better because it's more discreet than yelling out "Alexa activate movie mode"

1 Like

Download the Hubitat app