Hubitat Dashboard Alternatives Matrix

Is there a matrix somewhere that compares the attributes of the alternatives to the native HE dashboard? If so can someone post a link?
I really prefer to stay with native HE apps whenever possible, but the dashboard just looks so bad. Since others are charging I wish HE would just charge for a better native dashboard that I can be assured will continue working. Alternatively, is there a link to tips and tricks to make the native dashboard look better without Custom (third party non native) apps?

The attributes I'm interested in, in order of priority are:

  1. Privacy - ie everything is local and my data is not on or going through someone else's server
  2. Remote access - I don't understand how this works with the native HE dashboard. Am I going through HE's servers to access the dashboards when I am not on my home's wifi network? Or is my phone somehow connecting direct to my local HE device through internet magic?
  3. Stability - with any 3rd party app, I'm concerned it will stop being supported, and then HE will upgrade and that will break it. I REALLY don't want to deal with that.
    ETA 3.5: Ability to display graphs
  4. Cost
  5. UI and results
  6. Other?

Poking around this forum, I think (not sure) these are my options:

Smartly or Smartly Inject (not sure about the difference):
Local but they might harvest data (they are a business and I really don't understand their website - seems like a HE competitor and I've already bought an HE so don't need a new OS), not sure about remote access, 3rd party, free, supposedly better looking dashboard with limitations but their website is terrible so don't have much confidence there

Local, not sure about remote access, 3rd party, free for up to 10 dashboards with 50 tiles each and limited themes, icon and access; $30/year to remove the limitations, better looking

Tile Builder
Local, not sure about remote access, 3rd party, free, MUCH better use of screen real estate

Not local, has remote access, 3rd party, current free for HE due to beta but $30 one time fee after they go commercial? (website does not even mention HE so confusing), similar look to HE native dashboard so not understanding the advantage other than remote access.

Other confusing options with high barriers to entry for those who are not programmers and hardware experts, such as Influx, node red, HA integration, grafana, etc


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I'm the founder of SharpTools, so feel free to tag me if you have any questions. SharpTools is a cloud connected platform, so you'll get remote access (#2), but it doesn't all stay local (#1 ). We've been working with Hubitat since their early alpha days --before they even released-- and our model is sustainable so we're here for the long-haul (#3).

Yes, communication is routed through the Hubitat Cloud Relay to your hub. In other words, anytime you access a dashboard remotely, it's running through Hubitat's cloud relays. That's true for any solution that communicates with your hub remotely - the requests back and forth to your hub go over Hubitat's cloud relay (eg. even the third party apps like Hubivue, etc as they piggy back on the Hubitat cloud relay when used remotely).

They all have remote access as they use maker api

You didn't specify mobile device or desktop, there is also [RELEASE] HD+ - Android Dashboard for Android.

I am not sure it meets all of your criteria, but it is another option.

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@calinatl You can look at this.... Tim Garrett of FB did this matrix in PDF form. If the text is too small, download and enlarge it in any PDF viewer

Hi, as author of Tile Builder I can comment on this.
With respect to remote access the Tile Builder tiles really are of two types.

  1. Those under 1,024 bytes are stored as attributes and display within the Hubitat App Dashboards tab with full fidelity on a cloud only connection. Here is a picture from my phone.

    Using Tile Builder Advanced you can create tiles with filtered views. As shown above the "Open Windows and Doors" monitors about 21 doors and windows but only displays those that are open. Great for keeping the tiles small and saving screen real estate.
    The app also shows a lot of stats on the tile size and enabled features to help you keep it under 1,024 if desired.

  2. Those tiles greater than 1,024 are stored as files on the Hubitat Hub. If you use a VPN these will render fine. Without it they will not render as the local IP address is unavailable.

3rd party Yep, but it does have the advantage of being entirely native so no event shipping.

Free Yes, Tile Builder is free but there is an "Advanced" version for which I request a one time donation of $5 to support further development. The Advanced version offers a lot of customizations and you can read about it in the docs.

1 Big Difference Tile Builder was built as a means to display information on the Dashboard in a more consolidated and attractive way. It is not designed to control devices and this was a design choice given the 1,024 byte limit. The only "control" element is to include links to other dashboards which do perform control such as the "Lan" "Cloud" elements in the above picture.

I will take the opportunity to point out that earlier today I announced that the 3rd module for Tile Builder will have an alpha release next week for TB Advanced users, full release probably end of July.
This module is the Multi-Device X Multi-Attribute Monitor which lets you mix and match devices and attributes on the same tile any way you like. Here are a few examples:

Both of these were generated using Tile Builder Advanced, but you could generate very similar tiles with the Standard version without a few of the flourishes. Both these tiles were less than 1,024 bytes and display exactly the same way inside the Hubitat app.


Thank you. This matrix is AWESOME!! It has wayyy more info than I even knew I there was to consider.

So I am trying to understand this correctly. My understanding of this stuff is limited enough to easily misunderstand ALOT, so please correct me if I'm wrong.

If my Hubitat is connected to the internet, Hubitat probably has access to everything on my hub via their logs. Per their privacy policy, Hubitat shares my personal information with Shopify and Google Analytics when I use Hubitats site. I can stop them from sharing with Google by blocking that at Google (if Google can be trusted, but that is not HE's issue). Hubitat does not change what they do if I turn on do not track - ie they still track me. I am using Hubitats site not only when I am on this forum or buying something from them, but also when my Hubitat communicates with the Hubitat site for updates or when I am accessing my dashboard remotely. Their TOS provide a bit more clarification in that they claim to limit access to my private data to purposes of support, and that they will use commercially reasonable methods to maintain my privacy.

I get it - in exchange for being able to buy a preconfigured device with hardware & software off the shelf instead of creating my own I give up some privacy to Hubitat. I'm hoping they are not selling what is on my hub in a personally identifiable way, but not entirely sure.

Now, if I want to access my hub when I am not at home, the net gets bigger. More info goes through Hubitats servers. I sure hope they have ALOT of protection on that info so criminals can't exploit it. There is more than enough info on most of our hubs for someone to be able to determine if the house is occupied or not. May not be an issue today, just like hacking Kia's was not an issue 3 years ago, but if it becomes an issue, there is an immediate vulnerability. I'd like to limit points of vulnerability, precisely because of my limited understanding of this stuff.

Now if I want a prettier and/or denser dashboard, there are third party services that can help with that but then data also goes through that 3rd party's servers. Just one more point of vulnerability.

Of all the above apps, the only one that does not involve another third party's servers is Tile Builder. That one is not on the matrix linked, but it looks intriguing. Will probably try that one...

Maybe the web site, but nothing to do with your hub,...

They only access the engineering logs for diagnostics and ONLY with your knowledge and permission..

Accessing your hub remotely goes through their cloud servers but no information is sold or given away to anyone...

There is nothing really personally identifiable on your hub except the UID/MAC Addr which is linked to your email.

If you look at the majority of these apps, they're 100% local and they user maker api to connect. I suppose they could sell some info but you need to read the TOS of what ever you get. The 2 big ones are Hubivue and HD+ for android.

Umm Not sure how you get that. The majority of these apps use Maker API for both local and remote control and do not use another server.

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Yeah, got to that conclusion because I don't really understand this stuff...I googled Maker API and think it is a Hubitat developed and controlled API, which I think is a method of allowing 3rd parties I have authorized (ie- Alternative Dashboards) to access data on my hub for purposes of interacting with that 3rd party software.

In the chart you linked, there are rows for these:

App on Hub: I think this means the app is loaded on the hub, so the data that interfaces with the app is also on the hub. I presume if the app is not on the hub, it is in the cloud, on the 3rd party Dashboard developers site.

Local Control: I think this means that when I am on the same network as my hub, I can access the dashboard app (and also the data the app pulls in) locally to turn things on / off etc. No internet needs to be involved. I presume if the app does not support local control, even when I'm accessing it from home, I'm not interacting directly with HE, but rather data needs to go to and come from the internet, which I gather is via Maker API, so it goes through the internet to and from Hubitat's MakerAPI?

Of all the options in the matrix, ONLY the native Hubitat Dashboard has checkmarks for App on Hub and Local Control.

Remote Cloud: I think this means that when I am NOT on the same network as my hub, there is a way for me to access the dashboard app via the internet.

What I don't get is if the app is NOT on my HE, how do I have local control? Doesn't the app need the internet and then that is no longer local?

So I (apparently incorrectly) came to the conclusion that only the native HE dashboard does not involve yet another third party host.

I also got the idea in reading this and other threads that Tile Builder Basic is something that installs on my HE device and just expands the options for how to configure the HE native dashboard, so I figured that at least for the three attributes mentioned above it would work the same way as the native HE Dashboard... I may also have that wrong...

For those that allow local control, e.g. HubiVue and HD on Android, or even cloud control for these examples, they are apps running on your device, like a phone or tablet, connecting directly to your HE hub using the Maker API, so not going through a third party cloud-hosted site. I suspect when these Apps are providing cloud access they are connecting via the Maker API cloud connection which I expect is also going via Hubitat's Amazon-host services, but not 100% sure. Either way, this is how these Apps are usually setup, they are on your own device communicating directly to the HE hub or Hubitat's own services, not via services the third-party developer has setup.

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You're understanding of TileBuilder is also correct, it is storing data in a virtual device like any other configured on your HE hub, it just happens that this data is able to be used to render a table on a web page, i.e. a HE dashboard. So again, with this option as well, all the data is managed locally on the HE hub and simply extends what is possible on the HE native dashboard (or some other dashboard options potentially).

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It only allows access to devices that you authorize.. Here is an example. You can have as many instances of maker api that you want.

No.. In most cases the app purely resides on your phone/tablet/pc and uses maker API (either locally or via cloud)


Correct. But obviously local installations are better instead of relaying through the cloud. Again Hubivue and HD+ are the two best ones.

Only when off lan does an app communicate with the cloud link to maker api. See my above pic, local and cloud are used... Local when on lan. cloud when off.

The control app is on your phone/tablet/pc. Control is done over lan or cloud to maker API which is installed on your hub.

Correct. Anything can be 100% local. Think of Maker API as a secondary doorway on the hub for you to walk through and push a button (securely of course)

That is, but that is simply for displaying a tile and yes on the native dash data for that dash is stored directly on the hub because it's an html file that the native dash is looking for. Same can be done in other dashboard apps. Other apps (Hubivue, HD+ etc) store data directly in the memory storage of the app on your phone/tablet/computer

Also take a look at this thread...

And in conclusion, for me personally I couldn't really care about dashboards. I don't like remote control. I don't particularly like actively interacting with things in my home... I prefer automation. I have a couple of dashboards to monitor a few things and manually adjust my thermostats, but I hardly ever open the hubitat app. Automation over Remote Control for me..


That's absolutely correct.

Even when using the web version of hubiVue (an app that is running on your browser that is loaded from our website) the connection to your hub is via the Maker API cloud connection. Only the WiFi connected to local network native apps (that can run without the Internet) such as Windows, macOS and the mobile devices of Android/iOS does hubiVue detect the local network and connect to the local hub directly - this means in that mode, hubiVue runs without needing the Internet.

The only reason we rely on the cloud is for synchronising the configuration to other instances of hubiVue. If ever hubitat offered a local app to host code/content in a way that we could use, we'd remove the need for any cloud access at all (with the only exception being the Maker API cloud connection for remote access)

Hope that helps?