Quick (<3 min) overview of some of the currently available app experiences for Hubitat device control on iOS.
Coming from Wink, I thought a ‘native’ app was necessary, for widgets and setting up devices. This is an incorrect assumption. Check out the video to see what the experience will be like.
With Hubitat (as regulars here already know) you setup/configure/add devices via a secure and separate web interface when on your home network. You can control those devices via the cloud if you choose (turn things on and off). It’s very simple to create a dashboard app that you can save to your home screen that feels just like a native app and allows control of whatever you chose. The video above is an overview of a few options on an iPhone 7.
- smoother web interface
- higher WAF
- Accelerative scrolling (simple flick to scroll to the bottom of a screen)
- Much easier control of RGBW lights
- Very secure without being obtrusive - must log in at least once to access your dashboards - so even if someone was packet sniffing your use on a public Wi-Fi they wouldn’t be able to trigger devices without your password.
- You are not repeatedly asked to enter the password which keeps WAF high.
- Feels very iOS app-like with high level of polish
- Monthly fee ($3)
- Always uses cloud to route requests even when on home network
Hubitat included dashboard:
- Free - included in Hubitat
- Higher degree of customization, check out the RGBW light control in the video
- Secure - you can add a PIN to your dashboards, but this is also a con (see below)
- No accelerative scrolling - can’t ‘flick’ to scroll down a dashboard page (see ‘bedroom’ in video for example)
- Doesn’t feel as polished (yet) as SharpTools - the pages initial load times feel slower and overall it feels a bit clunkier
- High degree of customization can be confusing to novice users - see RGBW light control in bedroom dashboard screen in the video
- PIN entry every time if high security is desired, which can be cumbersome and frustrate users leading them to ask for PIN removal which reduces security significantly when not on home networks
- Steep initial setup learning curve coming from Wink - must select device, then select what type of device it is which took me a minute to figure out (yes, there is ample documentation on this :))
Personally I use SharpTools when away from home and Hubitat Dashboard when I’m on my home LAN. I like the extra customization, but my spouse wants simplicity and thus they prefer SharpTools.
Note - with Rule Machine and cloud endpoint triggers - it’s super simple to set up iOS dashboard widgets. I’ve covered this on another post. These are also free. But because the URL they hit to trigger a rule is static, I don’t consider them especially secure so we only use them for basic control and usually only when at home.
There are loads of other posts on these forums on how to set up SharpTools (it’s as easy as Wink) and the Hubitat dashboards.
Edit: I should have also mentioned that you can use Google Home or Alexa native iOS apps to control all of your devices if you really crave that 100% app-like experience that you left behind with Wink