Hubitat iOS app overviews for fellow Wink refugees


#1

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.

SharpTools:
Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • Monthly fee ($3)
  • Always uses cloud to route requests even when on home network

Hubitat included dashboard:
Pros:

  • 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)

Cons:

  • 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 :slight_smile:


#2

Awesome demo and great write-up!

Thanks for sharing and glad to hear you are enjoying SharpTools.io and Hubitat! :smiley:


#3

v1.0.4 of Hubitat iOS App was made available to me this morning, in Aus.
Continue the great work guys - Whilst I'd not experienced any issues with the first relaese of the App, I immediately see that the Geofence area has now been reduced.


#4

I use the Home app on my iPhone for all my devices...rules and automations through HE though.


#5

That requires running a homebridge server on another device, though. Not an overly complicated task, but may not appeal to some people.


#6

IMHO running homebridge is worth adding another device to my ecosystem. The iOS interface is more polished than Hubitat's dashboards.


#7

Yes, running homebridge was a pain to sort out at first but once started I cant live without! Started w/ old mac mini that died, then raspberry which worked quite well actually...now on a brand new mac mini that I saved up for.

In the end its worth it because members of my family get to use their Home apps the way they like as well as ask Siri to do our bidding. I also have other HomeKit enabled devices that I dont control through HE (just monitor).

Only issue is when there are updates to dependencies the devices may get reset from their rooms so I have to move them around.


#8

The HomeKit room shuffle issue is something Apple really needs to fix. It happens with official HomeKit implementations too. That's why there are a few apps around to backup HomeKit.configurations. The look and feel is changing in MacOS Catalina and iOS 13. Hopefully it will be more stable as well.

It's way overkill to have a new MacMini for Homebridge, but since you do, you have plenty of horsepower to run multiple Node.js instances at one time. I'm currently running five (Homebridge, Google Assistant Relay, Cast-Web API, Insteon-Server and a web-socket client) on a 2011 MacBook Pro running High Sierra. Works great and I have lots of processing power to spare. I use TeamViewer for remote admin access to the hub, and that works great too. I have to say, since I have this asset available, I'm a little obsessed with node.js applications. They're so useful and take the load of the hub, allowing me to concentrate on the fun stuff, not spend my time trying to figure out why a single overloaded hub is locking up. :smiley: