iOS, Android and other client Apps

Please can you develop an app for phones / tablets. I really miss the smartthings style app.

Ta

Tim

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If you search the forum, you'll see there are a few other threads where the planned, future mobile app has been discussed. However, it might not be what you're expecting: the goal is for it to be used for presence, notifications, and access to dashboards. (As you know, the ST app is intended for device/automation setup and, apparently, device control, though the popularity of solutions like ActionTiles suggests it doesn't do a certain one of those very well.)

Can I ask what your use for the mobile app is? Device/automation setup, as you know, is done via the hub's LAN-accessible web UI--pretty much combining everything you could do via the ST app and IDE into one, except device control is a bit awkward in that it just exposes methods from the device's driver. (Once you get your system set up the way you want it to be, the web UI should ideally be something you need to visit rarely--to, say, set up a new device or troubleshoot an existing one, like to see events history or when it last checked in.) Their goal for device control is to steer people towards Hubitat Dashboard. You can already access either from a mobile device (with the dashboard obviously giving you a much better interface, albeit one you need to set up yourself), and you can pin an icon for either to your home screen if that makes it feel better/more like an app to you. :slight_smile:

Finally, if you're looking for presence or notifications, you can do those already, albeit with third-party tools (Life360 or webCoRE presence if that's working again, for example; and Pushover or the community Hubitat-to-ST notification pusher app/driver for notifications, besides SMS that is built-in if you don't expect to send many).

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Have a look at this thread:

Andy

Reinforcing what @bertabcd1234 said. There's two portions (at least) to a Home Automation system. Setting it up, keeping it running, etc. -- what many would call Admin tasks. The (I hope) larger part is the interaction with the non-admins.

SmartThings (and too many others) chose to put both portions in one App. Bad Idea in so many ways, but Hubitat has expressed the other view.... that the App should only do non-admin tasks.

Admin, remotely should be done securely and with VPNs so easy to setup these days (OpenVPN, for example) there's no reason to even consider Admin tasks in a modern App. IMHO

I agree with you, that is why I used Aciontiles for my wife in ST, she doesn't need those admin rights to screw up something

Hi,

Thank you for the quick and thorough response. Here is my wish list:

  • Presence, notifications and viewing the status of devices would be great with a modern interface. (I don’t want to use a third party provider for location or push notifications).
  • Arming / Disarming the alarm.
  • Changing Mode.
  • Changing the heating setpoint for zones of the building or overriding schedule.
  • Tiles / Buttons that provide some feed back when pressed
  • The ability to control devices other than the device setup screen. A simple way to turn lights or groups of lights on or set a lighting scene, for example.

My issue with the dashboard is that it feels and behaves like it dropped out of the year 2000. Things have moved on and getting no geeky people to use a system like this means it needs an easy interface.

I’m moving from smartthings because hardly anything runs locally. At the moment though there isn’t a good way to onboard other members of the household.

I’ll keep looking at the dashboard however feel that no native apps is a massive barrier to adoption for many.

@csteele I whole heartedly agree with all your comments. It’s the day to day operation of the system that I am struggling with ( and porting some DTHs to drivers for Hubitat).

Tim

Thank you. I’ve just done this.

I’ve no doubt the engineering and code behind this is fabulous. Some UI tweets are needed I feel.

Tim

In my house, no one has any interest in this home automation stuff. I whip out the Dashboard at someone's house to show them that the Perimeter is intact, the doors are closed and locked, etc. My family looks on and never once has said, can I do that on my (iPhone/iPad, etc) ?

No interest, in fact anti interest if I had to put a label on it.

I began this journey with a simple Goal. The house will work for me. If I have to reach into a pocket or walk to a specific wall... I've failed. For that reason, no one at my home has any needs that the house isn't already taking care of for them. The only buttons they ever touch are the Pico's mounted above their heads on the headboard of the bed. 5 button Pico becomes a 10 button via Hubitat and that's more than any of us can memorize.

I use the Dashboard, with envy of those "beautiful ones" that get posted. But I can't spend that amount of time to get an alternate running for just me. :smiley: Just me ain't worth it. Did you see the Star Trek one?? Man that would be cool. Hubitat Dasboard has a long way to go to compete, but it's also come a long way too.

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Many options exist. Some take more work than others. Here is my solution. Widgets built directly into the launcher that can poll for state. I dislike the dashboard layout on my phone so this is great solution for me.

Makes sense! Presence, notifications, and viewing of devices (via dashboards) in the app are things we have been told will be coming. The dashboard can really do most/all of what you ask for--arm/disarm Hubitat Safety Monitor, change location mode, provide tap/click interface for buttons and switches, etc. Hubitat doesn't have "built-in" support for scenes/groups (EDIT: if you're reading this now, this feature has since been added), but it's nothing you can't do yourself with a virtual switch or button and an automation of your choice (e.g., one of the stock lighting apps if you want to turn lights on/off with a button controller, or a Rule Machine child app to do something more customized). Unless I'm missing something, I don't think the dashboard has a good way to modify thermostats right now. Both ActionTiles and SharpTools.io have good ways of doing this, in my opinion (and by the way, if you don't mind cloud-dependency, SharpTools is great).

I do have to agree a bit on the dashboard, though. It could use the help of a UI/UX professional to help it look and work better. A bigger problem with the dashboard, in my opinion, is that dashboards have to be set up manually. In ST, you can at least use the "Things" page in the app to see an alphabetical listing and get quick control of your devices--no extra work required; in Hubitat, you'd have to manually create dashboards with all your devices, update them when you add new ones, etc. I think this is why so many people "cheat" and just use the web UI that wasn't really intended for this purpose--and I'm not saying ST does a good job here (see again: ActionTiles), but it's at least something to meet occasional needs for manual control. I don't think Hubitat will ever move to be like ST, and I'm not sure what a good solution would be (maybe a default/"everything" dashboard that keeps up with new device changes and provides quick viewing/control of the most common/likely attribute for that device? but again, Hubitat doesn't have a good way to tell since there's no UI code in drivers like ST has for DTHs).

That being said, they've also indicated that their focus is on automation--and really, that's why I got the hub, too. I don't want to manually control things often, and when I do, I even more rarely want to use my phone or a computer. My lights turn on based on motion and time of day, and I have wall controls (technically not Hubitat since I have them paired natively to Hue, but I'm also setting up some Pico remotes for similar purposes) for other circumstances. The dashboard is nice for seeing things at a glance and occasional usage, but I'd hate to need to use anything--an app, a dashboard, or whatever--for control since I could already manually control things without an HA system like Hubitat at all. (And I'd imagine I'd feel this way even more strongly if I were somebody's husband, housemate, or similar--bad enough when I mess things up for myself. :slight_smile: )

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I think the dashboards are extremely powerful but I do agree on the look needing more polish. With that said I prefer functionality over looks and understand its all a resourcing/time issue in the end.

I'm looking forward to an Android & iOS app so it gives Hubitat a cohesive experience (single place for notifications and actions to trigger). I was also hoping the upcoming app could support widgets on both platforms. Our garage door is Z-Wave and we have widgets on our device home screens. We can easily swipe over to trigger the door as I pull into the drive way. Or when we take the dog for a walk and return home and want to enter through the garage we can toggle that very easily.

See this pic for the existing Wink shortcuts I have setup for my wife, nice and easy:
https://imgur.com/NPf3Qb1

Using a dashboard is 2 presses to toggle an action (press on dashboard link, then on action). What I'm doing now is using IFTTTT for widget functionality. It works but the icon of each widget can't be customized so its not clear which icon to press at a glance as they are all the same.

My wife (and I) miss the widgets ST had on iOS. We had ones to turn off all the bedroom lights, one for theater mode in the living room. These were handy for us.

when looking for 'hubitat android app' this is the top result. Considering the last update was in 2018, id assume there has been some movement on this?

I too like the idea of widgets for quick access to switches. hell, if we're aiming for the stars, if there was a way to tell which room i was in, having the app have a few simple buttons on the lock screen (like a music player) to control a small selection of devices, that would be a dream (understand specific location details is the issue)

i dont mind doing the configuration etc on a desktop, but web stats already show mobile has taken the lead, so i'd have to say it would be foolish to not have the app do everything you can think of.

even if the app was only a wrapper to a web page that was hosted on the device, that would be easier for you to maintain (one code base really) for all platforms.

at any rate? where is the app?

They have been pretty consistent that the mobile app will offer dashboard access, notifications, and geolocation for presence-based automations. It will not include access to the hub admin interface. That may seem foolish to some, but their reasoning as to why they made that choice is sound, IMO.

The only answer I have seen to this question is, “it’ll be ready when it’s ready.” I’m paraphrasing a bit, but I have functional solutions for all three of the features that the app will offer, so I’m not in any rush personally.

Have you thought about using Google Home with your android phone? It will get you a “mobile app” right away and you can control your devices, e.g. on/off for switches, setting of thermostats, etc.

@dan.t yeah i use that with smartthings and will set it up with hubitat as well. however i really only use that with voice (not the quickest interface to get to, also, havent checked in a while, but there was no widget support previously)

The only reason i even looked to see if there was an app is because im going to have to go around the house excluding and including, and that would be a bit quicker via a phone app rather than dragging the laptop around. not the end of the world, kinda just providing input more than anything.
Im a pretty heavy desktop user so it wont phase me that the admin stuff is there, the comment was more geared towards getting a wider market share. Statistics show that "mobile first" is now the default.

@marktheknife I just received my hub about 20 min ago, so im still shooting from the hip so to speak. I dont know the history of this, but, the comment was more about what i mentioned above, and not so much a realy technical/policy based reason, just, less folks have desktops/laptops, and you're going to limit market share that way.. I consider it foolish in the same regard selling a new movie on VHS would be, if people arent using those devices as heavily, you're probalby wasting cycles in the long run. not terribly important to me, just some industry feedback.

What is your solution made up of? I think, for me the google home will cover most of my needs, but widgets would be a really nice bonus.

Thanks for the extremely quick responses, looking forward to digging in to the platform more!

That feature won’t be part of the Hubitat app either. The Hubitat app will not expose any admin features. I just use Chrome on my phone for this.

I have an iOS household and use the Homebridge implementation for mobile UI and presence. Works flawlessly for me and I have no need whatsoever for a Hubitat mobile app. I agree, for new users it would be easier if they could just go to the App Store, type in Hubitat and have an app in their hands. That’s one of the reasons why the Hubitat team is working on it. But they want to do it right. A bad mobile app can also divert a lot of users and then the question is what is worse? Not having one or the reputation of a bad one?

For me, any mobile app only needs 2 or 3 things.

  1. I want to use my app for presence
  2. I want to use my app for messages from the hub(s)
  3. On the very odd occasion I want to control something, I want access to a dashboard.

If Hubitat ever put full admin control on the app, that’s the day I uninstall it from my phone.

Btw, we currently have all of these.

  1. L360
  2. Pushover
  3. In my case Safari access to a dashboard.

But.. it would be nice to have it all in an app! :slight_smile:

Andy

You can create dashboards for remote access to your devices.

For notifications, you can use sms but that’s not the best solution since you’re limited to 10 messages a day. Most people use the integration with Pushover, which does require a nominal fee but is well worth it IMO. I believe some people use Pushbullet to receive notifications but I’m not familiar with that solution, IIRC it’s free though.

As for geolocation, that can get complicated pretty quickly. There is a native integration with Life360, but I found that to be hit or miss. Currently I’m using a few solutions combined to improve reliability.

docs.hubitat.com is still a work in progress, but there’s a lot of good information there.

Yeah I cant really comment on if its a wise idea or not, without knowing the architecture. Obviously with it being stand alone its a lot more complex than things like SmartThings that, regardless of task, has to go over the net.

And of course, I want them to do it right, i was more so curious why the search got me to something that was so old, I'm used to a weeee bit more transparency from companies so was sort of surprised the top hit i got was this post. Like the rest of you, its not a MAJOR part for me, was just more so surprised considered the direction of things on the web.

I am a bit curious, (happy for links) but why is there so much fear of admin at the app?
There are several safe ways to approach this that should at least remove any concern about security. I mean, at that point, you might as well say the only safe posture is to not be on the net at all? Which on that topic, is there any docs that layout the architecture? Im a bit curious how the portal,hubitat,com stuff works considering this platforms biggest value is the "stays local" part?

Both my security camera system, and a previous (open source) home automation system both had apps that required me to configure the internal IP, and if i so choose to add an external IP, that would even allow me to have different security requirements. Also since I have the ability to add users to my hub, it would act like any other RBAC app and only show features im able to use.

I mean, i guess it doesnt really impact me, mostly just wondering why

(its almost creepy that it shows me Mark is currently replying lol)