Mobile App's Google Dependance (Android)


It is disappointing that after all the effort of setting up Hubitat for the purposes of enhanced privacy, the Hubitat mobile app simply crashes on Android devices not running Google Play Services. Is there any chance that Hubitat's devs might consider making the app a little less dependency on Google in the future?

As it is, I can only get notifications from my hub if I use the app (email and SMS are not permitted), and the app only works if I compromise my privacy by installing Google Play. So I just can't get any.

Don't get me wrong, I know this would be a significant lift for the devs. But I'm just wondering if this might be an option they would consider in the future.

Thank you!

I can guarantee this won't happen.

If you disable play services most of your phone probably won't function properly anyway including the play store. How would you then install/update your apps? You would be trading some additional privacy against a whole lot less security.


Phones can work fine without Play Services, it's just the apps that are the problem. The apps can be installed from an alternative app store, such as F-droid, or you can use something like Aurora Store to install apps from the Google Play store, but without using the actual Play Store app. Or, you can outright side-load them. Getting the apps isn't a problem. Getting devs to make apps that do not depend on Google is the issue. Apps can do whatever they need without Google's libraries, but Google makes it easier to use their libraries, therefore some devs do so.

I have many apps which work just fine; the only one I want which doesn't work, is Hubitat.

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Use pushover. Don’t even mess with the mobile app, it is way to flaky and you can do almost everything your browser, a con or remote admin, and pushover. The exceptions are presence and Smart Start for Z-wave, but again, flaky. You can either book mark the local and cloud versions of your dashboards, or use a much better third-party dashboard app. I strongly recommend hubiVue or Hubitat Dashboard app. But if you are bound and determined to stay away from play services, you will find extremely limited options. You're probably going to have to make a degree of compromise, and just severely limit what Google can see and use. I recently just ditched android all together and switched to iPhone and have been very happy.


"Permitted" is the wrong word. You mean not supported out of the box. You can add apps to give you such notifications if you want.

E.g., this one lets you send notifications as email via your own email server, or the one on your ISP:


Permitted" is the wrong word. You mean not supported out of the box

Perhaps not, but SMS used to be supported, and was then removed.

Email is not complicated to implement, if the user can provide an email server.

E.g., this one lets you send notifications as email via your own email server, or the one on your ISP

Yes, Sendmail is the one and only option in Hubitat. It doesn't work. I know some people have been able to beat it into submission, but after several weeks of significant effort and discussion on the forums, I was unable to get it working. And I'm not the only one. I can send email from the terminal on Windows and Linux, but somehow, I can't do that from here. Great.

Use pushover. Don’t even mess with the mobile app, it is way to flaky

Yes, I've heard it is good. In desperation, I tried it. Despite costing a subscription fee which I should be needing to pay, Pushover also depends on Google Play Services. Same problem, different app.

I wasn't trying to go down this path of discussion, but yes, the recommendations typically follow this path:
Hubitat App [Requires GSF]> Pushover [Requires GSF] > Sendmail [sounds exactly like what I want, but doesn't work for me].

Not going to happen.

If you need SMS that works with a mail server that uses TLS, then look into @erktrek's integration, linked to below:

Or use the built-in integration for Twilio, or @ritchierich's integration for Plivo, linked to below:


I don't need TLS support for server supports plain text connections. For this purpose, that would be acceptable although not ideal. Still, I'll take a look at that discussion.

The Twilio/Plivo integration option is interesting. Not as good as email, but still interesting. I'll take a look.

Thanks for the tips.

I'm glad that these two options (GSF-dependent apps, or a hit-or-miss community email app) are good enough for most people. I just wish we could improve this single-point-of-failure model.

The point of failure would be the extraordinarily rare customer who:

  1. Uses an Android
  2. But doesn’t want to use the Play Store

In my mind, software should be built to accommodate the needs of the majority of users. Which is what Hubitat (or for that matter, Pushover) have done.


The point of failure would be the extraordinarily rare customer

Very true, although you're much more likely to get such people here, than using a product like SmartThings or Google Home.

No. You're most likely to find them using Home Assistant.

FWIW, in 3+ years, yours is the first request of this nature that I'm aware of.


Exactly my point. If you trust the APK source then that's not a problem. Me, not so much.

Great app, love it (as it works on node red as well :grinning:). However, as it's paid, how would OP get it without the play store? Having said that both the HE mobile app and Pushover work great for me. In fact notifications come about a second faster on the HE app.

Nope - Pushover is a once off upfront payment.


That’s also not accurate. They decided they can’t keep paying for users to send SMS messages. You can still send an SMS via the built-in integration with Twilio, but you’ll have to bear the cost of sending those messages yourself.

Pushover doesn’t charge a subscription fee for personal use less than 10,000 messages per month. That’s a one-time fee per operating system.

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It’s come up once before:


google services = significant privacy compromises. A lot of debates about whether this is important or not. However, there are a growing number of folks who have personal and societal concerns about it -- and want solutions that enable greater privacy and freedom from these platforms.

There are A LOT of apps that work just fine with MicroG and/or no services at all. Not certain why the Hubitat app doesn't play well with MicroG -- must have some dependencies on google-specific services hooks that other apps don't require. Would love to see the Hubitat team resolve this but understand they have limited resources and must focus on the ones that have the broadest impact for their users.

I presently rely on a Telegram bot for hubitat messages. Not ideal (for me) but it works well.


If you're simply looking for an android dashboard you can try Hubitat Dashboard for Android (not made by hubitat) by @jpage4500 or @gslender 's Hubivue (

I think this is what it comes down to.

This is of course a crowd that can appreciate the goal of keeping one’s personal information local when possible, and private/anonymized when local isn’t an option.

But unless there’s more of a critical mass of users clamoring for this issue to be addressed, the developers presumably have bigger fish to fry at any given time.


Exactly. Thank you @geekdaddy ! It's a growing concern for a number of people, but the majority have not yet really considered the implications of integrating platforms like Google into every part of their life. Case in point, this website uses Google trackers. However, we can block those without breaking the site. That is not the case with the app. But unless users speak up about their concerns, nothing will change.

I appreciate the amount of effort required to make a change like this, as I said earlier. But I asked because I wanted to know where people's minds were at, on this topic. Now we know. Google "fan boys" will always be just that, but I hope that others will be willing to consider the implications of this decision.

The Telegram bot is an interesting idea. How do you implement that?

I'm looking for a way the hub can communicate with me directly, in a "push" manner. I'll look into this app. It includes GSF as well, but doesn't crash as soon as I open it, so this might have a chance of working.

Download the Hubitat app