Using non-rooted Wink Relay

At @danabw 's request (yes, blame him) I started this thread to accumulate observations and tips relevant to using Wink's Relay without root privilege as a dashboard for Hubitat . Brand new units evidently remain for sale on Ebay for around $40 or so including shipping. Used with a down-level (but very functional) version of HD+, you can have a nice looking (albeit slow should you need you need to interact with it) control panel that doesn't require much labor to install.

Since Wink's servers no longer seem to interfere with user installed apps (or provide updates; be advised that's a security risk to consider ) it may be useful to share info on what still works on Android 4.3 and workarounds for issues.

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If you're not familiar with rooting and setting up the Relay to work with Hubitat, you probably should check out some of the many forums and websites devoted to that topic, I'd recommend this forum [Beta] Wink Relay - LAN Integration - :construction: Developers - Hubitat , but note that based on my experience using KingRoot appears to cause reliability issues-- and Josh's excellent LAN integration app (which requires root) won't work... so backlight proximity sensor can't be enabled and HE control of the Relay's built in switches is a no-go.

Aside from where to obtain app versions that still work on Android 4.3, skipping the rooting process makes setup easier.

Once your Rrelay is on your wifi network, one of the first things you need to do is get to the hidden home screen, from there find the Android Settings icon and find the setting to 'Enable App installs from unknown sources' as well 'Developer Mode' though I'm not sure why that is necessary... that will allow installing Android apps.. the Android settings app is where you can also find running Wink apps that can be force stopped and deleted.

it's a pain too get to the hidden home screen--- to do that you keep the proximity sensor covered and hold the bottom button(keep the sensor covered while doing this) for 10-15 sec or so until you hear the relays click... download and run the assistive touch APK first; that puts a floating button (you can drag it around to reposition it) that will take you to the Relay's homes screen where your icons for the stuff you've installed will show up. There's another held button process to get to a 'Recovery' menu to factory reset the unit should you need to... it uses the recessed reset button along the bottom edge of the unit and can either completely wipe the unit or reset the OS without wiping your app installs.

What makes the setup a bit tricky is that the stock browser (which can be accessed when you get to the hidden 'home screen') is too old now to work with the APK download sites that hosted some of the utilities you need.

But luckily this site (thanks to Dan!) DanGwinn.com hosts the versions of the most important utilities that work.. you can use Wink's built in browser (as I recall it shows up as a generic globe icon in the home screen) to go to DanGwinn's site and download the APK's (they're a ways down the home page on that site in a section of Wink Relay download files). Firefox version from that site can be used to download stuff from most websites where as the built in browser may not work. Note that the Wink Relay app on that site appears to require root... and as previously stated I'd avoid KingRoot. Not sure there is a nonlethal alternative.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that Chrome version 62.0.3202.84 appears to work as well for most downloading, though many sites (including Hubtat's) won't allow full functionality.

When I set up my most recent units I don't think Wink's servers were still active, so when the unit offers to 'update' I don't think it will succeed. It didn't seem to affect their functionality, however, aside from failure to patch security holes....

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WOOT!

Returns are in, and voted Best New Post of the month! :smiley:

Seriously, thanks for sharing this info. Nerds everywhere are cheering. :wink:

@rlithgow1 - Wink can be back in your life again!

Pics!

image

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mister rogers middle finger GIF

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I had 2 relays and used them for a while, until the screens stopped working properly. One died and a while later, the other died.

They were nice while they lasted, but based on my experience, I would not recommend spending the time to get them working.

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Boo, boo, [hiss] boo!!

:wink:

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