Home Assistant (HASS) one of the best open source home automation platforms available today, apart from perhaps OpenHAB. This intelligent home automation platform based on Python is integrated with more than 1000 services and components, which makes it significantly more versatile than commercial smart home centers such as SmartThings, Wink or Vera. However, one of the biggest drawbacks of Home Assistant is the lack of ease of mobile use. Shopping centers offer easy-to-use mobile apps that simplify things. Even OpenHAB has an official mobile application. However, HASS is based on WebUI compatible with mobile devices. If you have many components or run your HASS on low-power devices like Raspberry Pi, the delay of the web interface on mobile devices can be quite annoying. Enter these incredible Android applications for Home Assistant, life becomes easier.
Why use Android applications? – Apps vs Dashboards
So, obviously, there are some good Android apps for HASS. But why would you want to use them? Personally, I use them because they are much easier to use than opening the WebUI on mobile phones. I run my home assistant in Docker and a server for the home Ubuntu 5350 based on AMD. Even with a relatively good server and a new Pixel 3 phone, the interface was slow. So there's a reason to use mobile apps to control Home Assistant.
There is another angle for this: Boards (for example, HADashboard or Tilepanel). The boards are modular interfaces for Home Assistant that are designed to be mounted on wall-mounted devices (for example, Tablets). These can act as control centers for your home. In the past, the configuration of the Home Assistant panels was not a task for the happy ones. I would say, this is still true. But just as the new HASS clients for Android have emerged in recent times, so have the control panels for Home Assistant.
Android applications for Home Assistant and Dashboards can have different purposes The objective of this post is not to cover mounting panels on the wall I hope to cover the dashboards of the domestic assistants in a separate post. The objective of this publication is only to look at the Home Assistant mobile applications that are currently available. [ Read: How to add an animated weather radar in Home Assistant?]
The best Android applications for Home Assistant
I started using HASS in December 2017. It fascinated me so much that I decided to change Name my entire website and cover more about Smart Home topics, especially Home Assistant. At that time there was only one mobile application available for Home Assistant – HomeAssist. In recent months, several new customers of Android home assistants have come to life. In this post, I will share my experience in some of the Android applications for Home Assistant.
Keep in mind that, this is an area where a lot of active development is being seen. I will do my best to keep this publication updated with current information. These applications should work for any version of Home Assistant, including the HASS.io Hass operating system.
Just to the right, let me tell you that today, this is the best Android Home Assistant client. I loved it and did not hesitate to upgrade to the ad-free version to support the development. The developer seems to be extremely active and receptive.
After opening the application and connecting using the HASS URL, name of user and password, the application takes a few minutes to load the icons of the user interface. After the first start, this was one of the most skillful Android HASS apps I've used. Not only is it bright, colorful, elegant and simple, but it is also one of the applications with more features.
- Integrated MQTT client that can send phone status (battery, Wi-Fi status, location, etc.) to Home Assistant for automation depending on the status of your phone.
- Support for RGB entities
- Support for Alarm Panel
- Support for new AUTH system
- Ability to create widgets for favorite sensors / switches, etc.
- Ability to differentiate between the local network and the external network (other wifi, 3G, 4G)
- Lovelace configuration support
- Tracker device support
- push notifications
Unlike most of the other Android applications for domestic assistant, Ariela is compatible with the new Lovelace user interface. . However, at this time only limited support for personalized cards is available. Ariela has an integrated device tracking device based on GPS / Wifi, which can be integrated with Zones in HASS for location-based automations. Therefore, there is no need for separate applications such as Owntracks for this purpose.
Ariela is actively developed and you can follow its updates in this thread of the community.
- The best of all the applications I tried, with an excellent user interface
- Built-in device tracker (GPS / Wifi)
- Lovelace user interface support
- Built-in MQTT sensors for mobile devices (eg battery, call status, etc.)
- Persistent connection
- Ariela Pro is a standalone application. When I paid and switched to the ad-free version, there was no way to import settings from the free version. I had to configure it again. However, it only took about 5 minutes.
- Does not show the default Start view.
Ariela is my favorite application to view and control the Home Wizard on my Android phone.
The best Z-wave devices for home automation in 2019:
WallPanel is my second favorite mobile client for Home Assistant. The name of the application is more indicative of a board use. But it works very well as a mobile phone application. It is an Android open source application for web-based control panels and home automation platforms such as Home Assistant. While it can support other automation platforms, the main platform seems to be HASS.
Once installed and connected, this Android Home Assistant application represents the HASS website. ui using the native feature of Android WebView. The advantage here is that HASS will look more or less the same as it appears in a browser. In my tests, I found that this application is much more receptive than opening the Web-UI of Home Assistant in the Android Chrome browser. Like Ariela, WallPanel also supports several advanced functions:
- Camera support for video transmission, motion detection, face detection and QR code reading.
- Google Text-to-Speech support for talking notification messages using MQTT or HTTP.
- MQTT or HTTP commands to remotely control the device and the application (url, brightness, wake up, etc.).
- Report of sensor data for the device (temperature, light, pressure, battery).
- Transmission MJPEG server support using the camera of the device.
Like Ariela, WallPanel also supports the export of device conditions such as battery percentage using MQTT. However, it has some other unique characteristics. You can partially control your Android device using MQTT. It is also possible to transmit live the camera of your mobile phone to a domestic assistant. In essence, you can make your phone act like a security camera. These unique features make WallPanel one of the best Android Home Assistant customers. If these characteristics are important to you, then WallPanel may be a better option than Ariela.
- More polished than WebUI in Chrome
- Built-in camera broadcast
- Compatible with Lovelace – how the native HASS UI opens in Android WebView
- Built in MQTT sensors for devices mobiles (eg battery, call status, etc.)
- Persistent connection
- Widget available
WallPanel is my second favorite Android application for Home Assistant.
HomeAssist was (I think) the first Android client available for Home Assistant. I used it for several months. It has a bright, colorful, simple and highly customizable interface based on the design of the material. In addition to being an excellent mobile application for Home Assistant, HomeAssist is also an excellent option to configure a dashboard with ease.
The problem with HomeAssist is that the last update was in February 2018. Since then many things have happened in the HASS world. One of the most important changes is the change from an inherited API password system to an authentication system based on full-fledged users. HomeAssist does not support the new authentication system and, therefore, it will have to leave enabled the password support of the legacy API in Home Assistant for this to work.
- Nice customizable and modular user interface
- Slick  Widget available
- No advanced features: device tracker, MQTT sensors, etc. .
- Slower than Ariela
- No recent updates
- No support for a newer authentication system  No lingering connection
At this point, I'm leaving HomeAssist as the third option. However, if the application is out of date and is not compatible with some of the newer features of Home Assistant, I see that this moves down the list or is not even recommended.
HomeHabit (formerly known as Project Rotini) is designed to be a control panel and, therefore, works very differently from some of the applications mentioned above. He is currently in Beta. HomeHabit's smart home panel allows you to connect and control several popular platforms, such as Home Assistant and OpenHAB. There is experimental support available for Domoticz, Vera and Wink.
When looking at HomeHabit as an Android application for Home Assistant, some of the likes and dislikes listed below will have to be considered in light of the main purpose of this application, which is to provide a Home Assistant panel and not a mobile client.
- Highly customizable user interface. build your panel from scratch
- Available import / export configuration option
- Compatibility with something more than the Home Assistant platform
- Pretty active community
- No advanced features: device scanner, MQTT sensors, etc.
- Requires initial work to build the board
- Without widgets
- The free version only allows one platform
. I am publishing it here because HomeHabit works on Android devices. However, this would not be my choice to control Home Assistant with an Android phone.
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5. Voice Panel
The Voice Panel is a completely different animal among Android clients for Home Assistant. It is an open source voice assistant for Home Assistant, powered by the Snips voice platform. Snips provides private and customizable voice assistant technology locally (without the use of a cloud). [ Read: Google Home vs. Amazon Echo: Which is better for smart home control?]
The Voice panel allows you to control or check your alarm system, lights, windows, shutters, switches, check status, and weather, among other things.
The conversation starts using the activation word "Hey, Snips" or using face detection. All messages are forwarded to Home Assistant using MQTT. Here are some of the other key features:
- Allows the use of the camera for video transmission, dtect motion / faces and QR code reading
- Supports the MQTT alarm panel to control the alarm system
- ] The MQTT commands to control the application remotely (text, play audio, send notifications, alerts, etc.)
- The device data sensor informs about MQTT (temperature, light, pressure, battery, etc.)  MQTT Day / night mode according to the sun value reported from Home Assistant
- MQTT weather data to show the time reported from Home Assistant
As you can see, some advanced features (for example, MQTT device conditions, camera transmission) are included as in Ariela or WallPanel. The voice panel is currently an early release and work is still being done.
- HASS Voice Control
- Spot after initial load
- Voice or face activated
- Built-in camera broadcast  What I did not like:
- ] Without tracking device
- Without widgets
While the HASS voice control is the uniqueness of this application, my concern is that the same functionality can be easily achieved by integrating the Google Assistant. or Amazon Alexa in Home Assistant. For me, the other features of the Voice Panel are not opposed to Ariela or WallPanel. But for others, this may be the right one. [ Lee: 6 best smart speakers for 2017: Speakers for your smart home]
Android Home Wizard customers – Final Thoughts
As already mentioned, my favorite HASS client is Ariela and WallPanel is close. second. HomeAssist (or HomeAssist-ng) is a distant third party. HomeHabit and Voice Panel aim for a completely different experience and may be more suitable as a Home Assistant panel than a mobile application. If you are interested in a panel, there are several options other than HomeHabit or Voice Panel. These will be covered in a separate publication.
There are several more incredible things available for use with Home Assistant. Awesome Home Assistant is an excellent resource to follow and keep track of the things you may want to have in your configuration. For now, however, I hope that this list of compatible Android applications with Home Assistant will be useful for you.