The next big release of Home Assistant Core, 2022.7, is on the horizon, and it comes packed with new and exciting features. Although from an everyday user's perspective, there may not be many visually noticeable changes as the Dashboard remains largely unchanged.
Despite the lack of visible changes, many improvements have been made under the hood. For those who have been using Home Assistant for a while, it's worth noting that major changes like this can often cause issues, and this release is no exception.
Those who extensively use YAML in their configuration can expect to see a notable improvement in speed. Whether it's for templates, scripts, automations, or integrations that haven't been moved to the Dashboard yet, you will experience a boost in performance. This not only accelerates restarting Home Assistant, but it also quickens the reloading of YAML from Home Assistant's Developer Tools (#73649, #73424, and #73337).
This improvement is not limited to YAML alone, JSON also receives the same treatment as Home Assistant frequently uses it internally and for communication with the frontend and APIs. Together with the improvements to YAML, this will make the overall performance of Home Assistant feel much snappier.
In Home Assistant Core 2022.7 devices self-recover
Do you find that certain integrations take an excessive amount of time to load after restarting Home Assistant Core? For me, this is a common issue with the MQTT integration, leaving me waiting for my lights and sensors to become usable again. With the Home Assistant Core 2022.7 release, this will no longer be a problem. In this new version, if there are any errors during startup, devices will now automatically recover as soon as they are detected by Home Assistant. This means a faster and more seamless experience for users.
Laying the groundwork for iOS 16
Apple's next mobile operating systems, iOS and iPadOS 16, not only add support for Matter, better multitasking, and a reimagined Home app, but also improvements to the underlying architecture that controls smart home accessories. Preparing for this move, Home Assistant Core 2022.7 uses a better and faster encryption method for the HomeKit Accessory Protocol (HAP).
This not only ensures that the Home Assistant apps and integrations continue working once Apple releases the iOS/iPadOS updates this fall, but also improves the performance of the HomeKit, HomeKit Controller, and Apple TV integrations.
Python 3.10 brings mostly good news
Last, but not least, Home Assistant Core 2022.7 ships with Python 3.10. If you are running the Home Assistant Operating System on a Raspberry Pi, or any other compatible hardware or hypervisor, you have nothing to worry about when updating, as everything will be taken care of.
Those running Home Assistant Core using a Python virtual environment might have their work cut out for them. I'm assuming that if you chose to install Home Assistant Core manually, you will know what needs to be done.
Unmaintained custom components will break
The update to Python 3.10 should, as one might expect, bring a performance improvement with it. However, this change is also be what might cause a bit of a headache for some users. Custom components that do not support Python 3.10 yet, will not continue working. This cause you to have to seek alternatives if you are using old and unmaintained components or Dashboard cards.
On the upside, this change will help you get rid of the custom components that have been left to die and might pose a security risk. In the same vein, it might cause users of custom components that know their way around code, to pick up the slack and continue their development.
Home Assistant Core 2022.7 could be the death of many Bluetooth integrations
Besides the potential disappearance of custom components, the update to Python 3.10 has major repercussions for integrations that rely on Bluetooth. Due to bluepy, which Home Assistant used up until now, not being compatible with Python 3.10, the following integrations are currently broken:
- BeeWi SmartClim BLE sensor
- Elgato Avea
- EQ3 Bluetooth Smart Thermostats
- Leviton Decora
- Mi Flora
It is safe to assume that if any of these integrations are popular enough, it could lead to someone taking up the work and migrating the integrations to the up-to-date Bleak library. Users of the Mi Flora sensor also have the option of using ESPHome and an ESP32 to integrate the Mi Flora with Home Assistant.