The Home Assistant companion app for Android gets a big update

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A close-up of a classic black typewriter with a sheet of paper inserted that reads 'Update' in typewritten letters.

Gather round, tech enthusiasts and home automation aficionados! It's been roughly a year since the birth of the Home Assistant companion app for Android, and it's fast become the go-to method for navigating Home Assistant dashboards on Android smartphones and, yes, even those increasingly rare Android tablets. But the app's utility doesn't stop at dashboard viewing – it's also adept at collecting data from your device's sensors. Much like Home Assistant itself, the Android companion app's development is speeding along like a bullet train, with the 3.0.0 release now gracing the Google Play Store.

Unwrapping the gift: What's new in 3.0.0?

This latest update presents two delightful additions to the Home Assistant companion app's repertoire: an array of new sensor integrations and support for the Android 11 Power Menu. Moreover, if you're a newcomer to the app, the onboarding experience has been polished to near perfection, making your first encounter a breeze. So, without further ado, let's dive into the exciting novelties of release 3.0.0.

The next chapter: New sensors and tailored settings

It's no secret that many of us still rely on the mighty Tasker app for certain tasks. However, the more the Home Assistant companion app for Android can shoulder, the closer we get to achieving true digital assistant nirvana.

Peeking into the treasure trove: Four new sensors

Although some of the new sensors might not send shivers of excitement down your spine, it's heartening to witness the strides being made in their development. You never know when support for a specific sensor might swoop in and save the day, allowing you to bid farewell to Tasker or any other app you were using as a stopgap measure. Embrace the future, as the Home Assistant companion app for Android is expanding its horizons and inching ever closer to being your ultimate digital sidekick.

Last Notification sensor

A promising replacement for a Tasker function, the Last Notification sensor captures all attributes from a notification and feeds them to Home Assistant. This means you can potentially integrate any app that sends notifications but isn't directly connected to Home Assistant. Picture yourself harnessing this sensor for incoming calls or WhatsApp messages – you could even set up a colour-coded light system to alert you when your significant other is trying to get in touch.

Traffic Stats sensor

The Home Assistant companion app for Android now taps into your device's traffic statistics – referring to data usage rather than road conditions. Keep in mind that accuracy depends on your phone's API, but this could be invaluable for managing a limited data plan.

Keyguard sensors

These nifty sensors delve into the Keyguard API to reveal various states, letting Home Assistant know whether your Android device is locked or password-protected. It's like having a digital lookout to keep tabs on your device's security.

Last Update Trigger sensor

This sensor's state reflects the reason behind the last update sent to your Home Assistant, offering useful insights into your system's recent activity.

Fine-tuning your experience: Enhanced sensor settings

The Home Assistant companion app for Android isn't just about adding new sensors; it's also committed to refining the overall sensor experience. In this latest version, a selection of sensors – detailed in the release notes – boast custom settings designed to give you greater control over the updates sent to your Home Assistant instance. It's the thoughtful touches like these that elevate the app from a simple digital tool to a truly personalized assistant.

The Android 11 Power Menu showing Home Assistant controls.
The Home Assistant Power Menu

A glimpse of the future: Android 11 Power Menu

As the Android universe evolves, it brings forth the Power Menu, a feature that arrived with the latest Android 11 operating system. For the moment, most Android smartphones are yet to receive the update, so consider this a sneak peek into what's in store.

The Android 11 Power Menu is a control hub for a dazzling array of home automation elements, including automations, climate, covers, fans, input booleans, input numbers, lights, locks, scenes, scripts, and switches. This centralized command centre means you'll be able to orchestrate your smart home symphony with the precision of a seasoned maestro.

Rolling out the welcome mat: Enhanced onboarding for newcomers

A warm welcome awaits those new to the Home Assistant companion app for Android. One of the notable improvements is the ability to bestow a custom name upon your device. While the default device model might not offer the most descriptive or meaningful label, you now have the freedom to choose a name that resonates with you. It's these small but impactful changes that make your first foray into the world of home automation feel like a tailor-made experience.

A portrait photo oif Liam Alexander Colman, the author, creator, and owner of Home Assistant Guide wearing a suit.

About Liam Alexander Colman

is an experienced Home Assistant user who has been utilizing the platform for a variety of projects over an extended period. His journey began with a Raspberry Pi, which quickly grew to three Raspberry Pis and eventually a full-fledged server. Liam's current operating system of choice is Unraid, with Home Assistant comfortably running in a Docker container.
With a deep understanding of the intricacies of Home Assistant, Liam has an impressive setup, consisting of various Zigbee devices, and seamless integrations with existing products such as his Android TV box. For those interested in learning more about Liam's experience with Home Assistant, he shares his insights on how he first started using the platform and his subsequent journey.

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