Dec 3, 2020

What to expect from Home Assistant Core 1.0

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Your eyes are not deceiving you, after seven years of releases starting with a zero, Home Assistant Core 1.0 is on the horizon. It will be formally announced at the Home Assistant Conference on December 13 and a beta version is already available to download from GitHub. For most users, it will be worth waiting for a stable release, though, as you won't want to have potentially buggy software controlling your smart home.

The major new feature to be found in Home Assistant Core 1.0 is the so-called Blueprints. Besides that, there are four new integrations, a couple of new platforms, more integrations available for configuration from the UI, and three integrations which have been removed.

There is a lot to unpack here, and undoubtedly, there will be a few more surprises by the time Home Assistant Core 1.0 is released. I have tried to sum up the most relevant changes and additions, but it's safe to assume that what you are reading here won't be all Home Assistant Core 1.0 has to offer.

Table of Contents

Four new integrations in Home Assistant Core 1.0

Home Assistant Core 1.0 will add support for FireServiceRota which is a powerful and flexible availability, scheduling, and dispatching system for firefighters. This integration won't be of interest to the vast majority of Home Assistant users but for the firefighters among us, it will provide real-time information about incidents (emergency calls) from the local fire station and the ability to send a response depending on your duty schedule. That is of course, if you fire station supports FireServiceRota.

Moreover, new are the abilities to control Motion Blinds and gather information from SRP (Salt River Project) if you are one of their customers. Motion Blinds are smart blinds which can be controlled by the Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, and now Home Assistant. For the integration to work consistently, you will have to make sure that your Motion Bridge has a static IP.

Just in time for Christmas, Twinkly has been added to the ever-expanding list of integrations. Twinkly sells decorative RGB LED strings which can be synced from within the app. Unfortunately, this integration does not allow you to change any effects as Twinkly devices do not store them locally. But you will be able to adjust the brightness and turn the device on and off.

Home Assistant Blueprints

The most considerable change coming to Home Assistant Core 1.0 is the so-called Home Assistant Blueprints. These will give more advanced users the option to easily create reusable automations, reducing the amount of necessary configuration. Blueprints will also make sharing automations with the community and inexperienced users of Home Assistant much easier.

Below is an example of such a blueprint taken from the PR. In the automation, the blueprint, which is named test_event_service.yaml, can be inserted into the automation. Once the Blueprint is processed, all the placeholder values will be replaced with actual values. The Blueprint can be used in an unlimited amount of automations and should spare you many lines of YAML. Blueprints will not only be restricted to YAML as there will be an initial UI in Home Assistant Core 1.0.

  name: Call service from event
  domain: automation 
  platform: event
  event_type: !placeholder trigger_event
  service: !placeholder service_to_call

    path: test_event_service.yaml
      trigger_event: my_event
      service_to_call: light.turn_on

Less YAML needed for integrations

Two existing integrations with Home Assistant will be available to configure from the UI in Home Assistant Core 1.0. One of them is Aurora, which uses the NOAA Aurora Forecast service to let you know if an aurora might be visible at your home location in the next 30 minutes and the other is ReCollect Waste which allows you to track the next scheduled waste pickup.

The Aurora integration with Home Assistant Core 1.0 has been completely moved to the UI. If you previously used YAML to set it up, you will have to change it once you have updated Home Assistant. Though as the Aurora integration is currently non-functional you might as well remove it now in preparation.

Solar-Log, which allows you to get details from Solar-Log devices, is another integration with Home Assistant whose configuration has been moved from YAML to the UI. The good news is that you won't have to adjust anything if you already have it set up using YAML. The configuration will automatically be imported into the UI.

Potentially more users will be affected by the changes made to the Apple TV integration in Home Assistant Core 1.0. This integration has been completely rewritten and you will only be able to configure it using the UI. Once you have updated you will have to remove old Apple TV configurations and re-add devices via the integrations page.

More possibilities with the HomeKit Controller

The HomeKit Controller integration with Home Assistant allows you to connect many accessories which are certified as “Works with HomeKit” to Home Assistant. Home Assistant Core 1.0 will add support for humidifiers and their counterparts, dehumidifiers, and initial support for cameras.

It is the latter integration which will be of most interest as the Aqara G2H Camera Hub (Amazon/AliExpress), which supports HomeKit Secure Video, has garnered some interest. The Aqara G2H comes with a HomeKit setup code, making it possible to add it to the HomeKit Controller in Home Assistant without any issues. Other security cameras with support for HomeKit Secure Video are the Eve Cam and eufyCam 2c, with which the integration was tested.

However, if you were looking to use this feature to monitor all of your camera streams, I have some bad news. As this is only an initial integration that covers the basics, it will only discover cameras and display still images. In Home Assistant Core 1.0 you won't be able to view any full video streams yet. Though, according to the PR, that feature is being worked on.

Do more with Shelly in Home Assistant Core 1.0

The Shelly integration has existed for some time, but it will be greatly improved in the upcoming release. In Home Assistant Core 1.0 you will be able to read information about the firmware installed on your Shelly device and compare it to the latest release, making it easy to receive notifications when you need to update. Furthermore, there will also be support for REST sensor, input events, and binary input sensors. 

Do more with Google Nest in Home Assistant Core 1.0

The new Google Nest integration with Home Assistant has been continually worked on, and the upcoming release makes no exception. Two very useful additions will be available in Home Assistant Core 1.0. The Google Nest Cam will be able to trigger motion, person, and sound events and the Nest Hello Video Doorbell (I hate that name) will support everything the camera does and additionally chime events.

Saying goodbye to three integrations

There's bad news for all of my Swiss friends who have been using the Salt Fiber Box integration with Home Assistant to track devices. The integration will be completely removed in Home Assistant Core 1.0. As it was using web scraping to gather data, which isn't allowed any more. Unfortunately, it had to be done, but it is for the better as web scraping is quite a hacky solution.

Two more integrations will be completely removed due to web scraping no longer being allowed in Home Assistant. As the Ubee Router from Ubee Interactive and yessssms both don't over an API and had to be integrated using web scraping, they will be removed.

Home Assistant Core 1.0: Summary

Home Assistant Core 1.0 will be a very exciting release, and it will mark a milestone in the development of Home Assistant. It will not only be the final release in this doomed year, but the first not to begin with a zero. Over the past seven years, Home Assistant has come a long way and may it long continue!

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