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After a seven-year journey filled with releases starting with a zero, the much-anticipated Home Assistant Core 1.0 is nearly upon us. The official announcement is set for the Home Assistant Conference on December 13, and those eager to try it out can already download the beta version from GitHub. However, it might be wise for most users to hold off until the stable release arrives, as no one wants to invite potential bugs into their smart home ecosystem.
The most prominent feature arriving with Home Assistant Core 1.0 is the introduction of Blueprints. In addition to this, four new integrations, a duo of new platforms, and an increased number of integrations available for configuration through the Home Assistant Dashboard will be included. However, it's worth noting that three integrations will be removed.
There's a lot to unpack in this upcoming release, and it's likely that a few more surprises will surface before Home Assistant Core 1.0 makes its official debut. The highlights presented here provide a glimpse into what's in store, but rest assured, there's more to discover in the full release.
Expanding horizons: Four new integrations in Home Assistant Core 1.0
Home Assistant Core 1.0 is set to enhance your smart home experience with the addition of four new integrations. First up, there's support for FireServiceRota, a powerful scheduling and dispatching system for firefighters. While not applicable to most Home Assistant users, it offers invaluable real-time information on incidents and response options for firefighter users, provided their fire station supports the system.
Next up is the ability to control Motion Blinds, which already allowed you to manage your smart blinds through Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, and now, Home Assistant. To ensure seamless integration, you might want to prepare your setup and make sure your Motion Bridge has a static IP.
For customers of Salt River Project (SRP), the new integration allows you to gather information directly from the provider. Salt River Project is a public utility company based in Arizona, United States. It provides electricity and water to a large portion of the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Finally, just in time for the festive season, Twinkly joins the list of integrations. Twinkly offers decorative RGB LED strings that can be synced within their app. While the integration doesn't allow effect changes, as Twinkly devices don't store them locally, you can still adjust brightness and power the device on and off.
The most significant change arriving with Home Assistant Core 1.0 is the introduction of Home Assistant Blueprints. This feature empowers advanced users to create reusable automations, reducing configuration efforts. Blueprints also simplify the process of sharing automations with the community and less experienced Home Assistant users.
Here's an example of a blueprint taken from the PR: In an automation, the blueprint, named test_event_service.yaml, can be inserted. Once processed, all placeholder values will be replaced with actual values. This blueprint can be used in countless automations, saving you from writing numerous lines of YAML code. And the best part? Blueprints won't be limited to YAML, as an initial user interface will be available in Home Assistant Core 1.0.
Home Assistant Core 1.0 brings a more user-friendly approach to configuring two existing integrations, Aurora and ReCollect Waste, directly through the UI. Aurora uses the NOAA Aurora Forecast service to notify you if an aurora might be visible at your location within the next 30 minutes, while ReCollect Waste helps you track the next scheduled waste pickup.
The Aurora integration has been entirely moved to the UI in Home Assistant Core 1.0. If you previously set it up using YAML, you'll need to make adjustments after updating Home Assistant. However, since the Aurora integration is currently non-functional, it's advisable to remove it in preparation.
Another integration shifting from YAML to the UI is Solar-Log, which provides details from Solar-Log devices. If you already set it up using YAML, you won't need to make any changes, as the configuration will be automatically imported into the UI.
Finally, the Apple TV integration in Home Assistant Core 1.0 has undergone a complete rewrite and will now only be configurable through the UI. After updating, you must remove old Apple TV configurations and re-add devices via the integrations page.
Expanding capabilities with the HomeKit Controller
The HomeKit Controller integration in Home Assistant enables you to connect numerous “Works with HomeKit” certified accessories to your smart home system. With Home Assistant Core 1.0, support for humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and initial camera support will be added.
The camera integration is particularly intriguing, as the Aqara G2H Camera Hub, which supports HomeKit Secure Video, has attracted attention. The Aqara G2H comes with a HomeKit setup code, making it easy to add to the HomeKit Controller in Home Assistant. Other security cameras supporting HomeKit Secure Video include the Eve Cam and eufyCam 2c, both of which were tested during the integration process.
However, if you were hoping to use this feature for monitoring all your camera streams, there's a slight catch. Since it's only an initial integration covering basic functionality, it will only discover cameras and display still images. Full video streams won't be available yet in Home Assistant Core 1.0. However, according to the PR, this feature is currently under development.
Enhanced Shelly and Google Nest integrations in Home Assistant Core 1.0
The Shelly integration, already in existence, will see significant improvements in Home Assistant Core 1.0. You'll be able to access information about the firmware installed on your Shelly device and compare it to the latest release, making it convenient to receive update notifications. Additionally, support for REST sensor, input events, and binary input sensors will be included.
The Google Nest integration with Home Assistant continues to evolve, with two valuable additions in Home Assistant Core 1.0. The Google Nest Cam will now trigger motion, person, and sound events, while the Nest Hello Video Doorbell will support all camera functions and chime events.
Swiss users of the Salt Fiber Box integration with Home Assistant will be disappointed to learn that it will be entirely removed in Home Assistant Core 1.0. Since it relied on web scraping, which is no longer allowed, the integration had to be discontinued. However, this decision ultimately improves the system, as web scraping is considered an unreliable solution.
Two more integrations – the Ubee Router from Ubee Interactive and yessssms – will also be removed due to the ban on web scraping in Home Assistant. Both integrations lacked an API and had to rely on web scraping for their functionality.
Home Assistant Core 1.0 in a nutshell
Home Assistant Core 1.0 is set to be a thrilling release, marking a significant milestone in the evolution of Home Assistant. As the first release not to start with a zero, it symbolizes a new chapter after a challenging year. Over the past seven years, Home Assistant has made remarkable strides, and we look forward to seeing its continued growth and development!
About Liam Alexander Colman
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.