The Home Assistant App Embraces Wear OS Support

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A minimalist design of a smartwatch with a white band and a circular face displaying a black screen, set against a light gray background. The watch has a sleek, modern appearance with no visible buttons or markings on the face.

Amid Google's seeming neglect of Wear OS, its platform for wearable devices, Home Assistant is stepping up to the plate. The latest update to the Home Assistant Companion App for Android introduces support for Wear OS, allowing users to manage their smart home devices directly from their wrists. This move signifies a notable expansion in the versatility of Home Assistant's ecosystem.


The Evolution of Wear OS

The story of Wear OS by Google, initially known as Android Wear, is a notable chapter in the annals of wearable technology. Officially unveiled on March 18, 2014, the platform marked Google's ambitious foray into the rapidly evolving smartwatch market. Launched at Google I/O in the summer of 2014, Android Wear set the stage for a new era of wearable devices. The initial offerings, the Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch, showcased square watch faces, a design choice that was soon complemented by the introduction of the round-faced Moto 360 in September of the same year. These pioneering devices embodied Google's vision of a wearable future, seamlessly extending the Android ecosystem to the user's wrist.

Despite enjoying a head start over Apple's watchOS, Wear OS has faced its fair share of challenges over the years. The platform struggled to capture a significant market share and lagged in delivering the robust functionality that users came to expect from a modern smartwatch. This period of stagnation prompted questions about Google's commitment to Wear OS, especially as the tech giant seemed to prioritize other areas of its vast ecosystem.

However, Google's acquisition of Fitbit signalled a renewed focus on wearable technology. This strategic move was widely interpreted as an effort to invigorate Wear OS, leveraging Fitbit's expertise in health and fitness tracking to enhance the platform's appeal. The acquisition hinted at Google's intention to more aggressively compete in the wearable market, potentially introducing new features and integrations that could bridge the gap between Wear OS and its more successful counterparts.

As Wear OS continues to evolve, it remains to be seen how Google will shape the future of this platform. With a commitment to innovation and an eye on the ever-changing landscape of wearable technology, Wear OS stands at the cusp of a new era. The journey ahead promises exciting developments, as Wear OS seeks to redefine the smartwatch experience and secure its place in the pantheon of groundbreaking technology.

A screenshot of a smartwatch display showing two notifications in a messaging app. The top notification is partially visible, from a contact named 'Ethan Latti...' received at 4:56 PM, beginning with 'For further assistan...'. The second full notification is from 'Alan, Lori' received at 4:15 PM, with the greeting 'Hey friends! 👋 Wan...'. There is an icon indicating two new messages at the bottom of the display.
A screenshot of a smartwatch display with a home automation control interface. At the top, the time is displayed as 9:30 and beneath it is the truncated text 'Spring Str...' suggesting an address or location name. Below that is a section labelled 'Favorites' with a smart home control titled 'Kitchen lights' indicating '4 On • 50%', with a light bulb icon next to the text. The interface is likely used to control the lighting intensity, showing that four lights are currently on at 50% brightness.
A screenshot of a smartwatch display showing a music player interface. The time '09:30' is displayed at the top. Below the time, the title 'Distorted Light Beam' and the artist 'Bastille' are displayed, indicating the current track. Surrounding a central play button are controls for previous track, next track, volume, and a 'like' button, all designed with a minimalist aesthetic. The progress bar for the song appears to be partially filled, suggesting the track is midway through playback.
A screenshot of a smartwatch display showing a nutrition tracking interface. The header reads 'Today Calories' with a large number '780' in a bright aqua color, indicating calories consumed, followed by 'of 2100,' which is likely the daily calorie goal. Below are three circular progress bars with values: a blue one for '430 carbs,' a red one for '76 fat,' and a purple one for '168 protein,' representing grams of carbohydrates, fat, and protein consumed respectively.

Integrating Wear OS with Home Assistant

For now, the Wear OS app for Home Assistant will be available as an APK file on GitHub, separate from the full Android Companion app. The initial version is quite basic, offering little more than the Home Assistant branding and some text. This modest start, however, lays the groundwork for future developments.

A graphic of an app icon for 'Home Assistant Wear OS' displayed on an Android emulator interface with a round watch face. The icon features a simple white house outline with a branching digital network inside, set against a circular blue background. Above the icon, the emulator is labelled 'Android Emulator - Android_Wear_Round_API_28:5556,' indicating the software version and emulator port number.
A screenshot of a smartwatch display showing buttons for home automation commands. At the top, 'Home Assi...' is displayed with a time of '03:04' and a smiley face icon. The screen presents three buttons: an orange 'Open Garage' button with a garage icon, a red 'Sound Alarm' button with an alarm icon, and two blue buttons for 'Turn Off Lights' and 'Turn On Lights' each with a light bulb icon. These buttons are likely for quick access to control home devices.

Wear OS and Apple Watch: A Comparative Outlook

Home Assistant has been accessible on the Apple Watch for some time, offering a glimpse into the potential features for Wear OS. The limited screen size of wearable devices necessitates a simplified interface, enabling users to perform actions such as opening a garage door or switching on lights without needing to access the full dashboard.

Envisioned Features for Wear OS

The introduction of Tiles on Wear OS, similar to smartphone widgets, could enhance the user experience by providing quick updates on smart home devices or sensor data. Although this functionality is not yet available to all developers, progress is being made in this area.

One notable drawback of Wear OS is its restricted NFC functionality, which is limited to payments. This limitation dampens the prospect of using Wear OS devices for tasks like reading NFC tags at home. Additionally, the feasibility of presence tracking with Wear OS devices remains uncertain due to technical constraints similar to those encountered with Apple Watch.

Home Assistant Presence Detection With Wear OS?

The feasibility of implementing presence detection on Wear OS devices remains an area shrouded in uncertainty. This feature's complexity is underscored by the challenges faced by the Apple Watch, where presence tracking is rendered nearly infeasible due to the randomization of Bluetooth MAC addresses. However, should the technical landscape of Wear OS permit, developers are poised to integrate this capability into the Home Assistant app, although details remain scant at this juncture.

For those seeking functionality beyond the official Home Assistant offering, the Home Slide for Home Assistant app emerges as a noteworthy contender. Tailored expressly for Home Assistant, it equips users with the ability to initiate actions in a manner reminiscent of the Apple Watch experience, showcasing a selection of toggles upon launch. While personal testing remains pending, the app's positive reception on the Google Play Store speaks volumes about its utility.

Leveraging AutoWear and Tasker for Custom Automations

An alternative route involves pairing AutoWear with Tasker, a dynamic duo catering to a broad spectrum of automations beyond the Home Assistant ecosystem. This combination, while potent, may present a steeper learning curve compared to the official Wear OS app due to its broader application scope and more complex setup requirements.

Embracing Voice Commands via Google Assistant

An indirect approach to controlling Home Assistant involves utilizing Google Assistant, sidestepping traditional app interfaces in favour of voice commands. This method, though devoid of direct access to shortcuts or complications, offers a hands-free avenue to interact with your smart home ecosystem.

Looking Forward to the Home Assistant Wear OS App

The journey to a fully realized Home Assistant Wear OS app is in its nascent stages, with substantial development work lying ahead. Given this, expectations for its arrival on the Google Play Store should be tempered, with a launch anticipated no sooner than the forthcoming spring.

Given the open-source nature of the Home Assistant apps, individuals adept in Wear OS app development are invited to contribute, potentially accelerating the app's progression to launch readiness. This collaborative spirit not only fosters community engagement but also underscores the potential to hasten the realization of a comprehensive Wear OS app for Home Assistant enthusiasts.

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.


    • You’re right, adding the date might be useful. Currently, it’s only in the URL. Will add one underneath the title later on.

      Anyway, this was about a month ago.


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