The Home Assistant app is getting 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.

While Google seems to have placed Wear OS, its operating system for wearables, on the back burner, Home Assistant is certainly giving it the attention it deserves. The most recent update to the Home Assistant Companion App for Android is paving the way for users to control their smart homes from their wrists using Home Assistant.

A brief history of Wear OS

Announced on March 18, 2014, as Android Wear, Wear OS made its debut at Google I/O in the summer of 2014, when Google launched the first watches together with its partners. The Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch, both featuring square watch faces, were later joined by the round Moto 360 in September. Despite having a head-start over Apple's watchOS and Apple Watch, Wear OS has lagged behind in terms of shipments and functionality. Google's acquisition of Fitbit (or has it?) aims to strengthen its line-up of wearables.

The future of Wear OS with Home Assistant

The APK file, which is what Android uses to distribute and install apps, for the Wear OS app will initially be published on GitHub exclusively, and will not be integrated with the full Android app just yet. Consequently, don't expect to see Home Assistant in your Wear OS watch's menu right away. The initial release of the Wear OS app doesn't offer any functionality, aside from displaying the Home Assistant logo and some text.

Drawing parallels with the Apple Watch

Home Assistant has been available for Apple Watch users for some time, and it's reasonable to expect similar functionality between the Apple Watch and watches running Wear OS. On the Apple Watch, users cannot access the full dashboard due to the limited screen size. However, they can add complications and execute actions such as opening a garage door or turning on lights.

Potential features for Wear OS

The Home Assistant app may likely provide Wear OS users with a Tile, akin to home screen widgets on smartphones. Tiles offer a quick glance at relevant data, such as the status of devices or sensor readouts. Though Tiles are not yet accessible to all developers, the Wear OS team is working on it.

Potential features for Wear OS

The Home Assistant app may likely provide Wear OS users with a Tile, akin to home screen widgets on smartphones. Tiles offer a quick glance at relevant data, such as the status of devices or sensor readouts. Though Tiles are not yet accessible to all developers, the Wear OS team is working on it.

Limitations and uncertainties of Home Assistant on Wear OS

NFC on Wear OS is restricted and can only be used for payments, so users shouldn't expect their Wear OS watch to read NFC tags around their homes. This is an unfortunate limitation, as using a watch for this purpose would be more convenient than relying on a phone.

Home Assistant presence detection with Wear OS?

It's unclear whether Wear OS devices will support presence tracking. Apple Watch's presence tracking is nearly impossible due to the randomization of the Bluetooth MAC address. If Wear OS hardware and software allow it, the developers of the Home Assistant Wear OS app would likely enable this feature, although no specific details have been found.

Exploring alternatives for Wear OS

One alternative to the official Home Assistant app for Wear OS is the Home Slide for Home Assistant app. Developed specifically for Home Assistant, this app allows users to execute actions similarly to the Apple Watch. Upon opening the app, users are presented with a list of toggles to choose from. Although I haven't had the opportunity to test it myself, reviews on the Google Play Store are generally positive.

AutoWear and Tasker

Another option is using AutoWear with the popular Tasker app. This solution is designed for various types of automations and apps, not just Home Assistant. As a result, the setup process may not be as straightforward as it would be with the official Wear OS app.

Google Assistant integration

While not an app, users can also control Home Assistant through Google Assistant. This method requires voice commands and does not offer access to shortcuts or complications.

Anticipating the Home Assistant Wear OS app release

The development of the Home Assistant Wear OS app is still in its infancy. A considerable amount of work needs to be completed before a stable version is made available on the Google Play Store. Keeping this in mind, it's reasonable to expect the app to be released no earlier than spring.

As the Home Assistant apps are open-source, those with Wear OS app development skills can contribute to the project and support its progress. By collaborating and sharing expertise, the development timeline could potentially be expedited.

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.

Comments

    • 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.

      Reply

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