Like finding a long-lost ornament in the attic, the Home Assistant Companion App for Wear OS has finally emerged as a beta release, after nearly a year of hints and whispers. As if Father Christmas himself delivered this tech treat, it brings a new dimension to managing your smart home from your wrist.
A mini-me companion
The Wear OS app is a faithful sidekick to the Home Assistant Companion App for Android, cleverly adapted for the smaller screen of a smartwatch. The Lovelace dashboard, a staple of the full app, would be as impractical on a 1.3-inch screen as a reindeer in a dog house. Thankfully, the bright minds behind Home Assistant have devised a way to make the app functional on a more diminutive display.
Quick access with favourites and tiles
Upon signing in to Home Assistant on your Wear OS watch, you can select favourites to appear in a Material-themed list. This enables instant access to your most-used toggles, saving you from the frustration of scrolling through a seemingly endless list. Configure your favourites either on the watch itself or via the smartphone app.
Adding to the convenience, the developers have also baked in a Home Assistant Tile for Wear OS. This feature, akin to a smartphone widget, allows you to set seven actions with icons for easy toggling without opening the app.
Wear OS 3.0: a smartwatch renaissance
Before you rush to buy a new Wear OS smartwatch, it's worth considering the impending arrival of Wear OS 3.0. Announced at Google I/O 2021, this major update brings features from Samsung's Tizen-based smartwatches, Android 12's visual design, and Fitbit's exercise and lifestyle tracking. With such significant changes, holding out for its release could make your smart home control experience all the more rewarding.
Which watches will wear the new OS?
While only a select few watches are confirmed to receive Wear OS 3.0 (namely those with Snapdragon Wear 4100/4100+ SoCs), it's expected that more devices will join the party in the future. The current list includes:
- Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 GPS and LTE
- Mobvoi TicWatch E3
- Fossil Gen 6
- Mobvoi Ticwatch Pro 3 Ultra GPS and Ultra 4G
Pixel Watch: a new contender on the horizon
Rumour has it that Google will release their own Wear OS smartwatch, potentially dubbed the Pixel Watch, sometime next year. Running Wear OS 3.0 and likely boasting unique features, this watch could be the cherry on top of your smart home experience. So, as you wait for this wearable wonder, why not enjoy the Home Assistant Companion App beta and dream of even better control over your connected castle?