Companion app for iOS 2024.5: Let me Help you 🍎

Hey, that is Bruno. It has been an important few months since I joined Nabu Casa to work full-time on the Residence Assistant iOS app, once more an enormous due to our Residence Assistant Cloud subscribers for making this doable. In the present day, I want to recap what has been launched for the reason that final weblog put up for model 2024.1 and focus on extra about how Help is being built-in into the Apple ecosystem – together with quite a lot of different enhancements to the app.

Companion App for iOS 2024.5

Assist on iOS

I am very happy to bring Assist for iOS with a new native UI, integrated with iOS shortcuts and widgets, so let’s start with a quick demo:

In this demo, you see Assist being triggered from the iPhone 15 Pro “action button” and lock screen widget. Those are a few ways of interacting with Assist, but as it’s an iOS shortcut, you can trigger it in all sorts of creative ways. You can create an automation triggered by scanning an NFC tag that launches Assist, or even add it to an existing shortcut you already use.

“What if I don’t have an iPhone 15 pro to use the action button?”

It would be ideal if we could replace Siri with Assist in the power button long press, but since Apple doesn’t allow that. The second best option becomes the action button. For iPhones without it, there is a third option, the accessibility feature called “back tap”. Follow this guide on the Apple page to learn to configure it.

Widgets

If again faucet doesn’t be just right for you, Help will be activated through our widgets from the house display or with our very first iOS lock display widget, which seems to be nice:

Assist Widgets

Accessibility characteristic different

There’s “yet one more factor” that you should utilize to launch Help, iOS has an accessibility characteristic known as “Voice Management” which permits a person to mainly navigate an iPhone utterly utilizing voice instructions. On prime of that they assist you to add “customized instructions” so… Sure! You’ll be able to simply add “Okay Nabu”, then use the choice Run shortcut and have it set off “Help In App”.

There are a few issues to consider. I attempted this final weekend, and though it’s fairly cool, it’s not as quick as calling Siri. Additionally, you will have full voice management enabled, so that you set off different instructions each from time to time.

Different highlights

  • Now we have launched the flexibility to run your Motion widgets within the background, so you may shortly set off them as a substitute of getting to attend for the app to launch to see the outcome.

  • This model launched a easy solution to create an automation on your iOS Motion: merely faucet on the “create automation” button.

  • We began enhancing our widgets’ efficiency and capabilities. I do know you all have nice concepts, and I’m at present engaged on the muse to permit these to occur, however please proceed sending characteristic requests to our Residence Assistant Neighborhood.

  • Once we first launched CarPlay integration, we missed out on displaying all areas resulting from a limitation within the variety of gadgets allowed on a listing. Since 2024.2, we have now labored round this through the use of the primary and final rows of the areas listing as pagination arrows, so now you can see all of your rooms.

  • The Actions UI in CarPlay was aligned to show the identical info as in Apple Watch, beforehand we had been displaying the “Identifier” and ”Textual content”, now we show simply the “Textual content” so we maintain consistency between platforms.

  • We additionally added a button to reload your widgets, since generally they might develop into clean for a couple of customers after an replace. For actions, we added a button to replace server-created Actions manually, so that you don’t have to reopen the app for that (however keep in mind to restart HA after including or eradicating Actions from YAML).

  • Reminiscence utilization and efficiency points on our macOS consumer are huge subjects in our GitHub proper now, and we’re conscious of them and are working in direction of enhancing them. As this launch is the primary iteration in that course, we wish your suggestions since this situation is just not simply reproducible in all situations.

Earlier than wrapping up, I want to say how essential reporting points on GitHub is for the event of those companion apps. We’re addressing them as quick as we will and with the eye needed to ensure your issues are resolved. I might additionally prefer to take this chance to ask iOS devs (aspiring or established) who want to contribute to leap in. Drop me a message so we will work collectively and transfer quicker, I will likely be glad that can assist you get began.