Have you ever wished for a Home Assistant Desktop app that seamlessly works on Windows, Linux, and Mac? While the official companion app is designed for mobile phones and Mac only, I stumbled upon a workaround – two versatile applications that function across all major operating systems. Let me introduce you to Home Assistant Desktop and Home Assistant Assist – Desktop, and guide you through their installation and configuration on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Home Assistant Desktop

This is how the Home Assistant Desktop app looks like once installed and configured:

Home Assistant Desktop app detached

To get started, visit the official GitHub page of Home Assistant Desktop. It’s a community-driven, open-source project, so you won’t find it on the official app stores. Unfortunately, at the time of writing this article the last version is almost a year old, but everything is working good and I hope this project will remain supported in the future.

Choose a version that matches your system (Windows, Linux, Mac). I downloaded the 64-bit version for Windows from the Release Section > Assets in the GitHub repo.

exe is for windows, dmg is for mac, appimage for linux

Then I double clicked the .exe file and I installed the program as usual (be aware that Windows will not recognize the app as trusted and will try to warn you, but just ignore that).

Home Assistant Desktop – Configuration

Once you start the Home Assistant Desktop app you need to enter your Home Assistant URL starting with http:// or https:// and ending with default port. Example:

configuring home assistant desktop app

From the configuration of the app, you can:

  • Add multiple Home Assistant instances
  • You can set the app to be always on top
  • To auto start at Login
  • To detach the Home Assistant Desktop window
  • Fullscreen, keyboard shortcuts and more

On Windows you have to right-click on the Home Assistant Desktop icon in the lower right corner to see the app settings.

Home Assistant Desktop app configuration menu

Despite not offering the same sensor-rich experience as the official Companion app, Home Assistant Desktop provides quick access to your Home Assistant on your desktop, but is it quicker for you than opening the Home Assistant URL in a browser as usual? Let me know what do you think in the comments below!

If you don’t want to read, but watch…

Tired of reading, no problem check the video tutorial below:

Diving into Home Assistant Assist – Desktop

Now, let’s explore Home Assistant Assist – Desktop, which focuses on the Assist functionality of Home Assistant. This is how the program looks like once installed and configured:

testing the Home Assistant Assist - Desktop app

Navigate to the installation section on the Home Assistant Assist – Desktop GitHub page, and download the appropriate package for your system – Windows, Linux, or Mac. The user-friendly interface allows you to send text and voice commands directly from your desktop to your smart home.

Follow the simple installation steps for Home Assistant Assist – Desktop, entering your Home Assistant URL and Long-Lived Access Token when prompted. Long-Lived Access Token can be created by clicking on your Home Assistant username > Long-lived access tokens > Create token

Ensure your Home Assistant has HTTPS access to enable voice commands through the app. If needed, refer to my tutorials for setting up HTTPS access.

configuring the Home Assistant Assist - Desktop app

I will type my free duckdns subdomain, but I will censor it, because I don’t want someone to see my top secret Home Assistant automations and scripts. If you wish to see them anyways, then register for my upcoming webinar about Home Assistant at https://automatelike.pro/webinar 

After completing the configuration, you can issue text commands and even use voice commands, provided you have a suitable voice pipeline.

Comparing Experiences

In comparison to the official Companion app, Home Assistant Desktop offers quick access without the sensor-rich environment. While the official app activates various sensors in Home Assistant (in Mac and Mobile Phones only), the desktop version simplifies accessibility.

Home Assistant Assist – Desktop, on the other hand, focuses on bringing the Assist functionality to your desktop, allowing seamless interaction via text and voice commands.

Whether you’re on Windows, Mac, or Linux, these desktop apps can enhance your Home Assistant experience. If you’re an Apple Silicon user, the official Companion app might be more suitable for Mac.

Conclusion and Smart Home Glossary

In summary, these desktop apps offer a convenient alternative to the official mobile-centric Companion app. For a deeper understanding of smart home terminology, download my Smart Home Glossary at https://automatelike.pro/glossary

Thanks for reading, and see you next week!


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