Homey Pro - An Alternative?

Has anyone tried the new Homey Pro and moved their SmartThings setup? I ran across this article. https://homey.app/en-us/blog/smartthings-transfer-to-homey/.

The new Homey pro is still only pre-order. The one that’s available now is the Homey bridge.

Their comparison article is both inaccurate and out of date. Smartthings does support the European frequency of zwave on its European models.

In addition, they don’t mention either thread or matter in their comparison table, both of which are supported by smartthings, and are not yet supported by Homey.

Thread support for Homey Pro (Early 2023) is expected to be released in Q3 of 2023. For now, in order to pair Matter devices that use Thread, it is required to have another Thread Border Router on your Wi-Fi network (e.g. Apple HomePod Mini, Google Nest Hub 2, etc…).
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Homey Apps do not support Matter yet.

In their comparison charts, they also don’t mention that you are limited to five devices on Homey bridge (the one that’s available now) unless you pay a monthly subscription.

So it seems somewhat unreasonable for them to compare their “advanced rules engine“ to smartthings when theirs requires a subscription. You could do the same thing they do by adding sharptools to smartthings, and it would cost less per year. :thinking:

I’m also not crazy about the fact that they don’t explain that you have to subscribe to their cloud service in order to get backup capabilities. That sort of seems like the opposite of what you would want from a back up feature to me. I mean it’s good that they have one, but it might also not be available to you at the time when you wanted it. :disappointed_relieved:

So basically, I hate their marketing. It reads like a Kickstarter instead of something from an engineer. But that’s my prejudice.

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I wondered about some of that. I’ve read most of their web pages. I saw the subscription issue. I think you can back up on your PC if you don’t want cloud backup. Supposedly, everything runs locally, although if that’s the case, why would you use SharpTools which needs an internet connection? It might be more for the dashboard, I suppose. Anyway, something to think about. My 2015 SmartThings Hub isn’t getting any younger. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

The backups on the current models don’t. (And they use their proprietary cloud, you can’t back up to your own server. ) And they require a paid subscription. Not sure how it will work on the yet to be released new pro model. :thinking:

Homey’s last 7 backups are stored in the cloud. Backups are bound to the account of the Homey’s owner. A maximum of 3 Homeys can be backed up at the same time.

In short, one account can store a maximum of 21 total backups. You can manage and delete your backups at My Backups on the Homey website.
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Also, this is one of those “sort of true” answers.

Hubitat and Home Assistant both run fully local except for away from home control (duh!) and integration with cloudbased third party services. And they’ll run that way forever even if the company/organization shuts down.

Homey, however, require reauthorizing an access token from the proprietary cloud every 14 days. If you lose your internet (or the company shuts down) on the 13th day since your last authorization, you get one more day of use, and then it stops working. :thinking:

See the following detailed discussion in Homey forums:

Athom states that “Homey is not dependent on cloud services to operate (unlike some other systems)”.

However, that’s not correct: Homey requires access to the Athom cloud services for authentication. Once the Homey mobile or desktop app is authenticated, it receives an access token that is valid for a certain amount of time (I think 14 days). During that time, Homey can be accessed locally without an internet connection. However, when the token expires, local access stops working and you need a working internet connection again.

If your internet connection drops out and the current token is almost expired, you’ll run into issues.

Connect to homey without internet - Questions & Help - Homey Community Forum

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We should also note that at the time of this writing Homey does not provide integrations that work with thirdparty cloud services that require two factor authentication, like Arlo. Currently it looks like most people are using IFTTT as an intermediary for partial integration.

None of this, of course, is to say that homey is a bad system. Just that every system has pluses and minuses, and companies like homey and smartthings that write their websites in marketing speak can make it difficult to see exactly what the differences are. :thinking:

we should also note that there are reports just this week of integration problems between Arlo and smartthings, which is a new and as yet undocumented issue. The Homey issue is an architecture limitation and applies to a number of brands.

Arlo cameras just stopped working

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I have a Homey Pro 2019 and Homey Pro 2023 that I’ve been using for development, so I can speak to some of the questions.

:information_source: Edited to add: I’m not making any recommendations here - just trying to share what knowledge / experience I have on the subject. I continue to use a mix of platforms in my home and as the founder of SharpTools I tend to dabble across many smart home products!

Even with our own community, I’ve always tried to maintain the same approach SmartThings has with allowing open discussion even of things that could be seen as ‘competitive’. That being said, I think your best bet is likely to post in the Homey community if you’re looking for feedback on it. Most people who have moved over to a new platform are easier to find in that platform’s community (at least when they don’t still have their toes dipped in both waters).


Homey Pro 2019 left, Homey Pro 2023 right

Yeah, it looks like this article and the linked comparison were each written 3~4 years ago and it doesn’t look like they’ve been updated recently.

Sort of. Homey was originally built as the “Pro” version in 2016, but they weren’t using the “Pro” moniker at that point in time. The “pro” has been their mainstay product and continues to be. Just over a year ago, they introduced their new “Homey Bridge” product which is what was alluded to in many of the replies here.

The bridge was the first Homey product that was available globally (dynamic RF region) and the Homey Pro 2023 continues that trend. As such, most feedback you’ll find on Homey will tend to be from Europe as those are the people that have been using the “pro” since the 2014 Kickstarter days.

I would also note that the 2023 Pro was announced late last year and began shipping early this year in “Early Access”. I think they are trying to be very intentional with that as they knew it was a shift to a new platform and there might still be some things to work out. The 2023 platform seems stable, but they still have some new features that they are continuing to layer in (eg. Matter, ‘Satellite mode’ with extra hubs/bridges)… so I’m not sure if they’ll move it out of Early Access once their inventory catches up with demand or what the plan is.

The Homey Pro comes with a built-in automation feature they call “Flows”. The 2016 version came with a basic version of Flows and you could pay $25 to get their “Advanced Flows” feature which was released in the last year or so and is more like a Node RED style automation feature with flexibility to allow multiple triggers, complex conditions, etc.

The 2023 Homey Pro comes with “Flows” and “Advanced Flows” included.

Yes, just reiterating JD’s point that the Homey Bridge is the one that requires a subscription for many of the meaningful features - including more than five devices, insights, variables, etc.

To get automatic backups, yes. You can take a manual backup of your Homey Pro using the USB-C connection. Of course, the downside of that is you need to temporarily disconnect your Homey Pro - so it’s more targeted for planned situations like when you’re manually migrating.

That being said, if you want the peace of mind of automatic backups, it’s only $10 / year which is pretty reasonable if it’s something you’re concerned about.

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I have a homey pro 2023 incoming. Am mostly planning to use it to control all my thermostats, space heaters etc, since controlling the indoor climate is to complicated with smartthings which doesn’t support all the brands i have. Also the possibility to control the heating with its integration to Tibber (hourly energy prices) seems really good. We’ll see, if it’s all it claims to be, some lights may find it’s way over to homey too. I do like the advanced flow editor…

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Since SharpTools works with both ST and Homey you may be able to write rules for cross system automations.

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