Rohan and Phil break down some of the great new features Hacktoberfest has given Home Assistant in 0.81

Hacktoberfest Winding Down

This release is jam packed with Hacktoberfest goodies. There’s so much in here, we’re giving the entire episode just to this release. Don’t forget Hacktoberfest ends on Wednesday! Still time to score a free t-shirt and support Home Assistant.  

Home Assistant Cloud is now out of beta

Home Assistant Cloud is now officially out of beta. To continue using Home Assistant cloud, you’ll need to subscribe for $5 per month. PayPal has also been added as a payment option, if you prefer to use that instead of managing another service with your credit card details.  


New Features

  • Verizon Fios Quantum Gateway device_tracker platform Another device tracker component added, allowing you to track devices that are connected to your gateway.
  • New Water heater component If you have a connected water heater, you can now control that with Home Assistant. You’ll now be able to see which state your water is in (off, economy, electricity/gas etc), as well as adjust temperatures and away modes.Currently two components have been updated, which we’ll mention in the breaking changes.
  • NSW Rural Fire Service platform This is a platform for the geo_location platform which was recently released.This component retrieves information about bushfires from the New South Wales Rural Fire Service. Entities are generated, updated and removed automatically with each update from the feed. Each entity defines latitude and longitude and will be shown on the map automatically, allowing you to see where events are occuring within Home Assistant.The entity’s information can be used for example if a bush fire that produces smoke or embers is reported close to your home, and you want to automatically close windows, turn on a sprinkler system or simply send yourself a reminder to clean the gutters from dry leaves.
  • Transport NSW New travel sensor has been added for NSW public transport. Enter your route number and stop ID, and Home Assistant will update with how many minutes until your departure.Good for morning announcements like “the next train departs in 5 minutes”.
  • Support for LG soundbars
  • Swedish weather institute weather component If you’re in Sweden, you can now access weather information in Home Assistant from the Swedish Weather Institute.This component needs to be setup via the Configuration panel. No YAML setup is available.
  • New Service: home_assistant.update_entity This is a new service introduced to allow you to manually trigger when an entity or sensor should be updated.This might be useful if you’re using a travel sensor, and they charge per API request. Rather than Home Assistant updating the sensors values every x minutes, you can now write an automation which will tell Home Assistant to update this sensors values before your usual travel times, as an example.

Breaking Changes

  • Template sensors no longer track all changes Template sensors can be very resource intensive. Home Assistant will now require users to specify an entity_id against a template sensor. When this entity_id’s state changes, the applicable template sensor will be updated.This will cause template sensors without an entity_id to never update! If you have a template which doesn’t update, you should now use the new update_entity service, introduced in this release.
  • Daikin Climate Platform has been updated to be more consistent with other Climate Platforms Adds support for localization for Operation Mode. and HomeKit integration. Because of this, the available options for the component have changed, so you’ll need to update your automations.

Other Noteworthy Updates



Hosted By

Phil Hawthorne

Phil is a Melbourne based web developer who lives and breathes technology. When he's not at his day job, he’s in his home office attempting to simplify his life through complicated tech.

Website Smart Home Products Buy a Coffee

Rohan Karamandi

Rohan from Toronto, Canada works in the Technology sector as an architect designing network and datacenter solutions for his customers. His passion for technology stems from there and extends to IoT and home automation

Website Smart Home Products Buy a Coffee



Special episodes focused on various aspects of Home Assistant and Home Automation.