Rohan and Phil take a look at the 2021.11 release. Phil discusses his use of Heimdall, which is similar to the new feature Home Assistant just released.


New Features

  • Visit devices and services Home Assistant now has the ability for devices or services which have their own web frontend to tell Home Assistant where that is. This will allow Home Assistant to link back to those interfaces from within Home Assistant. Some services this have been added to this release include Sonos, Spotify, Sonarr, Plex, Tasmota, Pi-hole, and a whole bunch more. 
  • Entity Categories No you can’t categorise your entities. Home Assistant is now breaking down types of entities into three categories. Primary, configuration and diagnostic. Moving forward, only primary entities will be exposed to the Google Home or Amazon Alexa. Any configuration or diagnostic entities are not exposed, and if you have them in a group, service calls won’t touch them unless you specify the entity ID. What are primary entities? A primary entity is what you would typically see in a dashboard. For example a Dyson Fan would have an on/off switch, which is a primary entity. A configuration entity for that fan might be a oscillate switch, or night mode toggle. A diagnostic entity for the Dyson fan might be a sensor like the number of hours remaining on the filter.
  • Major update to Tuya If you’ve been following Frenck’s twitter, you’ll see he’s been hard at work making the Tuya integration more solid. There’s a whole bunch of new devices now supported (all via the cloud still) Missing locks and remotes, but great work Frenck!
  • Icon Picker You can now change an entities icon from within Home Assistant, and not need to know the material design icon code for it!
  • Offset for time triggers If you have an automation set which uses a dynamic datetime entity (like a time of the next alarm), it is now easier to make automations with offsets against those datetime entities. For example, you can create an automation that will fire 5 minutes before your next alarm datetime, without needing to use a template.Was pulled out at the last minute, hopefully makes it in the next release!

New Integrations

  • LOOKin LOOKin focuses on providing devices that integrate with a local api and can be used internet free. Supported devices LOOKin Remote2: internet free Wi-Fi+IR Smart Home Control

Other Noteworthy Changes

  • Nest WebRTC support There’s also support for the Nest battery camera and battery doorbell
  • Tamper device class for binary sensors You can now have a binary sensor which is used to detect whether something has been tampered with.
  • Support for Fan groups Group fans together and control them from one single entity in Home Assistant!

Breaking Changes

There’s more on the release notes!
  • Python 3.8 is now deprecated For those running Home Assistant in your own environment, support for Python 3.8 is now deprecated and will be removed in 2022.1. Support for Python 3.10 hasn’t completed yet. It is advised to upgrade to Python 3.9 at this point. If you run Home Assistant OS, Supervised or the Container installation type: No action is required from your end, we will take of this for you.
  • The Home Assistant project has now explicitly defined a set of databases that are supported by the recorder.
  • Only the following databases will be supported after 2022.1
    • MariaDB ≥ 10.3
    • MySQL ≥ 8.0
    • PostgreSQL ≥ 12
    • SQLite ≥ 3.32.1
  • Xiaomi Miio Attributes from the vacuum entities have been replaced with sensors.
  • SimpliSafe SimpliSafe requires a new web-based authentication method. When starting up, Home Assistant will automatically prompt you to re-authorize your instance.
  • Sonos The sonos.set_option service has been removed and replaced with individual switch entities which both control the features and display if currently enabled. The night_sound and speech_enhance attributes on the Sonos media_player entities are also removed. If you are using those in your automation or scripts, you’ll need to replace these with the new switch entities.
  • Bye bye… Essent, Lyft, Nello, and Wink

Other Links Discussed

Sponsored By

Home Assistant Cloud by Nabu Casa

Easily connect to Google and Amazon voice assistants for a small monthly fee that also supports the Home Assistant project. Configuration is via the User Interface so no fiddling with router settings, dynamic DNS or YAML.


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.