HABly - Control openHAB with custom widgets for iPhone and iPad

EDIT: HABly is now on the App Store. More in this post.

Hey guys,
my next project - HABly - has entered beta phase. Whether you want to monitor temperature sensors, track energy consumption or control switches of your openHAB instance - HABly lets you create Widgets on your iPhone or iPad. Lock Screen Widgets also work.

I’m currently looking for beta testers - if you want to join, please comment or send me a private message and I’ll send you the link. Please note: HABly only works on iOS17 and iPadOS17! You also need to install Testflight, the official Testing App by Apple.

If you join beta testing, please let me know: have you encountered any crashes? Does the app work fine? Are the Widgets displayed correctly? Too many, too few colors? Too many, too few Icons? Just everything that comes you in mind that would make the app better.

Basic usage:

  1. Connect to yout openHAB server
  2. Add Collections
  3. Add Items to Collections
  4. Create a Widget and select the Collection to be shown in the Widget

After the beta phase, HABly will be published for free at the App Store. HABly doesn’t collect or sell any data, all data ist stored securely on your device.

Thanks in advance


HABly works with local openHAB installations, e.g. for an iPad thats just used at home, and it also works via myopenHAB. I also integrated self hosted cloud service but I couldn‘t test of it works.

Thanks for publishing this nice tool.
Unfortunately I already struggle with the first switch item.
Created a collection, added a switch item to it, placed the widget on my homescreen.
So far so good, the widget shows the correct state, but I cannot change it. Pressing the widget just opens the collection, but does not change my light.
Am I missing something ?

Did you select a „Button Widget“? Toggling switches just works with Button Widgets. If so, is the Item defined as a Switch in openHAB? Toggling lights or blinds isn‘t supported yet.

OMG, selected the wrong widget. Thanks!!!

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Played a bit with HABly and find it confusing.
Instead of defining Items straight away, why do I have to create a collection for each one ?
If I put more than one item into the same collection, a button widget will open the collection only…

Thanks for your feedback!

The idea is that you “configure” your widgets in the app. Ideally you create a collection in the app for each widget you want to use. Then configure each collection (the color, add items, add icons and custom names for the items and so on). Then add a widget to your homescreen and select the collection to be shown in that widget. Depending on the widgetsize and type, possibly not all items of the collection will be shown - eg the Gauge widget shows only the first item of the collection, the Icon Widget shows the first three.

I don’t get the second part. If you create a collection and add two switch items, then create a Button Widget on your homescreen and select that collection, there should be two buttons in the widget. If there’s only one item in that collection, only one button should be displayed. When you tap on one of the buttons, the switch should toggle.
Bildschirmfoto 2023-10-15 um 16.31.45
Doesn’t that work?

Thanks a lot!

Now I got it and it seems to work. So the collection is something like a room.
But still would prefer single item widget without the need of a collection.‘

Edit: Names are missing with the buttons…

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Thanks for the feedback, Hans-Jörg!

I’m glad, that the technical side works (I started sweating when I read your post that the buttons in the button widget wouldn’t act like a button and just open the app … :wink: )

Not quite: a collection is a collection (or library) of openHAB items to be shown in a widget. Could be items of a room, could be some temperatures, could be everything that has to do with your heating, and so on.

Example with temperatures around your home:
If you the create an Icon Widget, the first three Items of the collection will be shown:

If you create a small List Widget, the first five Items will be shown:

If you create a wide List Widget, also five Items will be shown, but with their names added:

I’m afraid that getting rid of collections would lead to a loss of configuration features - like quickly changing the order of the items in the collection. But maybe I just understand it wrong: I’m open for suggestions - that’s why I’m posting here.

Thanks a lot!

Thanks for your feedback. I sm not asking to remove the collections but to add „simple“ item widgets.
Your examples show nicely what collections can be used for.

Another thing i am missing, a search function for item selection. :wink:

Thanks for your suggestion. I’ll try to figure out how to implement that.

Just try to swipe down in the items list - then the search function should pop up at the top.

Thanks a lot for your help!

Found it, but that‘s not very intuitive…… I would expect it to be pinned at the top…

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Thanks for that suggestion. I now implemented a search button at the top. Will be in the next update.


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Just received the update and tested the search button. Works nicely :+1:

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Thanks for the feedback, Hans-Jörg!

I just submitted another update - the search button was also shown on iPad which already had a nice search field permanently shown. So I removed the search button on iPad. Version 1.03 is currently checked by Apple, should be available tomorrow.


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HABly left beta testing and is now available on the App Store for iPhone and iPad (iOS or iPadOS 17 required)

You can download it here: ‎HABly on the App Store

Yes, it works with myopenhab.org. Just enter your account credentials in settings. Or you enter your local openHAB IP on devices that don’t leave your home.
If you have a Mac with Apple Silicon and Sonoma installed, it should work on this Mac too - it should, I couldn’t test it.

A big shoutout to the Beta Testers! Thank you for your suggestions and your help to make HABly better!

If you have further suggestions, discover bugs or have problems in setting up your widgets: please let me know!



Thanks so much!


Great news! HABly also runs on your iMac or MacBook!

I updated my systems to macOS Sonoma to verify and it works: :smiley:

On Apple Silicon Macs (M1, M2, M3):
Download HABly from the Mac App Store and just use it like you would do on iPhone or iPad.

On Intel Macs:
You can’t install HABly directly on your machine but you can install it on your iPhone and configure Collections there - then you can choose these Collections on your Mac when adding widgets.
Just search for Widgets in your Mac settings and activate “Use iPhone widgets”.

You can choose from displaying the widgets in the selected color or in monochrome.

I found two “bugs” during my short test:

  • In List Widgets, sometimes the value of one or more Items is displayed bigger than the others. I can’t figure out why - maybe it’s a macOS bug.
  • There’s no “delete on swipe” on macOS. So if you want to remove an Item from a collection, you have to open “add item” and unselect it there. I will improve that with the next update of HABly.

As always: I appreciate your feedback and look forward to suggestions for making HABly better!


Get HABly: https://apps.apple.com/de/app/hably/id6469004788


@Harry-0815 This is great. Thank you!!!

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Thank you, @Tomasz_W !