Sending .gif and/or .mp4 files to iOS devices

Are there any actions available in OpenHAB that would allow someone to send a .gif file or a .mp4 file to an iOS device? I know Telegram will do this, but that functionality is not currently supported in the Telegram action add-on.

Written as a user story:
“As an OpenHAB user running the ipcamera binding, I want to be able to write a rule that, when motion from a camera is detected, sends a short animation as a GIF consisting of the motion event video to an iOS device, so that I can not only receive a text motion alert, but so that I can also see what caused the alert.”

Use of the v1 action is deprecated. There is a v2 binding of the same name and I have not tried but sending a photo is said to be supported. Remember you can have file:// URLs, too.

Thanks @mstormi! I can verify that it does work to send a photo. I can also verify that if you send a GIF as sendPhoto, the first frame of the GIF animation displays on the iOS app. However, as far as I have been able to determine, you cannot send an animation or a .mp4.

And you are correct Markus, I can verify that you can specify a file:// url to send a local file. That does work.


I think mp4 might be a hard ask of any ios notification platform. Pushover does images as well and possibly gif, but unsure about mp4.

Slack might work? but it requires the set up of the slack server (I have one for all my notifications from openhab and other systems here at home, which important must see stuff going to pushover as well). Including images, but I don’t push any video.

The old standby of email might be the best… Or host them somewhere and notify out a link to it?

IIRC Telegram recently announced sort of an upgrade on its media capabilities but I don’t recall how much video was in there. Guess we need to wait for that to ‘trickle down’ into the binding.
You could probably help and eventually animate the maintainer by providing him with a pointer to infos on those new capabilities.

Pushover works well on iOS with gif and the overview message that pops up is animated with the gif which is handy. I’m sure I put an Example in the ipcamera readme.

Telegram can do mp4 just never tried it, a few have posted recently in the forum about it. Advantage of telegram is that you can display an unlock button in a push message to unlock a door whilst looking at the video of who rang the doorbell.

Thanks @psyciknz. I have verified that Telegram does both animations and .mp4s. In fact, GIF files (animations) are converted to .mp4 video by Telegram before they are pushed to the client. So at least that part of the solution works. Unfortunately this is relatively recent, I believe, so our OH2 binding does not support it (yet). I have raised an issue on GitHub addons, so I hope the OH2 Telegram developer will pick that up. Fingers crossed.

I have recently raised an issue on the GitHub OH addons project. Is this the right place to hopefully bring this to the maintainer’s attention?

Thanks @matt1. I may give Pushover a try.

yup. Mind naming it [telegram] or the like.

Thanks. Already done here.

We’re currently using pushover for our Android devices integrated with the pushover binding and blue iris to accomplish this. Works very reliability.

Different platform, but the principles are the same for iOS.

I did a full write-up on the process here:

Thank you @roy_liao! I just tried it and it works just fine with the following in the OH2 rules file.


If you do not mind, one stupid question. What do you use BI for? Is it functioning as an NVR similar to Zoneminder?

Glad it worked.

Yes, I use BI for NVR functions. It’s pretty neat as BI has a ton of flexibility and you can integrate lots of OH features with it. For instance, here are some ideas:

  • Send animated notifications (as you asked in this topic)
  • Integrate AI functions to trigger activities (if your car pulls in, do something in OH)
  • Change recording profiles if alarm is tripped
  • Send motion detected from blueiris to OH and trigger items (turn on lights)
  • Overlay item status from OH on top of video in BI. Here’s a sample I posted in an old topic: