Homey Community Forum

Homey Community App Store

Credits:
Where i say “we” in this post i actually mean the community members and with special thnx to @maxvandelaar, @MarcoRuiter and @HarriedeGroot .

Community App Store:
We (here we go alr!) created a Community App Store as there is some apps that does not get approved by Athom because of several reasons.
This can be different reasons and we don’t wanna discuss that here because that would be an endless discussion.
So, we created the Homey Community App Store where all rejected apps (if approved by the developer ofc) can be found and installed on ur Homey.
There is also approved apps in this store ofc.

Link:
Here is the link to the Community App Store. As this is still WIP we ask u to test this and give some feedback in the appropiate channels for it.
As there is always room for improvement we like to get some feedback.

30 Likes

Looks awesome! Great potential, I hope all the ‘made for myself and not for publishing’ apps will find it’s way there.

Could you add a field with the reason the apps were rejected bij Athom though? It could make a big difference in the decision for trusting an app.

@Joolee, So I could definitely add that field, however, we wan’t to keep it friendly and it would still come down to trusting whatever information we get from the developer about the rejection. As for the current apps, they are all required to be opensource so you and everyone else can check what the app does if you don’t trust it.

5 Likes

Pretty cool, where can I add my apps?

just create an issue on the github page here https://github.com/MaxvandeLaar/homey-community-store/issues with the link to your repo and let me know which branch is the stable release one if not master. Thank you :blush:

:revolving_hearts:

2 Likes

Great work guys, this makes it alot easy’er

Question, i see that there are also approved apps (for the normal appstore) in the community app store (as stated in the opening post).
Just curious about what logic is behind that?

Also wondering about this scenario:
the Smart Presence app has been updated, but the developer needs to rewrite the whole app to get it published in the appstore, the amount of work is big and because of the update is small this isnt done.
should we also submit these kind of apps/scenario’s in this community app store?

@matrover,

So to provide as much as apps as possible in one place, approved apps are also allowed in the App Store. Users don’t have to switch between different stores. Obviously, Athom’s apps aren’t public and I doubt they will add them to our store :wink:.

So how are updates treated in the current workings of our Homey Community Store… Well, the thing is, you aren’t actually submitting your app, just the stable(!) branch on your repo. Let say this branch is the master branch, whenever someone clicks ‘install’, the Homey Community Store just downloads the latest code from the repo. Thus always installing the latest version.

However, I can imagine this will change somewhere in the future as I have lots of features planned which I can’t realise when keeping this mechanism in place. However, we are all just community users and we obviously have limited funds and resources. Help in every way is welcome!

What about the auto app update function in Homey for apps which are not in athoms app store?

@M_a_r_c_o Sadly, that is not possible at the moment. I don’t keep track of app version at the moment nor what apps you have installed via the Store. I am looking for ways to introduce this.

Great initiative! I have downloaded it immediately.

One question; how long does it generally take for an app to be installed? I have been watching the wheel spin for a little while now. :wink:

@Martijn_C, shouldn’t take too long, but differs per app. For some apps I have to install extra dependencies and if there are a lot, time increases, some apps committed node_modules to git, so downloading and extracting takes some time… if app size is large, then installing will take longer as well. I can’t remember which app, but I’ve seen one taking up to 5/10 minutes.

If you feel something is wrong you can check the logging in the front-end to check basic progress (Windows: ctrl+shift+i) (MacOS: option+cmd+i), for native logging (this gives greater insight) check:

  • on macOS: ~/Library/Logs/{app name}/{process type}.log
  • on Windows: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\{app name}\logs\{process type}.log

If it’s just one specific app that won’t install, let me know which one. I’ll check it, and if it causes problems I remove it. There is no real quality assurance check in place yet as this is a beta release.

And the same goes for backup and restore. The community store installed apps probably won’t be restored with the restore procedure.

Maybe a good idea to name these two caveats in the topic starts.

Other than that! Great work!!

That’s a little to technical for me, but I have selected the Nuki app and clicked install. It has been spinning for two hours now.

Installed within seconds for me, lets debug this in a pm.

Hi Max,

Thanks for your answer.
The second question wasnt about the update’s of apps.

But in this case the app master is updated and the appstore version cant be updated because of the new app store requirements. should i just create an issue for the updated version?

the Smart Presence app has been updated, but the developer needs to rewrite the whole app to get it published in the appstore, the amount of work is big and because of the update is small this isnt done.
should we also submit these kind of apps/scenario’s in this community app store?

Ahhh misunderstood sorry. Yes sure you can use this scenario to publish it to the Community Store. You can always (as long as its public) publish it to the Community Store.

I understand the need for a community store, but I also would ask not to make it a second/double store.

If I compare it to Synology, the there is a official Synology store and several community stores. But apps are not in both (or more) stores, only in one. If there is a copy of the app in another store, then source and name should be different.

For example; if Heimdall is in community store, then it should not be in the Athom store and vice versa. It will be too confusing for Homey users including me, because whats the difference, how do i select the right app, is the developer keeping a list of differences between community and official atore apps?

Just my advice, its now to confusing.

Secondly, you could make a community store app whom can be used to track updates.

Thirth, the Store applicatio looks goog, but why an application, why not a website? (just curious).

2 Likes

@M_a_r_c_o

I definitely understand your point of just including unofficial apps. However, recently it came to my attention that some developers, who have their app approved and in the official store, can’t update this app any longer as Athom is requiring a rewrite of that app. They don’t have the time or knowledge to actually do this and thus can’t give updates to users. This is when they can fallback to Homey Community Store. I do take your suggestion to heart and might consider changing this in the future… Please note, it is still running in beta. I did not expect this much attention :wink:

Your second request is actually pretty high on my roadmap list so that will arrive in the future.

A website is a pain to develop and we can’t install applications to a Homey remotely. Trust me… I tried. If someone has any idea how to accomplish that, feel free to contact me.

Nice work so far :slightly_smiling_face:

I’m curious though, why is it that developing a website a pain, but writing an app in JavaScript is fine? :slight_smile:

I understand the need for having to install an app to perform the actual installation, but it would be nice if the store contents could be browsed from the website.

Once you have that, you could also allow for installation via the web version of the store, more or less. You would need to build a simple app responsible for the actual installation. Have it register as a protocol handler in Windows. Then on your web store you can install any App via a special URI which will launch your app with the URI as a parameter. The app would then download and install the app based on that URI.

Mac apparently has a similar mechanism, but I don’t know the technical details.

Not a great improvement when it comes to installing perhaps, but being able to browse the store before installing a “scary” executable is definitely an improvement, I would say.