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[Discussion] Home Assistant 2024.7 Release: Timers, LLM Script Integration, and Enhanced Dashboard Customization

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A New Release of Home Assistant 2024.7

With improved features and enhancements, the release of Home Assistant 2024.7 promises to enhance the experience of users, offering a variety of updates. A dedicated team has been tirelessly working over the past few days to refresh their official website, alongside the release of this updated version.

Interesting additions to the Assist feature, such as Timers and the ability to connect your scripts to LLMs, have been incorporated. Highlights of their recent Voice - Chapter 7 Livestream, which provides demonstrations of these features, are a must-watch!

A noteworthy development comes with the enhancement of the section view, offering the ability to resize cards - a feature that will enhance the experience of users with each release.

Dashboard Customization and Data Table Improvements

They continue to enhance dashboard organization and customization. The latest addition allows you to resize dashboard cards using a simple and user-friendly slider interface. This interface can be found in the card editing menu under the new 'Layout' tab. It gives users a preview, allowing you to design buttons, space adjustments, and card sizes according to your liking. This feature is only available in the experimental sections view at present.

Progressing with the agenda to enhance their data tables, the latest development allows you to customize the columns on your data tables. Apart from toggling the visibility of columns, you can rearrange the order of the columns. The customized columns and view settings will be remembered for your next visit, making it much more user-friendly and intuitive.

Voice & Assist Features

With an array of enhancements, they have added support for timers, a much-awaited feature. Additionally, there's the ability to expose your scripts to LLMs like ChatGPT and Google Gemini. On top of this, timers that are usable with voice controls and can manage daily tasks with ease have also been introduced - a feature that can manage several timers at once. For a detailed explanation, check out the Chapter 7 blog post. They've also incorporated a feature that allows LLMs to execute specific actions based on your scripts. An example of this could be an “I'm leaving home” script that locks the door but doesn't turn off the air conditioning when you issue a relevant command like “I’m heading out for a few minutes”.

Another milestone achieved in this release is the ability to control blueprint-based automation. This facility allows customization of the blueprints to cater to the exact needs of the user. Customizing the blueprints to the unique requirements of the user can be a game-changer, allowing for higher flexibility and convenience.

Updates and Integrations

Championing the agenda of constant development, they're happy to introduce new integrations in this release. They welcome new integrations like Aquacell, ista EcoTrend, Mealie, and Knocki amongst others. There are also significant contributions and improvements to some existing integrations.

The underlying principle of their constant endeavor for development is the user community, inputs from whom are the backbone of the developments they are able to bring each day. Besides this, a number of integrations have achieved the platinum quality level, offering an unmatched user experience. They can now be set up from the User Interface. Farewell has been bid to a few integrations too.

ESPHome now offers the feature of updating devices directly from Home Assistant, without requiring to set up the ESPHome software. Besides numerous improvements, do note that there are a few changes that could potentially impact existing installations. These have been documented to aid users in transitioning in a smooth manner.

Last but not least, the release of Home Assistant 2024.7 would not have been possible without the vibrant user community, who contribute with their knowledge and insights to help the devs consistently strive for better.

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