Hi all. I was looking for a way to make a Homey app for Signal messenger. After some days work I had it working on my PC and was about to port it to Homey. Unfortunately the Homey app always crashes when it starts up. This is probably caused by the very heavy package that is required to run a full client with all the encryption that Signal has. I tried reducing the package in size, but still Homey keeps crashing (and I used a Homey Pro for my trials).
So for now I have stopped working on a full Signal client for Homey. In stead I found a neat online service that allows Homey to send messages to yourself. Not only via Signal, but also via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Telegram. It is called CallMeBot .
It works easy enough from a development perspective. I was able to send a message within a few minutes. Off course turning that into a user friendly app that can be released in the Homey app store is a lot more work .
But after a day of work I have a working first version that supports Signal and WhatsApp. I will try to get that released with Athom, and will continue to work on the app to finetune useability and stability, and to add telegram and facebook. I might even add Telegram call (voice), but will have to look first at what it can do exactly.
So stay tuned for more, and let me know if you think this app can be useful to you.
EDIT 1: I just finished adding Facebook Messenger and Telegram
EDIT 2: It is now released in the app store. Have fun with it!
EDIT 3: Voice messages via Telegram is now also released.
EDIT 4: Image sending is finished also (Signal and FB msgr).
The bot will answer you with your personal apikey.
Add the Telegram device in Homey and fill in your user name. No apikey is needed. You can now start sending messages from a flow.
Send Voice Messages
With Telegram you can start a voice call from a flow. The text will be converted to speech in a selection of languages. You can choose between a male and a female voice. As one time setup you need to allow @CallMeBot_API4 to send you messages.
With Signal and FB messenger you can send images via a flow.
I think this is a very good idea in principle, but wouldn’t it be better to use the Matrix Messager, because it can do everything CallMeBot can do, but it is extensible and more importantly, open source and can be self hosted.
I know, it should not be understood as criticism. But for me the OpenSource/Self Hosted thought is very important and I use as far as possible no cloud services, so after the moto: “My home is my Castel”.
PS: Matrix was also on my homey-todo list, maybe something can be done with the new Matter protocol, we’ll see ……
I looked into it Chris. Very interesting indeed, and one day I would surely like to try using this framework, just as I would one day like to drive a hydrogen fueled car when I am able to produce my own hydrogen at home
But you mention the most important part, besides being open source, is being able to self host it. Now that is a problem for the average Homey user. The framework and the bridges needed to work with WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, etc. are not lightweight. And furthermore mostly written in Python, a language not supported by Homey. So the self hosting will never be possible with a Homey app. And I do not see the average Homey user installing a server or a rpi for this.
My conclusion: nice for tech savvy HA users on a rpi, but not suited for Homey users without someone creating an online shared service for this. And that would be doing exactly the same as what CallMeBot is doing…