What's new in Home Assistant 2023.7 - More voice! (2024)

It’s July 2023 and time for a new version of Home Assistant that will be released on the first Wednesday of this month. And it’s a big one this time! Let’s go through the beta version to see what will be released in Home Assistant 2023.7 this upcoming Wednesday!

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Boy, time flies! Here’s another new version of Home Assistant. This time it’s version 2023.7 and it is packed with a lot of new functionalities. This video is based on the beta version of Home Assistant 2023.7. The final version might slightly differ from what you’ll see in this video.

Service calls can now respond

The first big addition in this version is an advanced feature that will allow for a lot of new possibilities. When you create automations and scripts, you can use service calls in the action part of the automation or script. In previous versions of Home Assistant, you could only fire a service call like turning on a light or toggling a switch. But now the service call can also respond with data. So, what does this mean?

You can now ask Home Assistant for information from a device or service. For example, you can show all the calendar events for the upcoming days, hours, or minutes.

At the moment, there are two new services that you can use. The service calendar.list_events returns all the upcoming events in a calendar. You can test it in the developer tools like this.

  • Go to the tab Services and select the service calendar.list_events.
  • Select the target calendar.
  • Select a duration, for instance 48 hours,
  • and click Call service

A list of events will show now. I will create a tutorial in the near future on how you can utilize this to show agenda items on smartphone or dashboard when you call this service.

The second new service is the conversation.process service. With this service, you can ask to Assist a command and get a response back. You can for instance ask what lights are on in the house, but there’s much more possible. It’s currently in an early stage of development. As soon as it’s more robust, I will create a tutorial to show you how you can utilize this.

Entity Dialog for Locks

Home Assistant is focussing on the UI and this time a new entity dialog is added for Locks. I do not own a Smart Lock myself, but it shows the status while locking and when it’s locked or unlocked.

Open Assist Action

It’s now possible to create a button on your dashboard to open the Assist action. It’s still not a wake word, but if you have a tablet on your wall and want to quickly use the speech-to-text function of Home Assistant, you can now start Assist by simply pressing a button.

Sentence Trigger in Home Assistant 2023.7

Now that Home Assistant is focussing more on speech, more functionalities are released to support that every month. This time it’s the sentence trigger. This trigger can be used in automation to trigger an automation based on a specific sentence that you say to Assist. For instance, you can now create a sentence that announces a message through all your Smart Speakers that dinner is ready.

  • For this, go to Settings, Automations and Scenes and create a new automation.
  • Choose the Trigger: Sentence.
  • For the action, add a call service action and choose the Text To Speech service and fill in all the fields.

Now, when you say “Dinner is ready” to assist, your speakers should announce that Dinner is ready. I know, you can also create a button for this and that is currently probably a faster way to do it, but as soon as the wake word functionality will be available in Home Assistant, this will help in making automations respond to your voice.

What's new in Home Assistant 2023.7 - More voice! (1)
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Image entities

Next to the camera entity, there’s an image entity now to provide images. It currently works for Fritzbox tools and the MQTT and Template integrations if you want to create your own image entity.

If you want to create your own image entity, you can create a template like this. The image needs to point to a URL. You can show the image entity using the picture card, the picture glance card, or the tile card on your dashboard.

Copy and Paste in Dashboards

Dashboards do have copy-and-paste functionality now. You can cut, copy and paste a card from one view in a dashboard to another view in that same or another dashboard. The duplicate option for a card already existed, but that could only be done within the same view. Now you can cut, copy and paste to other views which I think is really handy.

But, there’s more! You can now see what the order of the cards is. When you put your dashboard in Edit mode, you see the order number of the card in the card and you can change that number so that the card gets positioned in a different position on the dashboard. It’s not drag-and-drop yet, but it comes close!

New Script Dialog in Home Assistant 2023.7

The create automation dialog already showed the automation blueprints, but the create script dialog did not show the script blueprints. This is added in Home Assistant 2023.7, so that the create script dialog shows the script blueprints now too.

Select the timezone to use/display

When you go to your user profile, you can now choose the timezone that you’re in. This is useful when you’re traveling a lot, or if you manage multiple Home Assistant instances that are in different timezones. You can choose your local timezone or the timezone that your server is in.

New changes in the integrations dashboard

And there’s a UI change for the integrations dashboard again. It’s even cleaner than the last change in Home Assistant 2023.6. The icons are now shown in a different location on the integration card. You can click the header to enter the integration and the cog-wheel, device, and service items have been removed.

Reducing the risk of running into breaking changes

Sometimes a YAML configuration option is removed and causes a breaking change. This can be a frustrating thing, especially if you’re not warned a long time before this remove is introduced. So, from now on, when a YAML configuration option will be removed, it will be shown as deprecated for 6 months before it is removed. This way, you have a lot of time to fix the issue before the YAML configuration option gets removed from Home Assistant.

Unavailable Automations and Scripts

Until now, automation and scripts were not shown in the automation or script list when they contained an error. This has changed so that you do see the automations and scripts that contain an error now. This way, it’s much easier to fix the automations and scripts that contain issues. When you open such an automation or script, you will get a hint about what’s wrong with it.

Lightning Fast Bluetooth proxies

If you use Bluetooth, you can use a Bluetooth dongle or a Bluetooth proxy using ESPHome. The ESPHome code for Bluetooth proxies has been updated in Home Assistant 2023.7 so that they are now even faster than using a standard Bluetooth dongle in your Home Assistant server.

Matter updates in Home Assistant 2023.7

As in all new versions of Home Assistant, this release contains some new Matter updates that improve speed and stability.

Other noteworthy changes

Next to all the new functionalities that I already mentioned, there are more changes in the noteworthy changes list. You can find this list on the release notes page which I linked in the description below.

New Integrations

Next to these noteworthy changes, these new integrations are available too and these integrations can now be set up using the UI.

Conclusion

As always, this video is created based on the beta release of Home Assistant 2023.7, so the functionalities in the final release might slightly differ from what’s in the beta. The final release of Home Assistant 2023.7 will be released on the 1st Wednesday of July. Make sure you read the breaking changes to prevent you run into any trouble after you’ve updated to this version.

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I will see you soon in my next video.

Bye Bye.

#homeassistant #whatsnew #smarthome #homeautomation #release #version #2023.7

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