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What’s new in Home Assistant June 2024.6 – AI in Voice Assistant, Dashboard updates, and more

Hi! It’s almost June, so Home Assistant comes with the June update release 2024.6. It includes some interesting new features such as the use of AI in Assist, easier control of your media player by voice, conditional sections in your dashboard, easy background setting for your dashboard, new data table improvements, matter updates, the ability to disable expiration of login tokens, tag entities, collapsible sections in blueprints, and many more. I will show you how to use all these new features in this video. Let’s do this!

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So, we have reached the middle of 2024 with the new June release 2024.6 of Home Assistant. Note, that this video is based on the beta version of this release, so there might be some minor changes in the final release which will come out on the first Wednesday of June. Let’s see what’s new in this release.

Using AI in the Voice Assistant

Home Assistant could already use so-called Large Language Models, or LLMs. An LLM is an artificial intelligence (AI) program that can recognize and generate text, among other tasks. Previously, you had to choose whether to use an LLM or the Home Assistant Conversation Agent to control your home. In this video, I show you how to set up OpenAI in Home Assistant, so if that doesn’t work for you yet, check this one out as well. As of this release, you can combine AI with commands to control your home through Assist. You just have to toggle the Assist radio button to make this work. See this example.

Media Player intents for Assist

Until now, you could control your media player in your home with Assist by specifically naming them. In that case, you had to say, for example, “Skip to the next song using the living room speaker.” From this release, you can use shorter commands if your voice assistant is assigned to the same area as your media player. Commands like ‘pause,’ ‘resume,’ ‘next,’ etc., now work directly.

Show sections conditionally

Sections can now be shown or hidden based on conditions. This works the same as the conditional card on your dashboard but can be set directly in the section. For example, you can configure a section to be visible only to certain users, or to be visible only when an entity has a specific value, or for mobile only.

Setting a dashboard background

In the past, it was already possible to set a custom background image for your dashboard, but you had to do it in YAML. From this release, you can upload an image via the UI, making it easier to display a background image on your dashboard. Additionally, this feature now also works on the picture-entity card.

Data tables improvements

In the previous release, it was possible to collapse and expand groups of data. However, it was not yet possible to collapse or expand all groups at once. Starting from this release, that is now possible.

Additionally, the filters you set in the data tables are now saved in your browser session. This means that if you navigate away from the page and return, your filters will still be applied. However, each browser tab or window has its own session, allowing you to have different filters in different tabs or windows, which will be remembered for that specific tab or window.

And, it is now also possible to group data in the voice assistant expose overview.

Matter updates

There are some new Matter updates in this new release. The Fan platform is introduced and bugfixes are applied as well.

Disable the expiring of login tokens

In a release from a few months ago, it was introduced that login tokens would expire if someone hadn’t logged in for 90 days. Starting from this release, it is possible to disable the expiration of a login token, ensuring that the specific login token will never expire.

Tags are Entities now

With tags, you can use NFC tags or QR codes in Home Assistant to trigger automations. Until now, tags were not entities, but from now on, tags can also be queried as entities so you can use them in automations, scripts, templates, and on your dashboard!

Collapsable Sections for Blueprints

The settings in blueprints have always been long lists until now. Starting from version 2024.6, blueprint creators can now organize their lists into collapsible sections, making blueprints a bit easier to understand for users.

Other Noteworthy Changes

These were the major changes in Home Assistant 2024.6. Additionally, other noteworthy changes are worth mentioning. You can find these in this list.

The most notable one for me is the option to now execute actions in sequence. This makes it possible to use sequences in parallel actions, among other things. As a result, you can now execute multiple serial sequences of actions in parallel via the UI.

New Integrations

And of course, there are also a number of new integrations that you can see on this page.

Backward-incompatible changes

With each new version, there are also changes that will no longer work in older versions. So always read through the list of backward-incompatible changes carefully before you update.

Please note that this video is based on the beta version of Home Assistant 2024.6, so there may be slight variations from the final release scheduled for this upcoming Wednesday.

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