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How to Control Sonos with Homeboy

Insteon added support for Sonos speakers over a year ago, allowing you to trigger favorites and basic playback controls (play/pause, skip, etc.). Unfortunately, Insteon only made this feature available in its iOS app, leaving Android and Windows users without similar capabilities. Third party apps and services also can't take advantage of this Sonos control, because it's not exposed through Insteon's API.

But there is a way to control your Sonos speakers with Homeboy on any platform...as long as you have the Insteon for Hub app on just one iOS device. The trick is to set up your Sonos devices and create scenes for the functions you want to access in Homeboy.

Setting It Up

Setting this up is pretty easy, and Insteon's in-app instructions will guide you through the process. Just follow these steps in the Insteon for Hub app on your iPhone or iPad to set up a Sonos player:
  1. Add a Sonos player the same way you'd add any device.
  2. Select one of the Sonos devices the Insteon app finds on your network.
  3. Assign the Sonos player a name and room(s). You may want to consider adding a new "Sonos" room to group all of your Sonos devices and scenes.
  4. Add some player presets, following the in-app instructions, for your favorite stations, playlists, or sources. Note that not all Sonos sources can be added as Insteon presets.


Now you need to create some scenes:
  1. Create a scene including the Sonos player you just added, and select the Play/Pause function. Name it something simple, like "Speakers."
  2. Add this scene to the room that contains the device (and to your Sonos room, if applicable).
  3. Create a scene for each of the presets you want to control from Homeboy and add them all to the appropriate room(s). Again, name them simply, so they make sense in the app (e.g., "Radio 1," "Chill Time," or "WTOP").
Test the device and scene controls you just created before you close Insteon's app. Each of your presets should play when you turn on the scenes you created for them. If you have speakers grouped through Sonos, they should play, too. Turning a scene off pauses playback.

Turning the Speakers scene on and off should resume and pause whatever you were last playing, respectively.

Ready for Homeboy

Now go to the Homeboy app on your device—any device: iOS, Android, or Windows Phone. To ensure Homeboy reloads all your device information, you may want to unload the app first, then open it up again.

Your Sonos room—or the room where you assigned your Sonos player and scenes—has all the controls you just set up, allowing you to start any preset or play/pause your Sonos speaker(s) by triggering those scenes.
Sonos scenes on Android phonePlay/Pause scene on iPhone
Kitchen scenes on Windows Phone

Added Bonus(es)

Now you may be thinking, "hey, if I can create Sonos scenes, could I add Sonos music to other scenes I already use around the house?" Why yes...yes you can. For example, you could turn off all Sonos speakers in your home as part of your Good Night scene or turn on a specific station as part of your Wake Up scene. The possibilities are proverbially endless.

And if you're a friend of Alexa, the scenes you just created will let you control Sonos from the Echo devices in your home as long as you've configured Insteon's Alexa Skill. So in addition to using Homeboy, you can also ask Alexa to "Turn on Radio 1" or "Turn off the Speakers."

Enjoy!

Homeboy Now Supports FanLinc

After positive feedback from our beta testers and even some support from the folks at Insteon, we've completed our work on the latest Homeboy release to support the Insteon Fan Controller. If you're a long-time Insteon user, you may be more familiar with this product by its original name, the FanLinc.
  
This update is available for both the iOS and Android (including the Fire tablet) versions of Homeboy.

Additionally, we improved how the Android app behaves after you haven't used it for a while. Instead of displaying a view with potentially outdated device information, the app now returns to show your Favorites, reloading all devices and status information, just like on iOS and Windows Phone.

You should get the new update automatically if you installed the app on iOS, Android, or Amazon Fire tablet. Let us know how you like the update by adding a comment to this post or by reaching out to us at support@homeboycontrol.zendesk.com.

FanLinc Support is Now in Beta

Please note that our beta period for this update is now over, and these features have been released to the publicly available version of Homeboy.

We’ve been working on support for Insteon’s Fan Controller, also known as the FanLinc, and we’re now making this new control feature available to Homeboy users in our beta release channel.
 
Our latest beta update adds the following:
  • Fan Controller status and control for the iOS and Android platforms, supporting full light dimming and low/med/high fan settings
  • Combined light and fan statuses and controls on one screen
  • Improved handling on Android devices when returning to Homeboy after long away times
We’d love you to try out our new features and provide your feedback as we continue to improve Homeboy. If you have a Fan Controller, and you’d like to try out this new support, please reach out to us at support@homeboycontrol.zendesk.com.

Introducing Homeboy on iOS

We're thrilled to announce that Homeboy for Insteon Hub is now available on iOS. We've been working to bring our fast, simple, native feel to the App Store, and now you can enjoy Homeboy on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.

On iOS, Homeboy will control the Insteon lights, appliances, and scenes in your home, just like it does on the other platforms we support. But we've gone a step further with this version. One of our core tenets has been to embrace the native experience of our supported platforms, and iOS offers new opportunities here.

Specifically, we've added support for device rotation and multitasking. Homeboy will function in any orientation your iOS device can support. Additionally, Homeboy can be used in iPad's Slide Over and Split View modes, allowing you to quickly control your home while using your iPad for surfing, reading, drawing, or anything else!
Homeboy supports Split View and Slide Over on iPad
With this release, Homeboy is now available on all three of the leading mobile platforms—iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. But we're not stopping there. We recently previewed our work in progress on other platforms, and we plan to add new features and additional device support to ensure that Homeboy remains your favorite way to control your home.

Homeboy for Insteon Hub is free, and you can download it from the App Store.

Previewing Homeboy at the Geeks Network Meetup

Josh and Richard debut Homeboy on iOS at the Geeks Network meetup
(Photo: Anthony Raynor)
This weekend, Homeboys Josh Pollard and Richard Gunther previewed our latest developments at the Geeks Network meetup in Fishers, Indiana. Richard joined remotely to demonstrate our forthcoming iOS app, while Josh showed off our work on a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) solution for Windows 10 devices. The hit of the demonstration was a preview of the UWP app working on an Xbox.
Josh previews an early version of Homeboy on Xbox
Many thanks to Dave McCabe, Jim Collison, and the many others who made this year's meet up a great success, as it always is.

We also want to thank the folks at Insteon, who helped us out by providing hardware for the demonstration and an Insteon starter kit to use as a giveaway at the meet up.