Blynk Alternatives

Long time user of Node-Red and not about to change any time soon.

Blynk on the other hand I am looking to replace... a long time user of the original Blynk, but with the retirement of that platform looming I figure it is time to look at alternatives.

Here's my mobile app dashboard... very simple.

Yes I've looked at Blynk 2.0, but for a number of reasons the new Blynk just doesn't do it for me. And as much as I love the old version, the new version isn't going to work out for my needs.

So, alternatives, I've heard there's a few. I would really appreciate feedback on the alternatives that are out there... what works for you, what doesn't, which platforms are worth exploring?

I have a similar problem, as Blank 2.0 no longer provides the option for a local server.

So I am using Node-RED for the dashboard and MQTT with JSON format for the data transfer.

If you are looking for a dashboard that just displays your data, Grafana is a option

Or, for a data-driven interface direct from Node-RED, uibuilder can create mobile-friendly UI's without all of the overheads of Dashboard & similar. Not sure how good Grafana is on mobile, my limited experiments didn't work out that well though it was quite some time ago, I've not tried recently.

Works well on mobile, you just need to get your panels correctly set up, like with most other tools.

Supports multiple user, multiple organization.

But it is geared to be more a display tool not control.

Good to know.

That is true, however, there are button extensions. So depends what you want to do.

One day, I'll get time in between being creative on uibuilder :grimacing: to write some uibuilder-based mobile friendly pages that can be installed as apps. Probably about the same time that I work out how to use webworkers with the uibuilder front-end library. At the moment though, I'm writing a new version of the front-end library that is pure es module. Not as easy as I thought it would be once I got to the detail of what is really allowed to happen in browsers of different ages.

Anyway, to answer the original question, I'd likely build my own web interface using uibuilder and allow it to be taken as a mobile app. Since uibuilder is very robust at re-engaging the websocket interface, especially with the new es module version of the library (not yet quite published). So having the mobile disconnect from the network regularly shouldn't be too much of an issue. Though thinking about it, since the reconnect logic extends its retry time, perhaps a pop-over button to manually reconnect would be sensible - :sigh: another thing to add to the backlog! :smile_cat:

I have not been able to get them to work 100% and not a lot of information on them.

...I am in the same boat, but have not yet decided to retire my local blynk server.

Others, over in the blynk forum did move to either Kodular or MIT App Inventor.

I seem to remember that at least one of them simply creates a web request. This would work nicely with Node-RED where you have multiple ways of creating endpoints. I've not really tried them much though since I've never really needed them. I do have some links set up though on some of my Grafana dashboards that reach back to Node-RED.

That is true, and have used Grafana previously, but got out of it. The reason I like Blynk linked to Node-Red is the data from Node-Red is 'pushed' to Blynk, so I dont need to open up firewall ports or use a VPN.

Ideally I'd like to continue the 'push' approach, but doesn't seem to be many around that will do that. I am, not against Blynk, and had paid for some previous functionality. Only issue I have with Blynk 2.0 is the per month charge... mind you I guess they need to get money from somewhere.

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Really not many options for that. I'm guessing that Blynk needs to run an intermediate service somewhere in order to achieve the link which is why they are looking for more money.

Your best bet is going to be setting up a reverse proxy to provide edge security and then using web services from a device on your network (probably the device running Node-RED). I bit of a pain to set up properly but once done it should be stable.

Agreed. Also, @gregoinc might look at Tailscale. We use it quite successfully.

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Hello, I totally agree with your opinion. I'm looking for an alternative method to the old version of Blynk. A platform where I can push information through node-red. But I still haven't found a method.

You can access remotely using the application in the link. It is enough to design 1 page for mobile on Node-red.

1 Like could use a public mqtt broker as a hub...exchanging events&data with NR and a mobile App.
Just a matter of designing the flow of events based on pub/sub patterns, isn't it?

Are there any apps you have used or tried?

...not myself, yet.
But as already said earlier, above, others over in the blynk forum did move to either kodular or M.I.T App Inventor. Also, you can find lots of examples and code libraries to integrate the App via mqtt pub/sub.

I really like the concept of a public MQTT broker. Like I said, the reason I chose Blynk is because it avoided me fooling around with firewall rules, and opening my network to the world.

What is interesting is the Kodular approach i.e. app development. But who has the time to develop an app. And Grafana is ok, but again I dont have time to develop a mobile oriented dashboard, or learn about interfacing Node-Red and Grafana.

I'd really like to keep it simple... :slight_smile:

This is actually quit simple.

Node-red wrights the data to a DB (InflusDB or some sql DB) - Grafana connects to the db and queries it.

Well, at least on Android, there are some options for mqtt dashboard apps in the playstore.