App Control With Ease Using Blynk

App development is not fun for everyone, and sometimes you just want to control a device from your phone with minimal work. Blynk appears to be a fairly put-together library for not only hooking up any Arduino or esp8266 to a phone through WiFi, but also through the net if desired.

Install the app onto your iPhone or Android device. Install the libraries on your computer. Next, modify your Arduino source to either pass direct control of a pin to Blynk, or connect Blynk to a virtual pin inside your code for more advanced control. If you want to go the easy route, create an account, log into the app, and drag and drop the interface you’d like. If the idea of letting some corporation host your Arduino project sends shivers down your spine, there is also an option to host your own server. (Editorial snark: Yes, it requires a server. That’s the cost of “simplicity”.)

There have been a few times where we’ve wished we could add app control to our projects, but installing all the libraries and learning a new language just to see a button on a screen didn’t seem worth it. This is a great solution. Have any of you had experience using it?

33 thoughts on “App Control With Ease Using Blynk

  1. I tried it out using an esp8266 and DHT11 to monitor temperatures when it first came out. It was surprisingly easy to get working. I’ll have to revisit their site to see what they have been up to. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. I just tried it last week on an ESP8266 -01. I was pleased how easy it is to set up and how responsive it is.Tried two servos and the built in LED and it worked OK. It has potential.

  3. Have setup and been using Blynk with a bunch of ESP’s, on a self hosted blynk server, works really well, and the crew on the community support are quick at sorting out problems and bugs. As someone mentioned above it has great potential.

  4. I only think that the project is still not in the right state to get commercial. Also the subscription fee is a little bit on the high side for what the service is offering right now.

  5. Wow that’s very slick, kinda a cloud-based firmata/ ESPEasy, and I’m really impressed with the lack of latency – at least blinking a LED… I currently have ESPEasy on a few nodes with a local Domoticz server running on a pi for a few utilitarian things, I thought that was pretty easy to get up and running, this Blynk deal is super silly-stupid easy.

  6. I’m a bit familiar with it, been reading a lot and playing with the app before I try to integrate it into one of my projects.
    It does have a lot of potential. What’s really important is their dedication to help the users (via forum) and keep developing it. Their forum community seems to be very dynamic and helpful. It seems a lot easier to do than pfodApp. One thing it’s missing is the ability to create multi-page menus in the app. So far you’re limited to only one screen of buttons, displays and gauges, but they’re working on making multiple pages possible. There’s a way to overcome this by using multiple tokens but it’s a bit complicated imo.

  7. What happens when something commercial changes and the Blynk servers are no longer available? Does your house/equipment become uncontrollable and ready for the bin?

    Microsoft PlaysForSure(TM) [sic] is the awful warning. You can continue to play the music you bought on your existing device, but when the device fails you lose your music because Microsoft has turned off its DRM servers.

      1. Are you volunteering to support whoever buys your home and its fittings? :)

        I’ll store OpenHab into the dim dark recesses of my mind, and look at it when I next need to; thanks

    1. Blynk Cloud is open source. You can install it anywhere where Java 8+ (e.g on Raspbery Pi) can be run it and use at your convenience. So all data is yours, security is yours and you can modify it to your needs.

  8. Tried it a month ago. Couldnt ‘ share’ for example with my wifes phone (and wives wont be happy adopting a system which they can’t have control over) without paying Blynk :(

    I’ll stick to OpenHAB and mqtt then: https://openhardwarecoza.wordpress.com/category/home-automation/

    I also missed the ‘automation’ compared to OpenHAB. Blynk is more like remote control than home automation.

    Note. I did switch my entire home to blynk for a week, and tried my best to make it work for me. Sadly i missed openhab too much so went back

    1. I’m 99% sure you just messed 2 functionalities Blynk provide. Because sharing works like a charm.

      1. Shared access to the hardware – this is your case, when you need a few people to be able to get access to your hardware. Other people don’t need to login/create acc in Blynk – they just scan the QR code from the start. Your project should be active (PLAY button pressed)
      2. Cloning – when, for example, you are writing a tutorial and would like to share the layout of the widgets and settings together with the code. In this case – when scanning QR, other person will get the full copy of your project, but the Auth Token will be new. So they would need to update the code with their token and boom! – it works.

      BTW, as many people mentioned here, we always ready to help and answer your questions on our forum: http://community.blynk.cc in case you have any issues. You are very welcome there.

  9. I am using it to control the heating of our norther home. Turn up the temperature before we arrive so it is not cold. Monitor the furnace while we are not there. Cost me less then $20 to do the same thing a $200 Nest would do.

  10. A question for those who run one with local server: how many resources does the Java local server require? I would expect it to consume a lot of RAM and a good slice of processor power, so that it could be problematic if I wanted also to run other stuff on a PI or other SBC that stays on 24/7 without allocating a 2nd one.

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