Amateur Questions

Hi all! I am just starting out with home automation and had some "noob"ish questions. Apologies in advance! Here goes:

  1. Is there a windows based software that can be used to control my smartthings hub, preferably with a user friendly GUI?

  2. I see a lot of discussions about coding and release. How do I use these applications (released on this forum) on my home setup?

  3. Is the native app operated by smartthings eventually going to incorporate these user developed changes into their app to make them more broadly available?

  4. Final question (Somewhat philosophical): Where is this platform going? Will smart things stay true to the developer community or just bundle all this organic progress into its next hardware platform (with no backwards compatibility), leaving us behind?

Appreciate any insight the elders can offer.

Hi @AK30882, welcome to the community and SmartThings. Apologies in advance for the short reply. I’m mobile at the moment. These are popular questions, so have you tried the search feature in the community using keywords for each question?

Welcome! SmartThings is a very powerful platform, but not very intuitive. As for your specific questions:

  1. It depends on what you mean by “control your hub.” There’s a developer tool, the IDE, which runs in a browser and let you access your cloud account information, but you don’t use that to toggle devices on and off.

There’s also a very popular third-party dashboard called smart tiles. It has customizable dashboards and is a very nice Graphical interface. Runs in any web browser, so you can use it on a PC or on a tablet. A lot of people use a wall mount tablet with it. Definitely worth looking at.

There’s even a thread in the forum where people discuss various hardware they’ve used with smart tiles.

But there’s no PC equivalent of the official SmartThings mobile app.

.2. Here’s the custom code FAQ. It explains how you can install smart apps or device type handlers that you find in the forums.

.3. Community developers can submit their custom code to smartthings for eventual publication in the marketplace section of the official app. But in some cases this is taking over a year and it’s not always clear what the publication requirements/issues are.

.4. No one knows, and I think that probably includes SmartThings staff. :wink:

.5. You didn’t ask this, but you might find the following helpful.