Automations / Modes / New to Smartthings and its not jiving

So I am a recent convert from IRIS. I liked IRIS but as many of you I am sure know, they are decommissioning their service, so I have migrated to smartthings.

Some confusion points i’ve already stumbled upon are:

1). There are two apps, a newer one with the logo at the top of this page and a classic app. I’m not entirely sure which one to use?

2). While I can see my “presence” events trigger in the history, they don’t actually do what I expect them to do. For example, changing the “location” or “mode” from home to away, or away to home, seems to have no baring whatsoever on changing the (Away) | (Stay) | (Disarmed)?

3.) My confusion on the two apps continues to grow “the confusion part that is” as I was able to find a marketplace and download an app on the “old app” called Routine Director… I have not gotten a chance to try and see if that has any effect on my above problem, but I did see the newer app picked up that I had installed that. If only I knew how to do it in the newer app, I feel things are placed in “wonky” places.

I’m really just wanting simple automations…

  • If everyone leaves, i’d like my house to be armed (Away) and my lights to turn out.
  • When anyone comes home, i’d like my house to disarm (Home) and turn my lights on.
  • I’d like a (at midnight) turn all my lights out and arm the house in “night mode”.

More complicated:

  • I’d like when I leave if between 5am - 7am, that it turn all the lights out and set the alarm back to Night (Stay) Mode… (I leave for work about 2 hours before the rest of the family gets up).

Sorry to have gotten a bit wordy, but any feedback or advice from a more experienced user would be so greatly appreciated.


  • James

Have you searched to see if you can find some answers? There are a number of threads that discuss the differences between the old Classic app and the new STSC or Connect app. Most would probably recommend that you go with the Classic app unless you have devices such as TVs and other major connected appliances that only the new app will support.

The Classic app has both a Smart Home Monitor (SHM) (Armed, Disarmed, etc) and modes (Home, Away, Etc). They are not necessarily interrelated. For alarm functions where you are notified about door and motion sensor trips, use the SHM.

You can use modes for conditions in various apps and define your own. In my case, I have my modes mirror my SHM and use those conditions for other automations.

For the automations you wish, search for presence. There are many threads that discuss it.

I converted from Iris a couple of years ago but I still had my Iris Hub going and using it for some simple automations since I didn’t want to just throw away all the hardware and hoped someday I could use it elsewhere.

Anyway, everything you mention is doable with the classic App, I can’t speak to the new app as I have never used it. I got notifications that it was coming and they told me I would be notified when I needed to switch over. I have yet to be notified and from what I have seen it has many issues.

You may have no choice as you probably have a V3 Hub, I have the V2. All I can say is with the classic app all you need to use is smartlighting and routines to do the things on your list.

Where to begin…:sunglasses:

I guess, since this is smartthings, we’ll begin at the end, Since discoverability has never been high on the SmartThings list of features.

The use cases you describe are certainly simple, but they are not possible with the new app. :disappointed_relieved: That’s because the new app does not at present allow you to set the smart home monitor armed state ( also called the “security mode“) In any way except by time of day or Opening up the app and manually changing it.

This is a huge change from the classic app where you could create a rule to set it based on anything that smartthings could recognize. So in the classic app, you could change the smart home monitor armed state because a particular person unlocked the door, because a particular person got home, because any device you liked was used (including the Iris Gen 2 Keypad and various panic buttons or keyfobs), because you gave a command to Amazon Alexa in your car, etc.

And you could set restrictions around any of those so that they only worked at particular times of day, they only worked when particular people were home, they only worked in specific “location modes“ and more.

Essentially you could set your system up any way you wanted with the classic app.

With the new app, all of that went away, and that appears to have been a conscious decision on the part of the company because it has now been almost a year and there of been multiple updates to the app since that time without adding back any of this particular functionality.

They have also announced that eventually the classic app will be going away, but they haven’t said when. More on that in the community FAQ detailing the differences between the two apps:

SPECIFIC differences between "SmartThings (Samsung Connect)" and "SmartThings Classic"

For now, you can use both apps if you want to, and quite a few people are.

If you have one of the newest hubs, you have to use the new app to set it up.

If you have a Samsung brand smart appliance or smart television, you will need to use the new app.

But you could use the classic app for other things like automations that change the security mode. Except, of course, for the problem that they’ve said the Classic app will be going away eventually. :scream:

This is a huge issue for some of us. I myself am quadriparetic. I have to have hands-free control of locks and arming/disarming because my hands don’t work.

Regrettably, neither version of the app works well with voice navigation right now. And that problem has been going on for almost 2 years, so again, I’m not expecting a quick resolution. So if I had to use only the new app, I would no longer be able to independently come and go from my house. For me, that’s a really big deal since the very first use case that ever brought me to home automation 4 years ago was a totally hands-free smart lock.

Anyway, the first decision you will need to make since you are essentially starting from scratch as far as Smartthings is concerned is are you OK with the system that can’t do any of the use cases you listed in your first post. Since that’s what smartthings will be once the classic app goes away Based on where it is today.

(I know there are many people comfortable investing time and money in something based on what the manufacturer has said they intend to deliver in the future, or even based on what they hope the manufacturer will deliver in the future.

In my particular situation, I just can’t do that. I buy things for what they can do today and if a manufacturer says they intend to discontinue something, I take them at their word and evaluate their product based on the absence of that discontinued item.)

So, that’s the first important question before we start diving down the rabbithole of all the other questions. Do you want to consider smartthings as a replacement for your Iris system given that, using just the new app, it can’t do any of the things you listed?


That does terrify me that some of these basics features would go away, and I guess if/when they go away, I will migrate elsewhere…

I think there is a part of me that thinks that those features “may” be eventually included, since doesn’t the whole concept of a smart home center around customization, and taking that away and/or limiting it sounds like a bad long-term decision.

Anyways… thanks for the feedback, I have deleted many of the functionalities I enabled int he new app, and have installed and begun setting up the old app in hopes that will meet my needs.

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As far as being able to automate changes in security mode or the unlocking of locks, there has been a split in the security industry along these lines.

Many companies, including ADT, have believed that this created a security liability and require that people manually alarm/disarm the system using either the app or a keypad or a key fob device. The farthest they’ve been willing to go is to automate sending you a push reminder that you might want to arm/disarm the system.

Other companies, such as Abode, do allow you to use Geopresence or other triggers to arm and disarm.

It’s not that one is better than the other: they are just different design philosophies.

At the same time, a majority of home automation systems have allowed geopresence to be used as a trigger for other events.

The issue with smartthings is that it started from the home automation side and let you use pretty much anything as a trigger, including Geopresence.

But after they added ADT as their security partner, they started treating security functions differently, and stripped out many of the previous automated triggers for those functions. Even for their non-ADT models.

So I feel that it’s the change which is been the most frustrating, rather than the fact that they picked one philosophy over the other. And it does make it difficult to decide what to do right now, particularly for new people.