Better apps/UI to control basic functionally?

The new Samsung app has so much wasted space on top. I am looking for an app that will allow me to control basic lights, fan, thermostat quickly without scrolling a lot and with a clean interface. Plus, it will have a widget or iPhone to control the same basic devices.

I have a lot of devices on Smartthings and I can use the Samsung official app to set automations and such but I am looking for another app that will allow me to turn on/off basic devices such as lights, fan, thermostat quickly without 10 clicks or a lot of scrolling. I am talking about only the top 6-10 used devices.

I thought the Google Home app (with Smartthings linked) would have some potential but that falls short too. The advantage is that the interface looks nice, the device turn on and off quickly (the Samsung Smarthings app has a waiting indicator lag which I don’t see on Google Home app so thats the irony).

But Google Home app also falls short at other places such as if I remove some devices from the room, they come back after the refresh (as a workaround I can move un-needed devices to a room “Other” in smarthings first), the rooms can’t be moved up/down (as a workaround I can rename the rooms 1-Bedroom, 2-Living Room, etc) and as far as I can tell there is no iPhone widget.

Are there any other [better] options? I am looking for options with at most 2 clicks, open the app (first click), see the top 10 devices on the first page without scrolling (or very less scrolling), click to turn on/off (second click). The classic app had everything I wanted (although, I think the widget got removed recently?).

There are two third party paid apps which let you customize the dashboard pretty much anyway you want it. Both are very popular in the community. Many people use them for control panels on tablets, but they can also be used on mobile phones, and a popular use case for that is limiting the devices that one child in the family has access to. :wink:

You can see a recent discussion of them here. (The topic title is a clickable link)

Both have a free trial so you can check them out.

(BTW, You will see comments in that thread from @tgauchat Who was one of the developers for actiontiles. He sadly passed away late last year. If you have any questions about any of his posts, just reply to them and tag @625alex and he will be able to answer your questions.)


ActionTiles is a popular solution to design and customize a clean interface to let you see your home at a glance. Please give it a try. A free 14 day trial is available.

Please let me know if you have any questions, I’m the developer of ActionTiles.

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Thanks Action Tiles would be great for tablet mounted on the wall which I think I will get to after this but this is for iPhones and access to widget screen (I think Action Tiles is browser based?). Some more googling has me pointing to Raspberry Pi + Homebridge. May be thats something I need to explore more.

Have you tried hiding devices from the SmartThings dashboard to reduce it to only your favorites that you need to access quickly?

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Have you tried hiding devices from the SmartThings dashboard to reduce it to only your favorites that you need to access quickly?

Yes, but just off the top my head, two things have discouraged me

  1. The top 1/2 screen of the dashboard has the Home listed with outside temperate (or I think home monitor shows where also that I don’t have). It takes up 50% of the screen on start. I can’t figure out how to remove/hide this.
  2. Turning anything on or off or changing the dim level has this waiting indicator for 2-3 seconds. The classic app did not have this and the Google Home app doesn’t have this either. This makes it feel much laggy.

For most of the other devices, the Samsung app is fine - Many devices are part of an automation so they turn on/off on their own without needing an interface and many are part of google home voice commands. I am trying to do this to make it “wife friendly” for 10 most used devices.


I’m in a similar situation. Wife doesn’t like Samsung app. Wish there was a quicker more native way on iOS to control a select few devices and scenes. Agree the Samsung app is laggy. I used to use Homebridge, which was slick, but got tired of maintaining it and occasionally things would go wrong.

I ended up hiding all but like 10 of my 200+ devices on my wife’s app. Makes it easier for her to find things. Still doesn’t solve the app’s slowness, though.

True, that’s a good idea. I like the idea of a widget, too, but that’s also quite laggy on iOS. Usually have to press the scene twice to get it to run.

I just installed homebridge on one of the windows based machines that is always on (no Raspberry Pi purchase yet) and then added the devices on iOS. Made 6 devices “favorite” and they show up on the little widget when you drag the screen down from top right edge. Looks snappy and easy so far - faster than the Samsung app!

From what I see if I want this available outside the home then I also need to keep an iPhone or Apple TV on all the time which I don’t currently have.

The other positive is that I also added a couple of other things to homebridge like Ring doorbell and the camera shows on the home/main screen of the Home app. Sweet!! Might have been possible through the Samsung app too but didn’t explore that before.

Not sure how much maintenance this will take but we will see!


IPad, not iPhone.

The three device classes that can act as an apple HomeKit hub, thus allowing control when you are away from your own Wi-Fi network, are, in order of cost:

  1. Apple TV 4 or higher

  2. HomePod

  3. iPad with the latest version of iOS

It is definitely cool and convenient as long as it keeps working! I ran into issues having to update the homebridge server, reload devices, etc from time to time. But I have friends who use this setup and love it. If you’re comfortable doing periodic maintenance if necessary, having Control Center access to devices and scenes is especially fast and convenient I’ve found – can even access from the lock screen! And yes you would need one of the devices @JDRoberts outlined for away from home control.

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