Call To Action: No New Features, Stability First


(Dean Smith) #1

SmartThings, at the moment there appear to be issues with all three mobile apps in some form.

You have been upgrading your back end services, including your databases. You have made updates to the hub platform.

Please consider spending the next two sprints on stability. Identify all high level features and make sure they are stable in all FOUR interfaces:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Windows
  • Web

Once this has been done, THEN continue with your feature list. Otherwise, the divergence between what you have on one platform will continue to make regression testing harder. More importantly, the satisfaction of your users will continue to drop.

You have the ability to fix this. Please, please consider shifting your focus to stabilty.


Problems With SHM/Routines
(Tyler Kraft) #2

This. I’m not interested in new features or interoperability with new devices if overall services is unreliable. Please fix your reliability issues. Pull all of your devs off of whatever they’re doing, lock them in a room and make things work the way they ought to.


(DLee) #3

+1. Over the past week…

Android app crashes and slows phones every 5 to 10 presses.
Devices and SmarApps more buggy over past week than past months.
SmartApps that used to be reliable fail often now.
Last platform update horked some zwave and ZigBee devices
Cree bulbs used to be flawless now have issues.
A few Zwave devices started acting up, status fails to update or trigger big switch in smart lighting official smartapp.
Z-wave repair restarts zwave network before finishing repair of all zwave devices.
IDE login loads to Tomcat7 configuration file path and instructions on occasion.


(ecksomperudenlign) #4

Well said.
I spent almost $1000 to get into the Smartthings. The experience went for wow to good, to what the fxxx have I gotten myself into.
If is not Room creation broke, then is cannot add more Things, and more! Just bugs, bugs and bugs everywhere.


(Tim Slagle) #5

keep in mind this was done to increase stability.

So was this.[quote=“DeanSmith, post:1, topic:38725”]
iOS
Android
Windows
Web
[/quote]

All of these teams are focused on stability as well. but “stability” from a mobile perspective means something different than a backend perspective.


(Dean Smith) #6

Then maybe sharing the SmartThings Vision would go a long way to making things more understandable.

It’s now been two weeks and the Windows app is not usable. I still can’t add devices or manage Smart Apps. I read of app issues with iOS and Android devices.

Doing things to increase stability that reduce stability and affect usability do not increase stability. Maybe extend a sprint to include more detailed testing. The Minimal Viable Product is not viable at the moment.


(Tim Slagle) #7

I responded there as well. :slightly_smiling:

Also make sure you submit a support ticket.


#8

If these changes were made to improve reliability, it doesn’t seem to have worked. My hub is more unreliable now than it has been in over a year.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #9

It seems we’re in a very unique industry … I guess much more like a Beta Software project than hardware.

The majority of Consumer product categories and companies would pull something with the level of problems SmartThings has off the retail market until stable (or would be unconcerned about their reputation… that happens too).

Maybe I’m not living in the real world. There must be millions of products on Amazon with ratings of Two-Stars or less. And SmartThings has a higher rating than that, so if those products continue to sell, than, well, ST continues to sell.

Expecting SmartThings as a company to follow your request is nonsense. A business will only respond to business forces.

In other words; as long as SmartThings keeps getting decent or even highly positive reviews, growing sales, and support from Samsung, they will follow their own internal remediation strategy at their own pace.


#10

they need to bring stability across all mobile platforms, using my wife’s iPhone vs my android feels almost like running two different products


(Geko) #11

+1. It’s a sound advise that would be foolish to ignore.

At the same time we know that a lot of resources are tied into the projects unrelated to stability. I think this was the essence of this “call to action”.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #12

Exactly. It is disingenuous for SmartThings to claim they have a technical staff deficit while continuing to devote resources to new features, partnerships and sales growth.

But SmartThings has claimed from time to time to put everything (well, most projects) on hold in order to focus on stability. Much of 2015 added very few features because all hands were focused on Hub V2 and App V2 (ahem, and international expansion, and monitoring company partnerships, and Samsung TV integrations, …), but the results of Hub V2 / App V2 did not include stability (which I publicly warned).


(Dean Smith) #13

Yes, to say you were asking people to come up with one. What I’m saying is focus on the stability and then share the roadmap.

That would be #184648 which was raised 29-Jan-2016 after two days of being unable to add Things, view Things, or add/edit Apps. Since then I have been able to view Things but I am still unable to add Things or manage Apps.

However, all of this is missing the point that I originally raised. Please, SmartThings, focus on stabilising your platform. This means that both the back end services and the interfaces to them should be aligned and tested. Make this your number one priority.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #14

I’ll ask my usual question that isn’t (really, isn’t!) meant to be facetious or sarcastic at all:

What do you think they are making their “number one priority” if not stability?

I actually believe that stability is #1, but that doesn’t guarantee expeditious solutions. And, well… Visit the “vision” Topic for more of my rambling. Basically SmartThings can and will say anything you want to hear. Talk is cheap. Calling that out is considered offensive by the good folks at SmartThings, so instead we ought to just sit back and wait for results or move on to a competitor.


(Benji) #15

No company is going to stop adding new features and put stability first, none, that’s the worst business sense possible.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #16

I disagree. Perhaps in this industry you are right, but “no company”?

If a large number of GM cars had failing breaks or exploding gas tanks and they only had resources to fix those flaws or design news cars with the same flaws, I’d kinda bet they would put the new cars on hold.


(Benji) #17

Or say, steering lock issues that were causing actual deaths? No, they still didn’t, yes they had to fix it but it’s not like they stopped producing cars or their research team stopped coming up with new things.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #18

Agreed. Because they had sufficient resources to fix the steering lock as well as continue to do R&D on new features.

The premise of this Topic is that we wonder if SmartThings (as a small subsidiary of Samsung) genuinely has the bandwidth to do both, and/or if organizational issues make it impossible for SmartThings to fix reliability with one hand while introducing new issues with the other.


(Someday my dog will be automated) #19

Would be good for ST to take note on this, but it is not the way Samsung works. Ever since the Galaxy S2 or S3, people have been asking consistently for two things: better battery life and timely updates.
To this day, they continue to make phones without any of these two features.

Let’s hope ST is independent enough to listen to their customers.


(Dean Smith) #20

I think stability may be their first priority. But if it is, it’s being very VERY poorly executed. I’m asking SmartThings to do it better.