Can Samsung Just Discontinue Functionality This Way?

There are definitely everyday users who woke up to find a lot of functionality shut down, particularly the users of Rboy apps. But also just users of custom STHM monitors, notify me when, even trendsetter. And those aren’t even necessarily power users: custom STHM monitors could be added through the app.

I have spoken with multiple people who saw the notification about the “smartthings platform“ and assumed that only programmers would be affected. One person even told me “I don’t use the smartthings platform, I just use the app.“

Some of that functionality can be replaced, but it can be a lot of work to do so, and some of it can’t without adding additional third-party solutions.

It’s not the first time this is happened: in fact, by my count, it’s at least the fifth. But the only one that was handled with real Grace was going from the original app to the 2015 app, when there was an official support page explaining how functionality would be replaced in the new version.

I’ve been saying since the acquisition first occurred in 2015 that I thought Samsung bought smartthings for the name and the buzz, not the platform itself, and I still think that’s true. They’ve certainly used the name a lot.

I don’t think there’s any indication that smartthings user data has been sold. I doubt if there’s anyone who cares which light switch gets turned on. And such sales would be illegal in Europe. They may be selling mobile phone data, but that’s a whole separate issue.

Anyway, I think Samsung got their money’s worth out of it, but Samsung employees have said multiple times in this forum that their typical hub user had 15 or fewer devices and never used any custom code. And at this point over 90% of their users don’t have a hub. They have a Samsung smart television or appliance or a galaxy phone.

A few of those people might be hurt by the loss of integrations like Life360, but not many.

So I do think there are people who are genuinely losing functionality and don’t know what to do about it and they feel a lot of frustration. But I also think that’s a small percentage of a small percentage and Samsung feels they can handle the reputational hit.

So I have said it before, I will probably say it again, but my feeling remains the same. Let’s try to help each other where we can, be understanding where we can’t, and try not to jump to conclusions about anyone else’s motivations. Or criticize the choices they make for themselves. It’s a long road ahead, and different things will work for different people.

There was some really great code written by this community, and it was a great benefit to many others, and I am grateful for that. I hope this forum continues to be a creative and interesting place to visit.

Just my own opinions, of course.


I have a hard time believing that the cost of the smartthings infrastructure, to include the development and support staff, is recouped by people buying refrigerators that are smartthings enabled.

Probably not, but if I remember correctly, Samsung has a goal to have ALL TVs and appliances being sold being “smart” at some point in the future. So they probably just consider the SmartThings division as overhead or R&D.

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I don’t think it was that direct. I think that at the time Samsung bought it it leapfrogged them into top of mind for journalists and investors as a company doing “cool home automation stuff.“ They really pushed it at Keynote speeches and as @Automated_House mentioned, they kept talking about how in the future all of their (very expensive, very profitable) top line, televisions and appliances would be smartthings – enabled. It was a reputational purchase, and it worked: you couldn’t read an Internet article about home automation in the next two years without seeing Samsung mentioned in the top paragraph.


What has been taken away from the v2 and v3 hubs to sell upgrades?

My v3 has been updated to add Matter compatibility. I do not feel forced in any way to buy a newer hub. And the hub I have supports zwave and will continue to do so.

They have made some changes to their platform and it has caused a little bit of work for me to stay on top of things, but it hasn’t been that big a deal and has not cost me any extra money.

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What calculations did you do in order to come to your conclusion?

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Hasn’t bothered Arlo EOL or SlingMedia EOL none… Despite all the deserved customer hate and vitriol.

I don’t think anything was intentionally taken away to sell upgrades, but I also think that many people did not distinguish between the different parts of the architecture the way most people in this forum do.

To those people, their hub is “smartthings.” They don’t know that custom STHM notifications ran in the cloud, or that the Life360 integration depended on two clouds. Maybe they set up an Rboy app because a forum for Airbnb operators recommended it, and just followed those instructions years ago and been using it ever since. They think it runs on their hub even though it doesn’t.

So when any of those features stop running, they think their hub isn’t working anymore.

it’s not an unreasonable way to look at things, even if it is technically inaccurate.

You could set up the Life360 integration or custom STHM notifications just by using the smartthings app, you didn’t even need the IDE. so it’s easy for people to feel frustrated when it seems like things they have counted on and used successfully for years just stopped working unexpectedly. :disappointed_relieved:

And, as you mention, many people don’t use ST and their hub for “home automation”. They’re like my GF’s son-in-law. They have a hub, they installed a few smart switches and plugs, and created half a dozen routines to turn on/off the Christmas Lights or the kitchen lights,etc at some particular times. His devices will be migrated to Edge and he’ll never know the difference.

And frankly, consumer grade home automation is a very very small percentage of the home automation market (can we call it a hobby???). Folks with $$$ with spend it to do Control4 and other systems with proprietary controllers that require professional installation. As I’ve said in other threads, I’m not defending Samsung/SmartThings, but I’ve been a vendor of product before and you have to make business decisions and they don’t always align with 1) your original intent; or 2) customer expectations.

It kinda sucks, but either accept where things are and try to make them better or move on…


I got the impression that they considered it more like a R&D division of Samsung as a whole. It doesn’t need to make them money. They have other stuff that does that.


At some point the technology matures and they can make money off it, or they decide they’ve put enough into it and drop it. To think that a company is just going to continue to dump money into something with no future return is naive. Sooner or later the board is going to ask “Why are we spending this money, what’s the ROI?”

Home automation is very much a niche market.

I’ve been around long enough to see many tech companies come out with great ideas that quietly disappear 2 years later, or never even make it to market.

Having said all that… If Smartthings lives on I’ll be happy.

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Smartthings is value add, like Tvs with the next best thing, nano pixels, micro nano pixels… anything a company can do to sell there products and offer more than the next company = €¥$£

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