Confused about Simulated Buttons and ActionTiles

My end goal is to activate scenes using tiles in ActionTiles. My plan is to create virtual buttons in Smart Things IDE, then in the ST app (using the new one) created automations to activate each scene with a simulated button. When I open the SmartThings app, and go to the devices pane, there doesn’t seem to be a way to press the button, and ActionTiles won’t import it either. WebCoRE can act on the button though.

Am I misunderstanding how these simulated buttons work? I suppose I could use a switch, but I was after something momentary.

ActionTiles has their own support forum, you should ask there.



The button device capability is a sensor, not an actuator. Unlike a switch, There is not a way to remotely push a button, it only reports pushed events.

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Try using the momentary button tile (which has switch and momentary capabilities).

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Forgetting about the ActionTiles aspect, I’d like to know more about the simulated button device. Besides ActionTiles there are other uses for it.

I’d like to, in the SmartThings app, have a momentary button. Does this device exist?

See the post above yours. The “momentary button tile” is very popular, and is the one I use for quite a few integrations. But I don’t know if it works with the new app or not.


Thanks for your response. Ok, I found the “momentary button tile” as a device type. Am I supposed to be able to “press” it using the smartthings apps? I can’t seem to do that, nor can I select it as a device when trying to create an automation in the new ST app.

Update: the “momentary button tile” I created in SmartThings (new app) can be used in ActionTiles, and looks like it might work, but when used in the SmartThings (new) app, you cannot “press” this button, nor can you use it as a trigger for an automation.

Unless anyone can show me that I’m mistaken, that is. Is there a momentary virtual/simulated device that actually works in the new app?

You should be able to use it as a switch in a smart lighting automation.

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Ah, OK, you’re right. I tried a “Custom Automation”, but it’s not available there, but it’s available under Smart Lighting. These limitations are frustrating some times, but I guess there’s at least a workaround possible.

So I guess this will work:

Create 4 scenes in ST
Create Momentary Button Tiles for all 4 ST scenes
Create ActionTile tiles for each of the above Momentary Button Tiles.
Create Smart Lighting automations to activate each scene based on the 4 momentary button tiles.

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Capability “Momentary” (i.e., a button that accepts Commands), is no longer present in the new SmartThings API Documentation:

Here’s the link to “Button” - Notice: It still has no Commands.

All the other available Capabilities are listed in the right-side-scrolling list. No “Momentary” anymore.

Our inquiries so far have gone unanswered. … @Jim?


I recommend getting touch with Developer Support for this - I don’t have any additional information to share here, and as there is now a developer support channel and a larger documentation and developer relations team, that will be the best channel to use.


Thanks. I have opened the following inquiry:

The Legacy API documents and supports Capability “Momentary” which is similar to a Button, but it responds to Command: “push()”.

The Documentation for the new API no longer lists Capability “Momentary” (and I can’t find anything similar, but I may be overlooking something):

“Momentary” is a very useful Capability for use in SmartApps (e.g., ActionTiles) that wish to offer the user the ability to trigger (i.e., issue a Command to…) a push-button, rather than an on/off Switch.

Is this documentation for Momentary just missing, or is it permanently deprecated? If it is deprecated, what is the recommended replacement, please.

P.S.: We miss you around here, @Jim :cry:.


I have had a DTH for a momentary button that works with the new app. Feel free to use it and tweak if you need to. Just look up ADT Tools. In the new app it presents as a switch, bit the functionality is the same I believe

I appreciate the workaround, Mav, and indeed, this may end up being the only option for developers / users of the new API.

However, I’m a stickler for documentation, and I’m really frustrated when functionality is deprecated without any notice! :confounded:

Your solution is pragmatic, but very suboptimal because ActionTiles assumes there is a State Change when a Switch is toggled. ActionTiles has zero way of knowing that a DH which claims Capability “Switch” is actually acting as a “Momentary” … i.e., that we should present it as different looking Tile, and that it is normal for this Tile to behave like a Momentary (i.e., it should flash on only briefly, then immediately off). @625alex probably won’t want to think about this … yet.

Capabilities are important. They should never just be tossed asunder by SmartThings. :angry:.


Well I would certainly not advocate for that DTH to be considered standard. I believe I pulled that from a sample repository that was a Momentary button. I just made a few updates to enable it to work in the new app after seeing discussions in another thread. I totally agree with what you said and we should all be cognizant that any of this stuff we are building in groovy is on narrower time now.


The problem is that there is no longer a “Developer Advocacy” at SmartThings.

I presume that just like consumer issues, if there is something we need from the new API, that it will take an overwhelming response to Support in order to have a chance of seeing a remedy.

But … where are all the Developers now? New forum…

(But there is no SmartThings section!).

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This is what I would do…

Using SmartThings mobile app, open Virtual Device Creator, create a virtual switch. It will be eligible for local execution and will work universally.

Create a Smart Lighting rule, something to the extend of “when I turn on switch X, turn off switch X”. This will turn this switch into a momentary button. It will work locally and universally.

Now create the rule to trigger your scene when switch X is turned on.

Then, add the virtual switch to ActionTiles and select appropriate Tile Intents and icon.

This workaround should be pretty robust.

We are working to integrate with the new API to gain native access to scenes and make this perfectly transparent to you.