Considering SmartThings -- Windows Support?


I’m looking at adding some smart home automation options. SmartThings came up as a hub, but I’m really concerned about it as I’m a Windows user. I’ve got a number of “newbie” questions on this and would appreciate any answers or general advice from the community.

  1. How do you setup SmartThings on Windows? Everything I’ve seen shows setup through an iOS or Android app on a phone. This seems counter-intuitive and not-smart. You can’t set it up via a full PC or even a web browser?

  2. How do people without a iOS or Android device get around this? Buying a $400 phone to program a $200 HUB when you have a PC… seems ‘unsmart’ to me. I’ve seen posts of Android emulators. Is this a viable solution?

  3. Can you use a cheap Android device for setup the hub? A $50 Android TV box or something? What version of Android to you need for this?

  4. What works and doesn’t work if you don’t have an Android or iOS phone? Is it using your phone to tell when you are home? Do you need an Android or iOS device to access it remotely – say turn the lights on via the Internet? (Since it doesn’t appear to have a web interface.) Would a cheap Android tablet be a better option? Again seems unintuitive just to control the lights to have to pack around another device.

  5. Windows 10 Cortana says it supports SmartThings hub. Has anyone used this? Is it viable? I assume it just acts as a controller and there is no way to setup the hum or its connected devices without iOS or Android?

This seems like a lot of unknowns. Spent hundreds of dollars with no real assurances that any of this will work.

Any help would be appreciated.


@BW022, if you won’t have an iOS or Android device… be it phone or tablet then SmartThings is not going to be very good for you. You have to use your device to do a ton of the setup and configuration.

There are some things that require a browser (PC or phone) but they are not standard they are addons to SmartThings.

The Cortana is for “voice” interaction like Alexa.

The Amazon Fire tablets are pretty cheap, and eventually you’ll want to run ActionTiles on it anyway :grinning:

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I’m guessing 99.9% of the people looking into home automation already have a smart phone. I’m guessing quite a few of them do not have a PC.


1-You will need an apple/ios or android to set up your devices. It would be nice if they came up with a win10 app but there are no plans for it as far as I have heard.
2-The hub itself is $85 right now, oh maybe you already have a “kit”? Others mentioned cheap androids, kindle fire tablets take more work to install since it isn’t pure android
3-Probably not “android tv” unless you find something running phone version of android os. App requirements: android os version 4.0 or later, ios 8.1 or later
4-The apps can be used to tell when you are home/away but this isn’t required.
ActionTiles is a popular 3rd party web browser interface that works on most devices with modern browser (works great for me with chrome on win7&win10, samsung smarttv web browser, android phone, ipad, etc). ActionTiles works remotely or in your home; it is typically much faster than going through the official app. I don’t use the app that often, mostly for setting things up or adding new device. I use ActionTiles or voice 99% of the time (or wall switch).
5-Cortana works but I haven’t tried that yet. I use cheap Amazon Echo/Alexa and Google Home voice assistants.

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Do you have any kind of smart phone or tablet?

They used to have a windows phone app but stopped supporting that last year I think.

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Absolutely. The reality is that probably 99% of people interested in Smart Home technology already have a “smart” phone. Unfortunately it appears that you’re part of a very small minority. ST did support Windows Phone for a while but determined the market size didn’t justify the investment of continuing to support it.

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