It is so costly to develop and support two apps that are so similar. They must have a really good reason, and I’ve not seen a good explanation.
New management…a couple of power points…
We don’t know for sure, but you can tell a lot just from the various public announcements.
They previously had four different Samsung apps that were quite similar, all being developed by different teams.
They had the one that went with SmartThings, but it didn’t handle Samsung appliances or televisions.
They had the one that went with the televisions (“Smart View”), and another one with the appliances (“Smart Home”).
And they had yet another one that had something to do with cars, and I don’t know very much about that one, it came out of Harman.
There may even have been a couple of more, like for the cameras and the sound systems.
But the point is that coming into 2016 Samsung was a huge company with many different divisions and many different products, and quite a few of those products had added Internet connectivity and apps of some kind.
So starting back in 2016, they began talking about having a single unified “Internet of things“ view of all their products where everything would be able to talk to everything else. They announced a goal date of 2020 for that project.
That vision took several different twist and turns along the way ( including a big shift in top management, which is a whole separate discussion topic but was front page news in Korea). And they were having quite a few problems getting the televisions integrated with everything else, although that was what customers were demanding.
Eventually in 2017 they made an announcement that everything would work with just one app. And after the melting phone debacle And their voice assistant, Bixby, had difficulties in launching, they just stuck a pin in the timeline and said that when the new galaxy nine‘s came out in 2018, they would come with a Bixby-enabled Samsung app that would work with lots of stuff, in particular the televisions, the appliances, and the smartthings home automation platform. They even said some of the new features with only work with Bixby.
In the next few months, the company will integrate its IoT applications, including Samsung Connect, Smart Home, Smart View and more into the SmartThings app to connect and control any SmartThings-enabled device directly from their phone, TV, or car from a single application.
And in the fall of 2017, they started pulling lots of app development over into a department they had acquired with the harman acquisition.
2018 arrived and it was time to release the galaxy nine, so they put the new “one app“ on it, and that’s how we got the “SmartThings (Samsung Connect)” app. It definitely replaces the previous appliance app, which was “Samsung connect.“ It definitely was not yet ready to replace the previous smartthings app, now called smartthings classic. It also picked up most of the car functions. And it seems to work well with the televisions.
So it’s not “one app” yet, But that’s clearly the trajectory they are on. It wasn’t about adding a new app. It was about reducing the number of existing Samsung apps down to an eventual one. They just didn’t quite get there by launch date.
SmartThings “Classic” is deprecated and not “supported”. It will never have any more updates.
As to why there’s a new App - JD gave the detailed answer… It’s simply platform/product consolidation. Nothing mysterious at all.
Samsung could perhaps have eliminated the mystery by publishing a chart of everything they merged, but it would look embarrassing.
Not entirely true. It’s just no longer on development roadmap, it’s on a maintenance roadmap. ST says the app will only have critical updates (security or broken critical functionality), just no new features. There is no date for retiring this app yet and possibly won’t happen until the new app has most of features that are still missing and stable.
Thanks. Is there anything useful that the new app has that the classic one doesn’t have? In other words for someone who is just working with ST and home automation is there any reason to use the new app?
You need the new app for Samsung appliances and TVs.