Does SmartThings hide locks from Google Home?

Yesterday I added a Kwikset Z-Wave lock to my SmartThings v2 hub. it works great.
The issue is that Google home won’t “pick it up”.

I linked the Google account multiple times and while everything else shows up just fine in the Google app this new Z-Wave lock wont. As if Google Home is ignoring it.
Same happens to a Z-Wave garage door opener.
So is Google Home ignoring every lock (or everything that can open and close a door)?

I went to Google support and asked them.
The answer was: Google will handle locks just fine, SmartThings is the one not exposing them.
And thats when I was like: Really? :roll_eyes:

Does anyone out there have official information on this subject?

Don’t think they allow voice control for locks alarms etc

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Correct, Smartthings does not.

Which SmartThings devices work with the Google Assistant?
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The Google Assistant can control light bulbs, plugs, on/off switches, dimmers, and thermostats found on our Works with SmartThings page.
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Google Assistant can also queue contact sensors and temperature sensors for their current state. For example, if you have a contact sensor or a temperature sensor on your front door, you can ask Google if the front door is open or what the temperature is.

If you are using the classic V2 app, you can get around that by putting your desired action in a smart things routine, triggering that routine from a virtual switch, and having Google turn the virtual switch on and off.

But that doesn’t work with the new V3 app. :disappointed_relieved:

( I am quadriparetic, so hands-free operation of locks was the very first thing that ever brought me to home automation. The loss of this feature with the V3 app is very concerning to me.)

I can see why the OP is confused…

Likewise for the v3 app

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V3 can handle that in a slightly different way:

you can get around that by putting your desired action in a smart things routine scene*, triggering that routine scene* from a virtual switch and using custom automation (or even Smart Lighting) with trigger as the virtual switch, and having Google turn the virtual switch on and off.

'* Scenes can now trigger mode changes and control locks (only locking action, not unlocking)

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@mark_cockcroft they do allow voice control to such devices.
Here is an example of integration to ADT Security, can use voice commands such as “Arm Security” or “Set security to arm”.

They also have integrations to Alarm.com, Honeywell Total Connect and the list goes on.
Since most of these security systems are also home automation hubs they support commands such as (ADT): “Lock the front door”.

The key point to consider here is that (in most cases) you can arm your security system, lock doors, query their status but you cannot disarm the security system or unlock doors.

It is a shame that SmartThings is “hiding” the locks from the integration because that is probably no plausible explanation for it.

Anyway, I do use the new app and while a real integration would allow me to leverage the nice interface (dashboard like) of Google Home I will explore the other suggestions (combination of scenes and virtual switches)… and hope our friends at SmartThings reconsider this at some point.

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Yep, I just created a virtual switch for things Google doesn’t want to operate like SHM which I named “alarm”. Google turn [on/off] alarm.

Can you do unlock front door??

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Google Assistant will only support Scenes and Routines that trigger thermostats (US only) and lighting actions, arming SmartThings Home Monitor, and mode changes. For security reasons, your existing Scenes and Routines may not work if they have an unsupported action or device, including but not limited to: disarming SmartThings Home Monitor, and opening garage doors.

Their policy is not to allow third parties to interact with the security side of things, for privacy reasons, in their opinion. No routines from the old app will be allowed to be triggered by third parties. However, you can use virtual switches. I am currently changing SHM modes as well as locking doors using virtual switches, so not sure why @crevasse was unable to do it.

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You’re doing it in the V3 app? And for the SHM feature in the V3 app (which is completely different code than the SHM feature in the V2 classic app.)

Because my understanding is that the V3 app does not allow you to change SHM modes to disarm in any way except opening the app and doing it manually and maybe by time of day.

Also, the V3 App allows for some control of locking locks, but at least the last time I checked I had the same limitation on unlocking locks.

For example, with the V2 app it’s very easy to have the door unlock when you arrive home. But at least the last time I checked there was literally no way to do that with the V3 app except to open the app and toggle it yourself.

But since the V3 app is not voiceover friendly, that leaves me with no hands-free way to unlock the door with the V3 app.

I’d be delighted to hear that this has changed, but so far I haven’t seen that confirmed. :disappointed_relieved:

So far, I have been told that it was not about third parties at all. It was just a change in design philosophy for security features. Whether you were trying to control them with third parties or with native features.

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Some locks that integrate directly to Google Home (such as Yale) won’t support the unlock command through their API as some alarm systems won’t support the disarm command. But apparently some others do let you disarm and unlock (i have to assume is configurable).

Just to clarify, I AM able to create virtual switches for security devices, name them anything normal, and ask Google to turn them off/on. I can even “turn [on/off] the garage” to open/close it. A little funky though and not entirely human to use the word on for open/lock(?)/arm and off for close/unlock(?)/disarm.

I understand why google would prevent this however. Not worth the risk of an accidental opening, or having someone trigger it from outside (intruder). But if you circumvent, it’s all on you…

That might be it. Using SHM from v2 app, not v3. Also, haven’t tried unlocking with v3, just locking. I shall try and will report back :wink:

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Ha! Nope, you are correct. No way to unlock with v3.

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Unless I’m missing something, SmartThings is the one preventing it.
When associated to a google account, SmartThings will “expose” its devices and scenes. At that moment it is hiding them so google doesn’t even I know they exist.

While I get your point regarding risks, I do believe that once everything is configurable and it is secure by default (out of the box), it should be up to the users (not SmartThings/Samsung) to decide “what works for them”.

If they do want to make sure users wont screw up (and blame them for it) then at least to what Yale does: you can lock and query but not unlock, because these two features are basically all you need in a voice driven automation anyways:

  • Hey Google, Is the front door unlocked?
  • Alexa, good night! (alarm is turned on and door is locked).

In my many years as a Software Engineer I had the opportunity to work on companies of all sizes and one thing I noticed is that in many cases, people making some of the user experience and technical decisions (in this case whether or not to expose the locks) are people who will never use the product or people with no technical background. But they are in charge so … what can the technical people do?

Oh well, it is what it is.
By the way, isn’t there a place where users can vote on or submit ideas?

No official place for submitting ideas. People usually send them into support or on the Facebook page.

I think your point about leaving it up to the user is a very good one, and I would add that there are many of us who do need to be able to unlock the door without touching it. That was actually the first use case that brought me to Home Automation.

In my case, my service dog can open the door, but I don’t want him to be able to let himself out without me. So I unlock the door by voice and then he can open it. :dog:

I don’t quite understand why the ST app offers you the option to expose locks to Google, as in the screenshot above, if it’s not actually going to expose them.

And regardless of your opinions on security and user experience, everything shown in the app makes you think it would do this. If they aren’t going to support exposing locks, they shouldn’t give you the option to do that.

The interesting thing to me is that they are visible to “Amazon Alexa” app.
There you can configure whether they should be unlocked by app, voice both or neither.

I don’t have a Google compatible lock but I have to assume they have similar capabilities.

My only problem with Amazon is the user interface.
I changed to Google devices because the interface for smarthome is a lot more clean and is always on. On the Echo Show devices you have to navigate to Smart Home and then wait for it to load.

I can’t wait for that day where everything will work exactly the way I need them to work :sunglasses: