Feature Request: AppleTV App

Has there been any thought to creating an app for the new AppleTV? I was thinking it might be another way to have a centralized “command center” for homes, especially those with large setups.


The new AppleTV does not support any APIs that would be useful for SmartThings, or any other HA system. The APIs are all focused on TV apps. The Apple TV is not any kind of HA hub; it does not support the HomeKit APIs at all.

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I’ve absolutely thought of how I would want to use an app running on the Apple TV to interface with other API. It would be a great extension of an existing iOS/WatchOS app that was used to control remote automation. I would see the TV as a much better visualization of system connection diagrams, logs of what times specific items were adjusted and by whom.

Lots to digest and the development effort wouldn’t be trivial, but I’m in agreement with @Brian_Busch that the TV is an ideal command center / status board to report on system health and system status as well as to plan and implement changes to the sensors.

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FWIW, speaking as someone who spent years banging my head against the entire interactive television concept, I think you’d find that the TV is actually a horrible presentation device for things like this. Many have spent a great deal of effort on this topic, and all came up empty.

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I’m with Bruce on this one. The new Apple TV isn’t ready for an HA space app. It would be a waste of ST resources at this time. For one thing it would have to establish itself as the primary TV source before most of the benefits would be reaped; otherwise you’d have to flip over to it just to access the app. Might as well pull out the phone.

I’m thinking 2017 before it’s really viable in a manner that supports the app development. We need a bigger dent in the traditional Cable TV paradigm, and working HomeKit.

In the meantime, maybe we can get a dedicated tablet app!!


Control4 has been offering TV interfaces for their very expensive home automation systems for number of years, and they’re both popular and practical. But they’re only used as add-ons to the primary control systems, which I think goes to your main point. They don’t substitute for the regular control interface, they’re just a quick entry point for someone who’s already sitting on the couch.


One of the most revolutionary things about the new Apple TV 4 is the Siri remote. It’s not anything like what you expect from the name. It’s small, with a capacitive screen that you can tap, touch, or it has a spoken in interface for use by the blind.

It might actually be a nice UI for some people with limited hand control. We’ll just have to see what happens with it.

Also, there are some new things coming with the new app capabilities, it really is intended to run some apps that would normally run on a tablet. But again, we’ll just have to see what happens. I guess we’re almost a year away from really knowing how the tvOS is going to work out.

One could use AirWeb or AirBrowser to put SmartTiles on a TV using Apple TV. That might be a place to start, although that simply uses the Apple TV and the TV as a display device.

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I’m speaking from years of software industry experience where a small part of what we delivered was visualization walls and displays for utilities. What used to be an “add-on” cost running millions of dollars (HW and custom software and design/integration) is now something a team 5 can realistically do with a few months work budget.

Not trivial investment for a quality product, but also not something you need to be GE or Siemens to pull off with hundreds of engineers.

Yes, software is hard and many have failed and come up short, but I’m looking forward to having more items like this to manage my personal affairs even if the first 10 iterations of a display app are abysmal. Improvement only needs to be iterative to be of value. But developing UI/UX and software is clearly not everyone’s cup of tea.

Whether that void is filled by Smart Things developing tools or API or third party developers or DIY practitioners like myself remains to be seen…

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The huge win in an Apple TV app would be siri integration of the controls. If the ST ecosystem could be injected into the HomeKit database framework, then all of the Apple software and hardware would be able to respond to Siri.

  • Siri - open the garage door.
  • Siri - dim the lights for a movie

Again - I don’t see Home Kit compatibility as being something that is likely in the next few months, but it’s exciting to think about nonetheless… I guess it depends on how engineering and leadership at Smart Things thinks of Home Kit. Whether it’s seen as a competitor/detrimeltal to their core business offering or something worthwhile to integrate with to drive adoption and desirability of their platform.


The Apple TV tvOS APIs do not support HomeKit. So even if you got some sort of ST app working on Apple TV, it wouldn’t talk to HomeKit. Siri on Apple TV won’t talk to HomeKit, and Siri on iOS device that does talk to HomeKit couldn’t talk to the tvOS app. For now, there is not a clear path to this sort of integration.

ST integrating with HomeKit is an entirely different subject, and one discussed at length in other topics.

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For those who don’t know, Siri on Apple TV doesn’t actually speak out loud. The Siri remote can understand what you say, the responses appear in words on the screen. Unless you use voiceover, which is the accessibility options for the blind.

I understand why they called it Siri, but it’s really a cousin.

Also, they intentionally wanted to make sure that when you were talking to the TV remote you wouldn’t also be activating your phone or watch at the same time.

So you tap the button on the Siri remote and then that microphone is listening to you. it’s not completely hands-free. (I just spent 30 minutes yesterday getting an accessibility review with one of the Apple specialists.)