Feature Request: Label on tile "previews" in things view


(Tim Slagle) #1

So, I wanted to bring this issue up again. I think this is something that STs is severly lacking on. Its one of my major pain points, albeit a small one, its the thing that frustrates me the most.

In the things view it is impossible, outside of “icons” to discern what data you are view fro the “preview” of the device. Icons are great for lights ut outside of that you cannot change the prview for any other device.

This makes it increasingly difficult to manage more than 10-15 devices. I currently have about 100 devices and I want to look at a temp for a device i ahve to clic into a device and if its not the right one I have to back out and try again until trial and error provides me witht he correct data.

I recently went with @johnconstantelo’s method of creating a transparent background to each device with custom code that will allow me to change that background but this can’t be the answer.

Some people may come back and say thats what the daskboard is for, i get that, and in most cases it works ok. But if i want a specific temp, humidity, or any other value thats specifc, i cannot get this through the dashboard.

I would love to see STs add the ability to “label” the individual preview tiles. Just two lines of text maximum so when i look on a preview tile in the things view instead of it saying “79” it says “79 Living Room”.

I may be in the minority here but I am willing to bet i’m not.

Anyone have thoughts/concerns? I’d love to see if this is something that the people want.

EDIT: For those that would like a visual for what I’m talking about.

Temps values are very hard to discern. In this picture one of the values is outside, 3 are inside, basement, living room, and bedroom. When those temp values are similar is makes it hard to quickly discern what’s going on.


Creating Shortcuts?
The mobile app needs a better way to represent things
Why so many negative reviews?
What if my internet connection goes down?
Is there documentation on Tile options?
Use text, not icons
(NotoiousBDG) #2

I couldn’t agree more. The problem goes beyond just the things view as the dashboard views have very little functionality other than text labels. I suspect the product management team isn’t aware of how cumbersome it is to manage a 100+ thing environment using the app.

The things view must provide a way to distinguish one thing from another. Ideally it would be text and optionally a picture. I have over 100 things and I end up playing the same hide and seek game to find what I’m after. Something as simple as wanting to check humidity for one of 12 different temperature sensors, ends up taking takes dozens of taps.

Now regarding the dashboard views, they have text description, but they are lacking all of the functionality of the things view. For example, when i want to turn on a specific light, I have to scroll through pages and pages and pages of lights just to find the specific one I want because there are no groups like the things view. If it’s a dimmer, I have to play hide and seek in the things view because dimmers aren’t supported in the dashboard view.

Instead of 2 partially functional views, it would be nice to have a single view that was usable and efficient.


(Tim Slagle) #3

Agreed. They both have there postives and negatives. I don’t think the things view and all the other stuff should be mutually exclusive. There needs to be a way to marry them.

My lights section on the dashboard is usless to me. It makes it impossible to find the correct light with some many devices.

Now if you could foder things in the lights section and other sections that would be amazing. That would go a long way to solving a lot of these hunt-and-peck issues.


(Michael Barry) #4

For iOS you can shake the phone. It will display the labels. (I’m not kidding:-))


(Ron S) #5

Have reiterated this a hundred times. As long as there is Taylor Swift on our (and theirs) minds, it is going to stay. This is becoming such a lame and old joke. Shake it off, buddy in iOS!


(Tim Slagle) #6

Yeah, I get the shake thing… It’s cool when I don’t have to shake my hand off to get it to work lol… Rarely works for me, and I don’t want to have to share to see the names, they should already be there.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #7

Shaking also “works” (I use the term loosely…) on Android; but…

AND

AND

Well… a few dozen threads on the Community Forum regarding labels on tiles, and probably just as many responses from me that shake is insane. It’s fun to dwell on this topic.

(POLL: How many new gadgets at CES use shake as a gesture? Perhaps SmartThings should patent it!)

Respectfully,
…CP / Terry.


(Tim Slagle) #8

Lets keep this thread about labeling, the display of info and the hunt and peck stuff. I don’t want this to become another thread where we all air our pain points.

That beind said.

I think one of the most major imporvements would be folders in the dashboard

Or the ability for people to create custom dashboard areas that display the info they want.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #9

A long time ago (hmmm… I guess I could go back in time again and search the Forums), I proposed a feature that SmartThings app should work like Windows Shortcuts (or Unix Softlinks, or whatever analogy is most accurate).

In other words: Any Thing tile (and any sub-tile, for that matter) should be cloneable as many times as you wish, so that you can create arbitrary groupings of Things, with as much overlap as you wish, as well as different default views of the same Thing tile.

Two main use cases / examples:

  1. A motion-sensor device tile could have a shortcut in two Groups of my choosing: “Hallway” and “Security” (i.e., I have a set of groups for the rooms in my house, but I also have a group by functionality, … and perhaps more groups by whatever organization scheme I find useful … perhaps by person or shared status or Device Type or vendor; not to mention nested groups (or sub-groups): such as grouping a large building by floor or a campus by building).

  2. A SmartSense Multi (or any similar Thing that has multiple pieces of information on sub-tiles but currently forces you to choose only 1 tile for the main page display…) should be cloneable as many times as desired, with each shortcut having a preference as to what sub-tile to display (or, more directly, just let us shortcut to the sub-tile). i.e., I want the ability to create 4 shortcut tiles to each of my Multis, one for each of temperature, open/close, activity, and orientation.


When SmartThings added the Dashboard and Shortcut panels to the App several months ago (when?), it showed that conceptually, the ideas of shortcut and group of, etc., were indeed instinctive, but the implementation only went part-way. The problem was looked at from the top down (i.e., provide a generic new Front-Page experience for Users), rather than bottom up (i.e., how can the interface be made infinitely flexible and customizeable per each Users unique preferences and habits).

Please, let me know your thoughts / questions regarding the concept of unlimited shortcuts everywhere… Perhaps we should give them a name: Soft Tiles?

Thanks,
…CP / Terry.


(Tony) #10

I think that is a GREAT idea. I think the THINGs area is fine…but there should be a new (First, Top of the dashboard list) area that represented the grouped version of THINGs. Leave the “Things” area as is and make this new area where users can group, rename, all of their Things.

This new area would simply be pointers to each thing and would you allow to have a nice grouping. I would like to have a grouping of just temps where all the sensors having temperature capability would default to that mode and I could see across the house what all the temps are without have to switch between the views of the things. This is just one suggestion, but an area where we can customize everything grouped, named, and viewed how we would need it best for our application would be stellar!!


(Tim Slagle) #11

Yep, this would be great!


(Geko) #12

You’re definitely not a minority. I’ve been bitching about it from the day one and there’s countless number of posts on this board asking for the same thing.


(Geko) #13

Most existing HA systems have a concept of “rooms”. This is intuitive and simple. SmartThings has “groups” instead. Why do they want to name everything differently is another matter, but the groups UI is totally screwed up because to switch from one group to another you have to go one level up, instead of just swiping or using tabs like normal people do.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #14

To be clear: I support the concept of “Groups”, instead of “rooms”, because “Groups”, theoretically, are more flexible. I can choose to group by any criteria or reason that makes sense to my home, habits, or brain-waves.

The problem?: SmartThings is hard-coded to only allow a Thing to be in a maximum of ONE Group. Secondary problem is there is no concept of “Sub-Groups”.


[The persistent, repeated complaint / issue of lack of Labels could be very easily resolved with an App Settings option or on/off toggle switch in the top area of any tiles screen. This change is only front-end related and should be absolutely trivial to implement. I hope we are being heard!]


*The concept of Soft Tiles (shortcuts, ability to put a Thing in multiple-groups, ability to see multiple sub-tile views of the same Thing in or across Groups, the ability to drill down into a shortcut to things like dim level, the availability of sub-Groups, etc.), probably warrants a new Topic. I’m very passionate about this one; I’m fairly certain I requested this functionality well over a year ago; but got no love from SmartThings. :frowning: *

Referencing current thread though:


Lights and switches shortcut:request for feature
Accessing group within a SmartApp
(Tim Slagle) #15

Yeah, this is very limiting.

I’m working on some virtual tile stuff that may help here but its proving to be more difficult then i thought.


(Geko) #16

FWIW, I can cite ImperiHome as an almost perfect UI for the home automation system. It allows you to create custom dashboads with multiple layouts or use a list view if you prefer. All devices have both the label and the icons. Any device can appear on multiple dashboards. I could not wish for more.

http://www.imperihome.com/features/

http://www.imperihome.com/wp-content/grand-media/image/Screenshot_2013-10-12-19-06-08_framed_id5.png


(Ron S) #17

Maybe with smaller icons and font to fit much more on a phone.


(Tim Slagle) #18

Logically yes. Asthetically its nasty lol…

Question is, how do we find the right balance?


(Geko) #19

Let’s stick with the facts. Google AppStore ratings:
ImperiHome Pro - 4.6 stars
SmartThings - 3.9 stars

I’d trade ST UI for ImperiHome any day. Oh, and it works in landscape mode too.


(Tim Slagle) #20

This is where things get difficult…

I would be on the other end of this spectrum as would some other people I assume.

I feel for STs as i’m not sure there is a “perfect” UI. I just want some broader customization. If i was better in photoshop id show you want I mean lol but this is how i see it gettig better.

Add a section on the dashboard. You can display some “live values” there like temps and different stauses. When you click within the “group” it will drill down like it currently does but it will have tiles similar to what you see in the imperihome UI. thats are customizable slectable moovable etc. Instead of “Bedroom temp is OK” it will give you the actual temp… etc… i hope thi sis making sense. wish i would better in photoshop so i could show you all lol.