Getting back into the game, long post

So, I split up with my significant other about a year and a half ago and moved out of the house we shared. I left behind my Smartthings setup but the intention was always that I would eventually pull it out. We’re still on very good terms and it’s been slowly breaking over that time. She can still turn on and off lights via Google Assistant and that’s all she really cares about. I’m going to switch her over to just a basic hub or wi-fi light bulbs that will still work with Google. That means I’ll get a bunch of light bulbs, indoor & outdoor outlets, motion detectors, door sensors and an alarm I was using for SHM. I also had a Fire tablet mounted near the entrance with Action Tiles running as a control panel. In my new place I already have Harmony remotes, Ring Doorbell & spotlight Cam and an August lock on the front door.

To get back up and running I won’t have to buy much but it will be a pretty big investment in time and I’m wondering if the people here still think it’s worth it or if I should look at something other than Smarttings? I’ve been out of the loop and I’m just starting to dig back into it. I had some web core stuff working and I need to understand how that works now with the move to the new app or if there is new functionality to create that kind of sophistication with other tools. Do you still see a future in Smartthings and would you choose it today if you were just starting out?

I think that’s just a question which will have different answers for different people. There are certainly a lot more options available now than even a year ago. Alexa routines and some limited voice processing have greatly added to the options with just that system.

Apple HomeKit has added quite a few things over the last two years, including some pretty amazing camera features. They don’t have local voice processing, but everything else, including the camera facial recognition, can run locally

Abode has added HomeKit compatibility and always had tight security system integration.

Hubitat has grown significantly and seems pretty well established as a local processing homeseer alternative For those who want Zigbee as well as zwave. Plus excellent Lutron integration, and of course it can run a lot of the groovy code developed for smartthings. Like Homeseer, though, it’s not a plug and play system, and also like Homeseer its app UI is still pretty primitive compared to, say, HomeKit or abode. But sharptools does work with it now, and that’s a nice dashboard interface.

Smartthings is still in the middle of a big transition to a new platform, and it’s just not yet clear exactly how everything is going to work, as you can tell from the current announcement topics.

Get ready to make the switch!

(Personally, I still haven’t gotten any answer as to how virtual switches can be created in the new platform and whether you will have to set up as a developer to add one .)

So I’m not sure exactly what to say. It’s clear that smartthings will continue to offer a lot of power and flexibility, and of course if you have a Samsung smart appliance or smart television you’ll have to use it for some things. But beyond that it’s just hard to evaluate right now. We should know a lot more in six months, but I know six months is a long ways away.

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I’ll chime in with a less structured, less professional, yet completely honest reply.

I’ve used the system for a few years now, definitely more than your average user (but perhaps not as much as the real power users here). Zoned CH, hottub, rfid alarm, the usual lights and switches, contact sensors, webcore… That kind of thing.

I used to think that people were just unlucky or whiney when they complained about things randomly dropping out.

But the experience I’ve had with this now, starting a few months ago and continuing (new) issues right up until today’s “sorry we’ve fucked it all up again” announcement… Well, poor just doesn’t cover it.

In my humble opinion, the company doesn’t give a damn about the users. Couldn’t care less if it tried. All it wants is to piss off as many “old school” users as it can by almost deliberately ensuring that as little care as possible goes into these forced updates.

Why? Because the vast majority of actual smartthings (as in the new iteration) users aren’t going to be doing anything other than asking alexa to switch a light off (which has also apparently screwed up recently, but that’s another story I guess) or the like. They’re not going to be screwing with webcore variables, installing custom code, using any kind of ingenuity at all. The app for these guys is going to have to satisfy some fairly simplistic demands. Stability isn’t really so much of an issue. At last that’s how I see it.

Which means the vast majority of users aren’t going to be battering samsung servers on a daily basis with cpu-intensive groovy code to do cool stuff.

The less power users, the better.

In short, dont under any circumstances think about putting a penny into this company with a new hub or whatever. Absolute waste of time. I couldn’t recommend this to anyone, there are just way, way too many problems which seem to be gestating and growing over time.

Full disclosure, I’m sat smack in the middle of attempting to set up absolutely everything on my first hubitat. Wanted one for a long time, but never thought that samsung could fuck things up to such a degree so fast. So I bought one last week, but I’m really struggling for free time at the minute so haven’t played with it much. I do expect to fully migrate, and then effectively delete my smartthings account.

My parents have some health issues, and there’s absolutely no way on earth I’m going to follow the original plan of “upgrade to a hubitat and then install my old smartthings hub at my parents”. Because it’s a total waste of time, where seemingly nothing is ever just allowed to continue to work, there’s always some issue or other.

So back to your question… Not a chance in hell would I ever, ever recommend this platform to anyone. Ever.

Which is a great shame because for quite a long time I’ve championed the cause to work colleagues etc. It really is a piece of crap now.

Run! Obviously samsung isn’t going to give a rats ass if it lost every single active user from this forum. I’d imagine it would actually be beneficial to clear us out.

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These days for similar situations, I recommend one of two options:

  1. if they have iPhones and an iPad, then Apple HomeKit with Lutron Caseta switches, anything from Eve including the button, Yale by August smart lock, and pocketsockets from IDevices. Plus Echo. These aren’t the least expensive devices, but as of this writing they are all reliable, easy to use, and have excellent English language customer support even for non tech savvy folks.
  1. If they have android phones, I would try really hard to accomplish every use case just with an Echo show 2nd generation (zigbee hub inside) and Alexa routines. Lutron Caseta switches, IDevices pocket sockets, Yale by August locks, for the same reasons as above. The only thing that gets tricky is sensors and buttons. There are individual options for different use cases, but no single brand with good English language customer support, Although Amazon support is often helpful.

Anyway, either of those will provide reliable simple automations and enough customer support that you don’t always have to be the first call.:wink: