Getting fed up. SmartThings gets worse and worse (July 2021)

Sorry if I was confusing. I agree all of the functionality was there before if you used custom code, I just said it wasn’t in the “routines“ which is what the new automation builder has replaced.

And they’ve done a really bad job of explaining it, whether you are a new customer or transitioning from the older platform. IMHO, of course. :sunglasses:

The new app is an embarrassment, so is anyone who spends time trying to defend it. You can’t even see what Mode your house is in, it’s probably in there somewhere, but I don’t need some geek on a fringe forum to explain the correct sequence of button presses to find it. It feels someone is deliberately trying to make it less user friendly.

so i have an old android phone 7 that is my on-the-go cheap (read: if it breaks its no big loss) that is stuck running the previous version of the current app. i find myself going to that vs a new phone running the latest update of the current app. i try to avoid the app right now by using buttons.

that is great if your device functionality is supported, but my powerwall 2 is not; nor is the temp range for my Rinnai tankless water heater.

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Believe it or not, adding your own custom device handlers to the IDE is surprisingly easy these days for someone with general IT background and a little bit of coding. It not the IDE, side that bothers me and ST-anything actually works quite well even though it is a community project.

My big complaint is that basic functionality is missing from the phone app and all kinds of weird niche functions are everywhere. My Second big complaint is that things go into experimental mode and stay that way for 5 years.

Then of course there is the communication (or total lack thereof) of what they are changing. And when you go searching you have to again learn a new language to figure out what they are talking about. A little clarity goes a long way.

For example if I told you 4 new THEN actions are available today, you would know right where to look and what they were for right??

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Unfortunately, SmartThings has made the decision to discontinue hosting a public groovy cloud, so that type of custom code will no longer work by the end of this year, and the IDE itself is going away. :disappointed_relieved:. They have announced a general timeline for this.

So we don’t really know what the options are going to be as far as custom code for hub connected devices going forward. :thinking:

Well then…

I guess they have one chance to impress me. While I said “pretty easy” honestly I have never been a big fan of “groovy”. I don’t know java so groovy is even worse for me, but I can still mad-lib the templates they provide.

It mentions moving to an API as a replacement. I’m not sure how this will be implemented, but if done correctly, would allow you to write custom automations until your heart is content in whatever language you prefer.

Honestly though, I’m expecting an overly restrictive API and no way for an average Joe to turn some ordinary device into a “smart” device. Their claim of optimizing for Java bothers me too. Can we please stop using java already?? If they were trying to modernize, they would be moving to Python. Maybe I’m just being pessimistic but they’ve given me no reason not to be.

They might as well have just added the implied statements at the end that says “in the meantime, we don’t give a ?!&& if your lights stop working or you can no longer do certain things”.

If anyone has any further information in this API model, who will be able to program what, whether there will be any ability to implement say a raspberry pi or a Arduino etc, I’d be interested. I’m going to have to decide soon whether to continue down this path, or to switch to one of the open source hubs or one of the competitive products.

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They put out a lot already on how smart apps will work. You can write them in any language you want, but you have to host them yourself. And there is a quite robust API which is published that tells you how to communicate to the smartthings account. So that part seems to be OK as long as you’re willing to put up with doing your own hosting.

They’ve also published a lot on cloud to cloud integrations for DTHs, so again, that part seems pretty clear, but again you have to do your own hosting.

What we don’t have details on yet on how custom DTHs for hub connected devices are going to work.

Details on what has been documented so far is all on the developers site… Note that the “rules API“ is different from the API for communicating from your own smartapp or for communicating as a cloud to cloud DTH.

https://smartthings.developer.samsung.com/

And discussion is in the forum in the following section:

Just noticed in this post the link to the “rules api” forum. I will look through here and see if I can make some sense out of how to get started with it and what it can do. Just browsing the first few posts is not really inspiring my confidence so far…

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I just updated my post to include the link to the new developer site, I think that’s where they want you to start now. But I’m not familiar with the details myself.

Forgive me for having to ask clarification, but what is DTH in this context?Google says DTH is “direct to home”, but it’s not making sense to me in this context.

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DTH is “Device type Handler.“ One of smartthings’ many names for a Device driver.

They are also called “device handlers“, “Device types”, and a couple of other things.

The following community FAQ explains the terminology and the concepts. It was written for the 2015 version of the smartthings app so some of the publishing steps are out of date, but it’s a good basic read anyway as far as understanding the approach for adding custom code to the groovy cloud. (The topic title is a clickable link.)

And for giving you some of the terminology that will still be used with the new platform.

Got it…yes I just found it as well. Guess I should’ve searched “SmartThings DTH” instead. I do know what a DTH is and have created/ modified a few myself (working on one for esp8266 & wled very soon actually). I guess I have just not spent enough time in these forums to pick up on the acronyms.

Thanks for the links and helping me find the gradual wakeup “experimental” smartapp.

Samsung honestly still has some proving to do to me at this point. I honestly hope they are able to pull this together and expose an interface that works the way it should.

This “host it yourself” and authentication model talk is interesting. It’s confusing to try to understand whether this is in the context of “I as a device manufacturer” or “I as a consumer” (or maybe both) guess I have some reading to do.

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Both it is. :sunglasses:

Anyone can sign up to be a “developer“ so that’s the new pathway for custom code.

Android version 1.7.67.29 has a ‘Life’ button on the Home screen - that’s where modes are

I see the STHM security mode there.

The “location mode” can be viewed by tapping on the house icon in the upper left of all screens. Then tap “Manage Locations” and tap the card for your location.

Someone said only iOS has the home icon but android does not :slight_smile:

My devices are Android.

Google Pixel 4a phone and Samsung Tab S5e tablet. Both running Android 11 and the latest version of the SmartThings app.

No clue… just weird that someone pointed out I was wrong a few weeks back when I said to click on the Home icon and they said it was not available in the new android app 🤷

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SmartThings has two different kinds of modes.

Security.modes are used with smartthings Home Monitor. The values are now Arm (away), Arm (Stay) and Disarmed.

Location.modes are used in automations as a “behavioral filter.“ When you first set up a smartthings account, the values are Home, Away, and Night. But you can add more location that modes if you want. For example, many people add Guest mode or Vacation mode or even Party mode. Your choice.

Location.modes don’t do anything by themselves. You have to create automations to set them and then act on those settings. :sunglasses:

Location.mode is not shown under the LIFE tab, but Security.mode is.

You have to drill down a couple of levels from the main menu to find location.mode, I’m not sure why, it’s useful information.

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