I got the trial license and only had it for 3 hours… got the paid version immediately! I have had no issues in speed on any device AT is on.
I’m sorry. It really sucks that it’s so hard to find accessible apps to do what you need to do.
HomeKit and Wink both work, so it’s not impossible. But I haven’t found one that works with SmartThings since the official app broke.
I wouldn’t hold my breath for a solution from SmartThings on Guest access. It’s been on the wishlist for 3+ years.
I agree, trusting a 3rd party with your home data is a risk. As for your argument against web based solutions, you probably don’t realize most apps are just web views wrapped in an app container anyway…
There are several other dashboard like solutions, but nothing specifically for allowing guest access.
It is a huge gap in the offering. None of the major DIY HA platforms currently provide a native solution.
Unfortunately, given your requirements, you really are out of options at the moment.
Remember the original and ultimate goal for home automation is to NOT have to use an app, dashboard, etc. It should just work. Originally, the founders of SmartThings considered it a failure of the product if you had to open the app to do something.
Most of the basic automation can be done in routines. But most love WebCORE to do more complicated automations.
Bottom line, if you want to stick to native only solutions, you have to learn how to trick any system into doing what you want.
I’d focus on trying to automate and the need for Guest Access should go away if you can think of ways to use buttons, or other input devices to trigger what you want to happen for guests vs regular users.
Really? An hour? Here’s a screenshot of the IFTTT mobile app’s home screen:
I use safari on my iPhone all the time, including for sites that have their own apps, and I have no issues. As long as I don’t try to load a Flash site, I guess.
I recently set up my first actiontiles panel for use as a wall mounted dashboard and so far I think it’s great. Lag is no more noticeable than anything else I do with SmartThings.
You seem to have unusually poor experiences with several different mobile apps/websites.
Your applets are located there, but those are just to toggle them on and off. If I have shortcut buttons, they are not located there. You have to add the “IFTTT” widget to the notification screen to actually access the buttons.
Thanks. I will check that out.
Thank you for the response.
If ST does not have a direct API, then how are apps like “Home Remote” and “IFTTT” working? The nice thing about having a native app on the device vs. a website is the ability to add push notifications for events, location alerts, sync data with iCloud (or other cloud services), less data usage (trivial, but still valid) and not relying on the mobile browser to not mess anything up if an update occurs. If Chrome pushes an update and it breaks something, then I can’t access the app. It’s great that other people have good experience with web apps. I’d just rather have apps to install on the device, that will pull the data instead of relying on HTML.
As far as the issues with AT itself. I don’t know. I know that it was taking 10+ minutes to unlock doors and turn lights on. Nothing in any logs, even tried disconnecting the API and reconnecting. It also would error out when trying to view cameras using the streaming API from NEST, which works with the NST Manager. Both in Safari and Chrome.
I really want a solution to give to my wife, for example, who wants one app to do everything. Not one for SmartThings, not one for NEST, RING, DigitalLife, etc…
I’d gladly pay $50 for an app that could do all that (maybe not the DigitalLife).
ST doesn’t have a direct API, all the 3rd party integrations use SmartApps in the background to connect via Oauth.
ST has an internal review process for those approved (read, pay money or agree to revenue share programs) to publish their smartapps into their marketplace. So there is no end user need to install the smartapp, it does it automatically.
Again, the whole purpose of automation is to not need to use an app. Use other points of user input, buttons, remotes, taps on lights, etc. to trigger your “Smart Home”.
IFTTT has a separate app for applets with the “Do” button too (on iOS at least). Not sure if that helps.
Okay - That makes more sense then.
I understand that is the point of home automation, but we aren’t there yet. I can’t open my garage door without hitting a button, and using a presence sensor for that is WAY to insecure, which I’ve already experienced in my testing. Opening a web browser, logging into a website site, clicking a link and then clicking a button is too much “effort” for something that should be easy. I might as well get out of the car and put the code into the code reader, or better yet, use the garage door opener. Fortunately, I have HomeBridge working, so I can just ask Siri to open my garage, but it’s still a press of a button.
The majority of what I do now is automated. I don’t have to touch a single button other than to gain entry to the house. I’d love to be able to give my house sitter a card and then when they get close to the house, it opens everything. But that’s not practical.
This is also a point of philosophical divergence. There isn’t a “right answer” on this yet. While there are many people who believe that the point of home automation is for things to happen without human intervention, there are probably just as many who believe that the point of home automation is to add additional convenience to “home control” actions initiated by a person.
A perfect example is the tremendous popularity of voice assistants like Amazon echo. They don’t make anything happen automatically, they just make it easier to do things on demand. But they are definitely driving the features that manufacturers are adding to home automation equipment, both at the low and high end of the market.
I personally believe we need both, just as people still want wall switches even after they add smart bulbs. Choice is good.
Good post JD.
Keep in mind that if everything is automated, then variance becomes a headache. Imagine that you have lights that automatically come on at low level anytime someone in the house gets up in the middle of the night. Seems good… if you are the only one in the house, and you need the extra light to see where you are going. But in a home full of people, some might be able to see just fine with the little bit of already existing ambient light. And they or others might be woken too much by the extra light to easily get back to sleep.
I could easily come up with a dozen automations that would work for me, but not for my wife - and vice versa. or one day I might want music when I walk in the door, other days silence.
While I digs the automation process, I truly don’t see how an entire life could be automated. Lots of life occurs in the moment, and an automation can and would get in the way of that moment. Unless you’re an automaton.
I’m not disputing that you experienced extremely unacceptable performance delays while testing ActionTiles; but I’m saying that such delays are absolutely not characteristic of our product.
I don’t know why such a problem occurred for you, but as a certified "Works With SmartThings"™ product, we are committed to providing customer support to investigate and resolve such problems, including partnering with SmartThing back-end engineers when required.
So all I am asking of you is to considering spending a bit of diagnostic effort with
Support@ActionTiles.com and we will resolve the anomaly that you ran into. Indeed, if you have happen to have run into an as yet undiscovered bug or a compatibility scenario, then I am also concerned that other customers may be experiencing it and just not telling us. (Nobody has reported this though, including our thorough Beta participants.).
By helping us help you, you will be making a valuable contribution to the SmartThings Community (yes; the exact same community that is offering assistance and various helpful options and explanations to your inquiry and to hundreds of other folks in this Community Forum).
ActionTiles doesn’t resolve all the limitations of the SmartThings mobile app. We are a supplemental companion app that is designed to fill certain gaps very well, such as, “Guest Access”, the title of this Topic.
The “ActionTiles (Connect)” SmartApp (yes - installed automatically when our customer links to SmartThings) is reviewed, QA tested, platform-impact tested, published, and certified under the "Works With SmartThings"™ partner program.
To be 100% clear: We did not “pay money or agree to a revenue share program” to earn this designation and become published.
I laughed while reading this, not because it’s funny, but because I’ve been experiencing similar frustrations at the lack of native apps and functionality. Is this because everyone is writing their own stuff and using webCore? I really don’t want to get that in-depth and write my own apps, but it’s offending my sense of efficiency to use, for example, three instances of a smart app to do what I want to do with my porch light at night, or 8 different routines to manage modes.
I suppose I should start another thread, but since I’ve already spouted off here, does anyone know if there is there a place to get started with all the different resources that are available outside of the ST app?
A “Wiki” is one of the better formats for creating and maintaining and organized Resource center; but it is imperative for resource providers to agree to contribute and update their contributions.
So while I recommend this as a starting point, it is not comprehensive:
- Things That Are Smart Wiki: http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=ThingsThatAreSmart_Wiki
Other than that, this Community Forum is very “comprehensive”, except that you have to search and wade through a lot of obsolete posts to find the latest most complete information. There is no mechanism for post-creators to move their older releases and deprecated assistance off to an archive.
Thanks. I’m slowly wading through everything. ActionTiles looks amazing, btw. This is the first I’ve heard of it, but one look and I already know I want it. Does it also add functionality, or is it just a display for devices and Routines?
This is a good starting place:
And in particular the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki:
ActionTiles provides more than just a way to build browser-accessible (no app to download and install!) dashboard Panels to view and control Thigns, including such features as:
- Separate Tiles for each of a Thing’s functions (Contact vs Temperature vs Activity vs Battery).
- Ability to place Tiles for the same Thing any number of times on the same Panel or many Panels (i.e., e.g. place a Motion Sensor Tile in a particular “room” Panel, but also on a “security overview” Panel).
- Connect to an arbitrary number of SmartThings Accounts and/or Locations and seamlessly mix & match their Things on or among Panels. Perhaps an ideal way to view the status of Things for managed properties.
- Share specific one or many Panels with other individual ActionTiles Account(s), in view-only, or interactive mode, and revoke anytime. Currently licensing has no extra charges per Panel or per Account.
- Activate PIN Protection for selected individual Tiles on a Panel (e.g, SHM Tile, Mode Tile, Lock Tile, Garage Tile) as an additional layer of security.
- Layout Tiles on a Panel by selecting their size, inserting blank Tiles, etc…
- Embed Tiles with certain limited types of Media (refreshed still images, GIFs, and MJPG video streams)
- Coming soon: Many more customization options for size, icons, colors, etc…
- … and more