Homekit and SmartThings: The Latest Discussion

Ok, my point to the OP of the now defunct thread that was merged through a time warp somehow into this one was moving from ST to HK isn’t as easy as it sounds as it can’t do zigbee or z-wave.

1 Like

And a very good point that is! HomeKit has a very limited selection of devices. Very limited. Phillips hue smart bulbs and strips via their bridge, The echobee, some Honeywell models and a TADO thermostats, Lutron light switches and pocket sockets via their bridge, A couple of locks. A first alert smoke detector model. A fairly useless set of battery operated sensors since they can’t be used to trigger anything else. Quite a few other things have been announced but are not yet available.

But, yes, very important to note that you won’t be able to use any of your Z wave devices and no zigbee home automation devices. If you have a HomeKit compatible Hue bridge, you’ll be able to use that with HomeKit.

I am very pleased right now with Home app. Wife loves the simplicity and integration in ios10.

Ge links are gone, and hue in. Ecobee in, Honeywell wifi out. So while this doesn’t erase my ST install, I plan to use both side by side for a long time. Just going to choose devices going forward that support both as reasonable. Too deep into zwave/zigbee and more to abandon one over the other and I like both systems. To each their own WAF I suspect. Now we have Alexa and Siri integrations. Maybe one day I will actually say something to one of them more than asking about the weather.

1 Like

I get sports info from Echo. “Alexa, when do the Giants play?” Etc. :sunglasses:

With or without HomeKit there needs to be a good option for voice control… and from this and the other conversations it looks like there isn’t a good answer out there yet?
I’ve been on ST since the beginning, have a great system of 30+ Z-Wave devices working well, have dabbled a (very) little in the IDE using custom device handlers from others on GitHub, and used things like SmartRules and SmartTiles… but I don’t have the time or the skill to do a deep dive in creating custom code or setting up homebridge which it appears even advanced users have trouble with. This solution needs to come from SmartThings.

What is Samsung/ST thinking here? If they are thinking that they can get folks to move to Samsung products by not playing with Apple they are dreaming. As much as I like SmartThings I’d drop it in a minute and move to another Z-Wave platform before I’d drop my iPhone which I use for every aspect of my life and start all over with a Samsung/Android. We need some indication that they are working on a (iPhone compatible) voice control for ST and timeline or A LOT of people will be jumping ship.

I’m considering Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot, but I don’t want to have to buy multiple devices to place all over my house when I have my phone, which has voice capability, and which is already paid for, with me all the time…even away fro the house in the car and at work.

This is a no brainer, after all the amazing things that the ST team has can’t believe that they don’t have the skills or technical capability to do this, it’s got to be a “strategy” thing, and that’s bad for all of us. HomeKit or not, there has to be an Android and iPhone voice control answer, and soon, or ST will go from the most promising option out there to eating everyone else’s dust.

1 Like

The echo is a fantastic option for voice control and there is an official SmartThings integration, so I think they’ve covered themselves fine there. :sunglasses:

I use both Echo and Siri for voice Control, but echo for preference every time as the far field recognition is just amazing.

Since smartthings has an IFTTT channel, there is a third option as well which works particularly well with a smart watch, and that’s to send a voice text to IFTTT and trigger the SmartThings channel that way. I used that before the echo integration was available. But you can also use it with either hey Siri or hey Google on a smart phone.

There are also several other ways to add voice control to smartthings. See the following thread.

2 Likes

hi I’m new to all this and what you have said really makes me laugh as that’s what I said, its apple so i must have it

1 Like

you are so right, my iPhone is my life and I’m really now thinking smart things is not going to be for me

I completely agree, I’m just waiting for someone to make a better platform. I love my iphone and have a lot of problems with ST. I would have no problem leaving ST and I would be willing to pay big bucks for something better and/or local based.

I am a huge iPhone / Mac user. I have little interest in Apple’s HA ecosystem. Too closed right now. It’s apple, it will never be as open as ST from a custom app standpoint.

ST has its problems but with iOS 10 I still haven’t figured out how to unlock my phone.

I just converted over from Vera to ST and so far after 2 weeks, I like what ST has to offer. I too have been on the fence on whether to jump all in with ST or try to wait HK out and see how Apple does going forward.

The home app is ok with iOS10 but its nothing earth shattering.

My plan for now is to try and adopt things that are both HK and ST compatible. I currently have 2 Ecobee thermostats that work well with both Apple HomeKit and ST with Alexa integration. I do plan on getting some Echo Dots when they come out next month to increase the range of voice activated capabilities. I have a handful of Hue bulbs that also work with both although they don’t seem as reliable and responsive as the Z-wave/Zigbee lights I already had with my Vera system.

I guess time will tell and it just depends on if you’re willing to wait it out. I’m having too much fun to sit back on the sidelines and wait for Apple to catch up.

I’ve been using HomeKit devices for about a year. I like the new Home app a lot. I don’t think Apple will ever catch up to SmartThings: I think it’s aiming at a different market with a different concept. I usually call this “limited feature home automation.” It’s simple, it’s reliable, it works locally except for out of building requests. It doesn’t do a lot, but it does give you lights, door locks, pocket sockets, a thermostat, and there are cameras on the way. The rules engine is limited to triggers based on time, Geopresence, and a few accessory characteristics. But nothing anywhere near as complicated as what you can do with SmartThings and core – – no “if a or B unless C while D.”

I buy devices that work with both HomeKit and echo, because I prefer echo’s voice recognition unless it’s a task I’m doing from the watch.

The big piece that is missing right now is motion sensors. We’ll have to see if the new Hue motion sensor which comes out in a couple weeks works only with the Hue bridge or could also, for example, trigger Lutron switches.

I don’t think HomeKit is likely to meet the needs of people looking for serious sensor – based automation for several years, if then.

But it’s going to meet the needs of a lot of people for a lot of things, and with much lower maintenance requirements than SmartThings has.

So as always, different people need different things. Some will use just HomeKit. Some will use just SmartThings. Some will use both. Choice is good. :sunglasses:

I completely agree with your assessment. I personally fall somewhere in between the two with a desire to have things work reliably but still want to have the flexibility to automate and grow as tech improves. Its an interesting time in HA right now and exciting to see where it goes. Just hope I don’t find myself on the wrong end of things if a clear winner emerges.

1 Like

Because I am quadriparetic, I really need some home automation. Not as much as I would once have thought, but definitely lights and home theater control.

Over the last year I have come to the conclusion that I am willing to pay for home automation as a service, the same way I now regard my smart phone. I own my data, but everything else I basically lease. I expect a three-year lifecycle from the devices. So I only buy things that I can Justify within that budget. But if I have to replace light switches or sensors or Voice control every three years I’m OK with that as long as I’m staying within my monthly budget.

I know that’s not the way a lot of people think about it, and different things work for different people. But a lot of the newer tech has features that are very helpful to me, and I don’t want to feel locked in financially to old tech for more than a year or two.

Once I made that decision, it took a lot of stress out of home automation for me. It does mean then I might automate only one switch in a room rather than three or four. And I don’t buy gadgets just to play with them. I buy devices that will solve real problems that I have now and where I’m OK if I have to replace them in three years.

So in a sense I feel that I future-proofed my budget rather than future proofing my device choices. :sunglasses: But it works for me.

2 Likes

Well, certainly it sounds like automation is a necessity and justified expense to make your daily life and routine easier. Fortunately, I can say that HA is more of a hobby. I like the way you are approaching the future costs invovled but I think that your 3 year replacement plan could work out in your favor. I’ve had some z-wave stuff for over 3 years now and still going strong. I guess anything past 3 years is bonus.

For practical purposes, I’d love to find a solution to find out if you’re left your stove on, when your wash/dry cycles are done. I’m sure there might be posts related, I just need some time to sort through them.

1 Like

Perfect ST use cases. Search and ye will find. Wash done was the first use case I solved with ST that opened the budget for it at my house. I’m over 50 devices now.

2 Likes

I like it, maybe if i’m successful it will open my budget up a bit as well!

Thought this was a good article on HomeKit and why it’s been so slow to move forward.

Apple is screwing up HomeKit; here’s how they can fix it

That’s one opinion, from a person who was an android developer. I disagree with pretty much everything in that article. This, in particular:

Devices should be connected to the cloud. In the cloud, servers can talk to each other. We can fix bugs without risky over-the-air firmware updates.

Is just so far away from most people’s home automation experience it’s hard to even discuss. Of all applications, home automation is the one that should be using local connectivity. Well, that and medical monitoring. The fact that HomeKit is local except for out of building control is one of the things I like best about it.

The author also objects to HomeKit’s hardware-based implementation and suggest a software substitution. But it’s the hardware piece that is going to provide the encryption that will I believe set a new security standard for low-cost home automation. It won’t be perfect, but it will definitely be more secure.

Again, choice is good. Different people need different things. If somebody has a cloud-based, software-based home automation platform that they’re happy with, more power to them. :sunglasses:

But I wouldn’t call Apple nuts for choosing to go with a local system.

JMO

1 Like

Interesting article. I happen to agree with a bunch of it. The trick is the glue. Literally whatever makes it easier to glue devices and software together. (Why I happen to think ST is a winner right now). If that is cloud, so be it, makes some sense. It sure as heck isn’t requiring a proprietary chip for “security”, as the percentage of consumers that pick up an HA device and look for it’s security certification has got to be super low. It’s just not a thing, and I think at it’s height it still won’t be a thing. As I’ve said many times, there are just SOOO many easy ways to steal things, what hope does home automation have of standing in the way of smash and grab unless laser guided auto tasers become the norm. People instinctively know this and won’t pay for it. A shiny watch or phone is one thing, automating your home is another.