How to Create a separate "Contacts" just for new SmartThings iOS app


#1

I am seeing many people switching away from SmartThings because they don’t want to share ALL of their Contacts with Samsung. Is it possible to create a separate Contacts containing very limited information just for Samsung?


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #2

I’m not an iOS expert, but I presume the granularity of the App Permission request is to the single entire default “Contacts Book”. Ironically, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are Android utilities that can block portions of Contacts (since there are really clever App developers on Android that aren’t as restricted as on iOS).

Regardless, it’s worth noting:

  1. SmartThings Staff here have unofficially confirmed that they are hoping to get this permission request made optional. As usual, it is critical that you contact Support@SmartThings.com to emphasize the importance of this to you (and also note it in App rating/review).

  2. The Terms of Service do not let Samsung misuse your Contacts. I doubt they have any intention to do so; This is a technical issue, not an attempt to violate privacy. If the violate the terms or GDPR, they face tremendous penalties or lawsuits.

  3. You can avoid the need to install the SmartThings App(s) on devices that have access to your Contacts Book, by using the ActionTiles web app as an alternative convenient way to view and control your Things.


#3

I’m not (too) worried about Samsung intentionally misusing my data. Sharing contact information gives more opportunities for the bad guys to steal it.

As usual, it is critical that you contact Support@SmartThings.com to emphasize the importance of this to you (and also note it in App rating/review). <<

It would be hard for the reviews on the NEW SmartThings app to be any worse. It has the lowest ratings I have EVER seen on an iOS app. Many reviewers say they are completely bailing on SmartThings. As someone that switched to iPhone. I will tell you Apple users are just not accustom just seeing software released what is so far from being ‘ready’. I’m not claiming perfection in the Apple world, but Gee whiz.

I’m confused about where you actually are forced to share the Contacts. Does this occur when you create the new Samsung account, or does it occur when you install the new app?


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #4

Creating a Samsung Account cannot change the permissions of the App.

Installing and running the new App can request the list of permissions and permission changes (and I presume it does?), and the new App can be programmed to refuse to run without the permission. ST could even add the permission request to the Classic App, but I don’t think they have.

I doubt that this is causing Samsung any concern.

  1. Only a very small fraction of App users post a review. I presume that angry customers are more likely to post that they are leaving, than anyone else bother to point out that they are staying. Thus, the quantity of self-asserted bailers is insignificant.

  2. Once folks have purchased a Hub, installed it, and are actually using the App, they have invested sufficient effort not to bother packing it up and “bailing”.

  3. The gadget media still has very few reviews of SmartThings, and none of these are overwhelmingly negative. That has more influence on consumer research for initial purchases.

Does that mean Samsung can get away with this forever? No… but Samsung is playing the long, long game here and is not concerned with interim or isolated reputation issues.


(Jimmy) #5

The new app on iOS does not request access to your contacts. That is an Android thing.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #6

That’s good to know. It also proves that the new App doesn’t really require Contacts access, even on Android.

We’ve been told, actually, that it is related to supplementary Samsung features, not specifically SmartThings.