I did make that infamous change yeah. We had reasons for what we did, but it hasn’t exactly worked out as we planned. I can’t tell you how much of a headache accurate battery reporting is, but it’s being worked on. There are a lot of nuances and I’ve stayed out of the discussion because it’s hard to explain things without straying into stuff that isn’t external.
As for direct phone to hub control, and arbitrary device types running locally, I’m very hesitant to talk about potential future features and work. SmartThings doesn’t exactly have a sterling record when it comes to claiming features are coming and then delivering on them. So until a release is on it’s way out with the features claiming they are coming could just lead to more frustration and disappointment. I will say that those are both things that I would personally like to see, and we have recorded internally as desired features.
Sorry for the hand-wavy vague answers. I’m just a embedded software guy, big picture stuff isn’t my call.