SmartThings Community

iOS app that can control both Zwave (through SmartThings) and HomeKit devices?


(Weston T Turner) #1

Hello all! I know this is maybe an odd place to ask the subject question but I know there is a large knowledge base here about all thing smart!

So I am currently running home bridge on a pi but to my understanding, apple could stop that whenever they choose… Therefore, I’m really looking for a more permanent solution if there is one (without using all HomeKit devices or all zwave devices)

Lastly, if there is no good answer to to question, could you all tell me the best available iOS app that can control zwave smartthings devices.


(Jimmy) #2

The SmartThings app


#3

Homekit

It is true that the homebridge integration is unofficial and Apple could shut it down.

In June 2017, Apple announced an official integration which is quite similar to Homebridge in that it is software only and said it is now available for hobbyists to connect their own devices to HomeKit. Use by individuals on a small scale is free. So if you want to go with something similar to homebridge that is officially supported by Apple, use that method:

https://developer.apple.com/support/homekit-accessory-protocol/

IOS App Alternatives

As far as your other question, I didn’t quite understand it. The best app for controlling SmartThings devices on iOS is the official SmartThings mobile app. That’s the only one that will let you access all SmartThings options.

If you were asking about other third-party apps that might have a smoother UI or some other benefits, There are really only a few right now and they do different things.

  1. ActionTiles is a very popular third-party dashboard. It works in most browsers, so will work on an iOS device. It let you customize both the look and the devices being shown. But it’s just a dashboard, it lets you toggle devices on and off and shows you status. It doesn’t let you create new rules. People also like it because it let you give a child or a housemate the ability to toggle a specific set of devices without giving them full account access.
  1. SmartRules is an iOS app that lets you create new rules for SmartThings. It has a very nice graphical interface and also has a “do while” capability which the official SmartThings mobile app does not. So it is also quite popular. (There is another rules engine which is free, webcore, but is much more technically complex and doesn’t have the same kind of graphical interface. Quite a few people use both, using SmartRules for everything it can do and then shifting to webcore if a rule is more complex than SmartRules supports.)

http://smartrulesapp.com

WebCore is essentially a scripting language for SmartThings. Very powerful, but again quite complex. There are many community members who will be glad to help you with it if you get stuck on anything. But it’s not an iOS app, it’s intended to be run on a laptop browser.

  1. Stringify is another third-party app which is worth looking at. It’s not specific to smartthings but it does have SmartThngs as a supported platform. It’s basically a rules engine that falls in between smartrules and webcore in terms of complexity and power.

So I’m not really sure if I’m answering the question you’re asking about apps, but hopefully this information is of some interest. :sunglasses:


(Weston T Turner) #4

JDRoberts. Thank you so much for the reply! I think I worded my question kind of weird. So I own 8-10 ge switches (dimmer and standard); 5 or so ge duplex outlets, 1 innovelli dual outlet, and 3 mobile iDevice (actual brand name) outlets that have the night light on the front.

I am trying to find an app that will let me control all of those from 1 interface.

So I think this means, I need an app that can handle all standard z wave devices as well as the same app being able to communicate with the 3 HomeKit devices (Can smartthings communicate with those and I just didn’t know it?);

So in short, I’m trying to control all of my smart devices from one interface. (Hoping not to have to trash the iDevices outlets but maybe that’s the only solution solution)

Thank you so much JDRoberts! So impressed with your knowledge about this stuff!!


#5

At the present time the only way to do what you’re asking is to set up the Z wave devices with either Homebridge or Apple’s new official HAP protocol linked to above so that they can be viewed from HomeKit. And then use one of the HomeKit apps.

And of course then all you have is what is exposed through HomeKit.

You can’t include the i Devices in the SmartThings list of things.

Unless @pizzinini knows of some other work around. :sunglasses:


(Weston T Turner) #6

JDRoberts. Thank you again for your reply!! I hope someone eventually writes the community some code for the official apple HomeKit protocol they have given (I’m not a programmer by trade but often times wish I were haha). I

guess I’m just overly concerned they will pull the plug on what their allowing to be done (I imagine it is small scale in the grand scheme of things but I don’t know)

Again, thank you for your response. I’m still in the return period on those iDevice switches so I may return those just to ensure I’m not having to use multiple apps (smartthings and whatever HomeKit app I choose) should apple play the “high and mighty card”.


#7

If you’re still in the return period, Then yes, I’d return them. There are lots of similar Z wave devices you can use. ( again, requiring homebridge or HAP if you want them to be visible to HomeKit)

Or you could try the iHome devices. These definitely work with HomeKit. They are supposed to also work with SmartThings but there was a recent problem with them so to be honest I’m not sure whether they’re working right now or not.

I’ll be honest, I tried the iHome isp5 and hated it and ended up returning it. It just kept losing connection. I’ve been told the iHome isp8 is much better in this regard, but I never tried one.


(Weston T Turner) #8

JDRoberts,

Thank you for those links. I believe we are on the same page- I will just return those iDevice switches. They work well and are nice with the night light features but I’m not interested in using multiple apps in order to control simple on/ off functionality just in case apple pulls the plug on our (the community) homebrew solution. Maybe if we’re all lucky enough, some smart developer will write an apple approved usage of their protocol and then it won’t be a worry. However, I’m definitely not that ‘smart developer’.

Thank you again for all of your insights JDRoberts. So much help to myself and others!!!

-Weston


(Pizzinini) #9

Not much add to all the above… I set up Homebridge before Amazon Echo was integrated but I still keep it as an alternative way for voice control when I am not near one of my many Echo dots. So yes, it’s probably best to return those iDevices at this point.

A while back there was a theoretical discussion about an alternative way to send messages from Homekit to Smartthings via a dimmer. You could for example use a hue lamp that has 100 dim levels and assign an event to each of the level. You would not use the actual lamp. e.g. dim level 23% can be to turn on the kitchen lights and level 24% to turn off the kitchen lights. Siri/Homekit could set the dimmer (you probably want to create a scene for each event) and a rule engine (e.g. WebCore) in Smartthings would trigger the events. Unfortunately Homekit only uses on/off triggers for events and not dim levels sothis only works from Homekit to Smartthings and not the other way round. Again, this discussion was theoreticcal and I dont know if anyone actually tried it out :slight_smile:

For apps to control Homekit, I like the iDevice app for setting scenes and triggers and the Elgato Eve app for organizing dev ices. Both are free in the app store…


(Weston T Turner) #10

Pizzinini,

Thank you so much for your informative post. I believe I have my direction at this point. You guys are so helpful to everyone and I am grateful for your all’s guidance!

-Weston


(Jason) #11

How did you set your home Bridge to run on a pi? Can’t get mine to work.


(Pizzinini) #12

I posted detailed instructions for the pdlove Version here. I am planning to switch to the tonesto Version when I have a little time and can post an update then.


#13

why switch? what is the benefit?


(Pizzinini) #14

It has additional has more capabilities built in e.g. control alarm and modes directly. Also SmartApp menu looks prettier :slight_smile:

More here: