iPAD APP! For God's Sake!


(John P) #1

I’ve been using SmartThings for years. I’m responsible for hundreds, if not thousands of new users ( years recommending it on GeekBeat) and all the while I’ve made excuses and suffered along with everyone because the iOS app is not iPad native. But it has been YEARS. And there have been too many threads opened on the forums here to mention. Year after year users have asked why the iOS app can’t handle the iPad. ITS NOT THAT HARD! And it pisses me off every single time I open it! Especially on day’s like today when there was an announcement about the stupid Apple Watch!

Really? You’re prioritizing a device that won’t do jack - over the full fledged flagship desktop replacement like iPad Pros? Are you out of your minds???

Seriously, this is a very fundamental thing that all iOS developers have tackled and overcome. And they did it years ago. It’s so simple that there are videos all over YouTube by children who do it. Here. This’ll show you how it’s done: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=t-uGZ2aNaCk

The app isn’t special. It’s not a heavily graphics intensive wonder, and doesn’t even have particularly interesting icons. It’s just a simple interface that could be easily ported to run universally on iOS by any 2nd year college intern.

I know that others have to be as frustrated as I am, but I don’t know how the ST staff can go on day to day without being utterly embarrassed knowing that every time someone opens their app on an iPad they have to turn the whole damn thing sideways to see a super crappy interface. It is literally the ONLY app on my iPad that does this.

So can someone explain to us why the app still exists in this state, and exactly what you are doing about it, and when we are going to see an actual update? Because honestly, as long as the interface you give your users is a POS it’s going to leave the impression that everything on the back end is just as bad or worse. I would argue that the iPad app is the single biggest problem ST has, because it is so egregiously outdated.

By the way, with all due respect, I’m not interested in hearing about SmartTiles or any other third party anything. I’ve tried them, and frankly they are terrible. We just need the actual ST app to get an update so it can be used as intended.

John P.


(Dan Fox) #2

What he said, but Android too!


(Andy) #3

Completely agree, I was very disappointed when first opening ST on my iPad, pretty much unusable and I went back to setting it up on my iPhone.

As an alternative for control & monitoring, I use Homebridge coupled with Apples slighty odd Home app as a dashboard to control devices from my iPad. In defence of SmartTiles/ActionTiles it’s the only way I’ve found to get a dashboard as such on my MacBook which is what I use most of the time.


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

Thank-you!


(Mark) #5

Thank goodness, now that a VIP tech journalist (sorry, but wtf is geekbeat?) has posted an angry rant on this forum, that full-fledged iPad app should be coming real soon.

Seriously though, why all the open antagonism? Sure this is a major hole in the ST user interface, but in my experience (granted, I don’t work in the tech industry), people don’t generally respond as well to sarcasm and public shaming as they do constructive criticism.

Also, I agree it’s perfectly valid to argue that community-developed dashboards aren’t a satisfactory replacement for a full native iPad app. But when you say “with all due respect,” then in the sentence immediately following, you say, “they are terrible,” why even bother pretending to be respectful?


#6

I agree the app should work with iPad also. Plenty of others have universal apps and while I’m not a programmer it’s hard for me to imagine it could be that hard for ST to do the same. However, they aren’t the only surprises in this respect. The Walmart app is exactly the same. Walmart Mexico however has an iPad app.


(John P) #7

Mark, because you asked “Seriously though, why all the open antagonism?”

I don’t believe I owe an explanation. This isn’t public shaming. I didn’t take it to social media, or a blog, or TV, or a video - I brought it here. Where it doesn’t actually harm them.

I don’t think I could be more direct than I have been. ST has many issues, but THIS ONE ISSUE is huge. Ongoing. And it might not bother you, but you’re borderline hijacking this thread with your interjection when I honestly want a response by a staffer.

With regards to SmartTiles/ActionTiles, for the benefit of AndyWak and tgauchat, I recognize that a sh*tload of work went into creating it, hence the “all due respect”. But it is impossible for the vast majority of people to work with, it offers extremely limited functionality compared to the iOS or Android apps (or missing Web/Win/OSX interfaces), and frankly it wouldn’t matter how brilliantly it is engineered - the SmartThings platform isn’t robust enough for it. It’s putting lipstick on a pig. The lipstick is beautiful! But sorry, the pig isn’t.

So back to the laser focus of my original post - why can’t we get a universal iOS app? And if people expressing their frustration in the forum isn’t going to get a response does that mean we DO need to resort to the other blatantly public methods of discussing the topic so it gets escalated on the priority list? What’s it gonna take?


(John P) #8

One big difference with the Walmart situation is that they have a perfectly functional web based interface on the iPad. You don’t really need the iOS app for iPad when it works fine in the browser - although I’m with you… I like the convenience of a dedicated app and I shop at Walmart a lot.

Unfortunately, SmartThings offers no web based interface to control the system. If they decided to build a responsive HTML 5 based interface that we could use across all platforms it would probably be the best thing they could do. But they might find that tougher than letting someone just fix the iOS app. I’d settle for anything at this point though.


(Michael Hess) #9

I believe your assessment of Action Told to be very inaccurate. The “vast majority” of people are idiots and don’t deserve to use nice things because they are too lazy to learn how the things they want to use work. AT makes life way better for me and my family than the app was ever even capable of. And it’s easy to setup.

But you are correct on the iPad issue though. But they can’t get either the iPhone or Android app working correctly, why bother b*tching about this?


(Mark) #10

I’m with you that there’s really no good explanation why they don’t have a functioning iPad version of the iOS app.

But I don’t see why the failures of ST staff should reflect poorly on the developers of custom dashboard apps.

This is a public forum, even if it’s not as widely read as a twitter feed.


#11

As someone who uses a tablet mounted on a frame on my wheelchair, I agree completely that the lack of a landscape view is both surprising and inconvenient.

That said, staff don’t officially read these forums except for the moderators, who don’t set company policy. Quite a few staff do participate here from time to time, but there’s no guarantee any specific post will be read. The forum is really intended to support the community in sharing ideas and information from a community standpoint.

If you want to get official attention, the best bet is probably posting on their Twitter feed, which is officially monitored.


#12

As Michael stated, with their latest attempt to try and deploy 2.3.5, 2.3.6 and 2.3.7 versions of the Android and IOS apps, hell is going to have to freeze over before they get to this request. I think they might have fixed most of IOS, but sounds like Android has ongoing issues. My guess is it will be fixed with 2 more hot fixes (2.3.9) and I will stay on 2.3.5 until they do.

And as for ActionTiles - Does it have some shortcomings that need be addressed, absolutely. It needs some added flexibility for user layout and work around media functionality and browser compatibility and a matrix of what works and doesn’t work (some certification matrix between OS and Browser type), but what they have delivered up front in a short amount of time that it’s been here is pretty amazing. Short of configuring things like automations from the mobile app, having dashboards setup, replaces the need for even having to go into the ST Mobile App. You have visibility, accessibility and functionality of all devices you authorize giving you control and status of almost everything that you can do in the mobile app.

As far as lipstick on a pig goes, I will have to respectfully disagree with you. As much as I have disappointment in ST as a whole for my own reasons, what ActionTiles brings to the forefront adds another dimension or layer of functionality that ST itself doesn’t or can’t fulfill that hopefully they will see the light and eventually head in a much needed different direction to right the ship and bridge that divide.


(Andy) #13

I will say one other thing about my Apple watch, I love it! It’s a great gadget as is bourn out by all the very similar devices that followed it onto the market. When I was a kid the idea of speaking into my watch and things around me turning on, off or whatever was the stuff of Sci Fi fantasy, now I do it without a thought to its complexity. Mind you, I thought I would be living on a Moon base wearing a silver one piece suit by now too.

The Logitech Harmony app is landscape only on the iPad too and that p****s me off as well. I can guarantee no one from Logitech will read this either.


#14

Yeah, different things work for different people. :sunglasses:

I’d be lost without my Apple Watch – – as someone who can’t use my hands much, but can turn my wrist, I use the watch for phone calls, voice texts, Apple Pay, and some home automation. I’m not saying it’s right for everybody, but it’s really valuable to me.

Interestingly, there was just a report last week that since they refocused it on fitness features and improved the waterproofing, Apple has now moved into the number one spot in marketshare for wearables, as its sales keep going up while fitbit’s are going down.

Choice is good. :apple::tangerine::watermelon:


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #15
  1. I’m not sure where you are getting your user usability study data, but I assure you that if ActionTiles was “impossible for the vast majority of people” then we would have been out of business after the first week. A substantial number of our customers have explicitly stated that ActionTiles is easier to use than the SmartThings App, while our feedback surveys indicate that a non-trivial number, but, still, a minority find AT to be difficult to use or not user-friendly. Reducing that minority is a major goal of ours; so we would love your market research data so that we can more effectively allocate our resources.

  2. The “limited functionality” of ActionTiles is in the eye of the beholder. We absolutely don’t have any intention of replicating all of SmartThings’s native App (and, due to the lack of APIs, it is impossible); that’s why I heartily support this Topic and others that continue to request the full SmartThings App on larger screens and web!

However, reduced scope helps keep ActionTiles less complex. A lot of folks believe that the configuration options of SmartThings (add Things, SmartApps, etc.) should be in a separate App from the day-to-day functions (view and control Things, events, and actuate Routines). Instead, we add unique functionality, such as the ability to mix-and-match Things from multiple Locations on the same dashboard Panels (no need to change to one Location at a time as in the ST App), and even multiple views of the same Thing (i.e., such as allowing the customer to include separate Contact State and Temperature Value Tiles of a multi-attribute Thing on the same Panel, unlike the ST App which no longer even allows you to choose which Attribute can be displayed at all!).

ActionTiles was created and released under the “MVP” (minimum viable product) business strategy (as was SmartThings 4 years ago). We use the feedback from various sources, including our own Forum, to plan and implement continuous incremental improvements, subject to our lean resources. Y’all are welcome to come over and visit anytime! https://ActionTiles.com/feedback


Pardon me for interrupting your Topic – iPad support is an important, persistent, and reasonable wish for the SmartThings platform – but by calling my value-add product “terrible” and “impossible to use”, you have clearly invited me to the discussion to ask for substantiation of those claims — or at least for me to offer a few words to rebut those unsubstantiated descriptions.

I Private Messaged you yesterday, respectfully and politely (IMHO) suggesting removal of your strong critical words about SmartTiles from the Topic, since I believe those words do not contribute anything constructive to the real subject: A plea to “God” for an iPad App!


With sincere respect to you and the SmartThings Community, I wish we would make a bit more effort to just be nice to each other? I hope y’all can realize that expressing our solidarity and long-suffering desire for improvements to the SmartThings App (the product of a $ billion company), can be done without backhanded slaps to result of thousands of hours of development and marketing effort of a 2 person venture?


Thank-you. … We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming… sincerely, “God”, :angel:.


#16

George Burns just woke up or turned slightly :innocent:


#17

Awhile back, when my iPad was jailbroken, I ran a tweak called FullForce which would make most iPhone apps full screen on an iPad. I’ve included some older screenshots. It’s not perfect but if a simple tweak can do this…


#18

smartthings doesn’t even have a tool to migrate devices to new hubs, a more fundamental need for any user across different mobile device ecosystems. they haven’t and won’t fix this, so its best to just not worry about it :slight_smile:


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #19

Good point … I am definitely very, very worried :worried: about the lack of migration tool(s).

  1. Folks like us on the Forum, in particular, are more and more likely to have complex setups with lots of Devices, and, technically a distinct issue, lots of SmartApps. At the very least, having a de-reference layer between Location/Hub IDs, Device IDs, and SmartApp connections would be tremendously valuable.

  2. ActionTiles customers are building more and more complex Panels delivering wonderful value. We can only link to Device IDs, and unfortunately these change when SmartThings Customers must manually migrate to a new Hub. That means a complete “loss” of ActionTiles configuration as well. We could try to implement a de-referencing layer on our end; but that wouldn’t help the thousands upon thousands of customers using other SmartApps.


But how do you rank iPad vs Migration in priority?

(a) iPad is used by a huge proportion of customers (but is partly solved by ActionTiles), and the product is “fully functional” without an iPad app.

(b) Hub failures & Migrations are, especially in the unplanned case, rare; but are an extreme inconvenience for the growing set of power-users.


(Mark) #20

I’m also curious to hear who the OP has spoken to that shares the opinion that AT is impossible to use and terrible. Maybe this is an inappropriate attempt to highjack this thread, but I’m not the one that started by shitting on a community developer for filling in a hole that ST has been refusing to patch for over a year now (i.e. a functioning dashboard). Whether community-created dashboards are high-quality or not seems to be a totally separate issue from the lack of a native iPad app.