Is SmartThings falling behind?

No wonder the ST app GUIs are super frustrating with a large number of devices!! I always complained that it appears they are designed for users with a handful of devices with no regard to larger installs… Maybe I was right!


Amazon is focused on the market niche of easy to set up, easy to configure, easy to use. They are very much after the “Set it and forget it” market.

Why? Simple, it makes up the largest piece of the pie.

Why in the world would a company waste valuable and limited resources chasing down the small fry when they can own the potato farm? It just doesn’t make sense.

But, to answer the question, “Is SmartThings falling behind?”, in my unprofessional opinion, no, they are not. They are evolving. Samsung is using the SmartThings label in it’s mainstream products. It is incorporating Home Automation, actually “Smart Home” technology into everything. There is a definitive market out there for smart things, and the ones that seem to the layman to be the smartest are the intuitive one that take verbal commands and talk back to you with answers. ie, Alexa.

It is not by coincidence that Amazon just release a $60.00 Alexa enabled microwave… that works with Samsung SmartThings… that produce washers/dryers/refrigerators/ and a bunch of other things. Two companies that are competitors producing products that work together. Is there a Samsung Smart Microwave?

We, the power users of SmartThings are nothing. We make up such a small part of the concept that we honestly do not matter. But, at the same time Samsung is utilizing resources on us. Why?

Simple. We are the alpha/beta market of the future. We push everything to the limit and beyond. We find the bugs, we fix the bugs, we are the bugs. We do not know the big picture that’s going on, but if you want an idea, just remember that all that matters is the $$.

So, no, they are not falling behind. They are no longer the entity we bought into years ago. They are a name that is a market cornerstone. They are here to stay, at least in name form because they will continue to evolve.

Don’t believe me… oh hold on, my fridge just sent me a text to tell me that I’m running low on eggs… let me tell Alexa to order those for me… the local grocery will deliver them by 5pm. Awesome!


Hey! #geeklivesmatter


I wish they all realize that they can get more from us if they work harmoniously together instead of competing for the same services against each other. No company is the best at everything, every time. Amazon seems to get the message by their recent Microsoft strategic partnership (see Skype and Alexa-Cortana friendship). I hope Homekit works out a deal with Nest (see Apple joins Thread Group) and Samsung gets in the middle and pleases all of them. Lol


Pretty well said. I would add to $$ matters that brand also matters as a key path to more $$. Power users can have a profound impact on brand. Just ask Jeep.

Speaking of predictive, check out HomeKit cameras under IOS 12 with the third party HomeCam app. Shazaam! :wink:

In my tests earlier this summer, iOS 12 suggested relevant HomeCam shortcuts at different times during the day based on my habits of checking my HomeKit cameras when I was on vacation and away from home. Siri’s predictive system reminded me to ensure everything was okay at home without having to manually set reminders for myself. Even better, because shortcuts are supported everywhere, I even created a “home security” shortcut in the Shortcuts app that, among other things, loads a live video feed from HomeCam as a native action in just a couple of seconds.


Personally, I went with z-wave initially because that’s what my ADT Pulse could speak and I didn’t know how lame it’s Skill was with Alexa.

But I stuck with Z-Wave because it was an industry standard that meant I could swap out the hub (or join it) with a SmartThings or Wemo solution.

It would cost me some Echoes, but I can even swap out Alexa for Google Home if I wanted to.

Where I’m stuck is that I have 13 or so z-wave switches wired in and that is something I don’t want to re-wire (or hurt the WAF at this point)

I don’t have WebCore installed. The ST app’s routines could be better, but they’re better than Alexa’s. Like the other guy, as a developer, I don’t want to spend this much time coding on my house.

If they made an Echo+3 that also had z-wave, I’d strongly consider dumping ST, or replacing it with that when it dies some day.

I’m at the crossroad of heavily into Alexa, but technically able to jump ship. The overall industry still can’t solve a simple thing like a z-wave/zigbee lamp, they keep foisting smart bulbs on us. I would bet that Amazon is going to get there first now that they’ve thought of Clocks and Microwaves.

As home automation becomes more desirable and more expected I think there will be a trend for home renovators to fit out by default. Sadly when I look at the fragmented UK market I can see proprietary brands such MiHome or LightWave dominating there. You can walk into ScrewFix and buy a job lot of switches and sockets that are simple to fit, reliable , value and look the part.
After a year owning ST I still cannot find the right products to do the same. In essence the only way is to buy another brand and try and hack ST into speaking to it. It really goes against my purist grain to buy additional hubs for each brand of device. It goes against the grain to use wifi devices as well - as it is usually a bad design choice - but for some reason they always seem to be so much cheaper than Zigbee. Why is that?

As an ex automation engineer with fair scripting skills I should find controlling this stuff a breeze but having dipped into native ST , WebCore and SharpTools and can’t help feeling that something is missing.
To programme HA I really want to be able to drag and drop function block style to build the inputs, logic and outputs that I want. Most people are better with something graphical. (I could see something like this working as a bolt on to WebCore with the script auto generated). Maybe there is even a open source Function block GUI front end that could be utilised. Most of the other Graphical programming environments I see slant towards a scripting style (e.g. AppInventor) whereas I think a function block style would be usable by ordinary folk.

Wi-Fi devices are usually cheaper just because there’s a bigger consumer market right now.

The good news is that now that Amazon is including a zigbee coordinator in their new version of the echo show (releasing in the U.K. in a few weeks) We should start to see a lot more zigbee Devices, and at a lower cost.

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Does any hub (SmartThings or other) provide local control of Wi-Fi devices?

Is local control generally confined to zigbee or zwave?

Are there any other popular protocols that facilitate local control?

Sure, some. It just depends on exactly what you were looking for. For example, the harmony home hub is quite popular with people who have RVs because it does work without Internet and just the local Wi-Fi, although you have to have Internet to set it up the first time. But it only has very very simple schedules.

Apple’s HomeKit runs everything locally except voice recognition, and works with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth or Lutron devices which are certified to work with HomeKit. You can also get other devices to work with it if you use Homebridge or a similar integration.

SmartThings has implemented this on a case-by-case basis, so the integration with the Phillips hue bridge will work, but I think the integration with Harmony does not. Although things may be changing with the new platform.

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Very interesting.

Yes, the hue integration with SmartThings works great and is local from hub to hub.

But that is not really my question.

For example: Do you have an amazon link for a Wi-Fi in wall switch that works locally with HomeKit? Or something like that?

I have one Wi-Fi tip-link brand plug-in outlet that I bought a couple of years ago. It talks with the cloud, and therefore I would assume does not have any facility to control locally? Not sure?

I have been mostly buying zwave or zigbee when I want to ensure local control with SmartThings.

But if markets/technology change I want to be ready.

Am I understanding that you want something that works with both smartthings and with HomeKit? There aren’t many such devices, but there are some. There’s an article in the community – created wiki that lists them:

If you want to see the full list of all HomeKit accessories, it’s at the following link, but most of those will not work with SmartThings:

Thanks again, not sure what I want.

In general I am “pro” for SmartThings. But if reliability gets worse, at some point I will look for other solutions.

All important automations I have running local, so that cloud problems have little effect.

But then you limiting total functionality.

For example, if HomeKit ran everything local, and I could buy all Wi-Fi devices, that might be a technology solution for the future?

I’ll quote @ogiewon from another thread, Hubitat is certainly something to explore:


I gave up trying to “future proof” for home automation about a year and a half ago. The technology is just changing too fast. :rocket:

Instead, I shifted to a mobile phone type model. I set aside a certain amount of money each month to pay for services and equipment, and I buy each individual device expecting to replace it in three years. And that includes the hub. If I end up using a device for longer than that, that’s a bonus, and I have more money in my home automation budget to play with new gadgets. But I don’t budget for a smart light switch the way I budget for a dumb light switch anymore.

That said, my own favorite light switch is the Lutron Caseta working through the Lutron SmartBridge Pro. Very well engineered, doesn’t put any extra burden on my Wi-Fi network, and works today with SmartThings, HomeKit, and IFTTT.

I personally don’t want to have more than about 20 total WiFi IOT devices Because they use up a slot on the router and you can run out of slots pretty quickly. By using bulbs That work with the hue bridge, sensors that work with the hue bridge, and lutron switches, I really lighten the load in terms of Wi-Fi addresses. But if you can make it work at your house, go for it. :sunglasses:


I discovered this on an Amazon Echo forum, in talking with a UK person.

UK home automation protocols are not the same as the US.

I googled the heck out of trying to find z-wave or zigbee switches/outlets for a UK person who wanted to know if the Echo+ was a good idea for them because all they could find was LightWave stuff. I couldn’t find any.

Here in the US, I can walk into Lowed (a bigbox hardware store) and easily buy Z-wave and zigbee switches and outlets to wire my home up. ST loves that, and I am certain was the primary reason it was invented. There’s a few competitor hubs that also support z-wave and zigbee, so I am future proof in that I can change hubs without re-wiring my house again.

If I had a Zigbee house, I could dump ST and buy an Echo+ or Show2 and be just fine (sans better automation scripting with ST).

I don’t know what the most common protocols are in the UK. Maybe LightWave. But I am certain it isn’t z-wave or zigbee. Because of that, I don’t see how/why a UK person would want an ST, it’s primary protocols aren’t viable over there.

ZigBee and Zwave work fine here in the UK. Just the frequency is different. LighWaveRF is about too, they was a large player but not sure if I would say that anymore or not.

Only difference is some manufactures don’t want to make the separate frequency so we don’t get all the products the US does.

Edited the above as it didn’t make sense


Zigbee frequency is the same. Probably one reason why SmartThings own devices are zigbee.

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That depends on how you define “protocol” in this context. The messaging rules are the same regardless of geography. It’s only the radio frequencies used that are different (and only in some cases).

How “fine” you would be would depend on what sort(s) of Zigbee device(s) you had, as the Echo+/Show2 support for them is still limited compared with ST, Wink, et al.