Need Help Catching Up on ST

I have had ST for years now but have not done anything with it for quite a while. To be honest, I hated when they forced the new app and hardly ever use it now. I just glanced at my setup today and I have all kinds of questions since I am sure some of my stuff no longer works. I am hoping to get caught up on the changes so I can know what things I have will still work and if there are alternatives to those that don’t.

Here are some of the things I setup long ago:

WebCore
AlarmDecoder
SmartLocks
Echo Speaks
Smart Lighting
Core
Alexa

My devices are mainly things like light switches, door locks, garage door opener, and sensors that come from alarmdecoder.

Based on all that, what do I need to know? I was looking for how to add/modify my smart door lock codes and could not find it. I know Echo Speaks has been dead for a while and last I looked there was no real replacement. I still hate the new app but I know I have no other choice.

Thanks in advance!

Go to the Life tab and add Smart Lock Guest access. Code management is in the upper left menu once you launch that app.

SmartThings is moving away from Groovy code for their smartapps and devices. With the exception of Alexa, all of those things you listed will be going away eventually. It was supposed to be end of 2021, but thats obviously passed and no update for the timeframe has been given. The new app does have a much improved Routine creator under the Automations tab of the app. So you’ll probably want to begin working on moving any existing automations in Webcore, Core and Smart Lighting over to them.

I’m not familiar with AlarmDecoder, so i’m not sure what the developers plan is for supporting the new SmartThings development environment. it looks like the developer @kevin_nutech hasn’t been active on this forum since 2017, so i’d probably start looking for an alternate solution for it.

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Maybe start with this…(the topic title is a clickable link)

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As far as automations/rules…

As @Automated_House noted, once the free groovy cloud goes away, anything which ran there, including Webcore and core and SmartLighting, also goes away. :thinking: and as he also noted, the rules engine that is built into the current 2022 version of the app to create “routines”:is much more powerful than the one from the original classic app, so you may find you can do a lot of things with it.

There is also a rules API, and the implication from the beginning was that it would be the replacement for Webcore, but official, and we’ve been told multiple times that it would have equal functionality to Webcore by the time it was officially out of beta. Only so far it doesn’t, and it hasn’t been all that popular yet. But they are still adding functionality to it, so maybe someday. The equivalent to Webcore “pistons“ are rules API “recipes.“ You can read more about it here:

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AlarmDecoder have their own forums and as of this post (March 2022) the situation seems to be that several people are looking at a potential integration with the new smartthings architecture but it’s not working yet and there’s no clear path forward. But you can ask there to get a more definitive answer.

Thanks for all of the replies.

Well there’s not much to say other than this sucks. Its pretty annoying that I had a nice setup working for my needs and now maybe 50% is working and the app still stinks. At this point, I am only able to use it to open doors and turn lights on/off.

I have never had the urge to go to a different product but maybe I should now.

Different things Will work for different people, and it’s hard to really evaluate the new architecture since it’s not fully here yet. :thinking:

As I’ve said in other threads, I myself am feeling mildly optimistic about the future of smartthings. I like the trajectory, I like the stated goals, I like what I’ve seen the community to so far with Edge Drivers. But as always, we will have to wait to see what we actually get.

My own relationship as an ordinary customer with SmartThings has changed significantly since I first bought a V1 hub back in 2014. I don’t use much custom code and I really want to limit the amount of tinkering the system requires since I have to pay someone else to do pretty much everything, even pop the batteries on a sensor to reconnect it to the network. (I’m quadriparetic.) so after two years of trying lots of different things including a V2 hub and finding that I just couldn’t get the reliability I needed for critical use cases, I started using HomeKit as well as SmartThings.

Then in 2018 they broke voice navigation for the ST app, and in spite of multiple promises from multiple staff members, it’s never really been fixed. And they added automatic discovery of LAN-connected devices, which I really didn’t want. (Our house has three flatmates, and one of them has completely separate systems. But his devices kept getting added to our smartthings account because we’re on the same LAN.) so at that point I shifted to a “hub optional“ setup. I still use smartthings, particularly for SwitchBot devices and virtual switches, and I still like a lot of things about it. It’s entirely possible that I will add an ST hub again once the transition to the new platform is complete in order to take advantage of Edge Drivers, including from local virtual devices. But I don’t know yet.

If you have a lot of groovy custom code-based functionality that you don’t see a way to replace in the new architecture, you might want to take a look at hubitat. It runs a local groovy implementation on its hub, including a Webcore version, And while it has its own pluses and minuses, and probably isn’t as suitable for someone looking for plug and play options, it has proven popular with power users who want that local groovy option. So just something to consider.

The most important thing is to know your own needs and priorities and then do the research to find a system that gives you a pretty good match to that. Don’t make any assumptions about the reliability, versatility, inter-operability, or power of any given candidate until you’ve drilled down into the details and talked with some people who are using it. Pretty much every company uses the same marketing buzzwords these days, but the reality of what they deliver for daily use can vary a lot.

I would spend the time finding and learning an alternate system, if it were me. Too much unpredictability with Smartthings.

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I have been using this ST hub for years. It was my first smart home purchase. I slowly added things and used it more and more. I then added some pieces that helped integrate my home better, like the Alarmdecoder and Echo Speaks. I did this not because I wanted to do more maintenance or fiddling with it. I did it because it was something that helped me tie my home together. The original app was pretty simple and easy to find things IMO.

Now things have changed a lot and sounds like they are going to continue to change again. I know change will happen but major changes that prevent previously working things from working anymore really sucks.

I get the fact that maybe some things are more built into the new app and that makes it easier in some respects. I’m fine with adapting to that. I have no loyalty or affiliation with groovy. I just want something that works, meets my needs, and isn’t a pain to keep running.

Right now some of the major parts of my smart home won’t work because of these changes. I really do not want to start over but not sure what options I have.

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My problem with moving away from Groovy means that we’re moving away from webCoRE as well. My home runs un webCoRE because all of my automation require the power and flexibility it provides. Even something as ‘simple’ as turning on the lights isn’t so simple when it’s dependent on things like - the outside lux level, the time of day, who is home, ‘override switches’ , home mode, etc, etc, etc. Then I have things like automatic adjustment of the thermostat based on geo-location/distance from home the closest person is, what season it is, etc.

Simply put, my automations are not simple enough to run under a simple system that SmartThings is building toward. Their model is to create a system that is for those looking for much simpler automation than mine. For me, Hubitat will likely be where I go when SmartThings pulls the plug on Groovy and webCoRE. because they run webCoRE.

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@JDRoberts when you said - you use Homekit as well as Smarthings - Did you mean, you have all your ST devices show up on Homekit through the SmartApp integration. Now that is going to stop as well.

I still like Smarthings and was planning on pulling the devices to HomeAssistant and then onto Homekit.

Got any other suggestions?

There are many devices with a direct integration to both Homekit and SmatThings such as Hue, Lutron, Meross, etc :slight_smile:

And with Matter on the horizon…. So many possibilities are to come :slight_smile:

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As @jkp said, I mostly try to buy devices that will already show up in HomeKit, smartthings, and Alexa. Ecobee, Meross, Lutron, Philips Hue, etc. there’s a list in the community – created wiki of devices that work with both HomeKit and smartthings:

Devices that Work with HomeKit and SmartThings - Things That Are Smart Wiki

Matter will bring some interesting things, but it’s not going to let you see smartthings – connected devices in the HomeKit app because Samsung has already said that a smartthings hub will not work as a “matter bridge,“ unlike some hubs from other manufacturers. The Samsung matter integration will be one way: matter devices will show up in the smartthings app. But it’s not going to expose its devices to apps from other companies. So I suspect it’ll be pretty much the same devices that already have both integrations now, but we’ll just have to wait to see what happens.

I do have some devices which only work with one system or the other and then I just use them with one system or the other. Most of those do also work with Alexa and I do sometimes use it as an intermediary between the two, but not often.

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So what would some good alternative options be?

I Saw a few things mentioned. I’d say Homekit is out for me as I am not an Apple fan so I don’t want to invest in their ecosystem. I’d love to be able to somehow use my old-school home security system, specifically all the sensors, with my home automation. That was the value that Alarmdecoder brought me but no longer works. Otherwise, I have different home automation stuff in my house with just a few automations, like door locking/unlocking, lights on/off, and notification when certain doors are open. I do have several Alexa devices so using that system with my home automation system would be great also.

Different things will work for different people, but in your specific case, bringing the home automation sensors in is what’s going to complicate the picture. That will require a more technically sophisticated system, so, yeah, probably SmartThings with Konnected, Hubitat (maybe with alarmdecoder, you’d have to look into that), or potentially Homeseer or Vera with something. Or consider making your security system altogether separate, which would let you pick a simpler home automation side, maybe even just Alexa routines.

You’re going to have several choices, but it’s definitely not a one-size-fits-all answer. There will be a lot of details to research.

Yeah I hear you. The home security system integration was really just so I could use the installed sensors. I have them all over my house so when they would show up in smartthings, I could create automation based on things like doors opening, etc. That was very nice to have.

I suppose I could go buy new wireless sensors and connect them directly to whatever hub I have. It just aggravates me that I had all I needed with ST but now I am losing it.

I do use Alexa with some things but doesn’t that require a compatible hub that it can attach to? Most of my devices are just standard zwave devices with a few other things like Ring cameras added on.

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Probably, as always, the first rule of home automation applies: “the model number matters.” If you want to use existing zwave devices then, yes, you need some kind of hub.

Yeah I am going to have to, otherwise I will have to replace several zwave devices. I think that’s more work and cost than I am willing to do.

Since Konnected was mentioned, will it continue to work with ST? I am asking because as it seems my Alarmdecoder is dead because it won’t work with even the current ST, I am wondering if buying Konnected would work now and after the ST change?

Tagging @heythisisnate