Need Testers: Android as Speech Device/Alarm

Update to the updates: 30 Dec 15

New Testing Needed

The newest LANnouncer includes volume controls (already published on the web site, not on Play) and photo/video taking. Due to SmartThings bugs (the documentation doesn’t match the functionality), you can’t automatically see them in the SmartThings app. I’m working through what to do - e.g. Dropbox or leave them, as currently, on the device for later perusal.

This could use some testing, from technical users who understand their Android device well. e.g. they know which “card” is really the removable one, what exfat and fat32 are, perhaps have used curl. Anyone interested?

Update: This is in good shape. You can view the current conversation, *Android as a Speech/Alarm Device released! *, here. The Google Play link is here. And the web page with better instructions and most necessary files is here.

A few days ago I got annoyed at the inability to chime when a door opens, so I decided to write a device driver. Not quite as simple as I expected, with the undocumented limitations of SmartThings. I have no idea when HubAction will return to Parse(), for example, or why I cannot create a custom attribute, etc. But, that all said…

I now have a solution for turning an Android tablet/phone on the same subnet as the SmartThings hub into an output device for SmartThings. It supports:

  • Alarm (Strobe/Siren/Both)
  • Tone (Beep)
  • Notification (which is via Toast, so probably not super useful without a sound)
  • Speech (Text-To-Speech)

It requires the SmartThings driver (LANdroid) and an app/service on the Android device (currently I call it TTSService, but that will probably change.) If you want alerts sent to an Android device not on the subnet (i.e. your phone when you’re not on the home WiFi), you also need the Remote LANdroid smartapp, which sends SMS alerts (yeah, it can clutter up your SMS box a bit); the same TTSService watches for those too.

No support for outputting to iOS devices currently.

All installed, it seems pretty seamless; speech and alerts come through and it all just seems to work. I’m using Big Talker to configure events to speech; the alarms (etc.) work from SmartThings code expecting to support them.

I’m looking for a small number of willing beta testers - people who can help me test the edges of this before I publish it, just to ensure it works for others too.


I’m in. Have a few tablets around the house and would love to have this feature.

I’m only available to test in the evening, Pacific time, but would be interested as well I have multiple Android devices, rooted and non-rooted. I also have an AT&T femtocell for testing the public network capability.

How is this different from Media Renderer? I use that but I don’t always get consistent results. My android device seems to lose connection and I have to reboot my Nexus 7 (2012) tablet all the time to get it to work.

However, I am very intrigued by your app and I wouldn’t mind trying things out.

I’d love to give this a try. I run an old android phone in my office and bluetooth it’s audio to a echo and I run an Android tablet in my main living area with it’s audio bluetooth to an echo. Currently use a solution with VLC Thing, VLC Server, AirFoil, AirSpeaker, so simplifying it would be awesome.

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I wasn’t aware of Media Renderer; the SmartThings site doesn’t make it easy to find such things, at least until you’ve been around a long time and know the precise magical incantation to search on.

From a quick glance, Media Renderer is using DLNA on a specific LAN port and uses some external (AWS-hosted) services that LANdroid doesn’t. My LANdroid device uses the Android TTS engine, should be quite a bit simpler to get working, and will work to remote cellphones with the use of the “Remote LANdroid” SmartApp using SMS.

But had I known of Media Renderer, I might not have written LANdroid. :wink:


Ignorance at times it’s a bliss. At least for the rest of us, in this case :smile:

I am interested in trying, but I can’t commit to full testing.

Well, it’s always good to have choices! And if yours is a simpler solution, then I’m all for it, especially if it will be more reliable.

I appreciate your hard work!

As far as I can tell, LANdroid is rock-solid reliable.


Just curious, how long is the delay from the triggering action until the sound or speech is played?

I’ll test if you need more users

Very cool project! I love the idea of using the local network to push the events!

I developed an app called SharpTools which provides widgets and Tasker integration on Android. Using the Tasker integration, you can achieve some of the same things (beeps, media playback, text to speech, etc). SharpTools allows you to subscribe to events for your desired attributes then has the SmartThings cloud push those events to your device using Google Cloud Messaging which is usually near instantaneous (when the SmartThings cloud isn’t having issues!).

I love your idea of having a dedicated TTS utility - especially with local LAN functionality (even if SmartThings still forces a round-trip to the cloud!).


It varies, but seems to run about 10 seconds. The SMS channel takes longer than the LAN channel, as you’d expect.

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I just realized I don’t know how to distribute a beta this way.

Please send me an email/message me an address that I can send the test files to.

You should know how to instantiate a SmartThings device driver and SmartApp, and how to sideload an Android APK. Most of that won’t be necessary after the initial tests, of course. :wink:

You can select staged alpha / beta rollouts using the Google Play developer console. You might need to set up a group and have people join, then you’d select that group as the people that can have access to it.

I would consider looking into it for the long run, since it allows you to stage rollouts of future versions without dropping the whole thing to “production” and breaking everybody’s device. :smile:

This is the approach that @joshua_lyon had with SharpTools and I think it worked pretty well.

Thanks. I’m looking into that.

Meanwhile I’ve sent the beta pack out to those who have sent me an email address.

Thank you to my test team!

Version Alpha 2 is out. With a much expanded manual.

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I would love to be involved if you are still looking for people to test.


I’m in if it’s useful to you.

I’ve been playing with this app for the last couple of days and so far, it’s been rock solid. I did go a little crazy when I made so many things ‘talk’ that it got really annoying and the talking would run into each other. I did try to up my WAF by having a door contact say “I Love You” but she just got creeped out by it. I guess it’s just the nerd factor in me :slight_smile:

I did notice a little a little problem with the UI where it looks like Siren is overlaid on top of each other. I just replace the word ‘Siren’ in the device type code where it said label:‘Siren’ with a space to solve that problem. I think the original word Siren is part of the icon.

On my setup using a Nexus 7 (2012), pressing the main button tile and Strobe would crash the TTS software. The Speak and Notify tiles do nothing. However tone and siren do work.