I’m sorry, but I need to rant about the new SmartThings app. Maybe I’m late to the party here, but everything has worked fine without migrating to the new app, so I haven’t cared too much. This weekend, I had some free time to mess around with it, so I decided to create a new automation in the new app just to try things out. It looks nicer, anyway. But everytime I hit save, it gave me an error.
So, whatever. I hopped back to the classic app, and… it asks me to log in?
Long story short - the new app deleted my hub (and performed a factory reset on it!), along with all my devices, integrations, everything, while trying to create an automation. Or maybe it was something else like me messing around with room placements or whatever. But I certainly never told the app to delete or remove anything.
So, after contacting customer support, who was of zero help (because apparently backups aren’t a thing they care about, and that’s not something we can do either), logging in to the apps became an issue. Juggling between the newer Samsung login + the OG SmartThings login was clear enough but wouldn’t let me log in on my phone (but it would on my tablet). I got it figured out but it took nearly an hour to get my personal devices logged back in.
My wife has the SmartThings app on her phone. I have yet to be able to get her presence functionality working, despite her phone showing up in the Things list. I can’t even log her into the classic app any longer.
Now, the app itself:
- What is that top banner on the dashboard? It has useful information, but then transitions to a banner ad. Remove it and everything else gets funky placement and you can’t see that useful info any longer. Add it back and you have an ad on your app’s home page for a product and ecosystem with hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per user invested in it.
- Presence sensors don’t appear at all in the new app, or at least they don’t seem to. On the Classic app, somehow I now have TWO presence sensors for my phone. One doesn’t work at all - it just always says I’m present. That’s useful /s
- Adding devices used to be a simple process - hit add and it would find whatever’s looking to connect. Now you have to track down the exact product you’re looking for. All the icons are boxes that all look the same and have zero organization. And custom DH’s are not supported here either, making this app completely useless for unofficial or generic devices.
- Device information shows literally nothing of use. Where are the logs? Where are the button pages? Custom DH’s don’t seem to do anything useful beyond presenting information. Thermostats are basically a joke on this app.
- Swiping from room to room is tedious with even a smaller house with a lesser count of devices.
- Did they flat-out remove routines? Why? The new automations seem like they’re trying to make their own IFTTT, but it doesn’t replace routines at all, especially since they are single-condition execution.
- Did they flat-out remove smart apps? That’s a huge reason why a lot of people use SmartThings.
Basically, the new app feels like the dummy version of home automation - making things as simple as possible. Which is great for turning on and off things, but setting up a real automation system in your home? No way.
Anyway, I just needed to rant. I’m sure there are things I’ve missed, but I just can’t get over how terribly bad this app is. The classic app sure has places where it could use work, but, hey, at least it works.