OPEN LETTER or PLEA - Please give me some guidance about investing time in Smartthings

But that’s irrelevant here. The reason Samsung doesn’t give out a timeline for new features, is that they have decided there is no net benefit to do so. And they aren’t alone in the tech industry: Apple doesn’t announce features of the next iPhone in advance of one official press release or reveal event (when the device is already complete and headed to mass production). Amazon doesn’t publish a timeline of the features they plan for the next update(s) to Alexa’s software. Most consumer product companies do not layout the future publicly - but some choose to.

Sorry Terry, that’s not a like for like comparison. Both Apple and Amazon do give pre-release versions of their OS to developers on a strict NDA basis, they then release the product when it’s finished (allowing for bugs). As the Apple reason, for no early announcements, is they have a commercial product that the ‘announcement’ is a major part of their marketing campaign, thus early leaks undermine that announcement. Amazon on the other hand are releasing products where there isn’t the same requirement for ‘external hackery’ to make them work as required (excepting bugs of course). I think you would agree, to some degree, that the release of the ‘new’ version of the smartthings app is what would be best described as a beta release, given the number of features and DHs that are missing.

If you want to know the roadmap or timeline of the product you are buying, just don’t buy a product which doesn’t offer you that - and best of luck that whatever product you find actually delivers on time and according to specifications.

That of course is one viewpoint and I understand why you say it, however, there’s a better way. Try to work with an organisation that’s got it 70% right to improve it till they get it nearer to 100% right (of course 100% is never possible). The only way to do that in my opinion is to actively lobby and push the management team to work in a way that’s more conducive to the whole communities benefit, if the current management team are unable to provide that capability then either help them acquire the skills or in the last instance lobby to get them replaced by people that do have the skills.

Given your role in the development of action tiles how cheesed off would you be if all that time and effort got flushed because people didn’t have the sense to recognise the opportunity and their own shortcomings?

It’s a free market and you’re a consumer. You can “plea” all you want - but we have observed how Samsung operates SmartThings. If that’s unsatisfactory to you, then you can choose to not be one of the millions of customers of SmartThings. They won’t miss you. Harsh? Nope, just reality - businesses exist to execute whatever strategy they want and hopefully maximize profit of their shareholders. If that leaves opportunities open for other companies, then other companies enter the free market and operate however they choose as well.

What I’m hearing is there does appear to be a gap in this market for someone to develop an infrastructure in a more co-operative and less obtuse way, smartthings should start to think about the risk to their business model if it’s that obvious to me.

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There are lots of existing alternatives to SmartThings with very different development models. Apple’s HomeKit puts reliability Right at the top of their list, and you can delay an update for as long as you want. Lowe’s Iris, Wink, Homeseer, and even Insteon Are all popular alternatives. People who don’t want to do it themselves can call their local cable company and probably get a decent alternative, although they will pay a monthly fee. Amazon is regularly updating the capabilities of echo plus, and just added sensors last week. Lots of companies are looking at this space and approaching it in different ways. As a potential customer you have many different choices now.

But I think the thing that may be most helpful to you is to understand that the Samsung smartthings business model is not about selling individual hubs. And it’s not about creating a hub-based code platform that other companies might license (again, they don’t hold any patents for the hub-based system, so they don’t really have anything to sell that regard).

Based on all their public marketing for the last couple of years, what they really want for the consumer market is a way to continue to sell $6000 refrigerators and smart televisions, and the future means those have to be able to connect to some kind of IOT options even if most people won’t use them. ( for the commercial market, as I mentioned, Artik is the product.)

They’ve already told us that most smartthings customers have fewer than 15 devices and use only the built-in features, no custom code of any kind. So that’s what they need to replicate in their TV-friendly system.

The device list in theIr keystone ad shows a refrigerator, washer, television, and robot vacuum (all Samsung products)— and one lightbulb. :wink:

The power users in this forum don’t represent the market they’re going after, So the features we would like to see are not what is driving the development path.

It all makes sense when you look at the Samsung strategy overall. It may not be what we’d like to see, but it’s not a bad business strategy per se.


Thanks for posting a patient, positive, and accurate perspective, JD…

Unfortunately, all that comes to my my mind, is “oh gee… Not another one of these well-intentioned, but confoundingly naive and cocky folks who think they can change a $ billion corporation with a forum post”. :pensive:

@stilllearning - I have to bow out of this conversation before it puts me over the edge. Nothing personal.

All you would need to understand reality is just read the dozen or more existing topics/threads in the Community that happen to have exactly the same tone and points that you wrote above. Literally, incredibly - it’s like cut and paste. :flushed:

We should really index all the posts with this theme. Can you come up with a #tag, @JDRoberts? :slightly_smiling_face:

I guess I cannot in good faith say that @stilllearning’s sentiment is “wrong” — It’s just not applicable to this product / platform. It’s a fantasy, maybe?.. Well, that’s the most generous way I can put it. Been here since Day #1; I’ve heard it all before. So I’m certainly too jaded to offer you any empathy.



#armchairCTO :stuck_out_tongue:


Love this, but the problem is most of the posts of this type are just individual comments in threads on other topics. I really don’t want to tag the whole thread to identify those couple of posts and it could get very confusing. I can give you a couple of examples:





And my personal favorite:


ohhh man… did I step in it… I’m just having a little fun responding to @tgauchat’s request for a hashtag and you come out swinging trying to compare legacy sizes. Me? I’m just a budding Millennial living in my single mom’s basement subsiding on Cheeto’s and bong hits waiting for my major league Xbox gaming career to get off the ground. Or I might just be lying to impress you. :kissing_heart:


#armchairCTO is an honorable distinction that many have achieved around here. Is too bad that certain people are not around to award you a beer badge, because you certainly deserve one for your efforts :smile:



I made a top 10 list :star_struck:


Me too! For the record I switched to a cheaper hub and use Alexa to control it. It’s been nearly rock solid stable.