I think it’s important to understand a ST philosophy or zen thing here…
ST was always conceived of as Home Automation, not Home Remote Control.
This is something I experienced right from the get go, way back when it first shipped from the KickStarter campaign. I expected and intended to use SmartThings as a super cool remote control device for my home… turning on and off stuff, unlocking doors, opening/closing garage doors from anywhere in the world. And while SmartThings can do this, that wasn’t what they originally intended for SmartThings to be.
SmartThings is home automation. When you want lights on, they come on. When you come home, your garage opens, your door unlocks. When you go to sleep, the house shuts down and turns off automatically without you needing to fumble with your phone. Everything just happens how and when it’s supposed to happen.
Because of this, using the smart app as a remote control I think has always been a sort of after thought for ST. I guess I would liken it to people saying: “Why don’t they put a trailer hitch on my new Cadillac car?” I mean yeah, a Cadillac probably can pull a trailer, but that’s not really the the designers where thinking when they made the luxury car.
Okay… but that’s just all philosophy junk, we live in the real world, so how does this effect things in the real world?
1.) I, personally, have found that even though I expected ST to be a remote control and planned to use ST as a remote control… I have found that I’m move more and more and more towards automation. Remote control is cool, but automation is cooler in my opinion. I think most people will find that the more they use ST, the less they’ll use the App to actually do things like turning on/off lights or opening garages, etc.
2.) But… ST does still need to be reminded at there are people who use it as a remote control and that there will always be some level of customer base who does this, and therefore they do need to pay attention to making “remote control” like functions possible and easy to use.
3.) Plus, ST has problems. There’s no getting around that. Hopefully V.2 hub will reduce these problems but there are real reliability concerns with ST on the automation said. When automation fails, the “app as remote control” becomes the primary backup option for most people. If using the app as remote control is horribly cumbersome, that makes it a poor experience for users.
So, long story short (aka, tl;dr)
In my opinion, ST will always think of “App as Remote Control” as a secondary (at best) function. It’s up to us users to politely remind ST that there are people who use it in this manner and they need to thinking about those users. This thread is a great example of how to do this.