Please bring back the original dashboard (Things Tile View)

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.


Oh no !
[Sorry couldn’t resist]

Can you at least consider providing layout options for the things on the screen. Now you have the list layout, how about an option to select a grid layout - with everything else remaining the same.


I have heard some people in the forums say “SmartThings is for automation, not control” but I’ve yet to hear anyone on staff say it.

And if that were SmartThings’ corporate philosophy, there would’ve been no reason for them to spend the money and resources to officially integrate with the Amazon echo as a connected home service. After all, voice control is all about the super remote. Not pre-scheduled automation.

So I would have to respectfully disagree that there is a corporate design restriction to automation systems working from predefined rules. It seems clear from their commitment to voice that they’re interested in providing both home automation and home control, which, after all, is true of most of the big systems in the space.

Again, if it were true that this kind of control is unimportant, companies like Insteon and Apple wouldn’t be showcasing voice options. :wink:


@ben Can there be an optional setting to turn on a tiled view? The single line reduces so much information when you used to be able to view 9 sensors at a time in the old Things view.

For us who have a lot of devices, the amount of sensors to see is important. OR, just make it so you can have a device in multiple rooms and we could set up a “temp” room and put 9 temperature sensors in that room to get a quick glance of the overall temperature of my house.

I use to quick scan the things display, and by the color of the icons etc, i could tell if something was wrong a window the didn’t have an open/close sensor was open because the temperature in that part of the house was higher, or i could quickly scan and see which doors were left open or where people were in the house depending upon what lights were on.

The ability to re-order and hide items in the Things will help, (where would you “unhide” something later though)?.. but a more compact view of more sensors is important as well.




@chrisb I agree with @JDRoberts on this one, if ST was ALL about automation then why do the echo or support the minimote? That makes no sense at all.

Home Automation for my environment has failed and caused the most hassle with the WAF (well Family Acceptance Factor), except for a few edge cases where the usage of it really is so typical that it falls into an ideal automation experience.

The home remote control experience is why I bought ST, because with 4 teenagers and my wife there is no way I can setup smart enough automation to make the house work and STILL be rather energy efficient. Remote control is the most useful part of it.

How would I auto “Movie Time”, when i want to use the same living room to watch a movie? Setup a Motion sensor in a box w/ narrow focus and wave over it?

The Remote control is as critical as any automation, automation is more ideal for a one or two person environment where things are more routine.



I have said it @JDRoberts. Usually in the context of the future and how we want to get to a place where you can leave your phone in your pocket, and have your home orchestrate its activities based either upon rules and routines you have setup or even from learnings it has had based upon its experiences with you.

That said, we are a long way from that. Still it is good to have goals. I feel it every time I have to open my app to turn on a light or fan. I hate it.

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How do Invring the matrix on the new app? There mist be a way, I can’t believe it got removed.

I’m not sure what you’re asking, but wanted to say that I love your people icons

If you’re wondering about reordering things, I don’t believe that is possible yet.


@ben It is ideal and a great goal Ben, but having remote control is still a key piece of why i use it, and I hope that doesn’t suffer or removed in favor of all automation.

Automation is great, but doesn’t always work. It is how with my Samsung TV it turned on when I power up my BluRay player and switches the input using the HDMI-CEC, which is AWESOME when I want to watch a movie. When I do the same with my PS4, but i’m turned it on so my kid can remote game with his PS Vita, I have to use the remote to switch the TV back to my movie.

Yeah, a typical smart phone sucks as a remote control device. But that’s not the same thing as saying everything should be automated based on predefined rules.

A smart watch will be a better control device for some things, Amazon Echo is definitely a better control device for a lot of things, A flic button will be a better control device for some purposes.

Choice is good, and human beings are not predictable. If I want waffles for dinner, or to sleep in on a workday, or to take a cold bath instead of a hot one, that should be up to me. And not just some statistical pattern.

I’m all in favor of improving rules-based automation. But the end goal isn’t a world without choice. It’s multiple parallel means of control which allow for both Predefined automation, and manual override based on the whim of the moment.

I am not a number.


[quote=“JDRoberts, post:23, topic:22178, full:true”]
I have heard some people in the forums say “SmartThings is for automation, not control” but I’ve yet to hear anyone on staff say it.[/quote]

I wouldn’t say it’s not for control… just that control isn’t the primary focus.

Well, yes and no. First, again control exists… it just feels like a secondary thought vs. primary – my opinion of course, but I think actions that ST has taken bear this out. Second, Voice control is via Echo is really only partly there. To the best of my knowledge you can’t do locks or modes or Hello Home actions without doing some behind the scenes tricks. And you can’t have ST talk to you through Echo either. So it still feels/seems like a partial solution to the control side of things… just like the dashboard was/is.

Upon further review… it seems clear I stated things too black and white in my post. As Ben is saying here, Home Automation is the ultimate goal. SmartThings is striving for Ultimate Home Automation… not Ultimate Home Remote Control. That doesn’t mean they have abandoned control or ignored it or that there won’t always been some level of control or access to control, but the primary focus is automation. Control is seems to be a secondary focus. This a focus, just not the primary one.

Again, using my stupid Cadillac analogy… GM surely don’t want a Cadillac that will fall apart if you try to use it to tow something. They surely created a strong enough chassis that it could handle it if pressed into duty. Heck, they even might include some things to make adding a hitch relatively easy and facilitate hauling. But they don’t design a Cadillac from the ground up as a vehicle made for hauling like they would a truck.

Two words: Cadillac Escalade.

escalade provides you with a lot of pull. Each one… comes with a standard trailering package, giving you all the equipment you need to tow an impressive 8300 pounds.

Scratch where it itches. :wink:

Still. People live unpredictable lives. I feel no amount of rules and/or sensors can automate every aspect of my smart home. I believe there should be some focus on using the app as a controller. Ideally, I would like a to see a tiles layout with tiles within tiles capability. I like the direction everything is going but a fully customizable tiles/grid dashboard would be nice. There are numerous threads about wired button controllers, smarttiles, wireless controllers to warrant more attention to these areas.

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For the record, in my initial analogy I said “Cadillac car” specifically to exclude the Escalade. :wink:

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Leaving the “Remote vs Automation” argument aside: It was a very useful feature and there was no reason to remove it.
I liked having a ‘birdseye’ view of all my devices and their status ( I had a neat row of all my door, temperature and motion sensors and thanks to the color coding I could instantly see what was open, now I have to squint to read the status written in TINY text… Checking if the garage door is closed now takes scrolling, squinting and not to mention a couple more very valuable seconds.

If you leave something somewhere, somebody will use it.
And like the OP Said, the Dashboard was what I used the most.

In fact, I’d love to have two things:

  • Customization dashboard (Have only the things that I want in there"
  • Single-thing / group of things widgets.

I was going to mention the same thing that Zraken and Thrash99er offered as solutions. Like any good OS (windows, osx, Google docs, etc) they offer many view options. Grid, list, sortable, and so on. We liked the Dashboard. why can’t we have the option to layout the way we want?

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How could ST release such a half-baked app update?

Features previously found in the app, like selectable sensors and reorder/filters,
should have always been in the updated release. How could you release an update with such
basic features like this removed?

I agree that the grid layout is much more useful. It would be more in line with other apps to give us a choice on how we want it displayed. I would especially like for the size of the icons to be adjustable-- either by size or having choices such as small, medium, large, etc…

I few enough SmartThings devices right now such that they all fit on the new layout, but I do not plan on that being the case in even the short term. I will very much hate having to scroll through even as few as ten things in order to find a specific device and I do not plan on stopping with ten things.

You can’t even customize the order! (correct me if I am wrong, please)

I must also take issue with the gray/light/whatever text that is being used. I find it very, very hard to read. In fact, I will normally close any website immediately if it uses that style of text, unless I am forced (by circumstance) to read it. It takes me at least half again as long to read anything in that style. I am absolutely certain that I am not the only one with this complaint! (Note that this website uses that style, as well, and, as a result, I spend almost no time here.)

I am all in favor of progress, but this is just change for change’s sake, despite the improvements.


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We need the ability to look at the status of everything at a quick glance… Luckily I did not get rid of the old dashboard stuff… But some day soon… I hope they don’t remove it… Everything is like Kim K. now rather than Taylor S. Please bring back the “swiftness” minus the shake. :wink: