Pros/Cons of SmartThings or Apple HomeKit

I have a SmartThings hub, a few switches, a few bulbs, and a couple motion sensors. I have just gotten started into automating our home and have a few issues with SmartThings or more specifically SmartApps (my biggest issue is lights don’t come on to specified settings in the trigger, they return to the previous state or sometimes random).

As I’m getting more involved, I’m starting to wonder if it would be wiser and less hassle to slowly grow with the Apple Homekit environment. Our ecosphere is very Apple oriented already and I’d really like a product with built-in Siri integration.

What would be the pros/cons of staying with SmartThings over just waiting for Homekit to continue to grow and go with it?

While Homekit is slowly growing it is a much smaller and more simple solution compared to SmartThings. I would look into the Homekit limitations before considering it as a true alternative.

My 2 cents: Generally/broadly (and I know this isn’t true in every case), iOS solutions tend to be designed to be simpler/easier to use but can come w/limitations to user customizations, and Apple ecosystems tend to be less open and constrain third party developers ability to enhance/extend/change the experience. Basically, Apple likes to control the end-to-end experience and constrains HW, FW, and SW to do so. Apple systems also tend to have a price premium.

The best “feature” of SmartThings IMHO is this forum and its active developers and participants. Things here move at warp speed rather than corporate speed. But this is still much more of a “hacker” environment than I would ever expect w/Homekit.


Every system has its own pluses and minuses, so it just depends on what your own particular needs are.

As documented in a couple of different places in the forum, I moved most of my critical home automation over to homekit about a year ago because as a person who is quadriparetic I need reliability. However, it has a lot fewer features than SmartThings does.

I keep hoping that SmartThings’ reliability and stability will improve, as that’s really my only concern about the system, but they’re just not there yet.

So different things work for different people. SmartThings is definitely not a “set and forget” System at the present time, but it’s undoubtedly one of the most versatile systems available, so if you like adding the latest and greatest devices on a regular basis, it’s hard to beat in that regard. And the community is outstanding. But it does require a lot of ongoing maintenance right now.

One of the uses that I’ve kept SmartThings for is when I want to track something from more than just the moment of the trigger event. For example, as of iOS 10.3, HomeKit can now tell me when the linen closet is open. But SmartThings can tell me if the linen closet has been left open for three minutes. Or if the guestroom window is open and rain is expected.

So for simple, reliable, and very low maintenance, HomeKit scores high. But SmartThings is a much more powerful system that can do much more complex logic. Just not necessarily right at the moment when you want it to. :wink:


Hands down by far and away THE best feature of SmartThings.

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Thanks for your input. Sounds like I need to determine if I have a reason for the customization of SmartThings or not first. Right now, I’m leaning more towards going with a product that can tell me the door is open and we turned this light to green at 50% brightness with a high success rate. I’m not sure I need the product that can tell me the door has been open for 4 minutes and maybe we turned the light on to your specified settings.

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