Removal of Contact Book Feature


(Toby Cth3) #22

Pretty much. It’s SmartThings’ way or nothing. Look back on the forum and you’ll see one discission after another that was made in a vacuum and then forced on the user base.


(Brian Smith) #23

Found out about this a few days early since I converted to a Samsung account and the feature disappeared without notification. Although I understand the need to move to something else (although I don’t know the product roadmap), there are two issues I have with this:

  1. This has not been a good notification or rollout of this changeover. (No, I’m not just complaining for the sake of complaining. Those that know me here know I’m a big cheerleader.) I was told it was gone AFTER I converted and said “where did it go?” I never got a list of “this is everything that changes when you convert.” Having been in IT for a very long time and worked for a software company and another that had a lot of clients…first rule of dealing with customers - SET THEIR EXPECTATIONS. SmartThings, PLEASE pay attention to this rule. It is literally rule number 1, even before “have a good product.”

  2. The central use of the contacts is now gone - the abstraction of the contact number from the person. With Contacts, I could say “Send to Brian” and I could then change my phone number 10 times over 10 weeks and only make one change in ST, the contact itself. I cannot stress how important that is as we continue to move forward. What happens if I want to have a friend who is checking on the cats to have access to notifications? What happens if I want different friends on different trips? …just change the number under the generic contact I set up. Now I have to update Smart Apps, Routines, WebCore Pistons (for advanced users), etc. Something that was centralized is now scattered everywhere.

I hope ST PMs take number two into consideration moving forward and we will deviate from the path of more complexity.


(Toby Cth3) #24

In my history of a user of this product they simply don’t care and nothing will change their mind. They are stuck in a developer focused ‘Dev Ops’ mentality where they are made to feel like they are above everyone else. I’ll say it again. Don’t go fucking with my house and the systems I elected to put in it. Period.


(Alex Guyot) #25

Correct, SmartApps which use the contact input type will not need to be recoded (although if updated anyway then they should consider removing code that references Contacts since they will no longer exist, but that will not be required).

Once Contacts are disabled on July 30th, users who have not yet updated their SmartApps will stop receiving notifications until they do so. However, when they open their SmartApps to edit them they will automatically be presented with the options for Push Notifications or SMS messages instead of the options for Contacts.

Users who do update their SmartApps before July 30th — as we are encouraging all of you to do in order to avoid missed notifications — will need to delete their existing Contacts before updating their SmartApps in order to get switched over to the Push Notification/SMS options instead of the Contact options.


#26

When you choose the options for push notifications it is to all/none of the users or is there anotber way to choose who sees the alerts?


(Brandon) #27

@Sbenjamin5105 It’s all or nothing.

SmartThings kills another differentiating feature. The decisions made by this company continue to amaze me. I’m not sure I can name a single other company that kills a widely used feature BEFORE implementing it into a migrating platform. Jeez.

The thinly veiled reason mentioned on the top is really quite silly. In isolation, the statement doesn’t even make sense. It’s very clearly a marketing person who is trying to deflect your train of thought to something else by the end of the statement…oh wow, Works with SmartThings products I already have! Wait…what?

Their own documentation still makes mention of the Contact Book being a new feature not yet enabled :roll_eyes:


(Justin Dybedahl) #28

Love how we were only given 7 days to prepare for this. The majority of my core pistons use this feature and I’m sure my wife is going to love getting all the notifications I normally get. This is not a good decision and someone in the management there at ST needs to reevaluate how you notify your customers of announcements. I’m sorry that I bought into this ecosystem if this is how I’m going to be treated. First rule of thumb, don’t get rid of a feature, regardless if it was half baked, buggy, or whatever reason you can come up with, before replacing it. You do realize that the majority of people haven’t been switched over to the new app. It’s been months and I’ve yet to see anything. How about replace this before ripping the rug out from us.


#29

I have my pistons configured in this way, my wife doesn’t receive my notifications, I need to change it?

The android device is my phone as a presence sensor, it will disappear too?


(Brandon) #30

Yes, the only way to partition out notifications now is by SMS message. Going backwards.

Just waiting for the “Removal of Custom Smart App” Feature…At least that’ll make my decision to stay easy.


#31

So this will disappear too? Because it’s the same device


(Jimmy) #32

@guyot or @Brad_ST how many people were using the Contact Book feature?


(Brandon) #33

No. Devices aren’t effected.


(Ben K) #34

@Brad_ST @guyot @SmartThings

How can we go about opening a dialogue on changing this looming deadline? If there’s a really good reason why this needs to be done, please let us know — the reason given in the original post is just fluff.

Please understand that many of us are software developers and even more of us are highly skilled technologists — and as such, most of us would appreciate open line of communication.

The biggest draw to SmartThings is the open, flexible platform. We have one of (if not the most) advanced home automation engines with webCoRE and removing the ability to target push notifications is a major step backward for the platform as a whole.


(Robin) #35

Why is this so important feature removed before you guys have something new ready?


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #36

My totally random no-inside-information guess…?

A development team is working on a relevant section in the new App and has run into potential data migration / conversion / compatibility issues with the Contact Book Feature of the classic App. Easiest way to eliminate this conflict? Just eliminate the feature from the classic App.

I reiterate that this is just speculation; but this would be a “justifiable” scenario.


Keep in mind that really anything that’s in the Classic App is subject to deprecation and might never be ported to the New App. For example, Routines no longer exist, and this immediately already breaks any SmartApp that calls a Routine (such as, yes, ActionTiles - which offers Routine Tiles to our Customers).

Will existing Routines eventually be ported - perhaps by autoconversion to Automations? Maybe? But will they be usable as “Routines” in existing published SmartApps? … probably not.


(Garrett) #37

Very disappointed this is being removed without a replacement or comparable feature, especially from the old app with a forward looking statement on the new app.

On the bright side maybe performance will improve with everyone losing notification functionally.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #38

That’s quite a myopic statement, I’m afraid…

This Community has a few thousand (max) active users. WebCoRE has a few thousand (max) active users.

SmartThings has several hundred thousand to one million Customers.

Samsung is marketing and focusing on the needs of the many, not the few. Yes: The Community and its various projects should be valued and should be considered as “market influential”, but with the numbers above, that’s not a realistic expectation.


(Geko) #39

…Says the guy who bet his house on SmartThings being open and flexible platform. Ironic, isn’t it? :slight_smile:


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #40

My house is safe from whatever changes Samsung makes; thanks for your concern, Geko. We’re well aware of the risks of our venture. We’ve never been “myopic”.

We’re quite aware of the changes in the nature of Samsung SmartThings - it is still quite open; just differently. We’re ready for some bumps in the road ahead, but have no reason not to be as “realistically optimistic” as ever.

Some other SmartThings linked ventures are on shakier ground though; I am genuinely concerned and empathetic. They’ve done great work for their customers which may not be applicable in the new ecosystem. I sure hope this forecast improves.

But let’s see what happens and discuss in future relevant Topics. Hate to blow this one example (Contact Book deprecation…) out of proportion. This isn’t the first time SmartThings has deprecated a feature with short notice. It won’t be the last.


(Ron Talley) #41

The fact that this feature had been “officially” unavailable for a while now was puzzling. Of course we “hacked” it back into existence because it’s actually a GREAT feature!

I rely on this feature and hate to see it go. Wish they would tell us the truth and not some BS marketing :poop: