Shaking to reveal device name is awkward

The title says it all. Shaking my phone or tablet to reveal my device names on the “things” view feels super awkward to me.

It’d be nice if there was another way to do this. Perhaps a toggle on the header or something that flips the tiles between text and icons. It’d also be nice if this toggler saved state, because a lot of people seem to want text always displayed instead of icons.


Completely agree. It’s somewhat maddening to me. I’ve done a workaround by grouping everything so I can put pictures in the icons, which is easier to identify, but this just means more clicks in the UI to accomplish anything. And it already takes way too many clicks for most things, IMO.

Another nice feature would be to allow all things to have an image icon of your choosing, rather than just groups.

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Let’s have a vote on a most hated ST “feature”. I bet this is going to be a winner. :smile:

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I keep motion off on my cell phone; every time I seem to move my phone in an odd way it performs an unwanted function - too many gee whiz features on devices these days! Just add a toggle on the page for icons/labels, simple, done!

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I actually would be more in favor of the panels looking like the Settings Panels in iOS. A small icon to the left, device name, quick on/off toggles and possibly an little “i” or gear icon beside the toggle if you would like to view more information or change settings about the device. The “tiles” seem to be a total waste of screen space for small devices and require unnecessary scrolling and extra taps.

Something similar to my poor mockup.


Font size should be configurable as well, even medium length labels get cutoff.

I like the layout of the panel mock up and if you created a group, tapping on it could expand the group list down slightly indented and inline.

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Really like the layout of the mockup Matthew provided.

As far as the shake feature, I have been reading how people don’t like this before I purchased (recently). Now that I have my hands on ST I am astounded by how bad this “shake” feature is and why so many hate it. Would like to hear feedback from ST on when this might get changed (“fixed” would be a better description).

I didn’t even know about it til recently, and yes it is dumb. I have to shake the sh*t out it to show. Afraid it will fall out of my hands, especially with ipad mini. I find there is so much wasted real estate on that screen. It needs to be maximized as we get more and more devices it will be crucial to have this designed better.

Yeah, this model @matthewcingram provided is awesome. Never understood why there isn’t a quick toggle on the main Things page.

Hey @Ben, if you’re looking for interns, I’m available next summer. Legal and Business. :wink:

Are you sure it isn’t UI design? :slight_smile:

You should send in a note and your resume to

As I try to make real use of ST the shaking thing is a serious problem and makes absolutely no sense. Why isn’t there an option to display the names all the time. Even if I shake it I have too many devices to look for what I want before the names go away and if I mount the device shaking is not an option.

How can I just leave the names up all the time – there can’t not be a way! In fact I just accidentally got it to show the names but as soon as I returned to the home screen the information went away is there is indeed a flag somwwhere … where?

i need names up all the time also. i have multiple thermostats and devices around my home that are exactly the same but i cannot tell them apart because i need the names active.

I want names too. 16 devices on the system now and a lot or identical. Except name.

What I don’t understand is why they won’t fix it. The shake capability already demonstrates that code exists for displaying and formatting the text. All it takes in one person to find the code that translates to ifshake->show text and change it to alwaystrue->show text… they could fix it and push it out in an hour, yet it never happens. That little stuff is what scares me about this company.

Many people use the SmartTiles dashboard app (formerly called actiON) as an alternative. It lets you display device names and customize which tiles are shown. It was developed by a community member and officially recognized by SmartThings so there is a one click install. Free to download, then you can make a contribution if you find it useful. Browser based, so it should work on most phones or tablets. You will find much discussion of it in the forums.

I have no idea why ST hasn’t changed the option in the official app, but at least there’s an alternative. :blush: