Should SmartThings be Called Unreliable Things?

Home automation still seems to be at the stage of home-brew computer club days of personal computer era. We need appleII and Macintosh for it to really take off from enthusiasts and geeks to general public.

I thought smartthings would be that Mac , but perhaps now it is somewhat like apple II. It has the spirit of ‘works out of the box’ mentality but still relies a lot on the users’ own resourcefulness to make it work the way they want them to. Hopefully this will change over time and smartthings could be ‘it just works’ solution for everyone someday but it may take some time.

Getting a status page up is a priority. Bank on it soon.


I have a number of additional suggestions. First, you might want to consider including some sort of bug report functionality in the app so that when something goes wrong, I can hit that button, type in a couple of sentences as a description, and it lands in one of your support queues for grouping/triage. Second, we need to know a list of steps we can take to get our system back to as clean or as steady of a state as possible; is there an order by which we should reboot the hub, close the mobile app, install/uninstall the smartapps, etc? Then we know if it’s our problem, or yours. Finally, I’m not sure what sort of testing frameworks or procedures you’ve implemented, but I get the feeling like your release processes or cycle is a little out of control. Your code roll outs need to be more cautious, and they should be continuously communicated so we, your customers, know what’s going on. If I know a major version just rolled out on your backend cloud, I’m going to be a little more understanding if things are glitchy over the next few days. Infact, many of us here work in technology and our general awareness of your code changes may actually help you isolate issues much quicker.

Re: the comment on early adoption, I agree that we all signed up for a product that is still a work in progress. That being said, we also all paid money for our setups and we should expect better than just a pretty raw alpha/beta experience.

I too have been facing the same problems that many of you have experienced; however, this hasn’t deterred me from the system. Like many of you said, ST is still an early system and has seem some dramatic growths over the last year. We’re all early adopters here, and with that, there will be some pains.

This system isn’t for everybody, especially those that aren’t able to sit through a few bumps on the road while the system irons things out.

That said, for those who have the need to have the latest and greatest, and willing to go along for the ride, there’s nothing out there that compares to SmartThings. There’s a few systems that are coming out that have different approaches, but what makes ST special is its community and it’s vision of creating an eco system where everything talks to each other. This is a vision that is not easily accomplished without a bumps and glitches. ST has already shown that it has great capability (especially true if you started playing with the IDE and created a few things of your own) and time will only makes things more stable.

I agree that there may need to be some increase stability in some areas so that we can rely on it with greater confidence, but for me, it’s simply checking my app when I get to the office to make sure things triggered properly. For me that’s okay, for some it may not be. If not, there’s some simple wemo switches to hold you over until you’re ready to jump back on something a little more sophisticated.

Honestly, I have more problems with my zwave devices that I do with the ST platform, and I’m looking to replace these as soon as I get the disposable income to do so.

Also, try following their twitter. It’ll give you updates on new development and widespread issues:

With all what I said above I do still enjoy ST experience very much. It’s just that it wasn’t as seamless as I imagined. So I wouldn’t recommend it to my non-tech nerd friend yet, but if I had to vote for any platform for most likely to be ‘home automation for the rest of us’ it would be smartthings.

I agree with OP. There was too much design effort on making the app cute and sales oriented and not enough time to make the system trustworthy. Early adoption is an unacceptable excuse for incomplete work.

I experienced this same pattern with the Lowes IRIS. And, like IRIS, the customer service reps were the best. But that is not enough. I suggest less time spent on superfluous features and cute feature names and more of an adult discipline applied to the core features. ST is not a toy or a video game and real people with real lives rely on it. That is a legitimate expectation since that is from the ST marketing materials and web ads.

In my view the clock is ticking.

We have now deployed this site for helping to quickly determine if there are platform issues (and it’s not just you).

You can signup there to be updated as well.

That’s awesome @ben_edwards thank you.

@ben_edwards Nice. That’ll be helpful.

@ben_edwards, thank you.

I agree with a lot of what is been said in this post. I just wish it wouldn’t take long to add new products, especially new Z wave products.

I’ve been having problems with my light switches reporting incorrectly / not responding to commands / responding in an extremely delayed manner for the past few days.

I’ve tried updating, restarting my hub. No luck.

Are there still backend issues? The status site says everything is operational.


No platform issues to report. Can you email us at or hop on live chat at


Could not agree more. Stuff just does not work and no indication of things not working. The presence tool said I was home when I was out of the country. Sonos just does not reliably and the basic stuff is just not reliable. Multiple e-mails to support have not helped.

This product is a hobby not a solution today. Do not trust it for anything like elder monitoring or for that matter remembering to turn off a light.

A post was merged into an existing topic: Cloud (partially?) Down: … was IDE / API Web Pages Timeout “Too many connections…”

I love smartthings. It is very amazing. I have 37 devices in just a few months.

I am very disappointed that desired actions do not trigger almost 30 % of times. I hope the new hub and local processing may solve some of this.

Yes but why pay for yet another hub when the first one doesn’t work half the time?

Because there is no other system on the maket that operates more reliably and is just as flexible as the ST platform is. I’ve been with ST for about a year now, and things have improved significantly. Even though I was frustrated at times, I soon realized that it was the complexity of my automation and the fact that I was using non official devices and labs apps that were giving me the most grief. I was only able to see the true value when I scaled down my design and used only tested products. I am not saying that ST is perfect, but I know that is much better than anything I tried. I have over 100 ‘things’ connected and the V1 hub orchestrates them beautifully. The upcoming v2 can only make things better!

There are a lot of great things about smartthings v1, but it’s certainly not “the most reliable” home automation system on the market today. In fact that was a big reason for many of the changes that will come with V2. They know that. It’s been discussed many times by smartthings staff. “Improved reliability and stability” are organizational goals for smartthings, goals that they knew they hadn’t met with V1.

If it’s been working reliably for you, I’m happy for you. But improving reliability is one of the spurs for getting to V2. That’s not a bad thing.

Different companies came into home automation with different priorities. Staples connect, aiming at a market niche of small businesses, made stability their number one priority. Consequently, they left out a lot of the features that smartthings customers considered essential: they have a limited set of devices, no geopresence, no IFTTT, no ability to write your own code, but what was working on Monday still works on Tuesday. Check their forums, and you’ll mostly find complaints about features and devices they haven’t added yet.

Smartthings from the beginning has been about an open platform with a lot of flexibility and choices. Great vision, great staff, great developers community. But reliability, not so much.

There are a number of systems out there in the same price range as smartthings, they all have their pluses and minuses. Which one will be best for anyone person depends on their specific needs. :sunglasses:

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JD, reliability and flexibility go hand in hand for me. It’s true that there may be other systems out there that offer basic automation and they may be more reliable. But based on my experience, ST is the most reliable comparing to other systems that offer comparable features. Sure there is a lot of room for improvement to increase its reliability, and V2 promises to deliver more on that, without closing the platform and while continuing to offer more features than any other (decently priced) platform on the market.