Smart Things Staff--Why No Attention to the Windows Phone?

When was the last time anyone has seen a ST Staff member in this forum? I really feel completely disregarded and disrespected that they won’t even answer us because of our OS choices. There is no reason we should not have our questions answered or entertained and no reason we are as far behind as we are from the other platforms. Microsoft bought and gave away for free the Xamarin Studio so that Devs can write a base code with minor changes for the 3 platforms. They even made an iOS bridge to port the code. So what is the excuse? I don’t see any except for Fanboyism. Sorry for my rant but as a paying customer, I would assume that you would support us being that we’ve given you money!

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The positive spin on this, is to be thankful that we have this publicly searchable, fully open, and very lightly moderated forum for posting complaints – and helping each other.

It’s better to have a forum with less than desired staff participation than no forum at all.

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I understand your frustration. There’s nothing I hate more than when a system is working on Monday and then stops working on Tuesday when I haven’t made any changes.

That said, multiple staff have posted here just today, including Aaron, Slagle, and Tyler. Plus at least one of the engineers, POsborne. Only two of those are assigned to cover the forums.

ST staff is quite active, much more so than many other companies’ forums, and with only a couple of exceptions I have generally found them to be helpful, informed, and genuinely interested in supporting the community.

I know it sounds simplistic, but if the product isn’t meeting your needs, there’s plenty of competition. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve moved all of my mission-critical tasks on to other systems because at the present time SmartThings just doesn’t have the reliability that I need. But when it works well, it is absolutely my favorite home automation system, so I keep hoping that things will improve. And I still use it for some convenience case notifications where it really is quite a bit ahead of the competition at this price point.

One of the absolute best things about SmartThings is this community. :sunglasses: The customer developers are creative, helpful, and good-natured. And there is weekly participation even by some senior staff, something you don’t see everywhere else.

I appreciate the need to vent occasionally, and they can definitely be dinged for their reliability. But I don’t think staff participation falls in that same category.

JMO

p.s. If you meant specifically staff responding on the windows mobile app thread, then, yes, it’s been quiet around here. It does seem that the windows mobile app is not an equal priority with android and iOS. I don’t know what the alternatives are for that, though. You see the same kind of weighting at most of the competitors, just because of marketshare.

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That’s exactly where I was going. And yes the forum is searchable for issues…and most of them are for features we (Windows Mobile) simply don’t have yet. And the issues we’ve brought up, have never been answered. Windows Mobile users are lost upon the SmartThings staff. It would just be nice if the even acknowledged we existed like they do the other platforms. I’m not saying post like mad men on this forum, but let us know we’re not forgotten about and there is a plan for us from time to time. Give us updates/hope.

And there are options for them to get us up to speed as I mentioned in my post. Microsoft handed them the keys to the kingdom. And on top of that they have the opportunity to have it work on Windows 10, Xbox One, Windows Phone, Tablets, and Windows Hololens all with the same base code. All with Cortana native integration. It’s a gold mine!

And I understand the thing about being marketshare, however, the app isn’t making them the money. It’s the product itself, and I’ve invested heavily into it and will continue to. So I don’t see why they wouldn’t throw a few extra dollars at developing for the OS. It’s not like it’s rocket science…

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I appreciate the change in subject, but because it now says Windows Phone it will be ignored…like the rest of the threads with the same subject :frowning:

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Well, we can tag the staff who are assigned to the forum and see what they say. :wink:

Maybe @aaron would like to be the Windows Phone forum community ambassador? He’s very good at finding out the answers to general customer questions. :tada:

@aaron @slagle

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Here’s hoping. I went through all of his posts back to April 19th 2015 and not one was in this forum and multiple in iOS and Android. But I have hope, thanks for your help as well! It is very much appreciated.

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Well, he likes helping people, and he likes a challenge that doesn’t involve coding, so we’ll see. :sunglasses:

Well, all come to priority, priority, priority!

The priority is to make 99% of customer happy first.

The fact is windows phone only represent <1% of market share if I remember correctly, and probably much lower on SmartThings.

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And how many people own a Windows 10 PC, Tablet or Xbox One? Market share then becomes huge if they were to make UWP app.

The fact is More than 400 million devices are running Windows 10 in 192 countries across the world. And that’s NOT going to get any smaller.

And yes market share for the other OS may be winning as far as phones sold, but how many of those are SmartThings owners? I can guarantee you it’s fraction of total sold phones. So that’s a moot point. You cater to market share when it comes to how much those apps will make you money. And from what I know…the app is free. So nothing is made from it. SmartThings makes money from devices sold. So you would think it would be in their best interest to market to anybody and everybody to get those off the shelves.

Looks like somebody thought about that market share…

Another fact. I paid just as much for my Hub as anybody else and I expect to get the same level of service as everyone else for a product I paid for. Plain and simple. Is that not a reasonable expectation? If I pay 10 bucks for XL Pepperoni Pizza and you pay 10 bucks for one as well. Don’t you expect to get a XL like me instead of the Medium they delivered to you?

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You chose to go with a phone with the smallest user base out of the 3 out there and you are complaining you don’t get enough attention? Maybe Smartthings is not for you. Any manufacture out there that supports apps on phones are for the most part only focused on IOS and Android. Don’t act like it’s just Smartthings. You should be use to this by now.

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Despite the very few Windows Phones around the world (I am one of those crazy owners), I think that a ST UWP app would be appreciated by a lot of people. Especially with Cortana integration and “Hey Cortana” feature.

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As another WP user on SmartThings, I would like to say that, even if they aren’t updating the app, at least they haven’t pulled it from the Windows Store like some other companies have done. I’m very thankful for that.
Granted, I agree that it would behoove them to do a UWP app for phone, desktops and tablets due to the huge userbase, but thus far they don’t seem to have much interest in making anything but mobile apps.

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The problem is that SmartThings probably isn’t making any money from its devices either. It’s certainly not making any money from the hub which is what is directly involved with the phone app.

They weren’t making a profit when Samsung bought them, and they’ve only added more company cost since then.

There are a lot of theories about what Samsung expected from them, and long term the kindest would be that they were going to be a value add to very expensive appliances and televisions. There’s no certainty.

But it is certain that they’re not making their money from selling you a $99 hub and a couple of sensors. :wink:

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Let me ask you this. Do you own a Windows 10 PC or Xbox One?

If the answer is yes, YOU could benefit from this.

BTW…my main gripe here is the lack of responses to issues we as WP users experience. Say I have an issue with the app, a bug, a problem I can’t figure out, I can’t find something…anything. Can I not get 2 seconds of a Staff members time for support? There has been a complete lack of regard in this forum from any of the staff. That’s the main point, going the road of UWP would be awesome, but just an answer from an official channel from time to time would be awesome.

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that’s what support@smartthings.com is for.

I feel like the community is more of sharing thoughts than anything. Im certain that was the intent of the company.

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The introduction at the top of the first page of the community says:

Welcome. These forums are a place for learning, helping, and sharing experiences with SmartThings, SmartApps, the Internet of Things, and home automation.

Much of the activity is sharing code and helping others Integrate new devices. SmartThings is an extremely versatile platform, but it has never been very discoverable. I think the forums have grown because of the collision of those two aspects. :sunglasses:

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@JDRoberts

You tried tagging. Still no luck after 4 days lol. Thanks for trying.

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I am also happily part of the smallest mobile user base and the less than 1% mobile market share…
I don’t have any iThings (far too expensive for what they are), I don’t use Android for Security concerns and more than happy with my Windows 10 MobileS…

The point is that with a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app, Smartthings become available to the whole Windows 10 ecosystems… the same universal app (and therefore only 1 code baseline) runs on:

  • Windows 10 mobile
  • Windows 10 PC
  • Windows 10 Tablets, 2 in 1 and laptop
  • Windows 10 Smart Fridge - LG
  • XBOX (in the living room?)
  • Hololens and,
  • the future cheap (from $299.00) windows 10 VR headset coming in 2017 (Dell, HP, Acer, Asus, etc. a )

Imagine the Smartthings app projected to a wall in Augmented Reality via the Hololense! Surely that would make for a very sexy marketing video and technology demonstrator for Smartthings! Not many will be able to afford the Hololense (at $3000!) but that would certainly be an excellent marketing material. And, once again, this is done from the same UWP app. Therefore no extra development required! This will make smartthings available to all future cheaper VR headset coming in 2017…

Furthermore, Microsoft makes it even easier for developers the create UWP apps… They can reuse their existing iOS code and port it to Windows 10 UWP via Microsoft, free of charge, “Windows bridge to iOS”.
https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/bridges/
Many iOS/Android typical app developers have crossed that bridge (pardon the pun!) by converting their iOS app to UWP. Facebook, Candy Crush, Instagram to name a few.

Effort required:
Smartthings app developer team can continue to develop in Objective-C (iOS) and port to UWP…
They don’t need to redevelop a completely new app from ground up!
They don’t need to learn Microsoft’s specific programming skills, just some basic.

in Short, with a minimum effort (via the bridge), Smartthings could port their existing iOS app to Windows UWP app and therefore access an ecosystem made of 100s’ millions devices, present in many households worldwide…
1 single code baseline to maintain for all the windows 10 devices (no fragmentation, no different screen sizes to deal with, etc. “one for all” is the core concept of UWP app!).

So, the point is that by developing a Windows Universal app, Smartthings is not targeting the near non-existant windows mobile market, but rather the 100s’million windows 10 devices (more than the total numbers of iPhone, etc?).

Surely this could be worth a deeper look from the Smartthings mobile app team?

PS: And I also would love to have Cortana integration as a bonus !!! (native to UWP API) :wink:

@Aaron @slagle @alex

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Facebook and Instagram use FB’s own internal porting toolchain (OSMeta), not Microsoft’s.

King, the makers of Candy Crush, made a deal with Microsoft that included one version of Candy Crush being installed on every single Windows 10 PC (sometimes repeatedly) in exchange for putting their app on the platform, so of course they were willing to use it. And their app is a game, which uses in-game menus (in other words, not so much of Apple’s UI controls). SmartThings would still have to do the UI stuff over. And on top of that, unfortunately WinObjC isn’t all that ready for prime-time. It’s doesn’t support all of the newer Apple SDK features. Plus, many iOS developers these days are using Swift instead of Objective C… which Microsoft doesn’t support at all.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. My Lumia 950XL is my daily device, SmartThings is currently pretty bad on it, and I would absolutely love a UWP version of SmartThings with Cortana integration… but it would require a lot of work on SmartThings’ part, and not the ‘minimum effort’ you claim.

As for the potential reward, you mention all of these theoretical devices that it could be useful on… but are people really clamoring for being able to control smart home devices through virtual reality, augmented reality, or a gaming console? (For that matter - does Samsung want you controlling SmartThings through an Xbox, or through a $2000 Samsung TV?) Is anyone actually going to buy a Windows 10 refrigerator? Does anyone use the Windows 10 Store on PC? (I’m exaggerating a little here, but overwhelmingly the answer for most is no). And even if some of these ideas are similar to Samsung’s goals for SmartThings, aren’t there easier paths that have more of a reach (Amazon Alexa, Google Home, etc.)?

All of this in mind combined with Windows’ market share on phones, I’m honestly surprised that the SmartThings app for Windows Phone even gets bug fixes at this point.

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