SmartThings app will receive a major overhaul in Q1 2018


(Daniel Ionescu) #1

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(jkp) #2


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(Jimmy) #3

A separate thread than the CES one would be good to speculate/discuss this. My random thoughts:

  1. Samsung has already started consolidating everything to the Samsung Connect app, so good to see this at the forefront and “official”.

  2. Based on the fridge and TV demos, it looks like this new consolidated app is based heavily on Samsung Connect. The UI is very similar, if not that same. So this could also partially be a branding exercise changing Samsung Connect to SmartThings. Good to see the SmartThings brand grow within Samsung and good to eliminate confusion between the SC app and the Samsung Connect Home hardware.

  3. I really like the UI of the Samsung Connect app.

  4. The basic automation creator in SC is also nice in that you can have many conditions tied to many actions. Not nearly as flexible as WebCore, but its a user friendly medium between Smart Lighting and Webcore. it also already has a scenes function.

  5. My main concern: The SC app is missing a lot of functionality that the SmartThings app has. Off the top of my head:
    a. Doesn’t work with custom devices/device handlers
    b. No provisions for custom smart apps
    c. No provision for a security app (aka Smart Home Monitor)
    d. No lock manager

Overall i’m cautiously optimistic.


#4

I would imagine the current connect app isn’t going to be what is used for ST going forward.

As you mention, there are too many needed features missing.

I wonder if this new consolidation play they mention will introduce a Tinzen OS to the Smartthings hub. I don’t know how that would work with Groovy Code, but that also seems a logic path so they can get away from paying any potential licensing fees on the current OS.


(Dana ) #5

Yeah…if they don’t support the current ecosystem (including custom DTH/SmartApps) that will be a major fail. They need to carry that forward into this consolidation.


(Daniel Ionescu) #6

Only future will tell how integration goes.
The only sure thing now is the’ll integrate.


(Mark) #7

Major fail according to whom?

In one of the many articles that were linked to in the CES thread, it mentioned that ST went from a user base of several thousand when Samsung bought them, to something like a million today.

How many of those users that were added in the meantime are using custom device handlers and smartapps?

Don’t get me wrong, I think it would suck if the new consolidated app didn’t allow forthat kind of customization. Just like everyone else in this forum.

But Samsung obviously has some big picture-type plans at work here, and it seems likely they could easily afford to not prioritize the needs of their power users for something like this.


(Jimmy) #8

It looks like they are taking steps towards custom devices and smart apps with their new developer workspace. Entered beta December 26th.
https://smartthings.developer.samsung.com/develop/blogs/beta-release-smartthings-developer-workspace.html


(Dana ) #9

I work in a consumer electronics company and get the issues around limited resources and focus on supporting techies vs. mainstream customers.

Obviously, the major fail (as you correctly note) will be for folks in this forum including myself. And of course since I’m here that’s what I’m speaking to and most concerned about (everything is about me). :slight_smile:

And there is a positive business effect from making custom DTH/app users happy. I’m a “tech leader/recommender” for my family and friends and have recommended ST to them, and a few have added it to their homes. Then their own friends/family see it and may want to get ST as well. So making folks like me happy does have a business up-side for Samsung (albeit hard to quantify).


(Mark) #10

We all tend to overinflate our own self-importance (I do it too), either individually or as a group. It’s good to at least recognize when we’re doing it :wink:


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #11

I agree. But to measuring that “overinflation” is pretty easy.

There are just over 11,000 “Active” users in this Community; and I’m sure that is loosely defined and quite an over-estimate. That is at best 5% to 10% of all SmartThings Customers. We are not even talking “80/20” rule here!

. https://community.smartthings.com/about
image


At SDC, SmartThings made it very clear that “SmartApps” (as we know them) are being deprecated. I didn’t catch exactly what will happen to DTHs, but since they are currently also written in Groovy like current SmartApps, you can bet those will also be deprecated.

SmartThings also insisted (a bit too emphatically and often…) that existing SmartApps will continue to run indefinitely. This is one case where I would say it is safe to “hold your breath”… they’ll be gone before you turn blue.


This doesn’t mean that custom development options will go away: To the contrary, it is being encouraged even more. However; I personally believe that the option of distributing “new smartapps” via simple cut/paste source code (or GitHub, etc.), will be discouraged or disallowed.

A certification / publication process will be required; the good news being that this process can be substantially streamlined (perhaps even 100% automated) due to the guardrails and constraints enforced for the new API.

There are many unknowns; such as what will the process be for building “panels” to run inside the new consolidated SmartThings App; what the constraints and features will be for these “panels”. I sorta think these “panels” are a rework of 2016’s announced “HTML Tiles”.


(jkp) #12

Likes 270K All Time - I bet @JDRoberts is responsible for about 50 percent of those or perhaps more :slight_smile:

Edit: I was wrong, he only gave out 24.6k likes


(C L Sanchez 1877) #13

I am still new to the group here so I don’t have the experience to know if this move is good, bad, a set back, a leap forward, etc. I will say, so far, I have built my system out to use native scenes as much as possible and then do all of my automation in the natively supported SmartLight app. I have not gone out to any custom options…yet. Fortunate for me is I don’t have nearly as much sweat equity at stake as you all do…in “SmartThings”.

The fact that this integration is moving forward to me is ‘encouraging’ as its a signal that Samsung takes this line serious and continues to invest in it. From a top level, this consolidation may be noting more than a way to cut costs…consolidating two products that serve redundant purposes. My inexperienced guess is their appliance products will gain far more features than smartthings will lose.

I love tech junk. My background that is parallel to this is my Apex Controller on my 110 gallon reef aquarium. This aquarium controller is put out by a company called Neptune. They ventured into this niche market 20 years ago when home automation was X-10 based. Neptune saw an opportunity to build and interface that combined time, temperature, ph and conductivity and issue X-10 commands to control equipment. It was expensive and you had to write your own scripts to do anything. At the time, maybe only 1% of the hobbyists saw any value in this. With each new product release, more front end features were added and more customers were gained, but at a cost of back end flexibility that aggravated a very small subset of users. Just last year, they released the new “Apex” controller. This new controller has every bell and whistle one with an aquarium could manage. They have quickly rushed products to fill every role you can think of where in the past we had to build our own widgets. If you were building a reef tank today, you will be told you CANT have a new reef tank WITHOUT this unit. However, a large community of us who have many years of sweat equity, the wisdom from building our own widgets are being swept aside. With each firmware release, it seems more script code is being obsolete and custom applications are being harder to pull off. A great example of this, is for almost 20 years, I have used sun lighting and moon lighting on my tanks based on “If Sun…” and “If Moon…” statements. Today I even have some virtual switches that calculate “Neap” and “Spring” tides based on sun and moon statements. The latest product release deletes the sun and moon statements. I have over 30 virtual outlets that control several channels of LED lighting and several vortech pumps to set lighting and wave action based on solar and lunar time events. I built this up over several years. If I was not careful, all of this would have been wiped out in the latest product upgrade.

Now, what in the world does my aquarium have anything to do with this discussion? LOL. It supports what @tgauchat stated.

There are just over 11,000 “Active” users in this Community; and I’m sure that is loosely defined and quite an over-estimate. That is at best 5% to 10% of all SmartThings Customers. We are not even talking “80/20” rule here!

On many products, the power users are too small of a segment the most expensive to entertain.

I am encouraged they have a Beta program out for new content development. Hopefully all the work you all have done is not lost. As for me, I will keep building out my system. I am very happy with my Z-wave network of switches and Iris Zigbee sensors. I am not pleased with the reliability of the Hue bulbs and bridge (so far about 80%-90% in my opinion). I have too much money invested in that at the moment to back track, but it may not remain a long term part of my whole home package.

Overall, the planned changes will be great for new customers like me and new customers not yet realized. It will be a huge disappointment to the power users I have been looking to recently and one I was hoping to become.


#14

(ocpd+adhd+alz+md+hfa+fms+lol=me :)) #15

Dammit; Sometimes I hate it when you’re right lol


(Dana ) #16

There will be blood, that’s all I’m saying. :sunglasses:


(Jason Walters) #17

This is a good move. I’ve worked in IT for a long time and still remember when Microsoft did the same thing with it’s products.

MS used to release office and then another product that worked with office would be playing catch-up while yet another app by them would be behind all of them.

All the teams finally started talking and now all products like Office, SharePoint, Windows are released to work with each other and the teams talk to each other to work together on integration which becomes more seamless.

Hopefully this will lead into a Mesh HUB that doesn’t just MESH the router but also leverages MESH for the HUB device functions. My opinion that would help with distributing HUBS throughout a house not having to worry about Zigbee or zwave communication issues.


(Jody) #18

Custom smartapps and devices are not going away. Check out the new developer portal (very beta)

https://smartthings.developer.samsung.com/


Original & Aqara Xiaomi Zigbee Sensors (contact, temp, motion, button, outlet, leak, etc)
(Dana ) #19

Yup, thanks, saw that earlier today when I was exploring stuff around this. :slight_smile:


(Jimmy) #20

Is there any way to submit bug reports? I was on there today going through the cloud lightbulb example and it crashed at one point