SmartThings Current State is Stalled?


(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #1

Well, I hate to do this, but honestly, a reality check is needed.

I’ve been patiently waiting for simple functionality and can’t wait much longer. I’m stalled in all my integration projects, hoping for better IP local capabilities, better image handling, better UI customization / interaction with end users, etc.

Android still doesn’t have persistent image access, which means cameras are useless

Can’t send MMS or email with or without an attachment either

No user level support, so I have to annoy my wife with all my alerts

No official Nest support, I get 5-10 requests a week to make my device “Official”

IDE is a mess… It has become a slow, annoying pile of lack of debug logging because the response is too big, it doesn’t feel like it or somewhere my code is wrong, but it doesn’t know where…

Sure, promises for a better IDE are thrown around, but no timelines given.

SmartAps that spawn child devices can’t even be logged properly

Temp sensors are so random, I’m not sure what climate I live in.

Local IP support for devices / SmartApps is non-existent… The answer is write it yourself…

The SmartApp UI sucks, no real way to get a users input unless they are configuring the App. Even then, its a mess of dynamic pages.

Android presence is broken, every time I reboot it says I’m gone then back…

Andorid ChartTile doesn’t work, but promised another method, no timelines

No way to dynamically create, modify or hide tiles in a devicetype

UI for the Things area constantly resets.

No support for streaming video

No UDP support for local hubaction

No response from Raw socket sends

Truncated responses from local hubactions, its a mystery as to how big a response can actually be.

Have to create a smartapp or device just to browse other sample apps/devices

No tablet version, iOS or Android

No Windows mobile

No windows app

No web interface for end users

No list view in devices for showing data in a response

No scene support

No offline or cached mode if internet connection is down…

No ability to sort devices in IDE also in Apps, etc.

This is my current list of issues with SmartThings… I’m sure there are things I’ve missed, but honestly, most of these issues have been on the “board” for months. I know they are working on it, but we don’t know when, if or how they will be fixed.

It’s Monday… Take that with a grain of salt, but seriously, I would love to know when or if any of the above issues will be resolved.


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Is SmartThings development dead?
(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #2

And while you alluded to it… you left out sketchy and incomplete documentation.


(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #3

Yeah, docs could be a lot better.

Just a timeline check… I started working on projects on my Hub June 11th. It’s been almost 4 months and all these issues still remain.

The nearest I can tell some of these will be dealt with is Q1 of 2015, maybe.

Kick some ass, get those developers cranking, go with a public beta… We understand that things might break, but give us something… A better IDE that has unfinished features is far better then the broken state it is in now.

Give us Core API, give us better UI control, give us a Web app, give us user control…

We want it now! Beta means broken… Let’s get whatever you have out to a public beta, just do weekly pushes and wipe our data, I don’t care… I hate being at the mercy of not knowing if I should write my own bridges to make this stuff work, or wait for maybe it will work later…


(Edward Pope) #4

OK, even I am taking a step back from this vent session.

(Stepping back)

I agree with most of those comments, but I understand that they just closed a deal and are working to hire more staff to fix these things. I personally don’t want them to rush and fix many issues all at once without testing. I have seen what happens when a group fails to get changes adequately

I think what we need is really some communication with timelines and status?


(Christopher Masiello) #5

I’m all for some timelines.
I hear there’s a new hub coming with some local processing, bluetooth, etc. WHEN?
I’d love to hear when iOS Homekit will happen and what it might do.


(James Morris) #6

As has been said here and in several other threads, they need to post a roadmap with timelines NOW. They’ve had more than a month since the Samsung deal was announced, which is more than enough time to have a 1 year roadmap done and they would have needed that for the deal anyway. It’s okay to say somethings further out are less firm than those 3 months out, but it’s past time to say what’s coming next week, next month, and this year.


(James Morris) #7

Patrick, your list is missing the biggest problem they have at the moment (aside from stagnation): Access controls. Call it roles, access controls, sharing, whatever, but the total lack of it and the current state of “sharing” is abysmal.


(Chuckles) #8

On the upside, at least you guys have hardware. Still waiting here downunder…


(Sean Murray) #9

I’m a recent SmartThings convert but agree with just about everything you said. In your opinion is there a better alternative out there now?


(Tommy Rayburn) #10

I am just about to buy my SmartThings hub and various products, and to Sean’s point … there just doesn’t seem to be a better product.


(Alex) #11

+1 on everything @pstuart lists. I would like to see some progress. Any progress.


(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #12

To add insult to injury. The new android app version breaks the camera take functionality. Still works on iOS. Now the android ui is laggy and locking up. Anyone else seeing this?

Seriously, writing a functional android app isn’t this hard. Who tests this stuff? Me?


(DLee) #13

I just tested it. Slow, but still works on my android (yesterday’s app update) with generic IP cameras.


(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #14

If I thought there was a better alternative that already delivered these things, I wouldn’t be pushing SmartThings to fix these issues.

I believe in this, but belief only goes so far… I am starting to get the sense they are suffering from acquisition bloat, focusing inward on each other instead of their customers and community developers that got them to this point.

Hopefully they can turn it around and put out the next generation of HA / IOT but I stand by my feeling that SmartThings has stalled.

Sure new features like Harmony integration are nice, but what about fixing the things that are already out there.

Priorities are all over the board, I’m excited for the future of SmartThings, but right now, it just feels like everything is stalled. If I see one more Android version released without full image history camera support like iOS I will (probably) disconnect my hub in silent protest…


(Ben Edwards) #15

This is absolutely not the case. If anything we are looking too external and working with the many, many partners that want to integrate with SmartThings — the future looks awesome — the today looks…slow. I know I have been saying this for a while, but I really feel what many of the most active community participants are feeling (and certainly those of us inside the company) is a sort of echo effect of the acquisition and the backlogs growing during that time. Sort of like how an accident can affect traffic for hours even after it is cleared.

I am 100% confident that those who choose to stick it out for the next couple months will be amazed by what is ahead.


Is SmartThings development dead?
(Edward Pope) #16

Well I for one wish to thank our new ST overlords. Ok, really… You guys have the best system in place, that allows us to modify to suite our needs. I will be here, just do not want to see you guys fail.

So, from our side as the consumer, customer. What can we do to assist you with making your product the absolute best out there?


(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #17

@Ben Good to hear… Glad to see my feelings are legit, but opinions not so much :slight_smile: Slow, yup…

Patience is a virtue, time is money and luck is where persistence and opportunity meet. I really am trying to be patient, but I have learned over time the squeaky wheel gets the grease…

(Hows that for metaphors per sentence)

I don’t want to see community developers come and go due to long timelines, stagnation, etc.

Ben, you are doing a great job in keeping us update, but honestly results are far better then words.

I’ll continue to wait, but that doesn’t mean I won’t continue to be frustrated along the way. Just keep us in the loop and throw us a fix or two, a beta / preview of things to come, etc.


(Jay Adkins) #18

Priority 1: Stability of the back end infrastructure.

Then cascade down from there in any order you choose from Mr. Stuarts list :wink:


(Darryl) #19

@Ben : your words are great to hear, but I still see a huge deficit in SmartThings even providing the long-term clients even a basic roadmap. How hard would it be to have your marketing team draw up a nice pretty 1 page picture that shows things like:

2014 Q4
**Local IP Support
**Expansion of Data center to include 4 10GBE Switches, Redundant Internet Backbone, 6 new IBM…providing in an increased uptime by spread of load
**Further speed enhancements to the Android/iPhone App
** Release of Sprinkler Integration, RGB Integration

2015 Q1
** Updated IDE to include xxxx…
** Updated charting – Solution to be announced soon!
** Streaming Video
** UDP Support
** Release of NEST Final Integration
** Release of V2 Ecobee Integration

2015 Q2
** Interface Update based on community vote and discussion

Obviously the above is just a sample, but even without going into too much information on SPECIFIC Vendors, just the basics gives us excitement. Letting us know what is in the pipe in general terms. A meeting with just a few people @ SmartThings could generate a ‘generic roadmap’, don’t make it too ambitious, and allow for you to far surpass the basic roadmap!. You would build so much community support by providing us a peep hole into the inner plans of SmartThings.

Just my .02$. But I hope everyone likes this, in an attempt to get more visibility to it.


(Darryl) #20

@Ben

BTW. Streaming Video still puzzles me. Android has many streaming camera solutions, that cost almost nothing (Best known sample: IP Cam Viewer by Robert Chou), that work amazing on almost all types of cameras. Heck, License the code from him, get instant compatibility for hundreds of cameras. Dropcam, Foscam are really “low tier” solutions. I use 3MP cameras, and they are awesome for almost the same price!!

Just let us purchase a $3-5 Android/iPhone upgrade, for a “premium app” to pay for licensing of that software, and embed it in! You can have my money… my credit card # is … Take it! Take my money! Its yours!

(Btw, in many ways this is no different than Raspberry Pi. To support certain encodec models, there is a 1.99 licensing fee to get a key to unlock two types of encodecs(MPEG-2 ,and Divx I think)). (It worked REALLY WELL) Also please note I’m not suggesting setting an in-app purchase precedence, but just a “Free” and a “premium” for us early adapters to cover the licensing of a prebuilt solution.