SmartThings Community

SmartThings Current State is Stalled?

(Isriam) #68

sorry didn’t mean to derail the thread about things i find useless when important things like application management and initial design put me off and haven’t been fixed after this thing has been on the market for years.

I cannot use this device to sell anyone on how great it is. I can make a dog bark or play a sound when a door opens. I cannot manage any existing wifi devices I own, or any DLNA server, or even present a page of buttons to turn on/off items without configuring and then going into “things”.

I want to install a smartapp, but I can’t even update it without going to github, downloading new code, copy pasting, and then going into the android application to add it to my “app’s”.

THOSE are the reasons this device will fail with the mainstream user. You can make a dog bark or play a sound when your door opens, great. That is about all that this device offers out of the box. And that is really sad, because the hardware and software can actually manage almost anything in our lives right now.

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(Ron S) #69

Honestly when I bought this device, I was in the impression that it can launch satellites, stop global warming, end all wars, bring peace to this world… For heavens sake! We are equally passionate and vocal, love, hate… But even knowing that my Philips hue and other apps can turn on my lights, Sonos app can work my players, ADT can watch on the security aspect, my garage door has its own stock app, my real dog can bark and bite, I still did get into the ST thing. Right? Who has not sold us a product that they have not overstated? How else will a company sell their product? I do agree things have been slow lately on every aspect but we still do believe. Pretty much anything can be done that ST does or doesn’t without ST. There are members in this community who can do pretty much anything and we all have seen that. But I still feel it is $99 well worth it. At least we get to work on our coding skills and have an outlet for our frustrations. :wink:

And by community I mean ST + us.

(Isriam) #70

If i could just make tiles show their device name instead of shaking the crap out of my 600 dollar phone i’d be happy.

(Ron S) #71

That’s a good wrist exercise, my friend! :slight_smile:

(Matt) #72

I agree 100%. Smartthings seems focused on whats trendy rather than what would actually benefit the average end user the most. The fact that they prioritize something like Sonos, IFTTT, & Dropcam over things like Tasker, IP Cameras, accurate presence detection, or XBMC/Kodi intergration is just embarrassing to try to explain to my friends.

It doesn’t make sense to support dropcam before supporting standard IP cameras. Or IFTTT before Tasker. Or Logitech Home before XBMC or WMC. etc. etc. If I wanted trendy I’d buy an iPhone & an Amazon Echo. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

(Jody) #73

A developer in the community is working on Kodi integration with notifications and control functions. IFTTT before tasker because it’s on both platforms and you just sign in and go. Tasker is aimed directly at power users. I think the more valid question to ask is who is SmartThings targeting, power users or the average consumer?

Having just built a theater pc with Kodi, I can tell you it’s not just a simple install. I do have it working with my harmony home hub and will have it integrated into ST fairly soon.



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(Isriam) #74

at this time i’m going away from ST for anything important like thermostats. I wanted something that was a dashboard of applications and control, and it seems like its just a cool toy that can do a few cool things and thats it.

i want to get rid of the 8-10 apps i use to control wifi devices, i want an easy to follow interface that doesnt require me EVER touching a coding language, i want devices to be plug and play into the app, and i dont want to have to scroll through 5 pages of “ideas” to find an app to control my device. if it can turn on/off, then either open up a sandbox of ways to control it, or create a simple hello home job. not all the “things, alerts, actions, more” garbage when you click +. not even gonna touch IP cameras, that was my main hope for this “smart home” device.

until those things are provided, ST is marketed to the power users. there’s no way the average person can use this system and have any sort of joy or content. the best part of wifi devices such as honeywell, logitech, samsung, xbmc and the myriad of others is that their apps work VERY well. until ST can replace that, very few people are going to spend hundreds of dollars on their hub and various sensors.

its a niche market and until it becomes a device that can control everything for the home, its a waste of the publics time. its sad though, because i had high hopes for integrating everything in my home onto this platform.

(Mike Maxwell) #75

Good software from Logitech?, you are joking right?

(Chuckles) #76

One man’s meat…etc.

Let’s see - I use Sonos, IFTTT and Logitech Harmony (and was doing so before SmartThings came along). I don’t use Tasker, XBMC, Kodi or WMC. So if they went with your suggestions it would be me posting the exact reverse of your post…

The one item I think EVERYONE can agree on, though, is better presence detection would be nice.

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(Matt) #77

Thanks for the kodi integration link. You’ve hit the nail on the head regarding smart things’ direction. The problem is they are inconsistent. Installing custom device types and writing smart apps is not for the average user, but is required for a lot of its function. Smart things should prioritize the function devices before the style devices. Services like IFTT are more of a toy then a real home automation option.

(Matt) #78

I don’t have any problem with smart things supporting those devices, but the fact that they are prioritizing them over devices and services that would more dramatically improve their offering and overall function is telling.

When I saw the dropcam announcement I was furious that they added a propriety camera before proper universal IP camera support. But the dropcam is a name they can market.

They can’t approve smart apps that have been working for months but they add IFTT. A name they can market but doesn’t actually work well enough to add any value.

(Jody) #79

It is not, but allowing those that are capable of doing so will generate the apps that are eventually installed by the average user. An app store would solve many of the current problems. Right now, average users are being directed to install code and do things completely outside of their comfort zones. We need a way to separate the hard stuff from the easy stuff.

(Marc) #80

I agree. I have 2 others at work including myself who have ST’s and 2 of us really like it because we are on the more technical side, while the one person who hates it isn’t as technical. There is a clear divide and I wouldn’t recommend SmartThings to anyone who isn’t prepared to roll up their sleeves and dive into code and smartapps. This is where I thought the Revolv was going to make a difference and I am shocked Google put a halt to it (although I am sure they are going to come out with a Nest hub down the road).

(Matt) #81

I agree. An app store would definitely be an improvement. I’d also like more transparency from ST on the “out of the box” capabilities. Someone on the outside looking in won’t read pages of forum posts to figure out what they themselves will be capable of doing.

(Chuckles) #82

But that is my point exactly.

“…they are prioritizing them over devices and services that would more dramatically improve their offering…” to YOU, but not to ME.

The items you would have prioritised (XBMC, Tasker, WMC, Kodi) are all useless to me.

Items you would have de-prioritised (Sonos, IFTTT, Logitech Harmony) are items I was already using before SmartThings came along and therefore are high on my list for integrating with SmartThings.

I agree that more effort should be put into the application approval / publication / installation side of things so that the connection between developers and end-users becomes seamless / invisible. (I.e. the “App Store” approach, but including all the supporting elements and processes before the store itself). Recent movement on the developer documentation front is an encouraging first sign, as were rumblings of app approvals in the wind…

One thing to bear in mind in all this, however, is that the SmartThings team has grown considerably and is likely to continue growing. Progress in one area does not necessarily mean another area is being starved of attention. You can’t complain that “they spent effort doing X when that effort should have been spent on Y” if they involve different competencies / skill-sets.

The SmartThings team is covering a fair range of topics (Hub hardware, Zigbee networks, Z-wave networks, software development toolset and documentation, cloud infrastructure for SmartApps, iOS development, Android development, WinPhone development, writing SmartApps, developing device handlers, product website, community websites / forums, Samsung skunkworks, integrating (and liasing) with third parties (Philips, Logitech, TCP, IFTTT, Aeon, GE, Fortrezz, Schlage, Kwikset, etc.), etc.).

It’s not going to be easy co-ordinating and prioritising all those moving parts and we should look to assist them wherever we can. One way we can assist is by providing constructive criticism.

I see criticisms such as the need to improve the publishing of and accessibility to SmartApps if the platform is to grow beyond the niche enthusiast market as valuable. Undoubtedly the team is already aware of this, but they need to understand the extent to which this is felt by their customers.

I see criticisms such as “they should have integrated X before integrating Y” as lacking value because:

  1. They are typically a personal opinion readily countered by the
    personal opinion of others - i.e. they verge on a matter of taste,
    akin to the dreaded “iOS vs. Android” feuds which I so loathe.

  2. They are complaining about time and resource already expended rather
    than how best to expend those resources moving forward.

Rather than complaining about the integration of Sonos (etc.), which many others find very valuable, why don’t you champion the merits of an integration which you would like to see. Investigate how it might be achieved, put forward suggestions on features that would be valuable to such an integration or traps you would like to see avoided.

(Matt) #83

You have taken my quote out on context from the overall discussion. “…they are prioritizing them over devices and services that would more dramatically improve their offering…” to EVERYONE. I was not just naming one product, rather entire arrays of devices. The “they should have integrated X before integrating Y” argument is completely valid when small niche products are supported before major systems.

Offering broader device support instead of prioritizing proprietary and niche devices such as Sonos, IFTTT, & Dropcam does little to broaden ST’s offering or further community development. And while I’m sure the people that have those devices appreciate that they are supported, a much larger group of devices is currently left on the wayside. I will provide some examples.

Sonos: It’s a Hi-Fi wireless speaker system that uses a proprietary network system called “SonosNet” which is exactly the same as Wireless N except it uses their own encryption. It sounds awesome and works well.

What ST should have supported: Bluetooth streaming / broadcasting. There are a million bluetooth devices on the market. If ST wants us to be able to control music and alerts via wireless speakers why support one company with one protocol? If Bluetooth was properly supported, anyone could preform the same tasks currently done on the Sonos on a $10 wireless bluetooth speaker or headphones or phone or HTPC or Windows or Apple PC.

Dropcam: An easy to use HD network camera, accessible via the internet, which is capable of video streaming and burst photos when motion is detected. Recently purchased by Google/Nest Labs.

What ST should have supported: Standard IPcam video streaming (probably mpeg or avi/h.264). This has been hacked together in some user-made smart apps but no official support. A wide variety of cameras could be compatible if https streaming was supported.

IFTTT: It’s an easy to use online trigger service which integrates with a wide variety of services. A very cool idea, cross platform, and it’s free. Although triggering is generally too slow to be used for any time critical functions.

What ST should have supported: Many of the functions ST users accomplish with IFTTT are already be available from the ST app, but not all. Motion logging, text to engage a switch/lock, notification monitoring, voice control, etc.

:Rather than complaining about the integration of Sonos (etc.), which many others find very valuable, why don’t you champion the merits of an integration which you would like to see. Investigate how it might be achieved, put forward suggestions on features that would be valuable to such an integration or traps you would like to see avoided."

Please keep in mind, while it may not seem that way, Sonos, Nest, & Dropcam users are in the minority in comparison to the entire market of Bluetooth speakers, Wifi T-stats, & IP cameras. Smartthings is already well aware of what is required to support these devices yet their pipeline reflects an offering more niche instead of broad. Which is the heart of my concerns.

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(Brian Steere) #84

Technically, I think you could do this with SmartThings. I wouldn’t recommend it, but it could be done.


I totally agree with this:

Items you would have de-prioritised (Sonos, IFTTT, Logitech Harmony) are items I was already using before SmartThings came along and therefore are high on my list for integrating with SmartThings.

These are products that you have under your supported list yet none of them work. This is something that needs to be fixed asap. Its almost false advertisement. I bought a Logitech Harmony Hub just for smartthings but it doesnt work at all.

(Mike Maxwell) #86

Having dealt with Logitech support just to get the harmony to work on it’s own, I can tell you that whatever’s broken is more than likely Harmony’s fault. If an integration partner decides to push untested code into production, and or fail to notify partners of changes you get crap like this happening…

(Brian Smith) #87

I read in another thread something about a known issue with the Logitech firmware that we all have to wait for to get fixed. Hell, I’m just waiting for the “pay $x and you can upgrade your existing hub to a HA one”.