I don’t know about you folks, but I HATE using a mobile app when my computer is sitting right there in front of me. I’m a noob with SmartThings and as I’m trying to figure it out, I’m just meandering around the menu system. I like that the rules engine is web-based (sort of - I wish I could host it locally) and Smart Tiles works from my PC, obviously. The ST app continues to annoy me, though.
Then I remembered about Bluestacks! It’s a piece of free software that lets you run Android apps from your PC. It’s able to sync up with Google Play and essentially acts just like the apps on your phone, but with the bigger screen, easier mouse and keyboard controls, etc.
Anyway, if you’re like me, you may appreciate using it: http://www.bluestacks.com/
You can also run it under Chrome browser with ARChon which is a lot lighter-weight than Bluestacks (or HandyAndy).
SmartThings through ARChon is a little more complex to set up though (and doesn’t have an easy version upgrade procedure), but works very well once it is configured.
LOL… I can’t think of a single reason I would want to run another instantiation of the mobile app. Hell, I don’t even use the ones on my phones/tablets (unless I have to).
@scottinpollock - How do you do your primary setup? Sharp Tools or The Rules Builder or something?
And also, I’m trying to learn the software, so I do want to learn the mobile app. I just hate the smartphone interface. One thing that annoys me so far is that the app lets you basically duplicate the same commands and places the tiles for the duplicate stuff both within the app and on Smart Tiles. So much redundancy. I’m sure there are times when it’s useful, but it seems to me that it makes it harder to navigate your setup. And everything is so poorly labeled that it can be hard for a noob to surf back to wherever they set up the things in the first place. I like the flexibility of the platform, but I think it still needs more work, app-wise.
@tgauchat - besides being lighter, does ARChon do anything better than Bluestacks? I’m not having any lag issues (at least so far), but it seems to work…
Oh - does ARChon allow multiple instances to run at the same time? Just tried it with Bluestacks and it won’t. Wanted to see if I could run the ST app, Tasker, and Sharptools all at one, side by side.
ARChon doesn’t run a whole Android instance, so I don’t think Apps can interact with each other (i.e., Tasker).
ARChon is great for running a single Android App in its own window, but not every App is compatible.
The Mobile App is getting a huge overhaul, but no idea the delivery date. I wouldn’t waste too much time familiarizing yourself before then.
I hadn’t heard that, but good. Would still love to see a PC/Mac-based interface, though. Even if through a browser. Hell, ideally the next hub would host it or there would be an option for local hosting, but that’s obviously no dealbreaker, 'cause here I am!
Don’t hold your breath. You won’t be around to enjoy it when it eventually happens.
And after the last “huge overhaul” of the design being such a success… I am going to hold my breathe out of eager anticipation of a solid design and strategy—knowing that SmartThings has an amazing understanding of what users want in a GUI/experience…
/end snarky me/
Actually, they’ve made an excellent hire, a fellow University of Waterloo Alumnus, author, and listening expert in Smart Device / Smart Home UX: @alui.
Patience will pay off this time.
It seems that all their new and wonderful hires are handcuffed and locked up in a dark dungeon under @alex’s mansion. Nothing new came out of SmartThings for the past six month. Except for the new bugs that it.
So, I work at a pretty large company (16k employees) with over 300 IT people. Many extremely talented individuals in various parts of IT. The one thing I have learned, is that just because you have talent, doesn’t mean that it will be used properly, or provided the opportunities it needs to grow.
Now yes, I am hoping they have learned. And I am a huge SmartThings fan, but doesn’t mean I am going to expect to much, until I see it, and it works well.
If they made the WP version of the app into a Universal version, that would solve most of these issues. Here’s hoping!
Old thread, but great software! Love Bluestacks. I tried the ARChon, and it worked great until it didn’t. Just stopped working, couldn’t get it to work again.
Yep. I actually never did get ARChon to work. Bluestacks is quite handy - I was able to screen capture my RuleMachine rules before I had to re-install Rule Machine and start over
Yes! The screen captures are so much easier, and the app runs better in Bluestacks than it does on my phone.
I’m sure you’ll recognize the logo on the screen captures I used for SmartTiles 5.5 intro: SmartTiles Dashboard v5.5: Added UK 🇬🇧, 5 × Dashboards, and more! Nov 6, 2015
I wish the windows were scalable though. There are some hacks for BlueStacks (but hard to find trustworthy ones) that give you root and thus can change the virtual hardware info.
“Andy” emulator worked pretty well for me … until it didn’t.
Wish I could get Archon working again though.