SmartThings Seems Much Improved


(Eric) #1

I see a lot of commenting and complaining about this and that in the platform, especially related to its stability. As is the nature of community-driven forums to focus on that kind of discussion, I thought it would be nice to provide a counter-balance to that sentiment.

Over the last week or more, our house has essentially been rock solid. Scheduled actions are right on target, response time is most of the time reasonably fast, and all devices operate just as they should. The mentioned updates from the CTO seem to have landed well for us.

I have 77 devices currently, with a mixed net of zigbee, lots of zwave, netatmo, sonos, honeywell tstat, MyQ chamberlain garage doors, Evolve relays, aeon minimotes, KwikSet Locks, etc so a wide array.

While not a direct cause and effect discussion, I can say that whatever ST did was helpful, but i also cleaned up my installation a bit. I dropped some of the polling in Pollster, I took all TCP bulbs out of commission and replaced with GE Link, and I dropped the number of SmartTiles dashboard installs a bit and lightened up on some of the monitoring I was doing with it that I realized was creating lots of extra chatter.

I look forward to V2 but I am content on V1 while they make V2 truly remarkable. Someday I figure I should go over to the Minneapolis office of ST and buy them all some beer for climbing a very difficult mountain. Been there myself so I appreciate this kind of effort.


(Marc) #2

Agreed, for the most part. My mobile app (on the new iOS 1.7.1) still was stalling last night a little, but back end functionality with smartapps, timing, etc. seems to be working better.


(Tim Slagle) #3

Yep, things are good :smile:

One of the things I try to always remember is ALL the new companies coming out are having these same issues and in most cases in a more harsh way. For instance Wink has constant cloud disconnect issues (my buddy has one and at one point he was rebooting his hub 4-5 times a day).

I am thankful for STs making strides and honestly leading the way. We’re on the bleeding edge here. Things may happen but STs is committed to making it better. Thats all we can ask. I am always happy with STs and I love the environment. Its been a LONG time since I’ve had any major issues.


(Joe) #4

Totally agree. The past week or so has been really good. Even my Android presence detection has been working! Feeling really good about ST right now. :smile:


(Justin Stuhlsatz) #5

I noticed the same drag last night… but I just chalked it up to all of us iOS people opening and closing our garage doors and turning lights on and off via the widget 1600 times just because we could!!!


#6

I agree things have been better for a week or so, and I like the iOS widgets!

I also found out that some of my “fail to fire” problems were due to an undocumented restriction on Hello Home Actions and modes. I modified some of my protocols so I’m less likely to run into that.

All of that said, I would have to respectfully disagree that all competitor companies are having the same kinds of issues. Just as different people have different priorities, different companies have different priorities. Some have made reliability Their top priority. Others have made their top priority openness and innovation. So different companies have different issues, even very early in their development cycle.

It’s clear that smartthings pushes features to market which have not been fully tested. (See the most recent releases of both the android and iOS mobile apps.) Then they fix it, often very quickly. “Move fast and break things.”

It’s not an uncommon design philosophy these days, but it’s not the only one, either.

WHEN SHOULD A HOME AUTOMATION COMPANY DISCUSS INTENDED FEATURES?

The question is, moving forward, what’s the most appropriate design philosophy for an appliance company, or a utility company. (Home automation is a bit of both.)

If smartthings wants to move beyond the hobbyist/do it yourselfer/1st adopter/technogeek market (And that’s one with all those combined skills and attitudes, not four separate groups), then I think it does need to consider adopting A more rigorous testing protocol and the release of fewer but more robust features in each cycle.

Because the competition is coming. When Amazon’s echo was first released, the company said nothing about voice control of home automation. They let analysts assume it might happen eventually, but they made no promises. Not even “we’re thinking about it.”

And now with today’s release, they have what is reportedly very smooth voice control of Phillips Hues, including natural language, and the ability to set dim levels.

Leaps and bounds past anybody else’s option that I’m aware of, with no early teasers at all. Just an available product that works.

Consumer complaints are largely that the waiting list to get one is too long, and that the number of features is too limited. (For example, right now it works with Philips brand only, it doesn’t seem to be working with GE link even if they’re connected to a Philips bridge.)

Different set of priorities, different type of consumer satisfaction. But it’s a choice available to any company. Even technology pioneers.:blush:


(Jody) #7

There were early testers. I have had my echo since Thanksgiving. Given that you still can’t buy one, they are slowly rolling them out. This is the early test.


#8

I said “teasers,” not “testers.” There were indeed lots of testers, as well as a staged rollout.

Smartthings is one of the companies that will say “someday you’ll be able to…” Or some equivalent “teaser” features that aren’t currently available, that logically would seem to fit the ecosystem, and that the company wants you to know they’re aware of and intend to work on.

The echo has not been handled in that fashion by Amazon. They don’t comment on hoped-for features.


(Jody) #9

Ahh. Teasers. I thought maybe that was a misspelling. In any regard, there have been some teasers as well. They sent surveys early on asking if specifically if I had hue lights, wemos, etc. In one of the emails they also stated their intentions of letting you control household devices and media players. I expect harmony integration will be released shortly. I would not be surprised if SmartThings is already working on integration as well.


#10

Both of those would be awesome, we’ll just have to see. IVEE has some limited harmony integration, so there are some possibilities. :blush:


(Patrick Musselman) #11

I am jumping on the bandwagon here as well and say the ST has been pretty solid over the past week as well. Let hope it stays this way. Slowly regaining faith.


(Idealerror) #12

I agree, everything seems fairly stable. A few lagged hello home actions, but it could just be my connection or what not.


(Eric) #13

I am just waiting for Amazon Echo integration…but I think that will be much more limited by Echo than ST at first…but I just got an Echo announcement today about voice control of WeMo devices, but maybe it was Hue, need to review the email…so maybe they may open up soon. Echo has been fun, but not become a meaningful addition to our home activities.

Interesting link as always, JDRoberts on those limitations.


(Tim Slagle) #14

it’s both :smile:



(DLee) #15

Despite the glitches, I am loving the new Android app performance. I’ve gone in and tweaked configs for a number of devices and smartapps that weren’t worth the pain before. It’s enjoyable to use now. Feels like version 2.0 already.

And with the CTO announcement on what’s getting fixed, I’m more confident. Take all the time you need to get Hub 2.0 up to par. Just keep the important information flowing to set expectations.


(Darryl) #16

Just wanted to add my .02$ and agreement, the new Android app, and the environment as a whole seems more stable over the last week! :smile:


(Fast, Good, Cheap...pick two.) #17

Totally agree!

I understand that peoples experience may differ. I often wonder if much of the negative experiences may depend on local population? I also have noticed that my results/performance has improved depending on at what level I assign the action (mode vs. device).

Maybe it’s timing…maybe it’s placebo…maybe it’s me setting up my devices/actions more efficiently?

Who knows…I just know I’m not going to expect perfection from a $100 hub or from (what I see as) a free service. I don’t hold smarthings responsible for any additional investments I’ve made and why it isn’t working…they didn’t sell it to me.

If I decide to bail out all my “things” will work on other platforms…but then I’m not a grass is greener kind of guy :wink:

Long story short best $100 I’ve ever spent! I love smarthings and really would enjoy the forum more if I saw more positive reinforcement and less complaining.

To all those that work hard at Smarthings and to those that make this experience more enjoyable…thank you!!!


(Allan Cardinal) #18

Maybe my problem is that I am not getting the updates as the status is wrong for most of my devices 90 percent of time, the app no longer works propel on Samsung galaxy 5 phone and frequent crashes. I have a pretty useless st system right now and I don’t even have many devices connected. I would absolutely love to have a dependable system such as yours.


(Erich Greenebaum) #19

Great to hear about all the stability improvements. Congratulations ST team!

The thing I’ve always found confusing, though, is why anyone would ever have developed a home automation product that relies entirely on remote logic. As a control systems guy for many years (on the more industrial robot side of things) that is laughable-crazy from reliability, performance, and security perspectives. Indeed - I had no idea I was buying into something like that, and basically stopped investing in or using the products when I discovered what I’d done.

So - congrats on making the ball of string work… but I’ll be waiting for 2.0 at this point. I’d be very interested to hear from a developer what led them to this design decision. To achieve lock-in? So you could use a $5 embedded device instead of a real processor? Some notion about scaling? Please don’t take this as a flame - I’m genuinely curious.


(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #20

I’m glad to here it is working better for some of you. For me, I am still seeing the same unexpected behavior, mostly devices not updating.

Although I have a new one I have been seeing just within the last couple of weeks… SmartThings telling me my garage door is open when it is not. This has been one thing that has been pretty reliable since it’s installation, but no more.