SmartTiles Dashboard v5.5: Added UK 🇬🇧, 5 × Dashboards, and more! Nov 6, 2015

Good observation and certainly worthy of consideration for homes that are using a SmartTiles dashboard for arm / disarm control.

The ability to restrict a portion of a Dashboard (such as changing Mode, SHM, Routine execution, or … any Tile for that matter) via the requirement of a PIN or other authentication mechanism, is a feature request that we have open for consideration based on several reqests. Implementation is not likely to be considered for quite a long while, though, as our efforts are focused on the application refresh overhaul “V6”. That new platform will provide a stronger foundation for us to implement certain types enhancements.

Your observation is super appreciated, actually, as it brings up an interesting idea to enhance the aforementioned authentication concept: i.e., that the authentication requirement on dashboards within the home could be defined to be “enabled” only when the home is “Armed” or “Armed - Away”; since logically some families could safely presume if the home is not armed, then the risk of an intruder using the dashboard is low to non-existent. Great concept, I think, right?

In the meantime, we strongly recommend that anyone who uses a SmartTiles Dashboard that has any sensitive information or functions on it, to be sure to enable the password, PIN, or fingerprint locking applicable to the tablet or smart phone.

Since SmartTiles is often used on tablets or phones that have NFC and/or Bluetooth readers, you may find a utility for your device that will automatically unlock based on the presence of an NFC tag or Bluetooth device. This might eventually layer into the “mode or tile-specific” locking features under consideration.

It’s worth noting that SmartThings’s own native mobile App does not have a timeout of any sort. Even if you change your password via another device or the graph.api website, all mobile SmartThings sessions remain fully logged in. This is a substantial risk if your phone or tablet is lost or stolen.

SmartTiles, however, provides a “reset token” option to immediately invalidate any specific child dashboard URLs.


Happy New Years all! Tgauchat, your response is appreciated. Glad to hear I’m not crazy. Anyway the SmartTiles app is plenty good as it stands today, so it sounds like I need to train my wife for now and patiently await a version that addresses my security concerns.


Does anyone know if there is a way to automatically turn an iPad screen on and off with motion? I am using an old iPad as a screen to display SmartTiles: It would be cool, and energy efficient (e.g. battery consumption) if I could set the screen to turn on when it senses motion (I suppose via the camera) and off after some period of time. Right now, the iPad is just always on.

If this isn’t possible on the iPad, is it possible on some other (cheap) tablet?

Did some more thinking about this, and ended up just setting my instance of SmartTiles on read-only for now. I was primarily looking for a status monitor (I’ve been setting my alarm off by accident too much), versus a control panel. I would like to use it for control at some point, but for now, it fits my needs perfectly.

BTW: awesome app, and I will definitely be donating.


Hi, I don’t know whether this will help you, but I set this up on two old android tablets and it works fine.

I purchased ‘motion detector’ from the play store

Then I emailed the developer for his plug in (probably should have emailed first :smile:)

The plug in is called ‘Turn Screen’ … its very small… the developer was kind enough to share

I set the screen’s to sleep after 15 sec’s… set ‘motion detector’ to use the front camera (wall mounted tablets)
when it detects motion the screen comes on.

Hope this help’s


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Is there a bug in SmartTiles ?

As a new user I have set up SmartTiles and all seems to be working OK except I have noticed today that the contact sensor on my door does not have its events shown when I use the Event History tile to look at events. The events from the opening and closing of the door are definitely shown in the SmartThings App when I look at the device “recently” page but they are NOT shown through the SmartTiles event history tile. This looks like a bug. I am using a multisensor on the door and the vibration sensor tile is on my dashboard and the events all show fine through event history. Clearly door vibrations will occur when the door is opened and closed, so perhaps this is the source of the bug - perhaps the event history cannot cope with events close together from the same device ?

Anyway couldnt find anywhere to file bug reports on the SmartTiles site, so I am adding here in the hope the developer will pick up and investigate/fix.

Hi Spinny … this isn’t a SmartTiles issue right? The “Smart Weather Tile” isn’t developed by SmartTiles. I believe it updates throughout the day, but I would not be surprised if the UK weather feed isn’t as consistent.

Can you move the question to a more general Topic where you might find someone more experienced with Smart Weather Tile (or whatever the Virtual Device is called now…). Thanks!!!

Say, how to you define/create a Smart Tile ?
Is this actually at all possible without having access to change the SmartTiles code ?

For example the WeatherTile Virtual Device is just a special device type. The SmartTiles App has a special category to add it to the configuration presumably because its own internal App code must be deciding what values to get from the device and how to show/layout these values on a corresponding tile.

However what happens when you create your own new Virtual Device types because it seems there is no way to create a new Tile definition for it because the tile definition must be in the SmartTiles App code, which you cant now access and edit.

I was thinking about creating a Max/Min Thermometer Virtual Device Type however there would be no way to display it on SmartTiles because it wouldnt match any of the configuration options of device types.

If the above reasoning is correct, this would seem a significant limitation of SmartTiles. Perhaps it could be overcome by having the SmartTiles App pull the definition of the tile content and how it should be laid out and presented on the tile from the Device itself (like the screenlayout used in the smartthings mobile App is defined in the device itself).

Is the above valid, or am I getting the wrong end of the stick somewhere ?

A very similar question was asked recently and this was the response (there are a few more replies just below this continuing the conversation)

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SmartThings does not offer any API calls into the Device Type Handler metadata{} (definition) section.

While SmartTiles will support more and more common device types over time, we don’t plan to replicate the entire SmartThings “Device Type” functionality… well, at least not for a long while.

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Could it not be done using some custom device attributes.
Say have SmartTiles query the device to see if it has the required custom attributes. Perhaps a custom attribute called say “ValuesToDisplay” which contains a list of say “DisplayValueObjects” or so on and such like.

You need to add vibration capability to the dashboard in order for these events to appear in the event history view.

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Do you have both the contact sensor and vibration sensor tiles on your dashboard? You state having the vibration sensor tile, but don’t mention the contact sensor one.

A single multi sensor could put 4 items on your dashboard - contact, vibration (acceleration), temp, battery

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There is no way to know what a custom attribute called say “ValuesToDisplay” returns and how to display it. That’s why SmartTiles works with cabapilities rather than device attributes, because capabilities are returning a predetermined values. Smart Weather Station Tile is an exception, because it’s a staple official virtual device.

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"Smart Weather Station is an exception"
I think people will value more flexibility. I understand the principle of working with capabilities based upon a limited number of dumb device types that just throw switches or report values and feedback to smartthings to implement the “smart” behaviour. But it doesnt take very long to see the benefits of defining virtual devices and the flexibility this brings to create objects which represent meaningful combinations or things in their own right. Particularly when thinking about a dashboard. For example I might like to define a status monitor that tells me whether the dog has been walked, or the max/min temps over the last 24 hrs, or whether any post has been delivered, or turns off everything, or any number of things which are constructs derived from combinations of sensor values or actuators etc. The suggestion to misuse device types to get other things displayed is an ugly and limited workaround.
I still struggle to see why SmartTiles couldnt incorporate an “Other Smart Tiles Device” category and then expect devices linked there to have a custom attribute of a given name like say “WebTile” which contains an object or object list which defines the display values and format (like a Tile object). If you know what object will be in the attribute, you will know how to process it.

I think if SmartTiles limits itself to just displaying simple raw sensor values etc. it will be quite limiting. I can see people wanting to create more types of tile. How about a time series or graph on a tile, a pie chart on a tile, a tile showing number of voicemail messages, distance run this week, or a million other things. It would be nice to think SmartTiles could be designed in a way which would support such flexibility at the outset, rather than find it runs out of steam because limitations are hard wired in.

Why don’t you code it and then see the real struggle? :wink: Just kidding… – ideas and discussion here are very welcome and interesting; but we don’t want to see you struggle…

We are not, in any way whatsoever, “limiting” SmartTiles to or from any possible future features.

Just like any software (or hardware!) development project, it is absolutely essential that we come up with a MPV scope (minimal viable product) and ensure that the market responds positively to it so that we can muster the resources necessary to build on the platform in the way the market demands.

In other words … your ideas for Tile flexibility are absolutely wonderful; but they are not in the current scope of SmartTiles. There is at least one other product that does some of what you describe (Initial State), and we have no intention of competing head-to-head with them upon the launch of SmartTiles V6.

SmartThings’s architecture is/was supposed to handle the degree of flexibility you describe and look where we are now – well over 3 years after they started coding and 1.5 years since they received a $200 million buyout. SmartTiles V6 is being built on a strong foundation with extensibility in mind, but I don’t think any platform can anticipate the type of evolution that will be appropriate for the unpredictable future user base – not to mention the complete lack of visibility we have into SmartThings’s strategies; neither their business strategies, nor their product plans.


I think it’s a fantastic idea! If you are willing to sponsor the development of this feature, soot us a private message and we can discuss the details. We are always ready to innovate and improve.


Thanks. Yep I do get that.

Just kinda wanted to lobby SmartTiles to support the ability to display more than plain temperature value. on/off etc.
I guess because it is such a great interface approach ( I have been showing it to all my friends :slight_smile: ).

(Oh, one other thought. Maybe there could be some value in getting input from an arty/ design/creative type on the standard themes - might generate some really attractive colour combos and tile designs which would enhance the appeal. At the moment the themes are kindof flat. No themes with rounded tile corners, no circular tile themes, no graduated shading etc. I think it can take an artists eye to create really good looking visual designs.)

Yeah, I know more work, more cost, MVP. :smile:


Yep I have all 4 tiles for that sensor on my dashboard. Door open and close still not showing on my event history today.

@tgauchat / @625alex

Was playing about with my SmartTiles earlier and realized something that could be cool for V6 . . . a Google Calendar integration . . .

Use Case:

Family all use a joint Google Calendar to outline important family stuff like meal / appointments / things to remember etc etc — this can then be seen on communal tablets around the home - for instance a joint one could be shown in the kitchen but an individual shown in the bedroom specific to that person etc

i think it would work well seen as google calendar can be linked to smartthings aswell via ifttt, opens up some nice doors . . . nice little visual aspect i reckon many could find use in, keeps everything in one place :slight_smile:


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