SmartThings Community

SmartTiles


(Alec Howson) #1

so what is SmartTiles and do i need it?

described on their website as “a SmartThings web client”, & apparently it’s a “Mobile Native App”. that means nothing to me

is it just a front end for SmartThings? allowing easy control of my things

cheers

Alec


(Dean Smith) #2

Short Answer “Yes”.

Long answer - Get it, set it up, even if you don’t use it, because one day trust me you will.

I use it on wall mounted tablets as a home control system.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #3

Yes!

SmartThings does not have a “browser based” user-interface for controlling and monitoring your devices (Things). SmartTiles provides this in a simple format, but it is pretty darn popular.

Easiest way is to just install it (free) and give it a try: http://SmartTiles.click/install


For more information see the official Community Discussion Topic(s):

and older Topic, but relevant…

And the screen shots on the SmartTiles.click web page should be helpful as well.

Reach me at: Terry@SmartTiles.click (or in conversation on the Topics above).


#4

C[quote=“Alec_Howson, post:1, topic:31392, full:true”]
so what is SmartTiles and do i need it?

is it just a front end for SmartThings? allowing easy control of my things

[/quote]

Yes, that’s a good description of it.

It was created by a community member under the original name of “action” and quickly became extremely popular.

Runs on any phone/Tablet with a web browser

It runs in the web browser, which means it doesn’t matter whether you have an iPhone or an android phone or Windows phone. It will still work. It also has a simpler install process than many of the custom smartapps.

Uses

Because it’s customizable, it allows you to include just a few of your devices or many. So people commonly used it as a wall mount or table controller for individual rooms. You’ll see this usage in some of the official site’s blog stories: pretty much everybody who has a wall mount tablet in those stories is using either SmartTiles or one of the other community created “dashboards” rather than the official mobile app.

There’s even a whole topic in these forums where people put pictures and descriptions of their wallmount solutions for SmartTiles.

It is also used to give someone like a child or flatmate toggle access to devices in the home without giving them access to the rest of the account. So they would be able to turn lights on and off without being able to change any schedules or routines that had been set up.

You could also set up a tablet controller in each child’s room which would allow them to turn off the devices in their own room but not the one next-door. (One of the first use case requests.)

Essential for some, unnecessary for others

As to whether you need it, that’s a personal decision. If you feel frustrated by the “things” list in the official mobile app, then SmartTiles is certainly a good option to consider as an alternative. If you’re happy with the official mobile app as it is, then you likely don’t need it.

It’s free to try, and then a donation is suggested if you find it valuable.

I myself have no connection with them other then as someone who has used it and liked it. @tgauchat and @625alex (the original developer) are the two community members who have a formal association.


(Alec Howson) #5

thanks all… really easy to set up. I like it


(Stuart Buchanan) #6

Bookmark it on the home screen on android and Iphone and it opens as a native app without the address bar


(david) #7

Thanks for this, I bought a blackberry playbook that had started to collect dust. This has given it a purpose in life. They are available very cheaply these days. I even cancelled a hue remote because I do not need it now.


(Scott McCarthy) #8

Hey I am new to SmartThings and have just started to use SmartTiles like many of the other posts here (aka old tablet mounted on wall). But one thing worth pointing out is this is dependent on having an internet connection. So using this for your main room switch could have drawbacks if you are not careful.

How does local SmartApp or Device Type processing work?

Certain automations can now execute locally on the Samsung SmartThings Hub. The SmartThings internal team specifies which automations are eligible for local execution. This process requires evaluation and testing of the SmartApp and devices, as well as ensuring that the necessary code artifacts are delivered to the Hub.

Any locally executing SmartApps or Device Type Handlers still send events to the SmartThings cloud. This is necessary so that the mobile application can accurately reflect the current state of the devices, as well as perform any cloud-required services (e.g., sending notifications). In the event of an Internet outage, the events will be queued and sent to the SmartThings cloud when Internet is restored.

It is not possible for developers to specify that certain Device Types or SmartApps execute in any particular location (cloud or on the hub). SmartApps or Device Types that have not been reviewed, tested, and delivered to the hub by the SmartThings team will execute in the SmartThings cloud.

Hope this helps and maybe someone a little more experienced can answer if the SmartTiles currently executes from the cloud or locally from the v2 Hub?


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #9

Very few SmartApps run locally at the moment, despite the high hopes everyone had for the Hub V2 release. Hub V2 does not have the ability to dynamically load and unload individual Device Handlers and SmartApps, so only a few major SmartApps that SmartThings considers supportable and stable re included (ummm… Smart Lighting … is that all? I’m not sure).

The current version of SmartTiles uses a small amount of resources loaded in your browser from GitHub (icons and a standard jquery library, etc.), so along with a web server, these all would have to run in the Hub V2. We’re all hoping that Hub V2’s firmware evolves to permit more and more complex SmartApps and Device Handlers to run locally, but some are much harder than others for SmartThings to safely handle in the Hub. It is a little under powered.

SmartTiles, (@625alex and myself) however, are engaged in discussions with SmartThings to see what the long-term plans are for local processing and see if there is any possibility that we can take this into account for future versions to localize some control. We think it is quite a long ways off, but we’re encouraged that SmartThings is taking this Customer desire seriously.


(Klas) #10

Anyone running SmartTiles on a eink display as a control panel?
I know there are some hackable eink readers out there.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #11

I’ve tried it on my Kindle once; it doesn’t work very well, unfortunately, because SmartTiles uses AJAX to do minimal refreshing. Thus if you turn a lightbulb on or off, the color of the icon may not change sufficiently to indicate what the current state is.

Of course, the taps are still effective to issue commands, so that’s half the battle, perhaps.

Maybe with a customized color scheme (custom CSS), and/or some more frequent “full” wipe / refreshes it may be workable … but I don’t know if the browsers on eInk tablets have ways to force a wipe / refresh.

But that might also run down the battery faster…


(Klas) #12

Thanks for the heads up! May look into writing native Android app for full UI control.


(Scott McCarthy) #13

Thanks for the update


(Scott) #14

How do you get SmartTiles to be run as a dashboard on a dedicated device so it looks like it is the only thing running and not a web page in a browser? This is on an Android device.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #15

Start in Chrome and when on the Launcher page for your dashboard, select “Add to Home Screen” from the Chrome menu.


Other mainstream browsers have variations on this option, sometimes called “Add to Desktop”.

There are also Kiosk Mode browsers like Fully Kiosk.


(Scott) #16

I did that and all it did was create a shortcut and put it on home page. Clicking it just opens it up in browser and does not hide browser status bar or anything.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #17

What model of device and Android and Chrome version?


(Scott) #18

LG Tribute 2
Android 5.1.1
Chrome 54.0.2840.85


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #19

It should work as I described… Try it with some other websites?

Perhaps it’s an issue with your Home Screen App?

The technique I described doesn’t work at all on Kindle Fire, for example, as sideloaded Chrome doesn’t even have the Add to Homescreen option.

Sorry I can’t help. Try the other SmartTiles Topic on CSS and Mounting.


(Scott) #20

Does the home screen need to be empty when you add it?