ST reliability ... getting worse? (Last couple months, August 2018)


(Greginfla) #1

Is anyone else having issues with devices not working or not working properly? Light bulbs that have worked for years all of a sudden every couple of weeks need to be hard reset and installed. Motion sensor that are limited by a routine rule work flawlessly for weeks, not just ignore rountine rule?


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #2

As @JDRoberts can likely corroborate, SmartThings has “always” had some degree of less-than-desirable reliability; though this is highly subject to your definition of “reliability”.

SmartThings is an incredibly complex platform, and if any one component is unreliable, it can affect the entire experience of one or many Customers. For example, major SmartThings Cloud outages (or extra slow performance…) are rare, but when they do happen, is the duration important? What about the number of Customers affected?

Hub Firmware and App updates also sometimes introduce new bugs, many of which are resolved within a day or two … other bugs or shortfalls have existed for years.

But to the point of the subject line “… getting worse?” – Since it is subjective, plenty of folks could say it is worse and offer evidence and trends. But I’ve been here since Day #1 (Kickstarter deliveries!) and assert the long term trend is definitely more reliable … not worse. There are fewer major outages and various longstanding issues have been resolved over the past year, etc., etc…

But under that trend, there are periods of “2 steps forward, 1 step back”; so if a customer experiences a particularly rough patch or two, it is hard to see the forward trend. This is actually not uncommon in many products today, even somewhat “mature” ones. This is because the product state is not stable - Every component of this complex system is subject to change, and managing change is difficult. Changes meant to improve usability may break reliability; changes meant to improve reliability may remove some good features, or have negative side-effects. New features may be added but left unoptimized indefinitely: Scenes, for example, were are relatively sudden and welcome new feature, but from the day of release, and continuing, they activate rather slowly. No explanation. I expect someday they will “suddenly” improve.

Next you are likely to have issues localized to your particular unique environment (the combination of your specific brand, model, quantity of Things, their firmware, the stability of their specific DTHs, RF interference, your network reliability, tachyons hitting your Hub, …, complexity of your automations and SmartApps, use of the new App vs the classic App, …) - any and all such variables can make your experience entirely different than any other customers’ experiences.

The activity in this Community Forum has fallen dramatically over the past several months. Since SmartThings doesn’t share their statistics from their Support Desk, and since no independent reviewers run continuous testing / retesting of the product, it is essentially impossible to get empirical data on reliability.

Even if this Topic were to attract a statistically valid sample size (it won’t), my wild guess is that it would get around a 50/50 response of “getting better” vs “getting worse”. Or maybe 70/30 … or vice versa. Guessing without statistically valid data is pretty futile.

You could look for other data sources such as the trend of the Amazon Rating (of the SmartThings Hub) and App Store and Play Store ratings of the App(s) - though the transition to new Hub and App affects the validity of those ratings too. Off the top of my head, I believe that the rating averages have been pretty steady, with a slight upward trend - perhaps confirming the bias of my earlier paragraphs.


(Bob Kerr) #3

This is likely a local problem. What kind of bulbs do you have?

Can you elaborate on this, I didn’t quite get what you are trying to say.

Based on personal experience, and to answer to your opening question, I echo what @tgauchat said above:


(Kebel87) #4

This is what worries me most out of everything. I can live with downtimes, weird mobile app transitionning, scenes not perfect, occasional hiccups, etc. But I really fear a community disengagement or migration toward another platform.

What makes ST so good is its community and the custom integrations offered by community devs (like you). What do you think can explain a decrease in activity while home automation is a growing market with assistants (Google, Alexa) are blooming? Did we reach a plateau in community developpment so most custom apps are mature and generate less buzz?


(Bob Kerr) #5

What goes around, comes around. People are likely quiet as they watch how the migration to new API will pan out. Sure, some less patient people might go out in search for better platforms, but as @geko put it, less likely to find it any time soon.


(Kebel87) #6

You meant app right? Or are they migrating something else platform wise that I’m not aware of?


(Bob Kerr) #7

(Kebel87) #8

Thanks, somehow missed it :confused:

I’ve been less involved lately myself I should say…


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

Lots of factors:

  • Elimination of the Community / Developer evangelist / advocate roles.
  • Very little official support of the Community for years even when those roles were filled. Upper management ran away and hid… and resigned.
  • Loss of many original SmartThings founders and even the following generation.
  • Shift of focus to Samsung (SmartThings is not longer acting as an independent subsidiary, so expect “Community” to be driven by Samsung now, over on the new Developers’ site).
  • And yes - a plateau prior to the new App and API. There are a finite number of “SmartApps” needed, so the concept of a “marketplace” was a dud. SmartThings ≠ Android or iOS. That was just delusional.
  • Relative overall stagnation of SmartThings marketing? While the new App is radically different, the new Hub isn’t (to the average consumer and developer). Amazon just bought Ring and that will lead to a lot of opportunities. Amazon is actively promoting “Alexa Skill” development in multiple channels, for small and large developers.
  • …?

(Steven Pokrandt) #10

Myself I’m fed up with smartthings, everything is broken in the new and improved app only the basic devices that smartthings sells work. the new interface is hideous and slow.

I’m praying that google comes out with a zwave/zigbee hub. and I’m an atheist.


#11

Once again…You still should be using the Classic app.

My 2 Cents.


(Steven Pokrandt) #12

well I do use the original app. but will be forced to the new and improved app at some point. why should i invest in anything more when custom dth’s are not supported. my fireplace, awning, fan a number of switches, garage door opener my never work

my nest doorbell stopped working in the original app and i get crickets from samsung support when i ask for help. guess it’s a not our problem check with ring attitude.

The direction of smartthing confuses me. don’t listen to your users and add devices that people don;t want. washers dryers oh I get it it’s because they are samsung products.

How about they publish a roadmap so we have a clue of the direction they have chosen and allow users to make a choice… or voice concern… oh wait they don’t listen…


(Bob Kerr) #13

I am sure they will publish such a roadmap… :wink: AFTER Amazon, Apple or Nest publish theirs first, or any other competitor for that matter.


(Steven Pokrandt) #14

unfortunately smartthings is the only viable option at this point. I’ll be watching for any promising replacements.


#15

You can always go with one of these:

www.control4.com/

https://www.adt.com/new-media/home-automation?ecid=R_DM_DOT_HOR_GOO_Homeowner_Demo_Home_Automation&gclid=Cj0KCQjwlqLdBRCKARIsAPxTGaV_g7j0nL11eGTd-LGlSewDRemX1A9fgc0i4y6T-y85Yx8y3gdD5S8aAnLXEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

To name a few.