Starting up smartthings hub without an iOS / Android

So those of us without an Android/iOS device, can not even start playing with this device out of the box? Wow … how about starting with a web based control first … add mobile later … ?
This way, anyone with a browser, would be able to start the adventure (place “I’m going on an adventure” MEME here).

At this moment, I am unable to even test if my activation code is valid and/or hub is operational.

Yes, support has been contacted, but having this shiny thing sitting in a box and not being able to start is frustrating to say the least.Finally, no I refuse to pay for a “smartphone” and a bloated mobile plan … (I use very little of my prepaid minutes on a simple flip phone).

I do agree that this sucks as you cannot use it. I was in the same boat as you. I did find someone with a older iphone that were not using that I used to set it up. You just need to connect the wifi to the iphone to set it up and use smartthings. After I set it up I pretty much don’t have to use the iphone any more as it just sends text messages to my other phone. Try to see if you can find someone that has a spare iphone or ipod that you can use to set it up with. It has to have IOS 6.0 on it. You don’t have to have a mobile plan just wifi to set it up and then have all the text messages come to your other phone.

Just my suggestion :slight_smile:


A helpful member has posted a link to a simple Android app (in .apk form and source code). It’s bare bones, but actually provides quite a bit of functionality.

Only problem is that you cannot “Search/Add Things” from the API (and, thus, not from this APK either). I don’t understand why the API does not expose the “Search/Add Things” function: In the meantime, you could “borrow” an iOS device to add all your Things to your Hub, and then use this Android APK to monitor and control them…


@tgauchat: Note that the original poster doesn’t want to use an Android app either.  I’m as annoyed as many others that the Android app was promised but isn’t ready yet, but they certainly never promised a web interface at product roll-out.   So I’m not really sure why this is a revelation…

@Gray : Oh – you’re right. :-/

The API is web based (REST … or whatever that’s called; I ought to know this basic terminology, right?); thus it really isn’t hard to code a web based “app” interface to SmartThings.

In fact, the code that is used for the rough little Android APK that I mentioned in previous post, is written in JavaScript on a platform that makes JS easy to port to various devices (or browser).

A web based interface might be a little slow and miss some dynamic updating features; but it would be better than nothing. Personally, I would actually find it interesting and educational to code it myself:  But my fear is that just as I finished, SmartThings would release their official one, and my work would be overshadowed.

AND:  Since the “Add-Things” is not exposed in the API … there would be a major piece of functionality I could not implement.


Physical Graph Corporation (SmartThings) works in mysterious ways…

Little confused why someone who had neither an iOS or Android device would had put money towards the kickstart.

@Cory:  Point taken.

However; I think it is reasonable to ask, why, in the year 2013, a company which is promoting a significant amount of openness (connectivity, API, partnerships, radio standards, UPnP, etc.) has not placed a greater focus-priority on the largest mobile computing platform AND/OR covering all the bases by using an HTML5 (heck, anything in decent JavaScript) browser capable client…

Just wondering what the strategy is.

Of course, SmartThings is not the only Project or Enterprise that focuses their user interface on iOS; … There are many good reasons for doing this, though I think those reasons are getting weaker. And … SmartThings is a special case, since the product isn’t an “App” – it is an infrastructure/platform (i.e., SmartHub, Things, and Cloud), that SHOULD be (and, will be?) user-interface AGNOSTIC.


@Cory:  Curiosity and self education …

Tech trends often change. In my mind, Apple is no different.

As for the SmartThings; I can wait for further development of UIs on different platforms. What really sheers my threads is the fact that at launch I can’t verify if my device is operational without using a very specific system. As strange as it might be, I do not have access to an iOS device … and I am not about to ask someone for their phone so that I can install an app on it. (I would not let someone do that to my phone, so I will not ask for it.)

I was even thinking about emulating this bloody iOS (in a non-apple environment) … but I can’t find any satisfactory documents that would lead me through the jungle.

Thus, for now I am at the mercy of SmartThings. If I will not see a spot of light in the tunnel soon, then I will most likely sell this hub on ebay.

I am also not a huge fan of “the cloud” … always smells like a big data mining operation when I hear the term.


Believe me, I am 100% with you in my concerns that “everything” is so “cloud-centric”, especially since a great number of Home Automation tasks can be accomplished entirely locally; and it really isn’t that difficult to expose a port on a internet router with a DynamicDNS service & UPnP to permit direct remote access inbound…

SmartThings has discussed this, however, and they at least are conceding that some functionality can and will be permitted to be downloaded and stored in the Smart Hub for cloud-independance.


Meanwhile; I have not escalated this yet, but I am concerned that the published REST API (http access) does not include the search/add/join functionality. At least the IDE portal includes a DELETE function… so, why not ADD?

My request and suggestion:  Please email: ; as that will ensure a feature request ticket is opened and tracked.



My point was more why someone would back it if they weren’t prepared to use it with the equipment SmartThings said it would support at launch. A web portal may or may not be coming later, but I think it is kind of unrealistic to be complaining about it when they aren’t even half done fulfilling backers yet.

I’m all for a web portal. When I’m at the office my phone never leaves my pocket. Google Voice forwards my calls to my office phone, and I can send/receive texts with the Google Voice Chrome plugin. I also monitor my dropcam on the web portal, not my phone. Phones are for when you plan to be moving around a lot, not planted in a chair all day. I just don’t expect them to have every platform covered 2 weeks after the first backer has his kit. Next I expect a thread from the guy who bought a Blackberry Z10 to raise hell he isn’t supported.

A web portal would have been a catch all for both sides of the two biggest smartphone OSs, heck even the BB users :wink: I’m on the same boat sort of, I am an android user and no access to iOS so that leaves me hanging, partially.


I’m a little upset too that the Android app isn’t ready, leaving me unable to use my Smartthings. With Android on over 60% on all smartphones and iOS on ~20%, I’m a little surprised that the Android app didn’t get more priority.

Is there an ETA on the Android app? I too was a little disappointed when I received my package today and couldn’t find it. I do have old iOS devices though and will dust them off now.

It would be nice to have the Android app…Though to be frank I didn’t get the thing for the software. I imagine, like many people, it was purely for the hardware. I’ll hack and re-write/flash the entire system if need be to make it do what I want (the idea of being stuck on their cloud doesn’t exactly sit well with me).

A lot of good points were brought up in this thread and I think the SmartThings people should pay extremely close attention here for some next steps in their SDK strategy. I agree that it would have been, perhaps, wiser to focus on a truly cross-platform solution (HTML5 and JavaScript) first because - worst case, you could use it with nearly ANY mobile device (just not an official app store app) AND any computer, laptop, tablet, etc. Major miss there. Major. While I’m sure the idea was to cater to an audience that uses the device rather than one that develops for it and the idea was to make an easy experience for an end-user…This project was born out of developer supporters via Kickstarter and the initial release was into the hands of, arguably, a more developer-centric group of people. So why they didn’t take the high road is beyond me…Perhaps their fear of how long Apple takes to approve applications lead them to building that first. Whatever the reasoning, I think their development priorities were just a little off is all. I mean, let’s be honest, all the things we’re after will likely come to exist.

Patience =) But an ETA on a few of these things would be sweet…

Ditto… The problem is that we can’t even code our OWN web based or Android App, because…

The published REST API (http access) does not include the search/add/join functionality. At least the IDE portal includes a DELETE function… so, why not ADD?

Yes… I’ve said this already; but haven’t receive a response. Why is the search/add/join function not exposed in the API?

This may help:

I’m digging through things and something tells me you don’t need an Android or iOS device to get started. Since I did go back and upgraded an old iPhone4 to iOS6 and set things up through the app…I’m not sure…But I’ll see if I can still figure that out (if possible). In the meantime, I’ve stumbled upon quite a bit of useful REST API endpoints!

This is more or less what I was hoping for…And while it would be better that we didn’t have to go through their service, I’m ok with it. It’s a little too locked down and the open source enthusiast inside me is screaming bloody murder…But for now it’ll be ok and prevent me from having to hack into the damn thing. Which is great because I don’t have the time right now.

Their OAuth + their REST API will make for a wonderful opportunity to integrate SmartThings with other devices. I’m super excited.

Also - I can’t promise to keep these unofficial docs up to date, but will try and will do so until there’s something better officially.

@Tom : Thanks for the alternative and helpful documentation link.

However, I disagree with your optimism:

"something tells me you don’t need an Android or iOS device to get started"

The problem, as I have said in the post above yours, is a serious one from the “get started” standpoint:

The problem is that we can’t even code our OWN web based or Android App, because… The published REST API (http access) does not include the search/add/join functionality. At least the IDE portal includes a DELETE function… so, why not ADD? Yes… I’ve said this already; but haven’t receive a response. Why is the search/add/join function not exposed in the API?

Please let us know if you discover anything otherwise.  I think we ought to just start protocol sniffing!

Yeah, I’m with CP. You definitely need an app to get started in the sense of adding devices to your hub. It would also seem that there’s no way to enable any SmartApps through the IDE.

So while you can be working on writing code without the app, and you can check the status of your Things without the app…it seems like a stretch to say you don’t need the app to get started, at least in the sense of actually using your SmartThings.

Yea true, I really do wish that you could build your own and not have to go through their service. I believe that’s because they are charging a subscription fee, no? I thought I read that somewhere (though Kickstarter backers have a lifetime one).

Again, I’m only assuming that it’s possible based on what I’ve uncovered so far… I’m still researching though I have work I’m getting sidetracked with (and a move). I also have been sniffing and port scanning =)

It would be really nice if we could run and connect to our own internal server…Then we wouldn’t have to go through the internet which would be great.

I think you want to read this, @shift8creative:

Yup, I saw that. There’s a business decision driving that though. The “benefits” are on their side and not ours as developers.