Suggested Community Category: Plug and Play Solutions (no custom code)


#1

I can code. I don’t want to.

Imagine you are wearing an oven mitt on each hand. You have voice response software which is OK, not perfect.

Now try using most of the answers to most of the questions in most of the topics in the community. “Cut and paste” is not going to go well. Coding Groovy is going to go worse. Debugging groovy code is really, really difficult because it’s hard to get the cursor positioned just so.

So while I’m all in favor of better GitHub integration, more examples, and a beefed up IDE, none of that solves my issues.

I suggest adding a Category to the forum for no code solutions. Anything from “Is there an irrigation system that works with SmartThings?” to “How can I give my guests the ability to turn the lights on and off?” is going to get a very different set of answers than what happens now, but they’ll be answers that work for the very large group of potential SmartThings customers who don’t want to write their own code, however “simple” that might seem to be.

It would be fine to say, “If you want to do custom coding, you can find discussion in another Category” and link over. But solutions offered in the plug and play category cannot include custom code.

Also–no vaporware solutions from marketing staff. Anything suggested has to be real and available now, although it’s OK if someone wants to say “There’s a product announced that should solve that, but no official delivery date yet.” Because some people looking for a plug and play solution will be OK with waiting for a few months to see what actually condenses.

It would also be fine to offer a project solution that might require hiring a contractor to implement, and to say something like, “If you don’t want to do your own wiring, you could hire a contractor to…” I don’t think there’s any difficulty with this target audience in suggesting you could hire an electrician to put in new light switches, for example.

And yes, it would be ideal if there was a SmartApp store where we could buy/find SmartApps that required nothing more than clicking an install button to add to our own installations. And if there was such a category, it would be an excellent place to announce new SmartApps.

But meanwhile…

“All Home Automation is local.” Meaning will it work for me, in my house, now.

And for many of us, the “for me” means “without custom coding.” Even “just” cut and paste.

So setting aside a part of the community where projects and solutions can be discussed from a consumer point of view rather than a maker one would be extremely helpful. And I think only to SmartThings’ benefit over time. And making a separate category would preserve all the great stuff that the coders are already sharing.

Just a thought…


Platform Developer Agreement
(Geko) #2

If you don’t mind me asking, how do you control SmartThings? Only using voice? I mean, even installing stock apps and adding devices takes a lot of tapping, sliding, scrolling and shaking.


#3

I can use the SmartThings app on my ipad for individual device control using the built in Apple accessibility options, including AssistiveTouch and voice dictation. :smile:

Although I like to use the oven mitt metaphor to make the point, I actually do physically have the ability to use one knuckle to tap on the iPad, although I cannot use the Home button. And I can’t control the speed of taps easily, or do double taps.

AssistiveTouch, which has been built into iOS since about version 5, lets you use a single tap to equate to quite complex gestures, including shaking the device, swiping up, and pressing the home button. Not precise enough to do cut and paste, but more than adequate for the regular ST app.

The following video from iOS 7 demonstrates the feature. Most people don’t even know it’s there, but for those of us who need it, it’s great.

In addition, beginning with I think iOS 7, any apple device that has Siri also has voice dictation. When the keyboard pops up, it will have a microphone icon. Tap that, and now you can voice instead of type.

Both AssistiveTouch and voice dictation work with the standard ST iOS app. So I can use Assistive Touch to “shake” the device and display the tile names, or to scroll up or down or swipe left or right or to use the Home key to exit. I can also change the names of devices, or any other field that supports the typing keyboard, with voice instead.

So I have one touch options for many things, but not always for the kind of granularity required for cut and paste or cursor positioning in the middle of text that will not be recognized by the voice dictation. Trying to get past a curly bracket without changing it to something else, for example, gets really tricky.

What I really want, though, is handsfree, or at most one touch, voice control instead of the ST app. Although it’s possible to use AssistiveTouch, it’s actually pretty tiring. So someday if we get full handsfree control via something like Amazon’s Echo, Samsung’s Gear watch, or some other device, that will make a big difference to me in everyday use. But when I say “handsfree,” I mean really truly handsfree. Not “take your phone out of your pocket, wake it up, choose the app, tap it, swipe to the entry screen, tap to start dictation, and then talk.” I mean “Hey, Alexa” handsfree.

I hope that was all clear. It’s one of those things that seems weird when you don’t use it, but becomes pretty automatic once you do.


(Geko) #5

Wow! Appreciate your detailed answer. Totally agree that voice control is the way to go, even for those of us who can type with their fingers. I wish your story would compel SmartThins to flatten their UI and make It less cumbersome. Even I have difficulty hitting those small gear buttons on the device tiles.


(April Wong) #6

Hey! I appreciate your suggestions. Particularly, plug and play solutions for.

I suggest adding a Category to the forum for no code solutions.

In addition, we’ve been in discussion with the ideas of up-voting ideas where non-developers can suggest, and developers create solutions. I believe when Appstore’s interface launches, it will be an easy integration into the main app itself too, without much work. I agree that it would be easier for everyday consumers too.

Just letting you know we’re digesting your feedbacks, I personally appreciate it, and I’ll be discussing this with ben later today.