Things integration with SmartTiles / ActionTiles



Is there a reason why third party things like harmony activities or Rain Machine dont show in tiles but Ecobee does?

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

Hi BBoy…

SmartTiles (and ActionTiles, coming soon_ is limited to the functionality of a SmartApp, not a Device Type Handler. They are two distinct concepts in SmartThings.

SmartThings does not expose the full customized functionality of a Device Type Handler to SmartApps … no… only the official Capabilities, and the list of any ad hoc Commands and Attributes. SmartApps don’t get access to the metadata that defines the special tiles that you see inside the SmartThings mobile app Thing detail view, for example.

(Maybe SmartThings will eventually change this… enhance the Device API…).

In order to get ActionTiles released, we only support Capabilities official definitions; but as we identify certain popular officially published and approved “Works With SmartThings” Device Types, we will consider adding them on a one-by-one basis.

In your example; Ecobee works with SmartTiles because it conforms to “Capability Thermostat” (and a couple other standard Capabilities). Rain Machine, I think, “irrigation controller” (right?) and SmartThings does not have any such standard “Capability Irrigation Controller” yet … if ever.

###The current workaround?
Virtual Switches, Buttons, (etc.) can be used and kept in sync with a SmartApp. Then these Virtual Things can be added as Tiles to SmartTiles/ActionTiles.

[UPDATE] IKEA TrĂĄdfri Bulb Device Type

Thank you. Very detailed reply. Can you provide an example how the virtual switch would work with a non conforming device handler type?

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #4


But if you have a specific use case you are thinking of, I can give a brief description of how I think it could be done, and the Community folks here are likely to help flesh it out.


Well I would like to tie a VS to a non-comforming device type. Rain Machione for example.

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #6

You’re gonna have to be a lot more specific :smile:.

What exact functionality of the Rain Machine device do you want to control and/or view from SmartTiles/ActionTiles?


Ok. If rain machine is not found on the LAN the tile will show it as off. This would tell me it needs a power cycle or something more serious.

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #8

Is the Source Code for the Rain Machine Device Type Handler available?



( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #10


What does the SmartThings mobile App show when there is a problem with the Device?

ActionTiles supports “Capability Valve”, and there are not many additional Commands/Attributes defined. So my recommendation would be to enhance this DTH itself with capability "contact" (for example) which could indicate if the Device is currently reachable on the LAN.


I am not sure I follow this. Sorry.

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #12

That’s OK. It’s a complex Topic.

Describe in detail something that the SmartThings App does with Rain Machine that you need SmartTiles to do.

  • If you want SmartTiles to do something that the SmartThings App does not do, then that is very important to know.

Then we can focus on just the Tile or Tiles to do THAT one thing as a start.


I would like to know when a BLE, Wifi, Zigbee, or Zwave device stops communicating with ST

I would like to know battery status (which I set a tile for).

Show status for device types not officially supported by ST: Rain Machine, Plex clients (Plex Manager/PlexPlus), Wemo (connect advanced).

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #14
  1. SmartTiles can at most do stuff that SmartThings can do. SmartThings currently does not have health check yet; but there are some SmartApps that do this. Perhaps with CoRE can trigger virtual switches based on some checks, but I think you are currently out of the abilities of SmartThings. SmartTiles does not add extra functions to a device that SmartThings doesn’t have.

  2. Battery Tile will automatically be available for any Device Type with Capability Battery. Contact the author of the Device Type Handler if it should have Battery but doesn’t.

  3. SmartTiles does not support non-SmartThings “Things”. Maybe someday. Meanwhile, ask for someone to write a DTH for the device in SmartThings and then you’re on the way.

(Kamron Zufelt) #16

How does this Things SmartTiles / ActionTiles work? I searched the app store using my Samsung phone and can’t find this app that people are using to integrate things. I was able to find a website and made and account but I don’t want to have to go to a webpage for everything. I wanted a simple app that controls all my things and apps. I bought the SmartThings hub because I thought that was what it did. I have random types of cameras, thermostats, switches, alarm systems, heat, smoke, carbon detectors, motion detectors, extra cell phones, tablets, and computers. I have all kinds of stuff and apps to use them but the only things that I can get to work with Smartthings is a thermostat, a light switch, and my phone for location. How is everyone getting all these different cameras and divices to work together? I asked someone at Smartthings and they said to just buy the ones that work with it or talk to someone that can make a program that integrates them. I don’t know how to do all that. I can download and app or click a button to search for a device. Do I need to go to school to learn all this stuff to make my things work or spend a ton of money on new things or am I just missing something easy that everyone is doing or using? I’m so lost and frustrated with this. I have spent so much time trying to find away to get this stuff to work.

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

I guess this Topic / Thread is kinda “random”, so it doesn’t explore to take this particular tangent…

Starting with your quote, @Kamron_Zufelt; you haven’t quite got it accurate!

SmartThings integrates with “a lot” of, “smart things” (i.e., smart home devices); some of them via directly via popular mesh protocols for device connectivity (ZigBee and Z-Wave), some via LAN (i.e., LAN to router to WiFi to WiFi compatible device), some through bridges or gateways (Hue, Lutron). There are many “cloud to cloud” integrations: Amazon Echo/Dot Alexa, ActionTiles, InitialState, Samsung Appliances (they may be LAN or cloud, not sure…) … lots of stuff.

That’s quite a variety, and I guess you could say it is “random”.

But there are a lot of things that it does not integrate with for various reasons. There is no Bluetooth connectivity (BLE). There is no connectivity to devices that use closed Apps or Clouds (Kuna outdoor sconces with cameras, smart light and motion detection), and no “official” integration with many, many others; including Nest Thermostat and Chamberlain My Q garage door opener. Yet even many of these devices with non-official support, are available for SmartThings integration via device handlers & SmartApps written by “Community Developers” and published here, in the Community Forum, that you can install with a little effort. No … it is not “plug-and-play” … We wish SmartThings would make it easier, but they have higher priorities at the moment.

There is also no “app to app” integration; i.e, if you have a great App for Hue; don’t expect the SmartThings App to be a portal to it. There are a few Apps out there that try to do this (Yonomi? Stringify? Home Assistant?), but they are a long way from perfect.

As for video: There are so many types of cameras (thousands!!!), that SmartThings only supports a limited set. And it is up to the manufacturer to provide an open interface or partner with SmartThings. Again, Community Developers have done a great job filling in for a few unofficial camera integrations like Blink.

ActionTiles is my add-on (currently $23.99) web-based app that is an alternative to the SmartThings App; but it does not replace it. ActionTiles is handy for providing view and control Panels (that can be securely shared), that can be laid out in efficient grids, which folks find effective on tablets, PCs, or even just a few quick control Tiles on a phone. ActionTiles is web-based to maximize it’s compatibility (works on web browsers on more than just Android and iOS). Someday ActionTiles may directly connect to non-SmartThings integrated devices via their local or cloud APIs, but currently it is specialized on SmartThings … because SmartThings integrates with hundreds of Things … even if not “any random type of thing”.