Third party app to control SmartThings hub?

I just can’t anymore with the new SmartThings app. Are there any third party apps that can be used with my SmartThings hub?
I toughed it out and figured out a lot of workarounds, but it’s too much effort for not enough functionality. Hoping for a better app so I don’t have to start again with a different smart hub.

(After migration many routines no longer worked, Life 360 presence sensing stopped working, Alexa integration was hit and miss. The new feature to use my iPhone as a presence sensor is hit and miss. The inability to use a mode as a condition in an automation that calls a scene which changes the mode is beyond frustrating, when all I’m trying to do is turn some devices on and off when I leave and come home. All of this was intuitive and worked perfectly in the Classic app.)

Some admin functions, like adding new devices, can only be done from the official app.

However, for every day operation there are several different “dashboard“ apps which are very popular. Some require a paid license, some are free. They each have somewhat different features.

Here’s a recent discussion comparing them that should serve as a good introduction. Although the OP begins by asking about wall panels, these generally run in any browser and so can also be used on a mobile phone.

FAQ: Sharptools , actiontiles or native ST app for your wall panel? (2020)

note: One of the posters in that thread was @tgauchat , a developer for one of the apps. He sadly passed away last year and is very much missed in the community. If you have any questions about any of his posts, just reply to them but tag @625alex , another developer from the same company, and he’ll get you an answer.

while ive had a actiontiles dashboard for a while and dabbled in it some a while back, now im starting to use it more. also, ive started exploring sharptools. right now the cost difference is you can buy a lifetime subscription to actiontiles, but with sharptools you either pay monthly or a slightly lower yearly subscription. hopefully sharptools comes out with a lifetime subscription.

I am with you on Sharp Tools. I like their dashboard, but the annual cost is higher than a lifetime of Action Tiles for similar functionality.

It just depends on what you need, different people will need different features. Sharptools has a free tier which is enough for some people and actiontiles has a free trial, but not a free tier.

SharpTools also has a full rules engine, which actiontiles does not. And widgets for Android. But definitely the lifetime license for actiontiles is nice.

Choice is good. :sunglasses:


Yup, I have the lifetime license for actiontiles too. Hopefully runs a promo for a lifetime license.

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I go back-and-forth on this. Usually, I vehemently oppose a subscription, but it kind of makes sense for me with SharpTools. Three specific reasons come to mind:

  1. My situation has evolved quickly over the past 12 months. I played with Wyze, IFTTT, Sequematic, Smartthings, webCoRE, and then SharpTools. Lifetime for me has been a few months in some cases.

  2. It keeps the developers engaged to augment features and add value.

  3. This was their deal all along, as far as I can tell. Wyze, IFTTT, and others created relationships as a lifetime deal, but then wanted to dip their toes into subscriptions.


I am using the Smartthings integration with Home Assistant now. All my zwave/zigbee devices are still on Smartthings, but the Home Assistant mobile app is what I use everyday to control all my smartthings devices now. It was very difficult to setup, but me (and more importantly, the wife) are much happier with it. The Homeassistant app is lightning fast and infinitely customizable. You do need a machine in your house running home assistant, and then have to setup SSL encryption for it to work. Setting up the SSL encryption was the biggest pain, but you can get around it with the homeassistant cloud for $5 a month. But if you take the time, other then the initial hardware, which is usually a raspberry pi, (unless you have an old machine lying around to use), it’s opensource and free. I’ve found in general there usually are free alternatives to everything, the question though is how much is your time worth as an investment to get it going? I also like the idea of one time investments versus never ending subscription plans. Also, as @JDRoberts points out, you still need the Smartthings app for configuration and to change advanced settings, but I’m hardly using the Smartthings app at all and don’t use it for device control. Its slow, looks like crap, and overall terrible. It speaks volumes to how horrible the Smarthings app is that a different app for another device, that routes through a server in my house, and then to the Smartthings API is significantly faster then their own app. More info on the Smarthings Home Assistant integration here Also, here’s a side by side comparison of the two apps- same devices, all connected to Smartthings - also notice how backdoor still was stuck on “checking status” when I took the screenshot :roll_eyes::

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