What are the MUST DO things in the Smartthings app?

Hi, I’m new to HA and Smartthings, though I do have Hue. I just set up my ST v2 hub today and my things (the starter kit plus two extra motion sensors). I have read a LOT in this community but am confused about the necessity of the ST app. I know it most likely MUST be used for creating your ST account, setting up the hub and connecting your Things. Is anything else in the ST app a ‘must do’ or a ‘can only do it here’ thing? I know there are custom apps/SmartApps, etc. I’m wondering at what point I can just ignore options in the ST app itself and move to a different app. For instance, do routines HAVE to be defined in the ST app? Do modes HAVE to be set up there too? Are alerts only going to show in the ST app?

*sorry for the caps above - just want to emphasize the intent of my questions. Hope you don’t mind. *

Thanks for your time and patience with this noob! :grinning:

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There aren’t many other “view and control” mobile Apps (and only 1 pure web App).

Only the SmartThings official native mobile App can create account, add devices and SmartApps, and display these Devices exactly as the device type handler developer defined.

As for 3rd Party User Interface “Apps”:

  • SmartRules is a SmartApp that lets you define automations using graphical interface on iOS.

  • SharpTools is an Android App that lets you create widgets and integrate with Tasker.

  • SmartTiles is a web App that lets you define and use a much slimmer efficient tile based view and control page for your SmartThings.

I’m one the developer team for SmartTiles – check it out. … but let me know if I’ve help answer your question.


Generally speaking, SmartThings app is intended to be used to set up your Home Automation system, and the only time you’d need to open the app, is to adjust your settings. This is true for everything, with ONE exception. If you set up the Smart Home Monitoring, the only official way to dismiss incidents, is from your SmartThings app. There are no 3rd party apps that I am aware of, that can do that. The only way to do it other than the official app, is via IFTTT, but doing so possess security risks.

If IFTTT can do it, then we can add it to SmartTiles, but @625alex are juggling priorities.

Personally, I feel Smart Home Monitor is still very Beta and might go through some major overhauls. … Or maybe I’m just hoping it does.

The SmartTiles V6 platform will strengthen security of the app in various ways, so it probably makes sense to defer detailed work on security-sensitive functions like SHM until V6 is released, or closer to release.

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There is also the web based www.simplerulebuilder.com
And you can do some things with IFTTT

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@SBDOBRESCU, how do you dismiss an incident via IFTTT?

In the most “unorthodox” way :slight_smile: Maker & virtual switch…


How interesting, thanks!

How annoying you mean :slight_smile: - I really like my phone, but if I use SHM, I might as well get a super glue and attach my phone to my hand. I cannot believe there is (still) no official delay, no option to stop the annoying hourly reminders AND no other official way of dismissing incidents. Well there is…not using SHM at all, which I end up doing :frowning:

Thank you for the information and suggestions. I will check them out! I’ve seen the SmartRules app on the iOS app store but have been undecided what apps out there (either iOS or SmartApps) offer most or all of what I want to do. My needs aren’t that unusual. In fact, they are probably quite basic but I felt like I needed to get a better grasp of the ST ecosystem first. Between that and reading SO many posts about the failings of ST, I’ve been unsure whether to keep what I bought, to tell you the truth. But I love technology and think this system has a lot of potential.

So far I’ve only used it by manually arming/disarming the sensors I have. Alerts and notifications are set up if an incident happens. Then I go into the ST app and dismiss them. I have not started using modes or routines. I am not using presence or my phone as a presence indicator. Maybe staying away from all these functions will be less frustrating for me, based on others’ experiences. I don’t know… What are your thoughts on this?

Thanks again! :smile:

I have a contact sensor that is hacked into the door bell. I forgot about it until I tried to use SHM. It was hilarious when ST reported “Intrusion at Door Bell” every hour after someone has rang the bell.

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Different people will use the app in different ways.

SmartApps that accept input use the official app’s UI

We should also note that SmartApps , as opposed to third-party apps, use the official mobile app’s UI to accept user input. You open the official mobile app, find the smartapp, and start it there.

So anything that runs automatically won’t require using the official mobile app after you install it the first time.

But if you install custom code that you then need to go back to, you will be using the official Mobile app each time you want to restart that custom smartapp. Rule machine is a good example of this. Each time you want to create a new rule in Rule Machine, you will begin by opening the official SmartThings mobile app.

Modes and Routines

Existing Routines and modes can be executed from custom SmartApps. I am not sure whether new routines and modes can be created in a custom smart app or not. @tgauchat or one of the other master coders should know. :sunglasses:

I’m following this topic between you and Alex, and it’s very interesting. Creative hacks around the insufficiencies (sp?) of ST… I’m curious though - what hourly reminders? What is the trigger for them? I haven’t experienced these yet.

I could have sworn you could do this through a routine as well, but I can’t find it in my Routine settings.

The ability to arm/disarm SHM can be added to a SmartApp as I recall talking to Jody about it and him pointing me to a set of code, but I ended up not adding it to SharpTools as I could have sworn you could do it through Routines at the time.

edit: It looks like several other users indicated there should be an option for “Set Smart Home Monitor To:” that I don’t seem to be seeing:

edit2: You have to explicitly enable SHM before the option will show up in routines. As you can tell, I don’t use SHM. :smile:

I am not talking about arming/disarming. You can certainly do that with routines, if you enable SHM. I was talking about dismissing incidents (intruder alerts).


Thank you. This was very helpful!

From what I know, the answer is no.

I’m trying to tap into SHM to integrate it with a certain dashboard.

SHM sends hourly reminders after an “intrusion incident” until it’s cleared from ST mobile.

Same here. I gave it a try for the sake of education, but for me personally, it’s most useful when it’s uninstalled.


Funny you should say this. I dismiss/clear the SHM alerts and reminders from my Pebble.


Thank you for this info. I haven’t let any incidents go undismissed for more than a few minutes so I didn’t know I would get hourly reminders.

I wonder if they are disabling the SHM in routines when it’s not configured, would they soon “disable” the “Dashboard” tab in the app? That would seem to me a logical next step forward…just saying