Why hasn't smartThings shown Homekit some love?


(Joe) #1

So Google home is integrated into smartThings. Where is the homekit support? I know I saw some community support for it, but why does it have to come from the community? I also haven’t been able to get the community integration to work. (I am sure it was user error, but I just don’t have time to tinker with things any more.)


(Dan P Parker) #2

GH isn’t integrated “into” ST. The two systems are integrated “with” one another. Also, they’re not competing products. They’re two different systems that mostly serve different functions that complement one another.

HomeKit and SmartThings are competing home automation products, and follow different philosophies.

HomeKit intergration [sic]?


(Joe) #3

Well It looks like I backed the wrong Pony then. Sucks that I have a household saturated in Apple Devices and no way to use Siri without a community app.

You’ll probably be seeing me selling my smartThings stuff as soon as homekit catches up. lol


#4

This has been discussed at length in the forum, including by some staff members.

The short answer is that originally in 2014 SmartThings was very interested in HomeKit integration, like many device manufacturers. So initially they did plan to add it, and Alex even mentioned it in an interview.

But in early 2015 Apple made the requirements for HomeKit integration much clearer to everyone. Companies would need to add a specific hardware Chip, purchased from a specific set of manufacturers, and the devices would need to meet many restrictions on what they could do. Also, it would be impossible to retrofit existing devices because of the hardware requirement.

Insteon only managed to meet the HomeKit requirements by creating an entirely separate hub just for HomeKit and one which didn’t work with many of their existing devices. Customers who wanted insteon and HomeKit ended up paying more for much less functionality than customers who wanted classic Insteon without HomeKit. :disappointed_relieved:

The whole thing ended up seeming like more trouble than it was worth, and many companies, not just SmartThings, decided at that time not to pursue HomeKit integration but to wait and see whether there was real market demand for it.

That’s pretty much where they are now. If it becomes important to have HomeKit integration in order to continue to sell home automation systems, I don’t doubt that SmartThings will look into it once again. But at the present time the costs would exceed the benefits.

Integrating with google home, which doesn’t require making customers replace all the existing SmartThings hubs and doesn’t restrict which devices can be attached to the SmartThings hub seems like a much more sensible business decision at this time.

So it appears we’re ending up with different “silos” just as has happened with mobile phones, but sometimes that’s just the way it is. There’s still feature competition between the different silos even if they aren’t integratable.


(Dan P Parker) #5

[quote=“Keo, post:3, topic:59173”]Well It looks like I backed the wrong Pony then.

You’ll probably be seeing me selling my smartThings stuff as soon as homekit catches up. lol[/quote]

If your environment is all/mostly Apple, why didn’t you go with HomeKit early on?

As for HK catching up, I’m not sure I’d bet too much on that at this point. Apple isn’t exactly making it easy for vendors to make their products work with HK, nor for individual developers to provide the same sorts of extensions that ST developers can. For instance…

Belkin Puts HomeKit Compatibility Plans for WeMo Product Line ‘On Hold’


#6

I have HomeKit and like it a lot as a limited feature system. You can’t do half of the things that you can do in SmartThings. But if you just want lights and a doorlock on a simple time schedule combined with geopresence, it works well. They’ve announced cameras and video doorbells to come out in the next few months, and I’m looking forward to that.

What it doesn’t have are battery operated sensors that can trigger other devices except for the Hue motion sensors and that can only trigger Hue lights (not even the Lutron switches which are also HomeKit compatible).

It’s stable, reliable, reasonably priced, and easy to use. But it’s also pretty clear that HomeKit and SmartThings are aiming at two different markets.

HomeKit is offering predefined solutions for some common use cases based on making the same kinds of devices you already have a little smarter. So you buy a smarter lightbulb and a smarter thermostat and a smarter door lock.

SmartThings is a full featured home automation platform where you buy a lot of devices that you never had before like accelerometers and pressure sensors and use those to add automation to use cases that used to require human intervention to monitor and manage. And you can set up multi level conditional logic like “if A and B but not C while D”

One simple example from my house: I get a notification if the guestroom window was left open and rain is expected. That requires SmartThings. HomeKit can’t do it. There’s a way to check and see if the window is open, but not a push notification.

If SmartThings were able to match the reliability and ease-of-use of HomeKit, there’d be no contest. But since they haven’t been able to do that yet, there’s still a place for HomeKit. Choice is good. :sunglasses:


(Dan P Parker) #7

Although I have to take issue with his…

“Just as Apple’s iPhone rules over the smartphone segment and dictates the direction of competitor brands…”

…opening assertion (it’s hard to make those arguments when a single Android phone maker - Samsung - currently has about twice the smartphone market share that Apple has, and the last several generations of iPhones have been largely playing catch-up with Samsung’s Galaxy line in terms of features), the author of this piece covers the issue pretty well:

Is Apple Losing the Smart Home Battle?


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #8

I have just one word…

Swype


(Michael Hess) #9

I love it when people are tapping away and I ask “why aren’t you using swype?” then get a blank look. This still happens with ANDROID USERS!

I’m anti-apple specifically because of what JD said. I want openness, they are the inverse of that. Alexa is amazingly open considering how Amazon usually acts. Even Google seems to be playing mostly nice with the new Google Home. Apple is really just for users that want SIMPLE.

Oh and Insteon sucks… :smiling_imp:


#10

And RELIABLE. And ACCESSIBLE.

The first paragraph of the first page on Google’s android accessibility site:

Note: Android isn’t the same on all devices.

The first paragraph of the first page on Apple’s accessibility site:

Our accessibility features work the same way across Apple products and apps.

Just sayin’… :sunglasses:


(Christopher Masiello) #11

I see HomeKit as a typical Apple idea. Take something that everybody wants, do 20% of it (very well), and purposely hamstring it from being the amazing solution that people want. Apple is the worst integration/business partner going for a company that is so successful. They are the quintessential walled garden. It’s all beautiful, just don’t look over the wall.
That being said, I have a small fortune sunk into Apple gear (iPhones, iPods, laptops). They do their thing very well and I don’t expect them to ever do the other stuff. That’s why have have things like SmartThings, Roku, Chromecast, Dropbox to augment the things that Apple refuses to do.


#12

Yep. I am completely brand agnostic. I will buy any device/system that solves the problem that I need solved in a way that meets my budget

That said, Apple continually offers pleasant surprises for people who need accessibility options. With android, the stuff may exist but it’s almost always an extra cost and it typically works differently on different devices. And it rarely goes all the way end to end.

Take this, which is standard for the Apple Watch:

Activity App

The Activity app provides a snapshot of your daily activity, with the goal of closing each of the three rings every day. For wheelchair users, rings change to Roll, Exercise, and Move. Instead of a Stand goal, the Roll goal encourages you to roll or stretch every hour. For your Exercise and Move goals, Activity measures pushes rather than steps, so active calories are calculated more accurately. Sensors are also configured to address different surface types, inclines, and transition moments such as moving from a wheelchair to a seat at your desk, or from your chair to your car.

Workout App

The Workout app lets you accurately measure your movement in specific exercise routines, and set goals based on time, distance, or calories. For wheelchair users, there are two unique workout types — Outdoor Wheelchair Walk Pace and Outdoor Wheelchair Run Pace. Just choose a workout and Apple Watch turns on the appropriate sensors.

That’s built into every watch. It’s just a setting. And, yes, it’s awesome. :heart_eyes:


(Michael Hess) #13

I know, just being argumentative. :slight_smile:


(Joe) #14

HomeKit wasn’t available when I started with SmartThings. I’ve been with this platform since shortly after launch. As such I was fine with the current setup but now technology has evolved. My family is already used to asking Siri to do things so now I don’t want to have a different command for the house.


(Joe) #15

Personally I love my apple products. I have to support 3 other people in my house and at one point we had windows OS on 3 machines at 3 different releases, 1 apple phone and, 1 HTC version of Android. Depending on patches and OS release I was always trying to fix problems. (Not necessarily OS related but other software problems because of OS patches).
I also had numerous problems with my HTC not receiving SMS and since I work in IT I am on call all of the time. When I called HTC for support they blamed android and told me to call google. When I called google for support they told me to contact HTC. As a consumer nothing is more frustrating.

Now that we’re all on the same OS my work has reduced greatly.


(Joe) #16

Once again JD you’ve proven to be an asset to this community. As I stated earlier, I don’t have as much time to tinker as I used to so I often don’t have time to read through posts or I fail to search. Thanks for being so helpful.

This lack of time to tinker is exactly why I want to get HomeKit working. I’ve spent soooo much time getting SmartThings to be reliable and most of my functionality is doing cool things with my lights and locks. I had so many hopes and dreams when starting my journey into SmartThings but the reliability is pretty bad. Just recently I had another problem with routines firing so I rebuilt my automation with core. Then when core has problems I’ll have to rebuild again to make sure my house is reliable for my family.


(Joe) #17

iOS has a Swype keyboard in the App Store. I’ve used it on both OS’s and don’t see any differences.


(Todd Whitehead) #18

Uhmm. Swype is available of iOS…


(Dan P Parker) #19

He wasn’t saying there is any difference. If you read the quote he was responding to, as well as my comments about that quote in my post he was replying to that ought to give you the context necessary to understand his comment.


(Michael Hess) #20

That was the joke. Almost everyone I know that has iPhone’s doesn’t know what Swype is or how it will save their worn finger pads. It’s so simple and intuitive blah blah blah that people don’t bother looking for alternatives. Many Android devices have it standard or at least Google Keyboard which also has it baked in. Apple products bread complacency in my opinion. Obviously not to the more technically inclined but to the general populace.

I own a Woz signed IIGS, along with MANY other collectible Apple products. I have love of some things Apple. Their phones and tablets are not among that list.