Why limited App options for users?


(Gus) #1

I am beyond frustrated with app changes that force users to use the new app without any options. After the app update to v2.2.1 yesterday, the Home screen now defaults to Things NOT Rooms. It happens after force quitting the app and re-opening AND when accessing the app while it is already running but minimized.

According to Support, this change was intentional:
“This is the normal default for the newest version of the app. This was changed due a large amount of users requesting this. I hope this helps clear things up. If you have any additional questions please let us know.”

I was not asked what options I prefer so who are these LARGE AMOUNT OF USERS that were asked for feedback? How about giving us the option of which screen we would like it to default to?
Why give us the option of organizing things by rooms if we can’t choose it as a default?

For many of us who have been using Rooms, now we have to switch back each time we use the app or scroll thru a list (in my case: 35 things) to find one light to turn on.

I would like to be able to view by Room, by Things and also re-order the list of Things by type, not just alphabetical.

Also, It would be nice to swipe to see groups of things like in previous versions of the app; like All Lights, All Temp sensors, etc.

And it would be nice to see a battery % screen that will allow users to organize by highest %, lowest %, etc. This will help plan battery charges and purchases for replacement batteries.


(Kevin) #2

I agree that these features should be included in the mobile app, but I doubt that will happen any time soon.

The Simple Device Viewer SmartApp provides the views you’re looking for and its optional dashboard feature allows you to view them from any browser.


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

A lot of these options/features are available in SmartTiles… The #1 alternative app (as a web-app) for SmartThings. http://SmartTiles.click

The current version is loved despite some significant drawbacks, many of which have been resolved in the next generation, currently undergoing extensive Beta testing and refinement.


(Eric) #5

I am also annoyed that Room isn’t the default anymore. Just let us pick.


(Gus) #6

@tgauchat

is SmartTiles for android only? I can’t find it in App Store. And unless I am missing something, the website doesn’t mention which platform its available for.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #7

SmartTiles is a “web app”. The current version is actually 99% SmartApp that serves dashboards from the SmartThings Cloud. Install the SmartApp from http://SmartTiles.click/install … And create / configure dashboards using the usual SmartApp Preferences inside the SmartThings mobile App.

The next generation will run from our own cloud based infrastructure and is configured entirely inside your browser.


(Gus) #8

Will there be a fee and if so, when and how much?


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #9

The next generation of SmartTiles (currently called “V6”) will have a fee schedule, but we have not determined the price(s) yet. It will almost certainly be subscription based, as we are very aware that support and “continuous improvement” is a requirement from SmartThings Customers, but unlike SmartThings, we can’t come up with a “free for life” service model.

What subscription fee do you think is fair and sufficient to keep SmartTiles viable given its relatively small potential market size?


#10

For me this is hard to answer for now. I am one month in to ST and I found SmartTiles about one week in so I’m a rookie. I’ve played around a lot and like what I see but I’ve also read multiple posts about how much v6 is very different so it’s hard to judge without knowing details.

Given the shortfall in the ST app UX-wise (it’s pretty woeful at present and hopefully will mature well over time but it seems focus is on back-end stability for now), I am certainly drawn to those who are driving for a better UI.

Given the fact we do not know what v6 will bring (hopefully some awesome stuff), how about a free trial period then poll for feedback? I will tell you I will gladly pay - I just can’t say what I’m good with until I know what it is. Fair? You guys obviously work hard at this and I’d like to support that.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #11

Thanks for the thoughts, Nezmo!

  1. We have been running a “closed” (invite-only) Beta for a while now, so that’s where we are getting a lot of excellent feedback which is helping decide exactly what design, features and stability that we will need to launch.

  2. As of the date of the public release (not yet determined!), “V6” will be completely free for at least 30 days. We’re pretty confident that the Beta will result in a reliable product, but we know that full release always brings the risk of surprises.

  3. SmartTiles will always have some amount of “free trial period” … perhaps 7 to 30 days.

  4. Initial pricing of SmartTiles will be discounted to some degree to help encourage adoption, as well as reflect the fact that SmartTiles in 6 to 12 months will have gone through some major enhancements. So it makes sense for us to “phase in” the full price. But the sooner Customers subscribe, the bigger the discount!


#12

That sounds great. I look forward to V6 very much. Count me in.


(Eric) #13

I will 100% support paying a subscription for SmartTiles. I generally don’t get over invested in iOS apps that don’t have a subscription. I run my life on Wunderlist and Evernote and a paying customer of both. I don’t even use SmartTiles that often. I will likely sign up on day one. Looking forward to it.

A lot of use will not think twice about buying a $29 Amazon Fire to run SmartTiles on.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #14

Not to mention $30 to $60 for each SmartThings compatibile Thing (devices: outlets, sensors, switches, etc.).


(Gus) #15

It is difficult to say how much this is worth to me. I was an early Kickstarter backer of ST and while I love it, I have mixed feelings about how things are progressing. I know what it is to go from a small company to one absorbed into a huge corporation. I expected some growing pains when Samsung acquired ST but support is now nonexistent; you either get the run-around until you give up or receive canned responses that seems your issue was not even read. So I am resistant to invest any more money (and time) into a platform that is changing so much or that I don’t know if I will stick with long term. While I liked some of the ST app improvements, there is no communication or documentation even when major changes are made and it feels like a crap shoot with every update now. Sometimes it takes me hours to try to fix an issue that turns out to be an intentional change. I know you can’t please everyone but the lack of customization and documentation leaves much to be desired. It also means that apps like SmartTiles might fill the gap. I have no problem paying for someone’s time, effort and ingenuity but I am concerned that once I invest in something like this, it too, will either be absorbed by Samsung/ST or abandoned if its not a cash cow. I don’t want to insult anyone’s work, but I don’t think its worth it to me to use a customized pay app if it winds up costing me more than the hardware itself. One thing I liked about ST was that it was free and open source; I did not want to pay a monthly subscription fee for added services to look back after 5 years and realize that I paid more for the service than I did for the HW. So there you have my conflict. I have only used SmartTiles a few hours today. I have already put a lot of work into customizing 5 dashboards so obviously I like what it can do. But there are some pros and cons so what this boils down to is that I would pay for it….if the price were right and there was a bit more customization.


(Gus) #16

Where do you get a $29 Amazon Fire? The cheapest I found was $49.


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

What makes you think that software & services should cost less than hardware?

Most basic smart home hardware (outlets, sensors, switches, …) need very little Customer Support. They are manufactured in mass so have minimal bill of material and quite high margins.

A single SmartThings or SmartTiles support call (justified or not) costs $5 to $30 in total labor expenses.

On top of that, SmartThings Customers expect the product to keep adding features. Sure… A lot of these wishes are for bug fixes, but that’s because software is 100x more complex than the hardware.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #18

I always buy refurbished (Warehouse Deals) when possible.


(Eric) #19

You got first gen hardware and @alex got rich, money well spent.

I’ve said before that SmartThings should go the Tivo model… (I don’t have a tivo)…

Tivo Options (an example)
$159 + $14.99 monthly or $549 one time.

ST should do something like…
$99 + $4.99 monthly or $229 one time.

Paying more brings more customization.


(Gus) #20

I didn’t say it should, I said I don’t want to pay more. As I said, one reason I liked ST, was because there was no ongoing fee. This is just my opinion.

I am aware of what support costs but IMO, it costs more to the company if they are wasting time and not seeking a first time resolution.


(Gus) #21

I already pay ongoing fees for other services but for extra bells and whistles with ST the cost has to be low for me to invest because it already works as is. If ST started charging, I might not continue using the platform but again, it depends on the cost.
These are just my opinions.