Windows Desktop App?


#1

I am new to smart things. I have stuff working, but I am really sad that there is no app for the computer. I knew this going in to it but I hoped it wouldn’t be a problem. I can’t seem to stand having to setup everything using my phone. Given I am a very tech happy person, I am actually surprised this bugs me as much as it does. Maybe it is due a little to the performance of the app… I am using an lg g3 and the app is sluggish and crashes periodically. Maybe my phone? or Android version?

Everything I have bought is still under the return policy so I can return it (Hub, 5 multi, 4 pressence, 2 motion, 1 drop cam, 2 lfm-20, 4 hue bulbs, 2 wall switches, honeywell thermostat, fortrezz siren, 2 mini motes) well over $1500 of stuff. I have high hopes for adding more but I am so worried that there will not be a desktop app ever. I am kind of in the return or no return phase… I need to commit to this awesome tech or maybe sit on the sidelines a bit longer… seeking help from the community.

I saw a post from an ST rep that said it was coming soon but the post was from last year. Several months ago. Can anyone let me know if it is really coming anytime soon? I think I need just a little nudge of hope here… Month or 2 would be fine. :smile:

This is by far my biggest frustration with the system.

Other things I am struggling with are:

Switching modes on the phone is not intuitive for my kids and wife. I have the alarm setup with home and away modes… switching between them is not intuitive at all on the ST app and instead of my family being excited by all this new found tech, they are cursing me and telling me it is all silly. A simple app on the phone to switch modes and see what mode the house is in would solve it. I am using smart alarm but apparently it can’t show buttons on android. My family needs to launch st, click the dashboard thing at the top to scroll left, click the sentence that says the mode and change it. If we are being forced to use smartphones only for controlling st… I would at least expect a simple couple obvious button approach to changing modes???

I cant add the mini motes, as soon as I do the siren goes bonkers and goes off on its own. I have removed and readded things in multiple ways to surmise it is the minimotes causing it. I am not using them now and the “alarm system” works great. I guess Ill try to return those unless someone can let me know any tips.

Using mobile phones as presence sensors seems to be a complete mess. It says we are home when we aren’t… it says we are leaving when we aren’t… I turned those off.

These issues though I see as little paper cuts that are typical for us early adopters. :slight_smile: The lack of a desktop app scares me because not only does it bug me, it seems like a strategy decision by ST that they may not be working on solving any time soon. From what I can see, they are thinking the app strategy is just fine… and I suppose it is for most people.

I am truly loving the system.

Thanks!


#2

Hey there!

Sorry to hear about the frustration.

Our Android app is undergoing the final steps of a rewrite that fixes several performance and networking issues.

Development on our Windows Desktop app was paused last year. As we discussed on our community call this week, we’re beginning tablet app development before turning our attention to a desktop UI. The good news is that in the case of Windows the development of the mobile and tablet versions lead into an easy path for a desktop version.

In the mean time you may like this community project as it gives you a web page that allows you to control your SmartThings from either a tablet or desktop browser.

For issues with the reliability of mobile presence I’d recommend reading this article, making sure they have wifi enabled, and finally emailing support@smartthings.com if you continue to have issues.


#3

Thank you Tyler. Just the fact that the community is active and that ST folks like yourself reply makes me want to stick with even given your sad (to me) news.

Yes I have already been using ActiOn/Smartiles.click to make webpages to help. I’l be setting that up on my family’s phones this weekend. I am not seeing an easy way to switch modes even using that? but it does help by letting me control stuff on the desktop via a web page created on the phone. Kudos to the developer!

My concern is more on the management/setup of the system. By limiting yourself to phone UI, it makes setting all the rules/alerts etc very cumbersome and hard to keep track of. It makes debugging hard. For me the minimotes were causing chaos with the siren and I was trying to solve the problem on the phone app. Adding a ST thing here and there is perfectly fine on the phone app. Its just when you are trying to solve a hard problem where removing and reading several things and trying combinations of things to rule out an issue seems like it is overall cumbersome on the phone app. It could be that I am overreacting due to the mess caused by the minimotes.

For my issue, even the IDE with list event all on the siren did not show anything. The siren would keep going on even though there was no event showing up indicating what was sending it. Only thorugh trial and error did I solve it. It is a little my fault I guess because I had a ton of devices and I just kept adding them one by one without testing in between each.

Can you clarify what it means to be working on a tablet app for windows? Doesn’t that mean a desktop app? Or you more mean you are working on the windows phone 10 app (which in theory gives you the windows 10 desktop app for free?)

Thanks!


(Alex) #4

Hi,

The mode tile is there for your convenience. If you had it disabled by accident, go to SmartApp configuration and enable it in the Preferences section.

If you ever got lost in the navigation menu, use this for your reference:


#5

For about a week there has been a systemwide bug with minimotes and other devices that used apps that send notifications, causing them to act like a double toggle when pressed (so on-off or off-on). Very hard to debug.

Fortunately a fix was just released this evening, so everything should be back to normal.

It would make sense if your siren problem was related to that, in which case it should fix itself tonight.

I agree that ST needs an official rules engine with a good schedule display. As it is I have spreadsheets literally taped to the door to keep track.

That said, ST has solved several important convenience cases for me, and for the money I’ve spent I’m happy with the value I get, although admittedly the double toggle bug was really bad. If it’s legitimately fixed now, I give them a pass because it’s always hard to maintain a v1 system while working on a v2 release.

My personal guess (just a guess) is that summer 2016 will have several major companies offering a stable reliable home automation system with a decent rules engine UI, some voice control, better presence detection, at a reasonable price point. I expect Apple’s HomeKit/Insteon to be one player, Samsung/smart Things to be another. Maybe Amazon/Honeywell. But my guess is the typical rules engine is more likely to be on a tablet then a desktop.

Anyway, I’m putting off major HA projects until then. But that’s just me. Meanwhile, I’m implementing convenience cases as I see an immediate payback from them. :sunglasses:


#6

Alex -> You are right. The actioOn pages I made all have the mode tile. I switched to the smart tiles version to get support for the thermostat and the page I made for that didn’t have mode on it so I assumed it didn’t support it. It must be that I goofed. My apologies and TY for your reply! I will dig in more.

JD Roberts -> Wow great news. Will try tomorrow.

OK so I am sold on sticking with this no matter what paper cuts there are on the system… the fast replies by all of you folks have me humbled and appreciative of this community.

Ill live without the desktop app and keep on adding “things”

I am a developer as well so will hopefully be able to contribute at some point but for now I am in consumer mode.

Thanks!


(Darryl) #7

Rewrite of Android App! Yay!

Tablet app? eeep!!! (in the voice of an excited school girl)


(Darryl) #8

@Tyler : Mind pushing to get that community call posted?


#9

Sure!

I just meant that we’re tackling a tablet experience before a desktop experience. For Windows specifically, development of the mobile app (or tablet app) allows us to lay the foundation for a desktop application.


(Keith Croshaw) #10

Will that be a Windows 10 universal app?

As a developer I wouldn’t touch it until that’s ready to go so I could build one big app to support all screens and not re-develop in a year, but I don’t make the big bucks like you guys. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

(I’m aware that’s a loaded question about a product that’s not really out yet.)


(Edward Reese) #12

And here we are, almost 2 years later and still no Desktop App for Windows. Or Live Tiles.


#13

Asking too much. Windows apps = too hard (especially with the advent of multi-platform Unity).

I sit around on a daily basis tweaking routines and smartapps, getting really annoyed that I can’t do it on my PC. Instead, I have to grab a tablet/phone or go through some convoluted process with Archon to get Smartthings running in Chrome.


(Paul Miner) #14

Try using BlueStacks Android emulator. (BlueStacks.com) I use that and the android app and it works great…


#15

@Paul_Miner that is exactly what I do too, but my initial .99 year was up recently and they want $24/yr which is not bad at all or you can DL their promo programs.