Windows Mobile App 1.5.0 Released!

(Tim Slagle) #1

SmartThings lets you easily monitor, secure and control your home from anywhere. SmartThings 1.5.0 includes bug fixes and overall performance improvements for enhanced stability as well as some new UI changes for the getting started experiences. Below is a more comprehensive list of the changes.

Feature Improvements:

  • Updated UI for Getting started experience (adding location, new devices etc)
  • Improved Smart Home Monitor setup for kits

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed: Issues setting device icon
  • Fixed: Issues when adding location
  • Fixed: Error setting up Smart Lights automation
  • Fixed: Crash when viewing hub details from location screen
  • Fixed: Bug with Smart Home Monitor not processing events

(Tim Slagle) #2

(Paul Haskins) #3

Curious. Is there anyway to run this on a WIN10 PC?

(Tim Slagle) #4

It is not a universal windows app.

If someone from the community wants to write a universal app I’m sure I could find some cool stuff to send to them :slightly_smiling:

(Dale C) #5

Great, going to the store for an update … :grinning:


YEA! there are descriptions for the icons on the Things screen now! And we have Rooms as a tab :grin:
OK some of the things render really weird. My ecobee3 device looks awesome on iOS but not so nice on Windows. It must be that multi-attribute function not supported yet for tiles on Windows.

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #6

What’s the going rate for a Windows front-end / App developer in Silicon Valley these days? About $120k/year + benefits?

(Dale C) #7

It seems a little strange that the SmartThings wouldn’t be pushing the UWP Universal Windows Platform and making that a priority instead of trying to get the existing one to be like iOS and Android? Your potential customer base is much larger in that pool. I think a quality universal app running on a PC or my phone is so much more appealing. Anyway I can’t believe one of the community developers isn’t jumping at this opportunity because you could actually publish it through the Store for monetizing.

(Dean Smith) #8

We’ve also got Rooms and Things. We never HAD Rooms and Things. That should be on the list of the features.

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

I’d love to.

Unfortunately, SmartThings does not expose client/UI APIs. SmartTiles manages to provide a decent amount of functionality via web hooks into a SmartApp, but, due to the lack of an API!, it cannot be used to…

  • add & configure new Things (devices)
  • run the UI defined by the Device Type Handlers (main and sub-tiles, etc).
  • install and configure SmartApps
  • received native push notifications
  • receive and dismiss SHM alerts
  • be a presence status provider
  • and a few other key important features only available to the official SmartThings Apps.

If SmartThings decides to officially expose and publish the complete client API, then we’re likely to use this API to add many features to SmartTiles to round it out.

Might stay browser only at first, but then we’d follow the market and consumer demand into Windows Universal if lucrative.

But currently… Impossible.

Can STv2 make a convert out of a Vera user? Can ST do these things?
(Dale C) #10

Thanks for the education… boy that is a bummer. :confused:

Now I really wish SmartThings would expose client/UI API’s and allow the developer community to run with it while SmartThings resources work on iOS and Android. I really like the idea of a full featured browser interface!

(Tim Slagle) #11

While we don’t expose a “full” API one can be built that does 90% of what a full API could by a developer.

It is by no means impossible. Hard yes, but not impossible.

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #12

I don’t understand, @slagle

Have I included any/many items on the list below that can be accomplished without a “full API”? (I’ve certainly left stuff out.)

If not, then is it your belief that this list represents less than 10% of SmartThings client-App functionality?

  • add & configure new Things (devices)
  • run the UI defined by the Device Type Handlers (main and sub-tiles, etc).
  • install and configure SmartApps
  • received native push notifications
  • receive and dismiss SHM alerts (or even officially arm/disarm SHM without a disapproved method…)
  • be a presence status provider
  • and a few other key important features only available to the proprietary SmartThings native mobile Apps.

Ummm… To clarify the double negatives and such… Simply… I’m rather strongly disagreeing that there’s any way a Community developer can replicate “90%” of SmartThings proprietary App. Too much of the system is hard-walled off at this time. If I’m wrong, let’s start a new Topic to enumerate the details. I’d love to learn!

Meanwhile, I’ll leave it to the reader to estimate what percentage is within reach.

I’m proud of SmartTiles and think it provides users with a great deal of convenience. For some designated users, it might actually meet 100% of their daily requirements. But some of the above bullets are important and painfully out of reach. We get users asking for the above functions all the time.

(Tim Slagle) #13

you’d need to build your own geo-fence service but once you do that sending presence events to the API is easy.

You’d have to provide your own push notification service, but could be done using event data.

Our UI isn’t special. It’s just code. You could build it to be very similar to ours if you wanted. But why not just make something more unique? I’d love to see something that doesn’t look like our app. Why? Why not! :slightly_smiling:

Now again, I’m not saying it’s a easy task, but it is not impossible all together. Yes, setup of devices and smartapps would be impossible. I won’t deny that.

Plus I think the idea of a universal windows app being produced is so people could have a Windows Dashboard. Like smarttiles, that dashboard can be very robust.

Of course they could always just USE smarttiles :slightly_smiling:

(Stuart Buchanan) #14

Or you could open source your windows phone source and I will make it a universal app…no?..ok then :grinning:

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #15

You do a great job of selling me on SmartTiles, Tim… Thanks! Indeed, we are likely to consider offering companion plug-ins to handle geo-location/presence and notifications… But we can’t automatically link to the push() notification method used by hundreds of SmartApps and that means we’re shut out of a large user base unless we can convince all those SmartApp writers (including SmartThings) to fire an alternative notification Event that is exposed in the available APIs. It is not a platform standard and pretty much insurmountable challenge.

The Device Type UI Spec problem is not one of being unable to create rich interfaces on our own — Indeed, that’s what we’ve done — it’s the fact that we have no access to the metadata{} inside an arbitrary Device Type and can’t even dream of parsing this to provide (our version of…) the interface controls the defined by the Device Type Handler Developer. SmartTiles (and any front-end developers) can only accommodate (a) Devices using only the official published Capabilities, or (b) devices whose source code is openly published and not changed without warning.

We cannot, for example, fully support the Honeywell EVO Thermostat because it has non-standard controls and its Device Type Handler source code is closed. So I guess that is one many examples that fall in the >“10%” that is irrefutably outside the reach of Community Developers.

The question I ask the Community reading this is:

If a Windows Universal App can barely do more than current SmartTiles, with a lot of duscussed functionality being arguably (?) impossible or difficult to realistically and reliably include, then what is the value of a WU App over just what we already can deliver in the browser?

I think you know the answer… Customers see the need for a “first-class” WU App that fully (and fully sanctioned) replicates (and exceeds) all the features in SmartThings current mobile Apps.

If SmartThings provided the same complete underlying infrastructure to client app developers, then this challenge would be fair; though, unfortunately, SmartThings Platform Developer Terms Agreement explicitly states that SmartThings won’t provide a promise not to compete with the those Developers, placing a tremendous burden of risk for a lot of work with no assurance of revenue. Employees of SmartThings don’t face this risk.

As a specific example of the “hard ceiling” that front-end developers encounter, may I again ask if we will ever get an API into the SHM (Smart Home Monitor) Notifications and Acknowledgements? This is a common request for SmartTiles because SHM alerts, as far as I know and been told, are not accessible and dismissable outside of the native App (or, presumably the limited 3rd party monthly fee-based add-on services like Scout at $20/month). This limitation alone makes a front-and-center feature of SmartThings unusable from Windows, a browser, or by any means outside the ST App. No?

(We can’t even set SHM Mode without using an undocumented and disapproved backdoor that could be shut down at anytime.)

(Tim Slagle) #16

i don’t disagree.

My point is, to say building a Windows universal app is impossible isn’t the case. Limited, yes. Impossible, no.

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

Agreed. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Thanks for the discussion, Tim…

The power of SmartThings is unrivaled. Exploring the edges and pushing the limits is where the fun is.

I shared this discussion here so folks in the Community can tell that a Windows Universal App is very tempting to try to write… But the complications are not all obvious. Let’s see what feedback comes from it…

Gosh… looks like I was already talking about this stuff and questions nearly 3 years ago!

(Dale C) #18

Thanks @tgauchat and @slagle for the discussion! The answer from my viewpoint is an absolute agreement here with Terry as I bold out his answer above. Now I understand more fully why the developers are so hesitant on getting a universal windows app out. I don’t want a crippled UWP app and in fact would rather just continue to use SmartTiles if that is the case.

The reality is (and I am only a recent SmartThings user) the previous Windows Phone app was just so crippling and made it ineffective. I LOVED that SmartThings did and is working at improving it and this new update was an awesome move forward! Thanks for not abandoning the Windows users. One day it will be so effective to pin a Live Tile displaying Mode / Armed status instead of a static icon. Or pin a Live Tile device status to the home screen. FYI - the above Live Tiles feature request is to SmartThings developers for their next update on their own current app. iOS and Android just don’t know what they are missing :wink: It is like Windows Phone 10 is giving SmartThings dev a Lamborghini capabilities to run with and we are being forced to run in only first gear. :grin: I am not complaining though because before this update it was like we were outside pushing the car :confused:

(Tim Slagle) #19

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