Wink API vs. SmartThings

So, while ST’s been happily chugging along promising us great wonders “any day now”, Wink’s been quietly expanding their platform API. To be sure, ST is still way ahead of Wink in terms of what you can do programmatically and Wink does not allow users to execute their own apps on the Wink platform, but the gap is gradually closing. In particular, now you can programmatically access Wink Devices, Scenes, Groups and Robots.

BTW, Wink mobile app also received facelift today, adding shortcuts and activity feed. I hope the ST UI upgrade will come sooner rather then later, because ST mobile app looks increasingly amateurish comparing to Wink’s slick and snappy UI.


I am getting bombarded with emails from them today! I like the idea of the touch screen relay thing though while we hang our old tablets on the wall… :wink:

Just imagine something like this if we had in ST with a pluggable interface to plug in our iPhones when not in use and it would show our ST dashboard.

Disclaimer: I am no way advocating the Wink platform and pretty much hate it due to my past experiences. :wink:

This Wink Relay is an amazing idea and hardware that is hamstrung by Wink’s bad back end. I wish Smartthings would come up with a device like this. Or better yet, just hack it up to work with Smartthings. I want this right next to my front door.


Hope the veterans in the community are listening! Hope they can beat wink at their own game! Like the GE link bulbs!

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This is a really interesting conversation guys. Three questions:

  1. Can someone explain the use case for a relay (like the one described by the front door)?

  2. From the sound of the conversation, has Wink added relay functionality to its existing API? (is this news?)

  3. I’d be interested to have someone write a more full blow comparison of Wink and Smartthings from a developer point of view on I’m also just looking for very knowledgable developers who can write. We pay for good contributions.

The primary use case in my opinion is an intelligent scene controller. Anyone who’s been using SmartThings for more than a couple of weeks would agree that using smartphone for day-to-day control is not an option, because:

  1. Everyone in the family would have to have one.
  2. You’d have to carry it with you at all times. Who wants to?
  3. Reaching into your pocket, unlocking it, finding the app, navigating through screens is just too much trouble.
  4. What if you have guests? Do you want to give them control over entire house?

You need some kind of always accessible, easy to use device for most common control functions, like lighting scenes, climate control, etc. Hand-held remotes tend to get lost. Simple in-wall button controllers are too limiting for a modern smart home that may have several dozen devices and a dozen lighting scenes. So a wall mounted device with a touch screen, audio, built-in camera does sound very appealing. That’s why the most active DIY projects discussed in these forums are the Dashboards for tablets.

Yeah that’s my situation exactly. I’d mount it by the front door because that lets you check and control everything as you come ad go. I’d probably put another on my nightstand.

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OK, I was confused by the term “Relay”… that’s just the brand name of the product, correct. You could just as easily take an old tablet and build one of your own (if I read the rest of the thread correctly) using Wink’s APIs?

We could probably bridge ST with Wink if we wanted to use their devices. The Wink API is only for cloud connected devices at this point, but maybe they will extend it.

I’ve been trying to work on a REST client/smartapp but can’t seem to even get a response from . However testing against their Apiary mock-up seems to return a mock token ok.

I have all the cloud quirky wink device types and service manager App submitted to ST for review. I hope to start on their hub connected devices soon.

Included in the release are the following:
Egg minder
Pivot Power genius

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I have bridged my Wink to ST at a secondary controller but it’s not obvious how to align device identities. It would be very helpful if I had device identifiers (an old request). I’m still working to understand Z-Wave topology as implemented by these hubs. (Then there’s Zigbee)

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Will Wink support the zwave sensors I’ve already invested in? Do they have a reliable Presence (or can they support SmartThings Zigbee?)?
If so… As soon as you port over Smart Alarm app to Wink… I’m jumping ship. :wink:

EDIT: Just checked their product page… looks like they are mostly promoting their own Quirky flavored gear (and some of the other big name players) ( Too bad… no way I’m buying all new switches and sensors.

Even the sensors and switches they support don’t always work right. I was researching switches and the leviton switches sold by Home Depot have several reviews saying works great, just not with the wink hub. Home Depot also seems to have the same idea about smart homes as vivint. Vivint believes that a smart home is simply one that you can control from your phone. You can buy all sorts of switches and bulbs at Home Depot, but few sensors so I think they must believe something similar. The main selling point of most IOT devices is "Look, you can control it from your phone!"
I like the idea of the relay, but couldn’t see my way clear of $200. It would be interesting to see if some of the more hacker type individuals in the community could jailbreak the relay and put the smartthings app on it. After all it is android isn’t it?

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Wink has much worse reviews than SmartThings. I’m sure it would be a step backwards…

Unfortunately we are in a period of limbo with no highly reliable systems, with the most hope coming from SmartThings Hub V2.0, with indefinite delivery date.

Seems that we’re still in the early adopter stage of this new industry. Yet a lot works… Just have to stay within the boundaries of what “works”?

The Action Dashboard is so streamlined and popular, it seems like the best “control panel” to SmartThings at this moment. This almost screams for a Kickstarter to build wall mount hardware for hosting it.

Unfortunately, it’s true for most smart home system on the market. While everyone claims to support Z-Wave, everyone pretty much sucks at it, including SmartThings. With ST at least you can write your own device handlers to fill the holes here and there. With Wink and others, you’re at vendor’s mercy. And since they don’t make money from your buying generic Z-Wave devices, they’re focused primarily on selling you their branded gadgets. Z-Wave for them is just a marketing gimmick.


It would be awesome if a mount would take any old android handset that was lying around and mount it in a case. Perhaps the case could have knock-outs to support different size screens. The hardest part would be developing the power supply. I guess it would go over an existing switch and wire into the hot and neutral. The actual mount could be 3d printed, if someone has time to create a design.

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Get ActiON Dashboard, a $50 tablet, 90 degree USB adapter and some command strips and you got yourself a decent control panel. The best part is that you don’t even need a new device if you have an older tablet or phone to recycle.

Do you think there is enough interest for a Kickstarter campaign? SmartThings doesn’t seem to be interested…


What’s the outcome of this? I just ordered ST. I want to get off wink but have some of their devices as well.