Home Automation

SmartThings Resumes Push to "New" App

In early 2018, Samsung announced an ambitious plan to consolidate its multiple cloud and automation platforms into one SmartThings ecosystem. This included integrating cloud services and merging its consumer-facing app experiences, SmartThings and Samsung Connect, to create one unified SmartThings experience on all devices.

That was two years ago. Today many SmartThings customers are still running both the old and “new” SmartThings apps on their phones. Some use only the old, ahem, “classic” version. Samsung miscalculated the community’s desire for and reliance on some of SmartThings’ more powerful capabilities. Its dumbed-down (aka streamlined) experience may have worked for the mythical average consumer, but that’s not who was using SmartThings.

Developers, device manufacturers, and consumers depended on the extensive toolset SmartThings had cultivated over the years to support third-party devices and automate their homes. But most of those capabilities just didn’t work in the “new” SmartThings.

Take Two…Three

After a stalled mid-2018 effort to migrate users from SmartThings Classic to the new SmartThings app, Samsung pulled back a bit. They refocused on bolstering the new app’s capabilities and experience. Numerous 2019 releases delivered new features, reinstated third-party support, and revised the experience. The team doubled down on Samsung’s design language (you can decide for yourself whether that’s a good thing or not). They also renewed support for third-party developers, as evidenced at last year’s developer conference.

SmartThings Resumes Push to "New" App

And now it’s time. Again. Samsung believes that SmartThings is ready for prime time—ready for you and ready for developers. Today, Samsung is resuming its efforts to migrate customers to the new SmartThings. If you’re still using SmartThings Classic, you may see a notification banner advising you of the migration [we just hope they’re not actually using the word “migrate” in this consumer messaging].

If you’re an advanced user, it may be a while. Samsung is staging the roll-out based on how you use SmartThings. If you use some advanced features or third-party add-ons that are not yet supported, you won’t be pushed to transition to the new app yet. There’s no line in the sand yet, but with this renewed effort, it’s clear that this is the year Samsung intends to get everyone to make the switch. And with good reason. Maintaining multiple platforms is expensive and inefficient. By retiring SmartThings Classic, the team will be able to focus more on features and improvements the community has been asking for.

Speaking of community, Samsung’s SmartThings community is a vibrant one, and the SmartThings team is actively listening and participating in the discussion. You’ll find lots of information in the community discussion groups about supported devices, third-party add-ons, developer support, and more. If you’re interested in automating something with SmartThings, chances are someone’s figured out how to do it.

You can find out more about the migration transition on this SmartThings FAQs page.

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About the author

Richard Gunther

Richard Gunther

Richard is a digital technology consultant with a life-long interest in consumer electronics. He has been immersed in smart home tech for decades now and hosts The DMZ's home automation podcast, Home: On and co-hosts Entertainment 2.0 with Josh Pollard. Richard looks at products through an experience lens, always seeking the right mix of utility and delight.