In case you haven’t heard, Samsung SmartThings has just released a Beta version of its new web-based dashboard. And I must tell you that although it currently does not have all the functionality which is available through the Android and iOS mobile apps, I find the dashboard impressive in its current level of detail and, more importantly, the speed in which it executes commands to my smart devices.
Samsung announced the development of a new web panel for SmartThings in May of 2019. In the interim, SmartThings developers have been stalled by legal and security challenges. They are making significant progress however, and have now released a Beta version of the panel. The dashboard is now live for anyone with a Samsung account. The attractive and responsive dashboard is accessible at
Since the interface is still in Beta mode, you will find that not all of the standard features, like automations for instance, are present and working. Also, there is currently no official support available.
Its the intention of Samsung to have this new interface eventually replace the current IDE or Integrated Development Environment. The elimination of the IDE will be announced sometime after the dashboard is fully implemented. That move is anticipate later this year.
It should be noted that the web portal is not intended to be a full replacement of the mobile app. It will however replicate most of the functionality of the mobile app. It is assumed that there may be some things which may exist in one application, but on in the other.
I mentioned that this new web-based dashboard is much more responsive then the mobile app. The reason for the increased speed is due to fact that the web portal was built from scratch using robust API’s or Application Program Interfaces. The mobile app is built on a different architecture. I’m told that the mobile apps will be getting some of the same changes. However the change process will be slower due to a number of technical issues.
All of your connected devices should be listed in the dashboard and rooms tabs, however not all of them can be controlled through the web app yet. For example, there are no controls at all for the Samsung smart TV, or the Galaxy SmartTag at this time.
When logging into the new SmartThings web portal you will see the main screen under the Dashboard tab. The Dashboard contains a list of your favorite devices.
It should be noted that changes made on the web portal will not be reflected with the mobile app at this point in time. However, eventually any changes you make either in the web or mobile apps will be reflected in your other applications at some point in the future.
There’s also a tab that displays all your Rooms, as well as an ‘Automations’ page that displays all of your smart home scenes and active third-party connections, such as WebCore, SharpTools, IFTTT and various other Smart Apps.
Taking a deeper dive in the Dashboard tab you will note that it contains your SmartThings Home Monitor, Scenes, People, and it also list all of the Rooms that you setup in your mobile application. It should be noted that the items in this page are those that your chose to display in the mobile app. Any devices which you elected to hide in the app will not be displayed here. More on how to change which devices display here in one minute.
Note that in the STHM you can change your mode to either Arm(stay) or Arm(away) and back to Disarmed. In the people tile, you can see which family member devices are present and which are away. When clicking on a presence sensing device you can see activity history. Under history you can review the times which a member departed and returned home. By clicking on the settings you can change the devices room and edit the device name.
In the Scenes panel, you can execute your various Scenes just by clicking on the icons.
In my Room titled ‘Family Room’ I have several dimmable lights. By clicking on these lights I can note the brightness level. I am also able to make very responsive adjustments to the light by moving the slider. Looking at the detain for my Garage motion sensor I can quickly note the temperature, battery level and any motion activity as well as see a comprehensive history of activity.
Under the Rooms tab, you will see all the rooms that have been setup within your mobile app. One thing that I noted in here is that you can easily change the layout by dragging and dropping either the Room Icons or the devices within each room. More than that, you can also easily drag devices from one room to another. I got to admit that this is a great time saver. As an example where this is beneficial, if you decide to repurpose a smart plug by moving it from one room to another, you can easily reflect that change within the dashboard. Following the holidays I moved a smart plug to my studio which I had used to automate my Christmas tree. Going forward changing the location of the smart plug will simply be a matter of dragging and dropping the plug into a different room.
It is within the Rooms tab where you may change which devices display as favorites under you Dashboard tab. You will note a dividing line in each room tile. Devices below the dividing line will not be displayed under the Dashboard tab. Devices above the dividing line are considered your Favorites, and will display under the Dashboard Tab.
Looking under the Automations Tab you will see Scenes and Automations. Sadly, your personal automations are not yet present in the Automation Tab. However, installed Smart Apps are available. Furthermore, they are functional, meaning that you open the Smart App and make change to the configuration.
If you click on the ellipsis within a Room tile, you can also tap on “Manage Devices”. In the menu that follows you can select which devices are your favorites and you can also ‘Bring in devices from other rooms.
At the top of the Dashboard you will note the familiar Plus icon. I first thought that I might be able to add a new device here. Unfortunately this feature is not yet available. You can however add a room or a new Smart App.
If you tap on the ellipsis next to the plus sign you will see that you have the ability to manage your location by adjusting the location of your geofence. You can also manage your account settings.
Over all, I am very encouraged with the progress that I am seeing thus far. I think that you will be encouraged as well. Keep in mind that all of these changes will pave the way to have more devices with local control. More locally controlled devices will translate to less commands being executed in the cloud. This change will help ensure more that our automations will be more reliable and responsive.
And what about all of the custom device handlers currently in the IDE, you ask? The developers have stated that they intend to incorporate many of the existing device handlers to ensure that they are integrated in way that improves their ability to run locally, which will reduce latency and increase the reliability of those devices.
I’ll leave a link below for the beta dashboard so that you can explore it and kick the tires, so to speak. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Thanks for joining me today. Keep Automating!