The migration of the SmartThings classic app to the new SmartThings app is underway and I’m going to talk to you about what the process is like, and a few ways you can prepare for this major change to your favorite smart home platform.
Let’s reference Simon Sinek and his great work for a moment…it’s important to start with the WHY.
Why SmartThings is Migrating their App?
So why is the migration starting now? Well, Samsung has come to a place where they feel they can start to transition people to the new application they’ve prepared. They want to do this because the new application is prepared for some of the new realities of the smart home industry and also the future that Samsung envisions with all of their connected home products. We are talking about things like local automation execution, easier ways to create really complex automation, the new rules API and improvements in WebCore, management of appliances, connected vehicles, and the ever-expanding list of connected products and services that work with SmartThings. Personally, I think the new app is way better in terms of layout, and I also know that the backend of this new app is ready for the future.
Samsung has also clearly stated multiple times in their FAQ and on their boards that part of the reasoning is to make it easier for them to manage some of those really custom features that more complex Automaters love. Samsung also has to prepare for its new sensor types, their new device types, and they also have to catch up to a runaway train in terms of the different device types that are available on the market.
SmartThings App Migration: What’s going to happen
First thing: You’ll get an email that says it’s time to get ready. If you don’t already have this, you will soon. It’s not the trigger point for you to start the process of migrating between apps, but it’s just preparing you for this eventuality. That email and a subsequent email will show up in the mailbox where you’ve registered for SmartThings. One thing to note here is you’ll have to upgrade your SmartThings account to a Samsung account if you haven’t already done that. Don’t worry, you don’t need to run and do this now. It’ll be a part of the Migration process too if you haven’t already. Same for people you’ve shared SmartThings with…they’ll need to upgrade their account.
It will take some Time: By the way, it’s likely this process will take months to complete. No, I don’t mean your personal migration, I mean the migration of all users and features.
What you will see in the SmartThings App
There will be a notice that shows up in the SmartThings Classic App at the top of it when it’s your turn. The earlier you see this banner in the overall timeline here the less complex your automation is. Samsung is managing this by making sure all the features you need are ready before they send you your notices. The new app still doesn’t show everything that they’re bringing in, and they’re still in the testing phases with many complex features. So… don’t worry if you’re not seeing anything yet.
Once you receive that notice in the SmartThings Classic app, you’re going to start into a true migration tool. This is so important and exciting to me because this means Samsung is taking care of as many people and situations as they can. It also means it’ll be entirely guided, and they’ve also offered their support during this process (1-800-SAMSUNG). Now it’s important to note that only the overall owner of SmartThings in your home will have to go through this process.
Speaking of the new app, there may be a little complexity when you go to migrate. However, you don’t need to run out and start using the new app yet. You can watch the 30-minute Migration Walkthrough in the video below.
The SmartThings App Migration
The actual migration process, despite all of Samsung’s efforts to make this flawless, will still have a few hangups and difficulties if you’ve done a lot of custom work. That’s one of the reasons the more complex ones will be saved for later so that bugs and issues can be worked out in stages. Additionally, there a couple of things within the migration process that will be a bit…different.
Local Execution of Devices, Default Handlers
Many existing Custom Device Handlers are going away. No this doesn’t mean you’re going to lose access to products with those custom device handlers…you can still use them. However, you’re going to have a chance to convert to a default device handler that’s going to be local. Samsung did a lot of work to figure out that 90% of the devices out there need only 100 device handlers and so they’ll offer to convert. The benefits will be local execution…so I’d say do it in most cases. They will let you know as part of the transition process if they have determined that a local, default device handler will be just as good as your existing one.
Infinite Loops in SmartThings App
This is one of the ones that has gotten me a few times. The new app is really trying to make sure that you don’t create infinite loops. This might be a surprise to you, but this has been a problem for the overall platform and causes more outages than you might expect. Well, it’s going to be a bit of a pain to work around but I’ve been working within these new rules for a bit and so I have some good workarounds already prepared for you.
SmartThings App Virtual Switch
If I create an Automation that says if the Switch is On and it’s 6 pm at night, then turn Switch off…the new app will actually stop me. The point here is twofold: the new app should use the Lighting Automation SmartApp instead so that it manages this, and that’s because it can be in many cases, executed locally and it can also be guaranteed to not create an infinite loop. I’ll give you a hint on the workaround video though. A virtual switch is a beautiful thing. 😉
SmartThings App: Routines become Scenes and Automations
Routines in the Classic app will get split into Scenes and Automations. You will have a choice here to make with each one so it’s maybe good to know your different routines and automation but don’t worry, once you’re done the migration process you can go and create new scenes and Automation – but only in the new app.
Smart Home Monitor, WebCore
I think this is a big one…but if you’re using WebCore to change states in your Smart Home Monitor, that’s going away…for now. I already have created custom automation to trigger based on the presence of phones or people and I show that in the walkthrough. By the way…Smart Home monitor is getting some backend changes that support it is better going forward, and same with the Lock Code Management capability which is changing names to Lock Guest Access
New SmartThings App: New Features
You’re also going to notice a ton of new features and capabilities in the new app. A good example is the new Home Care Wizard. This is a new addable smart app that will help you to take care of appliances in devices with what Samsung is calling their AI Technology. You’re going to see this show-up soon, but right now you can’t do a lot with it and I think the point is eventually they’re going to help you manage those devices and purchase the accessories you might need over time with those devices.
Using the New SmartThings App
Now once the transition process is completed, the SmartThings classic app is basically done for and you’re not going to be able to access a number of things. Suffice it to say that you’re going to move over to the new SmartThings Application and even secondary account users or users that have just been shared will need to switch over to the new application at that point. You can still control your home manually from the old classic app at that point, but that’s about it.
A couple of things that I have noticed already with the SmartThings Application and this Migration process is that in general people are not having major issues with the actual walkthrough of the migration, however, a couple of things are breaking or aren’t available as they come out the other side. This is pretty normal for a complete changeover of a system and you may experience a few of these issues.
A good example of this is Life 360 As a connected service. If you don’t already have it connected, it is not going to show up in the new application and you can’t start the connection process to that service with the new Samsung SmartThings Application. At least not yet.
Switch over Virtual Devices to Virtual Switches
The same is true for virtual devices so before you migrate 100%. I recommend that you create your first virtual switch even if you are never going to use it in the existing Samsung SmartThings classic application. From that point on you can actually create new virtual switches in the New SmartThings Application. You are going to find this with a few of the devices and services that you have used.
SmartThings App Migration Walkthrough
I’m excited to go through this with you because it’s really going to usher in a new era for SmartThings. You have no homework to do except to watch the Full App Walkthrough video of the New SmartThings App or to watch another one of our smart home news videos.
The SmartThings To Know About The App Migration
The SmartThings Classic App is nearly at its end (well…by nearly I mean it’ll be gone in the next year or so), and it’s time to start looking at migration to the new SmartThings app. I also have a few resource links for you to use:
- Where you can find additional help with our friends: https://ift.tt/2Yo6TxZ
- The official migration thread on the SmartThings boards: https://ift.tt/30XkONz
- A great FAQ on the migration process: https://ift.tt/2RsBCZR
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