Review: SmartTiles Puts Whole House SmartThings Dashboard on Your Tablet

Part of the big attraction of Samsung’s SmartThings system is its ability to work with an extensive range of hardware. But the more kit linked to your system, the more cluttered and inefficient the app can feel.

SmartTiles

SmartTiles is a a web client for SmartThings that started out life as an open source project called ActiON Dashboard.

Now closed-source, it provides an exciting way for ST’s owners to control their home.

With just a few clicks on your smartphone, SmartTiles creates an incredibly professional looking (Windows Phone stylie) control panel for your home.

Once the SmartTiles Smart App is installed and setup on your SmartThings system (that’s a lot of smart stuff) you can copy the special URL and save this to your phone’s home screen.

When you launch it in Safari on iOS or Chrome on an Android device the dashboard launches as a full screen native app (without tool bars). Paste it into your desktop browser and you’ve got control from your laptop too. There are a several built-in themes to choose from and you can use your own custom CSS if you prefer.

SmartTiles Dashboard for SmartThings - Slate Style

What Can You Control?

You can control your entire setup from the dash, dim your lights, set your thermostat, control your locks, even your Sonos. In addition you can view information like the presence of your family members as well as additional sensor info like the battery status of all your devices.

SmartTiles Event Log

Event History

You can view your cctv cameras too. The system natively supports Nest / Dropcam and we were able to add our Lilin LR7424 using the MJPEG option with this URL

http://username:password@home-ip-address:port/getimage0

SmartTiles allows you to create tiles to link to other website (local news perhaps) as well as links to other dashboards. You can adjust the size of tiles and show the ‘mode’ the house is in (Home, Away etc).

Currently theres no way to give a users of the official SmartThings app a subset of devices to control. But with SmartTiles you can give each child (for example) a dashboard that allows them to control lights in their own room, but not their siblings #PeaceKeepingTech.

You can also create tiles to launch other apps on iOS, you can jump to the Sonos app for example using this URL.

://sonos

iOS9 now has that handy back link on the top left of the screen that takes you from the app back your SmartTiles panel.

Wall Mounted Examples

What will excite many people most about SmartTiles is the option of using it as a wall mounted controller. Decent cheap Android tablets are plentiful and providing you can find some suitable wall mounting hardware and get power to it for charging, you can create a wall-mounted whole-house dashboard control panel. Here are some examples from SmartThings forum members bbadalucco, Varun_Patel, erocm1231 and Macadoodle.



Security

The developers say the system runs entirely in Samsung’s Cloud and has no dependency on any third party services. In addition they say no user data leaves the SmartThings Cloud and the Dashboard is transmitted using SSL. For extra security you can remove the access token from your dashboard URL and enter your SmartThings account details each time you use it, and you can revoke access at any time too.

No Brainer

For its ease of setup and fantastic looking UI alone, SmartTiles gets our vote. It’s free for private use (make sure to donate if you like it) making it a total no brainer. So if you have a SmartThings system run, don’t walk, and install it now.

smarttiles.click  :  More SmartThings Posts

7 Comments on "Review: SmartTiles Puts Whole House SmartThings Dashboard on Your Tablet"

  1. I’m playing with a smartthings hub and a Fibaro HC2 at the moment. I was getting frustrated by each seeming to have what the other lacked and wishing I could have the best of both. I setup smart tiles last week and it has defiantly given the ST something over the HC2, if ST gets full Evohome integration first the I think I’ll go ST all the way 🙂

  2. This looks great and makes perfect sense for someone like us. Excellent stuff, can re-use an old iPad mini I have and get cracking. Brilliant, thanks for this

  3. Thanks for the review; SmartTiles has been a pleasure to help Alex enhance after his initial 6 months of development. Going strong.

    Urgent Alert, though: The ability to install will temporarily be disabled by SmartThings as of April 1st, 2016 (unless postponed again…); indefinitely until SmartTiles is approved for Marketplace publication (in progress). See the News section of our website: http://www.smarttiles.click/news/smarttiles-installer-enabled-including-new-region-na02/

  4. So, the bottom line is that SmartThings relies on cloud-based software. If your internet connection goes down, will the system operate normally otherwise? I realize if you have no internet then remote commands and data (when you are on vacation) are impossible. But what about events that are entirely inside your house, like an alarm or flashing lights triggered by your water leak detector or setting your thermostat? Your router’s WIFI will presumably still be working so the “things” will still be talking to the hub. But if the cloud is needed for processing and communication, you would be dead in the water??

  5. The SmartTiles “installer” will no longer be available after April 1st, 2017: Out with the old, and in with ActionTiles™; the simpler, faster, and stronger platform for custom SmartThing web-based dashboard Panels. All configuration is now web-based (instead of those tiny in-app SmartApp preference pages!). Sign-up now; affordable Introductory Pricing; minimum 14 day free trial. Hope a new review here soon! Thank-you.

  6. Sometimes ActionTiles works, sometimes it doesn’t…

    If you unplug a lamp, ActionTiles will happily tell you that it is able to turn the light on, even when it’s physically impossible). I had a rather lengthy discussion with one of the co-founders, Terry, and the way he explained it to me is that ActionTiles tries to confirm an action, but, if it can’t, it just assumes that the action took place. His general feeling was that customers just didn’t really care (no one, other than me, was complaining about this issue, and so it wasn’t really important–he gave me some “interesting” statistics as to why this wasn’t important).

    Well, ActionTiles’ approach is great until you think you locked (or unlocked) the front door but really didn’t (don’t you want a confirmation that the door really locked, or, if it failed, let you know?–SmartThings gives you that, and for free no less). I can think of so many scenarios where this laissez-faire approach could prove downright hazardous.

    ActionTiles is a promising program, and maybe someday it will get there, but it’s not ready yet. In the interim, I’d recommend that you stick with the SmartThings app. While it not nearly as pretty, at least it tells you when something is not working. After all, beauty isn’t everything; sometimes it’s just nice if something works.

  7. G Stark: Thanks for the feedback, Greg. I explained in full transparency the way that ActionTiles functions is largely dependent on the partly limited API that SmartThings offers to us; for example, at this time, there is no interface provided for SmartThings Developers to the “Device Health” function (and yes, that only covers a part of your concern). While your description above (of the way ActionTiles functions) is not 100% accurate, I appreciated the valuable observations you made and offered you the opportunity we offer to everyone: Please post your concern on our public Feedback Forum where our Customers and prospective customers can discuss it in detail and submit Votes to help us decide if we should divert resources to this issue which has only had one other report, among the dozens of Feature Requests that are ranked very highly. We’re not dismissing your issue and hope we can rectify it in some future update; but I appreciate your understanding that, well, frankly and obviously, not everything can be done at once. Sure wish we had 100 hands!

    With literally *thousands* of Customers, no one has else has written to Support@ActionTiles.com with this concern.

    Please share your issue at: https://ActionTiles.com/feedback where it can be tracked and we can accurately measure the impact and the *relative importance* of this. Looking forward to discussing this with you and our customer community there! …Terry.

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