New SmartThings app vs. SmartThings Classic app

There are currently two official SmartThings apps available for iOS and Android — SmartThings (formerly Samsung Connect) aka the "new" app and SmartThings Classic.

This has resulted in a lot of confusion for new and seasoned SmartThings users alike. Samsung has done a less-than-awesome job of communicating the differences and use cases between the two apps, so to help clarify things for our SmartThings users, Konnected has put together this guide. We'll strive to keep this page updated as more information becomes available.

Newer is not necessarily better!

The new SmartThings app is still missing many basic features that have been available in SmartThings Classic for years. At this time, Konnected recommends that you use the SmartThings Classic app.

Why Are There Two Apps?

SmartThings started out as a startup back in 2012 when it launched on Kickstarter. Two years later in 2014, the company was acquired by Samsung for a reported $200 million. For a few years following the acquisition, SmartThings continued to operate independently of the Samsung corporation and continued to develop its product and services centered around the SmartThings Classic app.

Meanwhile, other divisions of Samsung had been developing their own smart home apps and services, including a Samsung branded mobile app called Samsung Connect.

In 2017, Samsung announced that it would be consolidating its disparate smart home brands under the SmartThings name and combining the SmartThings and Samsung Connect app into a single app now called SmartThings.

During this transition, the original SmartThings app has been renamed to SmartThings Classic and the former Samsung Connect app has taken on the SmartThings name. 

You Can Use Both Apps

You don't have to choose one or the other. Both the new SmartThings app and the SmartThings Classic app can be used side-by-side on the same smartphone. 

Limitations of the New SmartThings App

These are some of the key limitations of the new SmartThings app compared to the SmartThings Classic app that may be important to Konnected users. This is not intended to be a complete list!

  1. The new SmartThings app does not allow the installation of custom SmartApps and/or Device Handlers. SmartThings officially supports quite a lot of "Works with SmartThings" devices and apps, but there are even more unofficially supported apps and devices (including Konnected) that are integrated using custom SmartApps and Device Handlers that the end-user can load into their SmartThings instance via the SmartThings IDE. The SmartThings Classic app must be used to initially add such custom devices/apps, as this option is not available in the new app. However, once installed via the Classic app, some custom apps and devices can work in both apps and automatically stay in sync.

  2. No device history in the new SmartThings app. Many Konnected users enjoy the Recently tab in the SmartThings Classic app that displays a complete history of up to 7 days of open/close events for each sensor or device. The new SmartThings app is missing this feature. It will only display the current status of any device.
    edit: Device history is available in the new app under Notifications > Activity. It still would be nice to be able to access this from the individual device page.

  3. No Routines in the new SmartThings app. Routines are not available in the new SmartThings app. Many Konnected users use the Goodbye and I'm Back routines from the SmartThings classic app to automate the arming and disarming of Smart Home Monitor as well as other things. This is not available in the new app. Routines have been partially replaced with scenes and custom automations (see below).

  4. No way to automate arming/disarming of Smart Home Monitor in the new app. One of Konnected users' favorite features is the ability to automatically arm/disarm Smart Home Monitor based on presence or other automation triggers. This is not available in the new app.

  5. Third-party apps such as ActionTiles and WebCoRE cannot access Smart Home Monitor states in the new app. Smart Home Monitor in the new app versus the Classic app is a completely separate application. Unlike most devices in SmartThings, Smart Home Monitor settings and status will not sync between the two apps. At this time, it appears that controls for the "new" Smart Home Monitor is not accessible by ActionTiles or WebCoRE.
     
  6. Scout Alarm monitoring integration only works with Smart Home Monitor in the Classic app. However Konnected's custom Noonlight integration should work in both apps.

Features of the New SmartThings App

The new app does have some nice new features:

  1. Custom Automations are a like a simple rule builder and are a nice addition to SmartThings. This allows you to do more complex automations without using a tool like WebCoRE or writing Groovy apps.

  2. Siren delay in Smart Home MonitorA configurable delay before sounding the siren has been a long requested feature.

  3. Necessary for newer hubs and devices. The new SmartThings app is needed to set up the newer 2018 model SmartThings hub and some devices. Once you've set up your hub with the new app, you can still use the Classic app, too.

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