Building a smart home ecosystem can make the smallest elements of your life a whole lot easier, but even the best hardware around isn't any good without an excellent software experience backing it up. Today, Samsung is relaunching its SmartThings app with an all-new interface to help power every gadget in your home.
Change is an inevitability in life, and unfortunately for those of us who invest in various product ecosystems, change ultimately means having to upgrade. Right now, Samsung is transitioning to a next-gen platform for its SmartThings smart home system. And while newer devices are coming along for the ride, some older components are going to need to be replaced before they stop working. Samsung's been sharing news of this transition with owners of these devices, including the SmartThings Link USB dongle that lets it integrate with the Nvidia Shield, as well as the original SmartThings Hub.
Samsung revealed its new Galaxy S21 phones last week, but that wasn't all the company talked about. It was also announced that Samsung's SmartThings device controls would soon be accessible through Android Auto, and now the functionality is already going live.
SmartThings is the app you use to take control of all your Samsung IoT devices, as the company aims to consolidate its other apps into one. Following all the big announcements it made at the recent Galaxy Unpacked event, Samsung is now updating the SmartThings app with a bunch of features, including one that leverages the Note20 Ultra’s UWB (ultra-wideband) support.
The Samsung SmartThings Hub is the Swiss Army Knife of smart home devices. It can connect to just about every smart home device in existence over a variety of wireless protocols, combining everything in a single control panel for easy management and automation. Those of you in the UK can get it for just £55 right now, during a limited Boxing Day sale.
Modern "smart" home standards have more than a few dumb things about them, like the fact that certain hardware often locks you into a specific ecosystem of supported devices and software. If something works with Alexa, it doesn't always mean that it will work with the Assistant or Siri, and that's not even mentioning the whole obnoxiousness of "hubs." Thankfully, a new open standard is being developed by some of the biggest names in the smart home industry, with Amazon, Apple, and Google all backing a new open-source approach via the imaginatively titled "Project Connected Home over IP." It's a complicated-sounding name, but what really matters is the fact that future smart home products will be more inter-compatible and secure.
Samsung's SmartThings hub was once a staple of most smart home setups, as it supported all the varying wireless standards used by smart devices (Zigbee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth, etc.) and integrated them into one place. Now that most smart home devices use regular Wi-Fi, SmartThings isn't quite as essential as it used to be, but Samsung still has big plans for the platform, as revealed at the 2019 Samsung Developer Conference.
Samsung SmartThings is a versatile smart home platform with one crucial caveat: It only supports US and UK plugs at the moment, locking out many interested parties in countries with different wiring. This is about to change. In preparation for IFA in Berlin, Samsung announced on Wednesday that it's bringing SmartThings devices to Germany this September. With the country using EU wall plugs, this should allow people based in other countries with these sockets to import them, too, and use them without adaptors.
We like to keep you folks abreast of all the best gadget deals we run across, but we can't devote full posts to all of them. So, in round-ups like these, we share some of the best bargains from the past few days you may have missed. This Wednesday afternoon: discounted smart lights, streaming dongles, and mesh routers to keep them connected.