The connected home is an inevitable reality, but it's a market still in its infancy. SmartThings wants to be at the forefront of this expanding realm and today it's announcing a number of updates and initiatives that it thinks will give it an unquestionable lead. The first piece of the puzzle is an updated app with a streamlined UI that exposes more functions and simplifies the setup process. For the company the new apps is about trying to polish the rough edges further and remove the last few obstacles to adoption. It will also give more exposure to third-party developers by making Labs, which was debuted at CES, far more visible. The new app is available today on iOS, but Android users will sadly have to wait until early June to enjoy it. But this is just a small part of a much bigger effort that marks the official launch of the "SmartThings Platform."
Reducing the clutter and noise for consumers is essential, but so is empowering its over 5,000 developers and hardware partners. SmartThings is looking to take the app store approach to the whole thing. While you'll still be able to manually control your switched or set up your own automated triggers, the focus will be on pre-programmed recipes. Those will be sorted in a number of different ways to simplify discovery, for example you can browse by device, action or the type of alert your looking for. Surfacing these apps is the first of a two pronged attack, the second is find hardware solutions to the problems you're looking to solve. So, if you want to get a notification when someone walks down the driveway the app will point you to a compatible motion detector if you don't already own one.
The final element is a certification program that will launch with over 100 approved devices and will also apply to apps. Devs can even submit apps for approval with a single click from within SmartThings developer tools. It will let the company guarantee a level of compatibility to all customers and quietly move away from producing its own hardware. And, the fewer resources it spends on building sensors the more it can throw at building a truly consumer friendly connected home platform.