SmartThings to abandon its Windows Phone app

In the age of smart assistants and smart devices and smart homes where toasters are powered by Cortana and your refrigerator has Windows 10 on it; an ecosystem such as SmartThings holds an immense value.

Those who have invested in smart devices compatible with the SmartThings hub are now part of this ecosystem for decades to come – one does not simply replace every light switch in the house at a whim.

So what happens when your smart home ecosystem refuses to cooperate with your smartphone ecosystem? We are about to find out.

Samsung’s pull

Samsung acquired SmartThings back in 2014; the Korean giant’s influence, therefore, holds much value.

In a blogpost detailing their plans and timeline for 2017; SmartThings announced that it would be dropping support for its Windows Phone app on the 1st of April. That’s not a joke; that’s the start of a new financial year in many parts of the world.

The reason, per SmartThings, being that it can no longer “provide the desired level of updates and support” for the Windows platform. In English, that means SmartThings just doesn’t see the point of supporting the Windows platform anymore.

The existing users

The current (and last) version of the app is 1.7.0; SmartThings has hinted that it might build an update in case the upcoming Creators Update breaks the app – but they do note that it’s a highly unlikely scenario.

April 1, 2017, is when the app will be removed from the Windows Store; existing users will keep the app and can continue to use it, but will receive no updates.

SmartThings will, however, continue to provide technical support until June of 2017; after that, all users are on their own.

It’s not all doom

SmartThings is pulling its official support for the Windows platform – but there’s unofficial support. The Windows community can and will still hold the fort by creating their own apps.

Home Remote, for example, is a UWP app that works on PC, Xbox, and Mobile. The app supports many IoT ecosystems and devices, including SmartThings.

Samsung and SmartThings don’t see the point of supporting Windows anymore, but the community does – and it will continue to do so until Microsoft stops.

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