This solution teaches you about the various Life apps and how you can use them to control your devices in Smart Home Hub with SmartThings app. Life apps can be used to automate, push notifications, configure, or a multitude of other applications that are not fully available by default. 


It forms part of a broader guide on managing and using Smart Home Hub which can be found here  



a.
What is a Life app


SmartApps are applications that allow users to tap into the capabilities of connected devices to automate or perform specialized functions. Many different types of SmartApps are either pre-installed or created by third-party developers:


Event Handler App


Event Handlers are the most commonly developed in Smart Home Hub. These allow you to subscribe to Events from other devices to trigger its own pre-defined automation.



Solution Module App 


These apps exist within the dashboard of Smart Home Hub and are containers for other SmartApps. These allow the combination of SmartApps to work together.



Service Manager App 


Service Manager SmartApps are used to connect to LAN or cloud devices such as Sonos or WeMo devices for example. 



b. 

Pre-installed App(s)


Pre-installed Smart apps are already installed in your SmartThings Connect, you can use these as soon as you have paired devices to your Smart Home Hub.


You can access Life apps from the dashboard of your SmartThings app:

  1. Open SmartThings app, or go to the main page of your SmartThings dashboard. 
  2. At the bottom, tap "Life"
  3. Tap "Add service"


Pre-installed Life apps:


Smart Home Monitor


Smart Home Monitor in the SmartThings app harnesses your smart devices for custom home security and monitoring, giving you peace of mind and keeping your home safe and sound. You can find more information on how to set this up in the next section.


HomeCare Wizard


HomeCare Wizard proactively makes sure all connected devices are in their best condition. This Smartapp is used for smart refrigerators, air conditioners, and washers.



Smart Lock Guest Access


Creates and manages guest access codes for your Smart Locks.



SmartThings Air


Helps you determine outdoor air quality in your location (must have locations enabled and setup). If you have any air quality sensors, you can use them as a part of this Life app to help you detect and manage indoor air quality. 


SmartThings Clothing Care


Gives you clothing care tips and customized cycle recommendations. This app requires Washers, Dryers, and Air Dresser appliances from SmartThings that have AI features. 


SmartThings Cooking


Gives you personalized recipes and meal plans, shopping for groceries online, and allows you to control Samsung Wi-Fi enabled cooking appliances. 


SmartThings Energy


Monitor your homes energy usages from all of your Samsung Wi-Fi enabled home / cooking appliances that are connected to your Smart Home Hub.



c.
Custom SmartApp(s)


Custom SmartApps are developed by any third-party developers. There are limitless custom smartapps to do exactly what you want SmartThings to do. Any missing functions that you wish were present in the hub can be added using SmartThings API.


Custom SmartApps can be built using SmartThings developer page (previously through SmartThings IDE) and must be manually installed before you can use it.


Note that SmartThings is moving towards local and their new API, older Smartapps designed with groovy will not work in the future. But at this time, SmartApps built with groovy will work. 


Recommended custom SmartApp(s).


There are many SmartApps available, but there are only some that are used by home automation enthusiasts. These are a few of the most widely praised SmartApps available.


WebCoRE 


WebCoRE is a very advanced rule machine that allows you to create extremely complex automation (if, if-else, then), if you can't do what you want with any SmartApps or Custom Automations, use WebCoRE. As a rule machine, it can pretty much do anything.



Z-Wave Tweaker


There are unexposed functions from Z-Wave in Smart Home Hub such as configuring Parameter settings or setting Group Associations. This tool doubles down as a debug tool if you find any issues in any of your custom device handlers or Smartapps.


This tool is mostly used to assign Group Association (Z-Wave device to Z-Wave device direct communication), and Parameter settings (internal custom settings).


Developing your own SmartApps


You'll need to sign up to be a developer through this link to get started: SmartThings developer page 


Becoming a developer will allow you to integrate new devices or create new SmartApp(s).




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