Home Automation – Action Tiles
Action Tiles are a tie in with my previous post on the Samsung Smartthings hub. The basic premise is that it gives a user a graphical interface to your Smartthings hub.
I am a big fan of the Samsung smartthings and it’s what I use day to day in my house. That may change in the future though as I am tinkering with the idea of trying the openhab system. It’s pretty much the same idea as smartthings except it is open source and can run without internet connection. Somehow that always seems to be down when I try and demonstrate my smart home to people. Don’t worry I will do a full compare when I get around to doing it.
Something that was always missing with the smartthings platform. That was a nice way to display all the buttons and readouts. Now don’t get me wrong, The smartthings app is great and you can easily see what you have turned off and on. This, however, is not really something you want to have running on a cheap tablet attached to the wall. Well hold onto your seats cause here comes action tiles. Action tiles is a web-based app that connects to the smartthings ecosystem and lets you customize how the buttons or tiles look.
The first thing I was to say about the app is that it’s not free, it’s $28.99 to buy. Normally I am a bang for your buck kind of guy and if I can do it for free I will but in this case, it’s worth the cash. Action tiles give a lot of functionality for what you pay for, but unfortunately only for the smartthings ecosystem. It’s doesn’t, as of this post, connect with any out hub. If you are a smartthings guy/gal then is definitely the route for you
The second thing that really stands out on the is that it’s not technically an app. It’s web-based so that means it will run on anything that has a web browser. That means it is literally across platforms and will include android, apple, pc, Linux. Hell, this will run on a Nokia if you want it to.
The third and I think the best thing about Action tiles is the easy setup. You create an account, link you smartthings account to it and boom, you have access to all your buttons and readouts you have on the smartthings app. You can then go ahead and start making panels. These may take you a few minutes to suss out how they all tie together but it’s a clickly, movey, draggy dropy interface so you will pick it up pretty quickly.
I am linking this guy’s video below and it is randomly where I heard about action tiles and he does a great job of going through the setup. He does mention getting the fully kiosk browser which I do have for my wall mounted tablet but honestly, chrome works just as well.
Also, check out the community forum that shows how people have been implementing their action tiles. They have some good inspiration and its nice to see what the finished product could look like. Click here – Show me your panels