If you haven’t yet connected all the rooms and lights and doors in your house to the Internet of Things, SmartThings wants to make it easier for you to do so. With the latest version of its iPhone app, SmartThings is working to better educate consumers about all the things they can do with a connected home.
The new version of the app, which is designed with iOS 7 in mind, has an improved onboarding experience that’s designed to introduce consumers to the most common use cases for installing smart, wireless connected things around the house. It also provides a feed to communicate what’s been happening while they’ve been away, and allow them to set custom push notifications for various events.
When you first open the new app, it walks you through various categories of SmartThings usage, such as “Home and Family,” “Lights and Appliances,” and “Damage and Danger,” with each displaying the typical use cases and devices that are used for each. If users don’t have a particular device, the new app includes a link to the SmartThings Shop, which will quickly enable them to purchase what they need.
That not only helps to drive purchase of SmartThings-enabled devices, but also is designed to educate consumers about the different possibilities of the app.
As part of its onboarding process, the new app also has an improved flow for adding devices to the app and the actions customers wish them to perform. Through the app, they can now create groups of lights and appliances, and control them all from the app, creating the ability to power things down if no one’s entered a room for a while.
Once set up, the SmartThings app provides all of the information you would ever want to know about what’s happening in your house through a unified “Hello, Home” notifications center. It also allows users to quickly toggle between different modes within the app.
For SmartThings, the new app seeks to strike a balance between giving power users the ability to create incredibly complex rules about what devices and lights and appliances are on when, while also making it easy for first-time users to get set up. That’s a balance it’s going to have to achieve if it’s going to make the Internet of Things a thing, or at least if it hopes to be the platform that makes the Internet of Things go.
Anyway, it’s got a little runway to make that happen. Last month the company announced that it had raised $12.5 million from Greylock Partners and Highland Capital Partners. Other investors include First Round Capital, SV Angel, Lerer Ventures, CrunchFund, Max Levchin, Yuri Milner’s Start Fund, David Tisch, A-Grade Investments, Chris Dixon, Vivi Nevo, Alexis Ohanian, Loic Le Meur, Martin Varsavsky, Kal Vepuri, Ryan Sarver, Jared Hecht, Steve Martocci, Emil Michael, Aaron Levie, Zorik Gordon, and Nathan Hanks.