The Best Apps To Keep Your Smart Home Humming
Smart devices are meant to make our lives easier.
But as homes become filled with more connected devices, things can get confusing—and complicated. The key to smart home bliss? Streamlining the way homes are run with the help of apps.
These smartphone apps allow you to control multiple devices in your home, whether you’re inside of it or miles away. Let’s break down the smart home apps by function, to help you manage your devices, know which apps are right for your home and get some tips to get started.
Smart speaker apps
Smart speakers in particular have myriad uses that’ll make managing your home tasks easier. You can use them to pipe music throughout your living spaces or leverage them for verbal tasks when your hands are full, such as creating reminders, reading you the morning’s top headlines and adding items to your shopping list.
Setting up a smart speaker usually requires downloading at least one app. Some, such as Google’s line of smart speakers, can be used to their full advantage through a few different apps. Along with the Google Home app, the Google Assistant app and Gmail can help sync all the Google products you use together. Plus, apps like Google Home can support non-Google products as well.
There are plenty of smart speakers on the market from brands like Amazon, Apple, Sonos and more, though the most popular are from Amazon and Google.
Smart plug apps
You’d be surprised how many uses you can find for smart plugs. These compact plugs fit into your existing electrical sockets and allow you to turn the connected electronics off and on remotely from your smartphone app.
Forgot to unplug your curling iron? Want to turn on your patio string lights before you return home? Want to conserve the energy your home uses while you’re out of town for a few days? Smart plugs enable you to do all of this, and some also have the capability to create schedules and set timers with just a few swipes and taps.
Smart thermostat apps
One of the most useful benefits of having an app-powered smart home is the ability to remotely control the thermostat. Smart thermostats allow you to adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere, and create settings so you never have to toggle back and forth between temps for day and night again.
Whether you want to have your heating and A/C running minimally while you’re away or keep things comfortable for a house sitter, being able to control your home’s temperature from an app on your phone couldn’t be easier.
Smart security systems apps
App-based security systems bring about peace of mind by letting you keep an eye on your home no matter where you are. Whether a friend pops by or a stranger rings your doorbell, you can see who is outside your home and even greet them remotely, depending on your devices.
These systems also allow you to monitor your home’s interior as well, making it easy to check in on and even give commands to pets (like telling Fido to get off the sofa) via your smartphone while you’re out, for example.
Apps make management a breeze, not only from a usability standpoint, but also convenience, as you can be out and about and maintain control. Some people opt for apps over physical hubs when it comes to controlling multiple devices in their homes.
These apps also allow for a more streamlined system, so you don’t have to remember to manually power off and on multiple devices day in and day out. And many of them allow multiple family members to have access. Of course, there are physical hubs that also come with apps, if you’d prefer having the option.
Some of the most popular smart home apps are Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Home, AT&T’s Smart Home Manager, Google Assistant and Samsung’s SmartThings, each with their own features and benefits. Some manufacturers, like TP-Link, also provide a Wi-Fi app that gives you broad control over a wide range of devices. Setup for each of these will depend on your devices and the app you choose, but it usually just takes creating and signing into your account, then adding the various devices you want to control.
In a world increasingly reliant on tech and the internet, why not take full advantage and use apps to keep your home running smoothly? By connecting your various smart electronics and being able to keep tabs on things no matter where you are, you can save time and gain peace of mind.
Product features may have changed and are subject to change.