With advances in technology, smart home devices that once amazed us while watching Sci-Fi flicks are now turning into a reality. You can now do everything while sitting at home on the comfort of your couch with the help of these smart devices.
Is There an App to Control all Smart Home Devices? There are several smart apps that let you control all your smart home devices. Samsung SmartThings, Home Assistant, Apple Home, and Google Home are among the best. These smart apps work like a remote that controls your devices and your home automations. Smart home apps are designed to integrate and connect to every device, eliminating the need for multiple smart apps.
Smart home technology has advanced quite spectacularly within the past few decades. These apps will help give you a single control point over all the important functions of your smart devices. When you’re not at home, you can still control your smart home through these smart apps. Here you will read more about these advances, and how you can make the most out of your smart devices with the help of smart apps.
Smart Home Apps to Control all Your Smart Home Devices
A single smart home app can give you the power and capability of handling your whole home automation system. Both Android and iOS developers have created apps that support all the recent smart gadgets designed for your home, no matter how big or little the device may be. The list of supported devices is constantly growing. These developers have done well, and are still doing well, with providing excellent platforms that work seamlessly with most smart devices.
As an example, these apps may help you control your entertainment system, kitchen functions, bathroom, and lights all at once. With the help of the apps mentioned in this article, you won’t need to switch between specific apps provided by each manufacturer to get to the different controls for each smart device. Thankfully, apps are now able to combine all these separate smart app device functions within a single app.
Here are the best apps for controlling your smart devices:
- Home Assistant
- Samsung SmartThings
- Apple Home
- Amazon Alexa
- Google Home
These apps turn your phone into a convenient pocket-sized control center, with which you may adjust key functions in your smart home. These apps also have the capability to prompt you when certain things need to be done or adjusted in your home.
Having one central hub for operating all the main functions of your home is beneficial for several reasons. One key benefit is being able to have a pre-set automation for different times of the day. For instance, let’s say you are on your way home after work. An example of this is being able to turn the music on, set the temperature, and turn on the lights all at once, according to your preference, even before you get home.
Here are the links to each app, for the respective app store.
Apple Home – https://www.apple.com/ios/home/
Alexa – https://apps.apple.com/us/app/amazon-…
Hue – https://www2.meethue.com/en-hk/philip…
Google Home – https://apps.apple.com/us/app/google-…
SmartThings – https://apps.apple.com/us/app/smartth…
Read Also: Ecobee Smart Thermostat vs Ecobee 4
What Is a Smart Home App?
A smart home app is an app that gives you control over all the essential functions of the smart devices in your home. These apps allow you the functionality of adjusting anything from anywhere you are, at any given time.
So even while you’re at work, you can set your smart vacuum to start cleaning up and your bath to be ready by the time you get home to help unwind from the day’s work.
Smart home apps can control just about any smart device, but here a list to give you ideas of what you can control.
- Air Purifiers
- Bathroom Functions
- Kitchen Appliances
- Security Sensors
- Garage Doors
- Sprinkler System
Other functional controls
- Speaker System
Have you ever wanted to check the status of one of these devices while you were away from home? See the temperature of the thermostat? Make sure the door is locked? The purpose of smart home apps is to make your life significantly easier.
The Best Apps To Control Your Smart Home System
Opening different apps for many smart devices sometimes proves tedious and inconvenient. The apps below are some of the best smart home apps that let you control everything from a single platform.
Home Assistant App (Both iOS & Android)
The Home Assistant app is free software that’s main focus is on central control of the system and the privacy of the homeowner. Home Assistant has a wide range of smart devices it can support. It features support for 1,600 modular plug-ins and add-ons. You can find that list on their website found here.
Home Assistant functions as a hub featuring all the common functions from a home automation platform. Among its home automation features are:
- the ability to control alarm management of all your security systems, and
- capability to also monitor energy measuring devices and other sensors.
Really, that’s just a small example, as you can setup just about any home automation you can dream up using Home Assistant.
The Home Assistant App may also be integrated with devices and services such as Apple Homekit, Google Assistant, Nest, Amazon Alexa, Philips Hue, and many more similar third-party integration devices. It is one of the easiest smart home apps to use and operate. And it’s well documented!
After installation, it will automatically scan your network for devices that is compatible with it. Home Assistant has won several award for their open-source code and their effort for providing a digitally sustainable software.
Video Review of the Best Apps
Now that I covered Home assistant, here is a video that covers the apps I recommend in this article. It doesn’t cover SmartThings though, so I’ve added a video for SmartThings in the section where I talk about it. It also talks about IFTTT, an app that is great for setting up automation and working on conjunction with your smart home app.
Apple Smart Home Apps
Here is the best smart home control app that is available for Apple.
Apple Home App
The Apple Home app is free and comes pre-installed with iOS products. This app was initially designed just for Apple products, but is now able to support any smart device that sports the HomeKit compatible logo. Apple is a bit exclusive, but they have opened up a little in the past few years, and the Home app is now designed to work to with other smart device brands besides Apple.
The Apple Home app is (if not the best) one of the best smart home control apps for the iPhone. It smoothly integrates the other smart apps so you can control all the functions through it. There are over a hundred brands that are compatible with the Apple Home app, and as expected, the list keeps growing.
For iPhone users, Apple Home is the one app that may control all your house’s automations. Apple Home does require a hub for certain features to work. The hub can be an iPad, Apple TV, or a HomePod. You will have to have a HomeKit hub if you want to use Automations or view live camera streams in the app. Processing for these features is done locally on the hub, and not in the cloud.
With the Apple Home app, you can customize a pre-set function called a scene. For example, if you are about to leave the house, you can create a scene called Going Out, which, when selected, turns off all the lights and locks the doors. Plus, it can make sure electronics are adjusted for efficient energy use.
Apple Home has a simple layout that is easy to operate. One thing that users seem to love about the Apple Home app is its aesthetic and modern look when compared to other smart home apps.
Setting up your devices to connect with Apple Home is quite an easy and smooth process. Usually, you can easily scan the QR code on the device, and the whole process is completed behind the scenes, and your device is automatically connected.
Android Smart Home Apps
Here is the best smart home control app that is available for Android.
The Google Home app is another great choice for controlling an entire smart home from one app. Google Home is compatible with Nest, Philips Hue, and many other smart devices and apps. Google Home is very versatile with its capabilities and is also available for Apple products in tha app store. Don’t confuse the Google Home app with the Apple Home app. They are different.
Smart Home Apps for Either iOS or Android
The previous apps have been pretty brand specific. Obviously Apple Home is only going to work for Apple, and
Google Home will only work with Android. A prime example of how Apple is exclusive and Google is more open. You can download the Google app on the Apple store, but not vice versa. The Apple Home app is only available for Apple products.
Here are the best apps that are not tied to a specific operating system.
SmartThings is one of the original smart home control apps. It is a good option for a control hub for those wanting to invest in home automation and it is compatible to connect with a vast majority of popular devices.
With SmartThings you can set up automatic trigger functions and routine automations. To highlight some of the capabilities, this app is capable of sending you notifications when movement is detected with a motion sensor, and it allows you to control your lock, thermostat, and other systems while you’re out of the house.
The SmartThings app is available to be installed on most phone operating systems, including Android. It is even compatible with an iPhone.
Here is the video overview of the SmartThings app that I promised.
A little exclusive, but for those with Nest products, the Nest app would be the obvious choice. Nest gives you total control of all your Nest devices. Many users praise the Nest app for its easy to use platform. And while it’s not a full-on home automation app, it is still a great choice for those wanting basic control of their home systems. This popular app is available for both Apple and Android as well.
Now that Google owns Nest, I would expect the Nest App to disappear over time. Hopefully it’s best features will be integrated into Google Home. Who knows what will happen with Apple compatibility, but I doubt that will go away.
Amazon’s innovation has led them to be one of the leading brands when it comes to home automation. If you have Alexa, then the app is going to be useful. The Amazon Alexa app is one of the best apps you could use for home automation.
The Amazon Alexa app is compatible with a wide range of smart devices. This is due to many companies wanting compatibility with the Amazon Alexa brand.
This app is capable of doing more than just controlling your home. You may also use it for creating shopping lists, calling and messaging other Alexa-enabled devices, and to listen to music. The Alexa app is easy to operate and is an ideal choice.
Is There an App to Control the Lights in My House?
The Philips Hue app is the top choice if you’re looking for a dedicated app for your lighting that offers a good range of customizability. Philips Hue app is designed to work with the Philips Hue brand of smart lights, but is also compatible with other Zigbee devices when the Philips Hue bridge is used.
The Philips Hue app gives you an interactive experience. Philips Hue lets you play with the tone, color, and contrast of each light that it’s connected with, assuming the smart bulb has those features. This app effectively eliminates the need for light switches and dimmers. With the help of the app, you won’t need to run around to turn off every light before you go to bed. Philips Hue is available for both iOS and Android.
Just to clear up any confusion, most of the apps mentioned in this article are capable of controlling the lights for your smart home. However, lighting it what Philips Hue excels at.
Android vs iOS for Home Automation
Android and iOS brands both give you certain advantages and disadvantages when it comes to home automation. But the decision falls on a few factors.
One of those actors is what products you already have in your house. For example, if you have Nest or Google products, and if you already use Google Home, then an Android control hub would be a better fit for your home automation. But in saying this, keep in mind that you may still use an Apple device for controlling some Google devices and most Nest devices.
Here are two of the factors that you may want to consider:
· Ease of Use
Apple is known for being stringent and controlling, therefore making their products consistent in use and easier for the end user to know how to control each app. That means many users view iOS as easy to use. The user interface and user experience for each model of iPhone is similar to its predecessor. iPhone apps for smart home gadgets are likewise easy to set up and use.
The caveat is that being so controlling means that a lot of customizability is taken away. There are a lot of things you can do on an Android device that you can’t do on an Apple device. Geofencing is one example that I’ve seen.
Android is open source, meaning you can go change anything you want, if you really wanted. This isn’t for everyone, as seen by the popularity of Apple, but it’s nice if you’re the sort of person that likes to turn all the knobs to see what they do. If you already use an Android, then using it for smart home app automation should not be too confusing. The downfall of Android is that it is not always ideal for those who are afraid of pushing buttons.
· Voice Assistance
Siri, for iOS users, is the third most accurate virtual voice assistant in the technology world. Using Siri to control your smart home is easy and also makes for a very convenient experience. The Apple Home app and Siri work very well together when integrated. Siri’s compatibility with different brands grows every day. Siri gives you a lot of control with over 50 smart home brand devices. And with the use of the Apple Watch and AirPods, you may easily control or give instructions to your smart home while on the go.
For Android, the best option for voice assistance software is Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. Google Assistant is fairly easy to use and is compatible with a wide range of smart home device brands. If the device supports a voice assistant, it likely supports Google Assistant.
The Google Assistant is the number 1 voice assistance software in the world. It is also one of the most accurate voice-enabled AI’s available. If you say something, there is a good chance that it will understand you. Android’s platform provides you with smooth and direct integration with Google Assistant, Google Home products, and most products that are voice assistant enabled.
Android smartphones are also able to use Google’s new project Google Duplex. Google Duplex is one of the most innovative steps in AI, as it is able to mimic human interactions. Its current features include the ability to use its AI-based assistant to book hotels and make reservations for you. It’s easy to imagine how Google could use this in the future for a more interactive, responsive smart home.
For those wanting to control their smart home primarily through the use of their voice, Google Assistant is the top choice.
Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa is one of the best voice assistants that turns words into actions. Alexa has many capabilities and is compatible with a great range of smart home devices. Alexa is also consistently growing with its capabilities and compatibility. I would expect Amazon Alexa to stay roughly on par with Google Assistant until one of them reveals a major differentiator.
The more smart devices you have in your home, the more complicated the process of controlling them will be. So far, without a central smart home app, you have come to a point where you can chuck away your remote and have fairly smooth operation of your smart devices with the help of several apps.
Smart home apps can integrate all of them to work together on one platform where you have extensive control. There are plenty of choices, and while all have the same basic functions, each Smart App has something different to offer. They’re not all compatible with all devices. It shouldn’t be too much work to figure out your needs and make a choice based on which features you’ll need and the device you need to control.