What do I need to know about smart home apps?
For starters, smart home apps and smart devices are designed to make your day-to-day life more manageable, especially when you’re short on time. Gone are the days of getting up to turn on the lights or checking that you locked the windows and garage door. Now you can do all of that and more from a mobile app. Take a look at some of the apps that’ll keep your home in good running order…
On command, Google Assistant will search the web, send texts or make phone calls, schedule reminders, tell you the weather, play the radio and so much more. However, once you link it up to your smart devices it’ll also turn on lights in different rooms, unlock doors and set alarms.
Alexa can take control of your life and home environment in much the same way. Using voice control, she awakens when you call her name. And over time she’ll understand more of what you say when you speak to her. Both are indispensable if you want to initialise a voice-activated system around your home.
Smart home thermostats
A total game changer for energy efficient smart home designers. As far as smart thermostats are concerned, Nest lets you monitor your daily energy usage and program the temperatures as and when you want them, using an incredibly effective interface in the mobile app.
Smart home lights
Smart home lights like Hue let you change the lights in your home to make it look like you’re there when you’re not. Sync mood lighting to your movie collection and generally configure every ambient bulb in your home to your complete satisfaction. Incredibly helpful when it comes to creating the right atmosphere for the right moment and saving on energy.
Setting up smart home apps: how easy is it?
Now that we’ve taken you through some of the top smart home devices, let’s talk about the practicalities of setting them up. Most smart devices come with a single app that you’ll need to download and set up. It’s fairly easy to do.
Download a universal smart home app that lets you sync all of your devices and control them from one place. Get your fully connected home up to scratch with these some of these apps…
Run your home wherever you are with Yonomi. The app is compatible with many well-known smart devices such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri and more. Once you’ve downloaded the app and set up your devices using their app, sync everything to Yonomi. From there you can create automated routines for your heating, mood lighting and your home entertainment.
You’ll most likely have the app installed if you’ve got any device with Alexa built-in. But you can use the smart home app to control a number of devices in different rooms around your home such as lights, your thermostat, smart plugs and much more. Plus, you can also use the app to create shopping lists, set alarms, listen to the radio and more.
The best smart home devices for 2021 and beyond
Whether you’re a die-hard smart homer or a newbie, having the right smart devices and apps in your home means you’ll never forget to bring home the milk or switch off the lights. But with so many devices around it’s hard to know which ones you should get. That’s why we’ve put this list together so that all you need to do is pick the best device for your household.
Shaped like a crystal ball, the Amazon Echo is a Bluetooth speaker dominated by Alexa, the very handy voice assistant. While Alexa can’t predict the future, Alexa can control a number of gadgets around your home. All you need to do is connect them to the Amazon Alexa app and give your command: “Alexa, turn off the lights".
Google Nest Hub Max
It’s the virtual assistant from the Google Home range known as Google Assistant. It features a smart display that also doubles as a home security camera – handy for any room in the house. The Google Nest Hub Max is mounted onto a decent sounding speaker. You can find out the latest news, the weather, see who’s in your home and more.
The Sonos One supports both virtual assistants with great sound quality in the same price range. And you can connect this device with other Sonos speaks around your home if you have them.
Ring Video Doorbell 3
See who’s at the door wherever you are (even if you’re in the living room and can’t be bothered to leave your seat). It works with Amazon Alexa, has a 160-degree viewing angle and you can see who’s at the door from your mobile device.
Google Nest Hello Video Doorbell
Tell the delivery person where to drop your package using the two-way audio communication via your smartphone or tablet. It’s compatible with Amazon Alexa as well as Google Assistant.
Hive Lights Smart Bulb
Available in standard, dimmable or colour, this smart lightbulb is easy to control from the Hive app or Amazon Alexa. You can create a lighting schedule in different rooms for the summer and winter months or when you’re away on holiday. To install, simply replace your existing bulb with the Hive one, and pair it with the Hive Hub.
Lifx Smart LED Light Bulbs
Boasting millions of colours, the Lifx smart lights are super bright and they’re compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit with Siri. You can create a lighting colour and schedule in the Lifx app or using voice command. Install like a normal lightbulb in any room, sit back and enjoy.