Best Home Automation Apps to Optimize Your Smart Home
The world is growing more reliant on smart home devices and the home automation apps they come with. The latter should be as convenient and easy to use as possible. After all, we want smart devices to make our lives easier and not harder.
A connected home is a home that is filled with smart objects and appliances controlling each other, communicating with each other, and communicating with their owners. Some IoT devices and their corresponding apps allow for more automation and customization than others, so it’s important to understand what you want from your devices and which ones can best accommodate your needs.
Smart Home Security App: The Nest App
Google Nest is Google’s line of IoT devices that increase home security. Those who have Nest’s smart products, such as thermostats, doorbells, smoke detectors, and cameras, can easily manage their homes with the Nest App.
The Nest App is a smart home automation app that takes care of safety and security. For example, you can remotely control the goings on in your home through the camera or set your room temperature.
Since you need to choose your settings, it’s not a full-scale home automation app, but it takes care of many aspects of home security by itself. For example, the Nest Learning Thermostat knows how warm you like your home and turns itself off when you leave.
The Nest app helps you manage your locks, cameras, and thermostats. But remember, that if you want to use Nest speakers, you’ll need to download the Google Home app instead.
Automated Smart Lighting: The Phillips Hue App
You can use the app to fully manage and customize the lighting in your home. For example, you can dim or brighten the lights or choose your preferred shade of color to set the mood. The app also comes with many pre-settings, known as lighting scenes.
The app comes with some default automation, but you can also set up your own. Among the most popular ones are ‘Wake Up’ and ‘Coming Home’.
WiFi Control App: The Race CommandIQ App
The Race CommandIQ is an app that supports Race Communications subscribers and allows them to takeback control over their home networks. And there’s more to it than simple speed tests!
Before there was little an ISP customer could do to improve upload speeds, now subscribers can use the app to prioritize bandwidth where it’s needed most. For example, if you set up streaming Netflix as your number one priority in the household, the app will automatically supply it with more bandwidth than your other devices.
But what makes Race CommandIQ an outstanding home automation app are its cybersecurity features and parental controls. The app automatically scans the home WiFi network for external online dangers and gets rid of them. As a user, you only get a notification – but you don’t need to worry about anything else beyond that.
A Centralized Smart Home App: Home Assistant, Amazon Alexa, & More
Apps, like Amazon Alexa, SmartThings, and Google Home can render many other home automation apps obsolete. Instead of having one app for each smart device, you can manage them all from one centralized hub. Most have very similar features. Before choosing one over the other, go over the automations you’re looking for and see which automation app can serve you best. All these centralized apps are also compatible with each other.
Home Assistant is an open-source home automation app that serves as the central control system for all your IoT devices. It supports over 1900 integrations, making your smart home as smart as it can be. Think of this app as the main controller of your smart home. Inside the app, you get a full view of all your smart devices and the data insights they report.
This makes Home Assistant a powerful tool for integrating with other apps, giving you plenty of flexibility in how you set up your home automation system. On top of its functionality, the app is easy to use and well-designed. There’s even an active forum community with lots of information about setting up specific components and features.
SmartThings is a user-friendly home system compatible with most renowned smart home brands, such as Phillips Hue, Honeywell Home, and Google Nest. It also has its own services, such as SmartThings Energy, HomeCare Wizard, and SmartThings Labs.
If you’d like to save up more energy, you’ll love SmartThings Energy. Inside, you can view usage stats, learning how much energy each smart device consumes in terms of energy and money. In addition, HomeCare Wizard helps you manage your home appliances. It automatically checks on your smart devices’ status and sends you notifications and troubleshooting guidelines if they stop working properly.
Amazon Alexa is the staple among home automation apps. Paired with the voice command function, users only tell Alexa what they want – the rest is automated. For example, you can tell Alexa to lock the doors, turn on the lights, turn off the TV, set the temperature you prefer, and more. It can connect with all devices, not just the Amazon ones, and is compatible with iOS and Android.
Amazon Alexa comes with so-called Hunches, letting you know if you forgot something you typically do. For example, if you forget to lock the front door, Alexa can let you know. You can also automate Hunches, meaning Alexa locks the door herself.
The Ruler of Smart Home Automation Apps: IFTTT (If This Then That)
Many smart home devices and apps come with their own automations, but the IFTTT app takes it to another level. This smart home automation app allows various IoT devices to communicate with each other. For example, you can tell your voice assistant to turn on the lights or set the thermostat to a certain temperature. You can also have the iRobot start vacuuming once you leave the house.
But automation doesn’t stop at smart home devices. The IFTTT canalso be a nifty tool for businesses and social media users. For example, you can automatically post your Instagram posts on Twitter or send them to a chat.
The IFTTT app beautifully shows the benefits of home automation. It saves us time and headspace.
Best Home Automation Apps: Main Takeaways
The user experience of a smart home largely depends on the home automation app, so it’s worth doing some research before choosing one over another. What app you’ll choose ultimately depends on your pre-existing IoT devices and priorities.
Many IoT devices come with their own apps, such as the Phillips Hue app or the Nest App. Others, however, are a great addition to your smart home because they support communication between all your devices – and more. Among the most popular ones are Amazon Alexa, SmartThings, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit.
If you’re our customer and want to automate your cybersecurity, we hope you’ll consider downloading the Race CommandIQ app.