The market for smart home apps is in a strange place.
It wasn’t that long ago that the app store was flooded with smart home control app options. Over the years, though, we saw some changes. Apps merged, apps disappeared, and some apps never really got off the ground.
Those changes mean that there are fewer viable smart home apps on the market than ever. Normally, that’s a bad thing. Less competition means that there is less innovation. That’s typically bad news for consumers.
Smart home apps are different, though. The decline in competition is largely the result of a few apps that have separated themselves from the pack to such a degree that there’s little room for innovation left. There may be fewer apps to choose from, but the apps that are available are generally of pretty high quality.
So here are the smart home apps you need to know about if you’re looking to bring your home into the future.
Simply put, a Nest is one of the best purchases you can make. Even if you’re not turning your home into a fully-equipped smart home, Nests make your life so much easier. Their ability to monitor the temperature in your home and adjust for your needs is nothing short of a minor miracle.
The Nest app allows you to access its best features on the go (including Nest security cameras), but some say it’s not the best. Still, as a built-in way to control one of the best smart products on the market today, ou should at least familiarize yourself with the Nest app.
SmartThings from Samsung is certainly a neat little concept. Basically, SmartThings is the brand for some of Samsung’s smart devices like cameras, outlets, and bulbs. However, it also allows you to create some custom objects which allow you to do things like see if water is leaking into a certain area.
Like many of the other apps on this list, the SmartThings app allows you to control the functionality of various compatible devices. Where this particular app really pulls ahead, though, is with its fantastic design. You’ll obviously need it for SmartThings devices, but we kind of wish this beautiful and simple app was compatible with even more products.
Vivint is one of the first apps that we’re looking at which offer universal smart home control. That is to say that it’s an app which allows you to control various smart home devices from one interface.
There are advantages and disadvantages to the universal control method, but Vivint manages to circumvent many of the downsides. It’s an intuitive app that allows you to take control of your various smart home gadgets with relative ease. From doorbell cameras to thermostats, Vivint is one of the most reliable ways to take control of your smart home from wherever you may be.
If you’re looking for the best universal smart home app on the market, you could certainly do a lot worse than starting with Yonomi.
Yonomi is generally considered to be one of the premiere names in this category. Compatible with devices like Echo, Google Home, Hue light bulbs, it boasts an impressive range of compatibility. Even better, this app features the ability to set programmable routines for your objects as well access more in-depth features. It’s not the flashiest app, but it just works so well.
Olisto is a relatively new kid on the block, but it does offer some interesting features that make it an appealing alternative.
For instance, some users like the way that Olisto lets you more easily program commands for multiple devices. For instance, it makes it simple to trigger multiple thermostats or multiple locks with the same command. Its trigger system is deep but not complicated.
The trade-off is that it lacks the compatibility options and interface design of other apps, but for the right devices, it could be the app for you.
With an almost 5-star App Store review across 30 thousand ratings, you can rest assured that IFTTT really is one of the best apps in it class.
What makes it so special? Well, it not only lets you control your smart home devices but automate other services as well. For instance, it can send location notifications to friends, trigger tweets, and let you know when a particular item is on sale.
More than a smart home hub, IFTTT is closer to a smart life hub. You should certainly try it even if you end up liking something else better.
To be honest with you, ImperiHome – Smart Home & City probably isn’t the overall option in this particular class. However, it does offer some compelling features you should know about.
The biggest among those features is its dashboard abilities. Basically, ImperiHome – Smart Home & City lets you create an unlimited number of custom dashboards that let you access tool in one place. This can be a tremendous time saver for smart home device owners who want to access a group of features at one time with ease.
What’s a Wemo? Well, it’s a series of devices (most notably, outlets) that allow you to turn normal items into smart devices. Got a lamp that you love you wish you could control from your phone? Wemo can help.
The Wemo app is the official way to control Wemo devices, and it’s one of the most beloved apps of its kind. If you’re interested in smart home conveniences but don’t want to commit to a ton of smart devices, Wemo’s and this app are one of the best way to dip your toes into smart home waters.
The Phillips Hue brand is an especially popular addition to most smart homes. You may not think you need a smart light bulb, but the number of things you can do with the Hue line is astounding. Want your bulbs to flash your team colors after they score a touchdown? Hue lights can do that.
There are other apps that can control your Hue lights, but few of them offer quite as many options as the native app. Even if you opt for a universal solution, it’s worth keeping this app around.
Home 3 is a controversial app. It’s only compatible with Apple HomeKit accessories, and it’s $14.99 price tag is about $15 more expensive than the average Smart Home app.
However, those who use Home 3 swear by it. There are few apps in this category that offer this level of functionality with such a terrific interface. Home 3’s suite of options is even more robust than some native apps for other products. It’s an investment, but if you’re committed to designing a smart home, it’s a pretty great one.
The official app for AT&T’s line of digital products is a lot like other official apps for smart home products. That is to say that it’s a tremendous solution that carries the distinct disadvantage of only working with one kind of product.
That said, Digital Life is a pretty great option for those looking to utilize AT&T’s line of security products. It makes those particular devices much easier to use and feels more organic than third-party alternatives (at least those that support this system).