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How to Control Your Entire Smarthome with an App



  Smarthome automation and Internet of Things (IOT) with icons of a home and devices connected via Wi-Fi.
NicoElNino / Shutterstock

When you add devices to your smarthome, you usually need to download additional and use apps, which is frustrating and confusing. You can avoid all that ̵

1; and you do not need a hub for it. You only need one app.

The Key to Smarthome Bliss: A Single App

  iOS app menu with Alexa, Google, Philips, Smart Life, Magic Home and more.
Are the lights in this room controlled by Alexa, Google, Philips, Smart Life or Magic Home?

Apart from voice control, it's best to control your smart home from a single app. This is especially true when multiple family members interact with your smarthome. If everyone always checks which app controls the lighting in the living room and which the smart plugs, he may be tempted to give up in frustration.

Worse is when you need to change infrequently used options like routines and timers or scenes. If you can not remember which app locks the door every day, you'll have to scour all of them one at a time.

However, if you control all the features of all your smarthome devices through a single app, you can eliminate all (or most) confusion. Once set up correctly, you only need the other apps for firmware updates and occasionally some extra features.

You have options for the app to use

  Google home with smart devices in a basement and bedroom.
These devices come from four different sources.

The average smarthome may not need incredibly complex routines. In this case, either Google Home or Alexa will work as a single app. The bonus is that your smartphone, tablet and voice control are in one place.

You must ensure that all your devices support the language assistant of your choice. However, this list is constantly growing. If you already have Google Home or Alexa speakers, be sure to check that the smarthome gadgets you have purchased are compatible with them.

If you're an Apple fan, you can use HomeKit and the Home app. But just like Google Home and Alexa, you need to make sure all your devices have HomeKit support. HomeKit offers some significant benefits (such as Apple Watch support) and stronger local control, depending on the hardware. This means that some of your commands will be processed faster than Alexa or Google Home.

If you have a Smarthub like SmartThings, Wink, Insteon, Hubitat, or HomeSeer, they also have apps with dashboards to control your devices. However, you may not be able to control all functions (such as routines) in the app. In addition, many Wi-Fi devices created for Alexa and Google Home are not compatible with hubs.

Hubs also do not provide native voice controls, so you still need to pair everything with your Google Home or Alexa app if you want. Smarthubs, however, generally provide more powerful automation than voice assistants.

How to Set It Up

Unfortunately, "single-application control" does not mean "single-application installation" means the app associated with your new smarthome device. This will set up the device and get it up and running. Then connect it to your single-app solution, whether Google Home, Alexa or HomeKit.

Open the Home app for Google Home, tap the Add button, tap "Set up your device," and then tap "Works with Google." The Google Home app displays a list of manufacturers. Find the right one and follow the linking process.

 The

The process for Alexa is similar. Open the Alexa app, tap the Hamburger menu in the top left corner and then tap "Add device". Select the category of the smart device. Eg "Light" or "Plug". Select the manufacturer and follow the instructions to link your accounts.

 The

HomeKit menu provides the most intuitive way to add a device. Tap "Add accessories" and then use the camera of your iPhone or iPad to scan the QR code on the device box. Follow the instructions to name the device and add it to a room.

  The
Apple

Each Smarthub has a different method of adding devices. The process may also vary depending on the type of device (Z-wave, ZigBee, light bulb, light switch, etc.). You can check the website of your smart hub to see how you are adding a device.

You can also set up sharing with your family so everyone has access through a single app. In the Google Home app, tap Add and choose Invite Home Member. At Alexa, log on to Amazon Household's website and add members to your Alexa Household. In the Apple Home app, tap the Home icon in the upper left corner. Touch Home Settings and then the home (probably just that) to which you want to invite someone. In the People section, tap Invite and follow the instructions.

You still need to use the original app (sometimes)

Despite the single-app goal, you should not uninstall the original app for your smart devices. You still have to use them sometimes. For example, Alexa and Google can not update the firmware for your smart plugs. So you have to do this via the original app.

Sometimes, you may also lack some features when using another app. For example, the Philips Hue app offers more color options for your bulbs than the Google Home app. In this particular case, it may be helpful to create a scene in the Philips Hue app (there may be similar options for other devices in their specific apps).

Google Home, Alexa, and HomeKit all provide some support for scenes Depending on your device, you can stay in your app more often. However, for a more precise control you still need the original app.

However, if you can control at least 90 percent of your devices, routines, timers, etc. in a single app, you'll spend a lot of time. Less time figuring out which app to use. And you and the rest of your family will be grateful that you make an effort.


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