Best Smart Home Automation App

Smart homes are the homes of the future. They allow people to avoid doing mundane tasks and makes life a lot more convenient for owners of smart home equipment. From smart lights controllable with your phone, right through to doors that can be locked and unlocked with apps, meaning you don’t need to worry about losing your keys.

Not all apps were created equal however. Different apps offer different levels of compatibility and automation depending on the devices they’re compatible with in your home. We take a look at what to look out for in a smart home automation app and which ones could be best for you below.

What to look out for


Compatible with your Home Devices – Smart home automation is amazing if you’ve got lots of devices that are all compatible with one app. Often times, people find that they need multiple apps to control everything in their homes.

Our best advice is to pick a smart home automation app before you start buying devices. This way most of your home can be controlled from one device.

Capabilities – The amount of things that can be done in smart homes will amaze you. The downside though, is that different apps and devices behave differently and have different capabilities. 

Samsung SmartThings App


EHU Rating: ★★★☆☆
Price: FREE

Samsung smartthings app

With Samsung’s SmartThings app you can manage, connect, automate and schedule all of your Samsung SmartThings-compatible devices, electronics and appliances. To use this, a simple setup process is involved and you’ll need to create a Samsung account. A nifty trick of this smart home automation app is that it works with Samsung’s Bixby.

Features

  • Intelligent application software can provide suggestions on how to make your day more productive.
  • Automatically detect your SmartThings compatible devices via your new SmartThings profile
  • Save money with SmartThings Energy, compare check and get tips on lowering your electricity costs.
  • Devices can be used together by inviting others to the place where the device is registered.
  • Trigger action: Control your home with a variety of sensors such as, time, temperature, location or day/night cycle.

This app by Samsung is simple to set up with your Samsung account. Once activated the app works with a variety of devices in your home, from your thermostat to your washer/dryer. This app is compatible with all Samsung products that carry the SmartThigs logo. While the UI is clean and sleek with a modern design, it also allows for a moderate level of control and customizability for the app and your Samsung SmartThins devices.

WeMo


EHU Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Price: FREE

Wemo app

The WeMo app is designed to work with all WeMo products, it allows you to access your WeMo compatible devices via the internet. 

Features

  • Control all of your WeMo devices from anywhere in the world.
  • Sync lights and devices to a daylight sensor so you never come home to a dark house again
  • Away mode makes it look like your home when you’re not, all totally controlled by your pre-set app schedules.

You can use this app not only to control your devices but also to monitor energy uses, devices in your home and even door security. The WeMo app is also compatible with NEST thermostats and IFTTT.

ImperiHome Pro


EHU Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Price: FREE / Premium $1.79 – $3.19 per month

ImperiHome Pro

Unify and manage your smart home from one centralized point with the ImperiHome app. A multiple award winning app including innovative city trophies provides a variety of unique datasets which allows you to not only monitor your home but also monitor your environment too.

Features

  • Easy access to the open data of your city or state (pollution, energy, mobility etc)
  • ImperiHome is a native application that does not store your data in remote servers. The data of your connected objects remains in the application.
  • Control the most popular connected devices brands and home automation hubs with our single App
  • The Premium version provides access to technical support from Smart Home specialists and is available as a package or as a subscription without a duration commitment. The free version gives you access to the basic functions and allows you to integrate your first objects. 

This app has many unique features that set it in a different category to most. The ImperiHome app not only gives you control over your home, it also is compatible with a variety of other application controlled devices. With the ability to connect to your current devices and pre-existing home automation systems, this 3rd party app may be useful for some who are finding their brand specific apps a little underwhelming.

As this app is compatible with many of the big brands, such as, Philips Hue, Logitech, Somfy, Edomus, Fibaro etc. its ability to be customized is greatly increased. Create your own dashboard, widgets, triggered actions etc for ease of navigation.

myHome Plus App


EHU Rating:  ★★★☆☆
Price: FREE (Nest Cloud access fee of $5.99)

MyHome Plus App

MyHome Plus is a free to download smart home app. This app supports all of the current SmartHome devices and accessories including some Nest and WeMo devices. There is no need to buy branded company products as this app is so versatile it has been designed for use as a 3rd party application. Simple and basic in design, this applications user interface takes a no-nonsense approach allowing you to easily manage and alter the settings on your devices.

Features

  • With the myHome Plus app you can control all of your Apple HomeKit accessories from one device.
  • Family members and guests can be invited using their iCloud account.
  • Favourite groups can be controlled via your Apple watch or Today View.
  • Home and away status: let your home run on autopilot while your away to give the illusion that someone’s home.
  • Remote access to Nest cloud (requires in app purchase of $5.99)

Overall, while this app has its strengths in the way of being versatile and adaptable with the devices it can connect to, there are many limitations of this app which cancel out the few positives it has.

Currently, it only works with HomeKit compatible devices, Nest and WeMo devices. The app is only compatible with iOS devices. You must have an apple TV in order to have remote access and although you have the ability to control the Nest and WeMo devices, they cannot be added to the scenes etc.

Control4 MyHome


EHU Rating: ★★★☆☆
Price: FREE

Control4 MyHome

This Control4 app is specifically designed to be used with Control4 Smart Homes running OS 3. It turns your Android phone or tablet into your personal user interface to control all your smart home devices. The Control4 app enables you to check on and control your entire smart home including lights, thermostats, security system, door locks, garage doors, pools, and much more.

Features

  • Convenient one-tap access from the face of your watch.
  • All mobile apps support remote access, does not support PC/Mac (requires LAN)
  • 4Sight subscription allows you to control your home from anywhere in the world
  • Control your home automation devices from iPhones, iPads, Apple watches, Amazon fire phone and android smartphones and tablets.
  • By using the same encryption technology as financial institutions, 4Sight provides secure communication protocols for your smart home.

The Control4 app is compatible with most android, iOS and PC/tablet devices. This app will not only allow you a remote connection to your home, but it also has built in security features which will notify you if any of the devices get activated at home with push notifications and email directly to your phone.

The interface is unique in that it allows you to customize the images behind each room, which, in combination with its swipe functionality for navigation makes this an easy to use app. When setting up your app you have such versatility in customization which includes the ability to remove less frequently used buttons from the screen.

Savant TrueControl


EHU Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Price: Free with the purchase of a Savant SmartHome.

Savant TrueControl

The Savant TrueControl app allows you to monitor not only your home but select sections of your life as well. Tile the screen to watch tv, work and even track your stocks all in one go.

Features

  • TrueControl allows you to tile the screens in your home of office enabling you to track or watch up to 9 things at once
  • TruImage control allows you to view the response to your command e.g. turn on a lamp
  • Door lock and garage lock features
  • IP based Apple TV integration

The Savant TrueControl app is only compatible with a Savant system running software 8.0 and over. Furthermore, the Savant software has to have been installed by a savant authorised integrator who will set up the app on your chosen device for you.

The app works fine on iOS devices, however, following extensive research into its latest android version it has been noted that the android version is buggy and unreliable with missing functions.

A template-based UI means its customizability is extremely limited. This app has also been severely criticized for its lack of in-app password changes for accounts such as spotify, you have to phone Savant to reset it. Finally, you cannot add HD channels to your favourites list as the input only allows a 3-digit code, whereas HD channels have a 4-digit code.

Insteon App


EHU Rating: ★★★☆☆
Price: FREE (when you purchase the Hub)

Insteon App

The Insteon app allows you to control your Insteon Hub. Installation is simple and fast. The hub connects to your router at home which also allows for bridging to 3rd party devices, such as, Amazon Alexa, Logitech Harmony etc.

Features

  • No monthly fees to pay
  • Can be installed on many devices to enable ease of access even when you’ve misplaced your phone thanks to its cloud based services.
  • Easy device scheduling
  • The app will notify you if any sensors are triggered
  • Connected devices now auto refresh (hub 2 only)
  • Simple setup, install the app and select the devices you have at home.

The Insteon app seamlessly bridges the gap in your devices, from your voice controlled Alexa to your light switches. The app works via Wi-Fi, 4G, 3G and EDGE making it ideal for remote access to your in house devices. The app has a very basic, simple UI with built-in tech support should you need it. The biggest limitation here is that the app only works via the central hub which retails at $79.99.

IFTTT


EHU Rating: ★★★★☆
Price: FREE

IFTTT App

IFTTT is an incredible app that combines all of your other apps into one. From home automation to social media platforms, over 630 apps are compatible with IFTTT including twitchy, twitter, Philips hue, etc. With more and more apps and features being added weekly, this app is a brilliant allrounder.

Features

  • Back up important files, photos, and contacts to cloud-storage solutions, such as Dropbox or Google Drive
  • Get an alert as soon as there’s a new Craigslist listing that matches you search
  • Stay safe with automated and intelligent home security alerts
  • Control everything around you with your voice and Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant
  • Stay informed about what’s happening from publications like The New York Times and ProPublica

The IFTTT app is ever expanding with more and more apps being added to it daily. The more apps that are added, the more harmonious your phone becomes saving you plenty of time in your daily routine. This app is the app of the future, where a variety of models can be placed into one master application for the rest of time.

Somfy MyLink


EHU Rating: ★★★★☆
Price: FREE

Somfy MyLink

Automate your window coverings, send immediate RTS commands, create scenes and set schedules. With its bright and boldly coloured user interface and easy navigation tabs the Somfy MyLink app allows you to maximise the benefits of your self-powered motorized home devices.

Features

  • Control your Radio Technology Somfy® (RTS) motorized products wherever you are.
  • Simple plug-in device required to control devices via the app.
  • Compatible with most iOS devices with iOS7 +, Android devices with Jellybean or higher 
  • Link together multiple myLinks for a complete home control system
  • Includes ‘Demo Mode’ for easy orientation to the applications features.

Easy to set-up with step-by-step online video instructions this app is compatible with your alexa/google home, IFTTT, RTS enabled lighting devices and motorised shades, blinds, awnings etc.

The app has a 10M/30ft direct line of sight range and is easy to control with Up/Down/My/Stop commands and incremental control (tilt/brightness). It does, however, have some significant flaws, such as, it only works with Somfy-powered motorized solutions.

The myLink cannot set limits or the MY position, nor can it be used to add additional RTS controls and there must be a pre programmed RTS control (handheld, in-wall or table top) that controls the motors that will also be controlled by the myLink.

Loxone Smart Home


EHU Rating: ★★★★☆
Price: Free

Loxone Smart Home app

The Loxone App has the highest overall smart home IQ, saving you on average 50,000 menial tasks a year. This smart home app gives you total control, from lighting to music, even home security. The Loxone smart home app has you covered.

Features

  • Push notifications directly to your handheld device when it counts
  • Use NFC smart tags and QR codes to access features quickly
  • Personalise your user interface with labels and icons
  • Continual free updates with new features and possibilities.
  • Manage and monitor the charging of your electric car by integrating the KEBA KeContact P20 Wallbox with your Laxone app
  • Maintenance counter for monitoring your pumps, filters and other items that require regular maintenance.

The Loxone app is specifically designed to work with Loxone SmartHome activated products, it is not compatible with any other brand name device. The app has a quick set-up guide which allows you to add and customise your devices with its unique autopilot designer and schedule operating modes.

Your Loxone app can be accessed anywhere and so can control your devices from anywhere, this also works in reverse as the Loxone system will send you push notifications when detection devices are activated.

Final Thoughts


To date there are probably thousands of smart devices on the market for consumers to buy. Based on popular opinion and the information we have collated above, the Samsung SmartThings app (in conjunction with the SmartHub 3.0) is the most versatile of them all. While it works with a range of devices it also allows you to trigger chains of events with robust rules to help make your life a little smarter.

A final piece of advice, always research the physical products as it is great to have a fully customizable app that has an excellent UI/UX, however, it means nothing if it doesn’t work with all of your systems.

FAQ’s


Q: What are smart apps?

A: Smart apps are applications that can be downloaded to your phone/tablet/pc which enable you to control many systems that are linked together via a network of radio waves. 

Q: How does smart home automation work?

A: Smart homes work by sending radio waves from your phone/tablet, through the internet and to the receiving device. You can use your phone/tablet to check on systems at home remotely and even apply timings and triggers to set off chains of events at the push of a button.

Q: What are the benefits of home automation?

A: There are many advantages to having a smart home, some of which include home management, security, remote control functions, energy efficiency, time efficiency and improved functionality of devices.

Q: What is the scope of home automation?

A: Everything, from refrigerators to home security can be controlled with smart home innovation. Today smart homes are more about living a greener lifestyle and home security. There are sensors for a variety of uses such as, humidity, gas, light, temperature etc. all designed to make those time consuming menial tasks less trouble.