How to Control Your Entire Smarthome Through One App

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

When you add devices to your server, you usually have to download and use additional applications, which is frustrating and confusing. You can avoid all this – and you do not need a hub to do it. You just need an application.

The key to Smarthome Bliss: a unique application

IOS app menu showing Alexa, Google, Philips, Smart Life, Magic Home, etc.
Are the lights in this room controlled by Alexa, Google, Philips, Smart Life or Magic Home?

Other than the voice, the best way to control your smarthome is to use a single application. This is especially true if multiple members of your family interact with your smarthome. If everyone is still trying to find out which app controls the lighting in the living room and which controls the smart cards, you might be tempted to give up frustration.

It's even worse when you have to modify seldom used options, such as routines, timers or scenes. If you do not know which application is locking the door every day, you must examine them all one by one.

If, however, you control all the functions of all your smarthome devices through a single application, you can eliminate the confusion (or most). Once it is properly configured, you only need other applications for firmware updates and occasionally some additional features.

You have options for which application to use

Google Home shows smart appliances in a basement and bedroom.
These devices come from four different sources.

The average smarthome may not need incredibly complex routines, in which case either Google Home or Alexa will work well as your unique application. The bonus here is that all your smartphone, tablet and voice commands are in one place.

You must ensure that all your devices support the voice assistant of your choice. This list goes on all the time, though. If you already have Google Home or Alexa speakers, determine if the gadget you buy is compatible with them.

If you're a fan of Apple, you can use HomeKit and the Home app. But just like Google Home and Alexa, you need to make sure all your devices are compatible with HomeKit. HomeKit has distinct benefits (such as Apple Watch support) and, depending on your hardware, more local control. This means that some of your orders will be processed faster than with Alexa or Google Home.

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

Hubs also do not offer native voice control, so you always need to pair everything to your Google Home or Alexa app if you want. However, smarthubs usually offer more powerful automation than voice assistants.

How to configure it

Unfortunately, "controlling a single application" does not mean "installing a single application". For starters, you should always install the app associated with your new smarthome device. You use it to configure the device and make it work. Then you connect it to your single-application solution, whether it's Google Home, Alexa or HomeKit.

For Google Home, open the application Home, press the add button, press 'Configure device', then press the 'Works with Google' option. The Google Home app presents you with a list of manufacturers. Find the right one and follow the linking process.

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the process for Alexa is similar. Open the Alexa app, tap the hamburger menu at the top left, and then tap 'Add Device'. Choose the smart device category, for example "Light" or "Plug". Select its manufacturer and follow the prompts to create a link. your accounts.

The device category menu in the Alexa application.

HomeKit presents the most intuitive process for adding a device. Tap "Add an accessory," then use your iPhone or iPad's camera to scan the QR code on the device's box. Follow the instructions to name the device and add it to a part.

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Each smarthub has a different method for adding devices. The process may also vary depending on the type of device (Z-wave, Zigbee, bulb, light switch, etc.). You can check your smarthub's website for the current method of adding a device.

You can also set up sharing for your family members, so everyone has unique access. in the Google Home app, tap "Add," and then choose "Invite a member at home." For Alexa, you sign in to Amazon Cleaning site and add members to your household Alexa. In Apple Home App, tap the Home icon in the upper left corner. Tap "Home Settings," then tap the Home button (you probably only have this one) to which you'd like to invite someone else. Under the People section, tap "Invite" and follow the instructions.

You must always use the original application (sometimes)

Despite the single application goal, you do not have to uninstall the original app for your smart devices. You will still need to use them sometimes. For example, Alexa and Google can not upgrade the firmware of your smart plugs, so you must do so through the original application.

Sometimes, some features escape you when you go through another application. For example, the Philips Hue app offers more color choices for your light bulbs than the Google Home app. In this particular case, it might be useful to create a scene in the Philips Hue app (There may be similar options for other devices in their specific applications).

Google Home, Alexa and HomeKit all offer some support for scenes, depending on the device, allowing you to stay in your application more often. For more precise control, you always need the original application.

Nevertheless, if you can control at least 90% of your devices, routines, timers, etc. in a single application, you will spend much less time trying to determine which application to use. And you and the rest of your family will be grateful for your effort.

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