There is an app for everything nowadays. You can have one to keep track of your schedule, what you eat, how you sleep, where you need to be and how to get there. Innovations in the tech world have made our lives much easier. We list here 11 best Smart Home Apps that make home smarter.
There is also something to be said about the ways this tech has made out lives more difficult, and how it is still going to change our lives, but that is not the point of this article.
The point is, at this point, we couldn’t imagine life without smartphones or smart homes.
But what is a smart home and why do you need one?
Best Smart Home Apps 2020
There are many ways to describe smart homes. Basically, it’s a house equipped with all the devices that make your everyday life easier. These devices are connected to the Internet and handle the things that you normally have to.
Don’t like housework? All you need to do is use your smartphone or your voice to activate these devices and they take care of that task.
There are numerous benefits of having a smart home including convenience and security. However, if you have been thinking of turning your ordinary house into a smart home, you might be confused and overwhelmed by the variety of options. There are so many apps you could consider.
1. The Ecobee4 App
Wouldn’t it be great if you could adjust the temperature in your home from anywhere? The Ecobee4 allows you to do just that. It features voice recognition technology and proximity sensors so the thermostat knows whether you are at home or not. You can enable heating or cooling from anywhere and you can even set a cooling or heating schedule.
Additionally, this best smart home app also displays current weather conditions so you’ll always know what the weather is like. It’s very convenient because it allows you to come home to a desired temperature every day.
2. GE Brillion App
Cooking can often be time-consuming especially because you have to wait for the oven to preheat. But when this can be done remotely using your smartphone, you save a lot of time.
GE Brillion is a smart home app that has been here for a while now reducing the time spent in the kitchen. It allows you to preheat the oven or change the temperature while you’re in another room watching TV or enjoying a cup of coffee outside.
3. The Philips Hue App
One of the apps you should definitely consider adding to your smart home is the Philips Hue app. It allows you to change light colour and brightness to match your current mood. With this app, you can control all the lights in your house, switch the light on/off and choose from countless colours at your disposal for the right ambiance.
You can change the light so that it suits your activities whether you’re reading, relaxing or doing something else.
4. Samsung SmartThings App
When we’re away from home, we worry about many things and are unable to relax and enjoy our trip. Fortunately, there is an app that will allow you to be notified if anything happens at home while you’re away.
Samsung’s SmartThings app will alert you if something happens including unauthorised entry or even a flood. You can adjust the settings and receive notifications on conditions of your choosing.
5. ADT Pulse App
ADT Pulse app allows you to control your home remotely. The app enables you to control your home security from anywhere and check motion sensors, activate the alarm, connect to security cameras, watch live video of your home, and more.
With this app, you will be able to monitor your home from anywhere so there’s no reason to worry when you’re away. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can check what’s going on at home anytime.
6. DirecTV App
DirecTV app features voice control so you simply say what you want to watch. If you want to watch a romantic comedy, all you need to do is say “Find romantic comedies” and the app will do it. What’s more, DirecTV is a perfect app to use on the go. It allows you to access films and TV shows or even stream live TV from anywhere.
7. IFTTT App
One of the most popular apps for smart homes is the IFTTT (If This Then That) app. What it does is allow you to connect with other apps in order to complete a task. That means you can control your devices using this app even though you have no coding skills.
You can access apps on Android, iOS, Google, and Windows and you can even create a custom app if you like. For example, you can connect two apps to perform a task such as turning on the light in your home when you’re near. You sign up for free and get access to IFTTT repository.
Other Smart Home Apps You Can Choose
8. The Amazon Echo
Love them or hate them, smart home devices like the Echo are becoming more popular. According to the vpnMentor research, however, some of the first products off the line may well have a vulnerability that users aren’t aware of. Their hacker squad was able to gain access to the device using a special SD card – what’s more they were able to remotely access the Echo services.
As the world keeps getting smaller, being able to access things at home from a world over is fast becoming the norm. Don’t be left behind, and invest in one of these apps today.
We’ve all got used to the increasing amount of technology in our lives.
But with 127 million smart devices like the Amazon Echo due to be sold in the USA alone this year, are we opening ourselves up to attacks from hackers? According to a study by vpnMentor, some of our favourite tech might not be as security friendly as we think.
The company got together with a team of hackers to find out whether we’re being put at risk by buying products from unethical sources or from second hand sources. Here’s what they found:
9. Smart Door Monitors
The hackers hired by vpnMentor found that the first generation models can be manipulated physically, creating an access into your Wi-Fi service. This could be linked to a web site that contained user passwords for home networks, further providing a portal to obtain personal information.
10. Smart Cameras
Most of us have smart phones nowadays and the camera is probably one of the most popular ways we use these. The hacker team looked at the Samsung SNH-1011 and found that they were able to break into the wireless camera feed and reset the password without even having an idea what the original was.
What it meant was the team controlled the camera without the person who owned it knowing.
11. Smart Plugs
You might not have one in your home at the moment, but they are becoming increasingly popular. Smart plugs allow you to control things like lighting in your home, operating remotely via your phone or another Wi-Fi device. The hacker team found that encryption and security weren’t that high with these products and that access was relatively easy in order to take complete control.
Best Smart Home Apps 2020: Conclusion
The research shows that buying a product second hand or from a disreputable supplier, could well put your security at some risk. First, you should always take a close look at the product – research it properly and find out if there are any issues with respect to security.
You should only buy a smart home app from a respected, certified seller. When you get the product home, take a look at it carefully and check that it hasn’t been physically interfered with. Always ensure that your computer is updated and configured properly. If you have a smart device that is externally facing, consider using an additional and separate network.