How to Use One App to Manage All Your Smart Home Devices

How to Use One App to Manage All Your Smart Home Devices

An incredible amount of progress has been made in smart home technology. Anyone can now easily enter it without having to spend a lot of money. However, managing all of those devices still requires effort. We’ll make it simpler for you.

A physical smart home hub was once required to integrate all of your devices into a single user interface. That’s no longer the case, thanks to Apple, Amazon, and Google. Even without using their products, you can improve the smart home controls.

You Don’t Need a Hub Anymore

Utilizing a smart home hub has many benefits, one of which is a unified user interface across all of your devices. You can control all smart devices using one app as long as they can connect to the hub, regardless of brand, in contrast to smart devices that don’t use a hub, which need their own third-party apps.

It’s simple to see how this can become problematic if you mix and match several different brands of smart devices. The lights in the bedroom can be turned on using one app, but since there was a great deal on lights from a different brand, your living room now needs a different app.

Fortunately, this nightmare scenario doesn’t need to occur as frequently anymore. There are many ways to integrate all of your smart devices into one seamless experience without a physical hub, even though you’ll probably still need those third-party apps for the initial setup. We’ll look at a few of those possibilities.

Google Home

It’s a common misconception that using the Google Home app requires a Google Nest smart speaker or display, but this is untrue. It can be integrated with many different products from well-known smart home manufacturers. You can download the app for Android, iPhone, or iPad.

You can designate rooms in your house and set up smart devices in them using the Google Home app. With Google Assistant, you can control everything, create useful routines, and turn on or off all the lights in a room at once.

A Google Nest device is not necessary, but if you do have one, it functions somewhat like a “hub.” They’re clever about letting you use your voice to control things. If you ask the speaker to “turn off the lights” while it is in the living room, it will only do so for that space.

How can you tell if the Google Home app can add a smart home device? Find out by checking to see if the device has the “Works with Google Assistant” label or mentions Google Assistant in the description.

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To add it to the Google Home app, you’ll simply open the app and tap the + icon in the top-left corner. You will receive instructions for configuring your residence and choosing the device’s type.

google home app
Adding a device to the Google Home app

Amazon Alexa

The Amazon Alexa app can be used without an Echo device, just like Google Home. You can add a lot of smart home products from well-known brands to it. The app is accessible on Android, iPhone, and iPad.

You can categorize devices into “Groups” using the Alexa app. You can configure these groups to function as rooms, for example, by grouping all the devices in your living room. You can arrange the devices however you want; it’s entirely up to you.

All of the smart devices you add to the app can be controlled by any Echo devices you have at home. The app also enables routine creation, which can be used to automate smart home controls much like a hub.

Simply look for the “Works with Alexa” label on the packaging when purchasing devices that are compatible with the Alexa mobile app. Additionally, search results on prominently feature labels that read “Works with Alexa.”

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Open the Alexa app and select the “Devices” tab to add a device. Then, select the kind of device you want to add by clicking the + button in the top-right corner.

Adding a device to the Alexa app
Adding a device to the Alexa app

Apple Home

An app for smart homes is already installed on your phone if you use an iPhone or iPad. Any device that is HomeKit-compatible is supported by Apple’s “Home” app.

Using the Apple Home app, you can categorize smart home gadgets into rooms. Additionally, you can invite additional people to be able to control the devices and add multiple homes. The Home app also has “Automations,” though they are less extensive than those offered by Google and Amazon. 

The power of the Home app is a part of the ecosystem, just like with many other Apple products. Devices can be managed using Siri voice commands and the Apple Watch. The only drawback is that any Android users who reside in your home will be left out.

Works with HomeKit label
Works with HomeKit label

When shopping for compatible devices, look for the “Works with Apple HomeKit” label. It is as easy as tapping the + button and scanning a QR code, holding the phone close to the device, or typing a number from the packaging to add a device to the home app.

Adding a device to the HomeKit app
Adding a device to the HomeKit app

A Hub Still Has Benefits

The smart home industry has undergone significant change due to the development of digital assistants and smart speakers. Although the lines are becoming more hazy, having a dedicated hub still has benefits. With nothing more than your phone, you can accomplish a lot.

Despite this, there are still a few situations where a dedicated hub for your smart home makes sense, though some may disagree and claim you don’t need a hub.