Have you turned your house into a smart home yet? If so, you probably have a greater appreciation for it after being stuck in the house so much lately.
If not you really need to think about making the change. Having a smart home is extremely convenient and just makes life easier. Don’t know how to get started? We can help. Tap or click here for our smart home starter kit guide.
Once you’re set up you’ll want a single place to control all these devices from. If you have an Android phone, that will do the trick. There are many apps out there you can use to make controlling your smart home simple. We have seven of our favorites listed below.
1. Amazon Alexa
You can have an Amazon Echo device work as a smart hub for all your Alexa-compatible smart devices. Or, you can download the Amazon Alexa app on your Android, and make your phone the hub instead!
The Alexa app lets you connect to smart devices, and alter voice commands to activate and use those devices. You can sync devices to each other, and activate them through the app by talking to Alexa.
Alexa can do everything in the app that she can do on Echo devices, so you get that benefit too. The only thing to keep in mind is the app only works with devices that can sync to Alexa.
You may have difficulty with smart devices that aren’t made by Amazon, or that can’t connect to Echo products. But if you like Amazon smart devices, and want to connect things on your Android device, the Amazon Alexa app is a great choice!
2. Google Home
Much like Alexa exists in app form, Google Home does too. It can exist right on your Android phone, and it can connect easily to Google smart home devices.
Google Assistant is your virtual helper in the Google Home app, letting you connect to smart devices and control them. It particularly works with Google-made devices, and those made by Chromecast, plus Cast-enable apps.
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Like Amazon Alexa, this app can be limited by themanufacturers of your smart devices. If your devices won’t connect to GoogleAssistant, Google Home can’t be your central app.
But if your devices will connect, you’ll be able to create commands just like Amazon Alexa allows you to create skills to control your devices. For a strong hub app, you really can’t go wrong with Google Home for Android.
Don’t want to worry about who made your smart devices to control them with one app? Your ideal app might be Yonomi, available for Android right now.
Yonomi is designed to communicate with over 100 smart devices, and let you initiate Routines that can automate commands and actions. Routines can make devices work together, or just have them operate in certain ways at certain times.
Devices are discovered on Yonomi through Wi-Fi, and with recommended Routines and commands it’s a very user-friendly hub and app. For simple setup and easy execution, Yonomi is a great choice.
We’ve written about IFTTT before, telling you how to use it to make smart devices that don’t naturally talk to each other, communicate with one another. Tap or click here to learn more about how to use the app for this purpose.
IFTTT is an app that allows you to create commands andchains of commands for different apps and devices. It’s not a natural smartdevice hub, in that it can make commands for apps as easily as smart devices.
However, by making commands within it, you can use IFTTT as a smart home hub for yourself. If you’re willing to make all the commands you can make devices work together, as well as activate with certain commands and actions.
That might be the only downside to IFTTT — you have to make the commands yourself. Some command chains have been made by other users but for your personal devices, you might have to make some of your own.
This might necessitate knowing some coding, andunderstanding IFTTT’s layout in a deep way. So this is not for the technophobesout there.
But if you want a highly technical and customizable smart device controller, you can’t do better than IFTTT. Enjoy it for that, and for controlling other apps on your Android phone at the same time!
5. Smart Things Mobile
Created by Samsung, Smart Things Mobile is the app version of the Smart Things hub device, letting you centrally connect your Samsung smart devices. Like the hub, Smart Things Mobile lets you control devices and monitor them.
You can make sure a smart plug or light is turned off through Smart Things Mobile, no matter where you are. You can also make sure a door is closed and check on smart motion sensors you have inside or outside of your home.
Smart Things Mobile doesn’t give you voice commands — you’ll need to connect to an Amazon Echo device or the Amazon Alexa app for those. Plus, your devices mostly need to be Samsung to sync to the app.
But if you love Samsung smart devices and you’re security and energy conscious, Smart Things Mobile is a great app.
6. ZaZa Universal TV Remote
This app seems like it’s pretty TV focused. Click or tap here to learn how smart TVs are getting smarter.
But ZaZa Universal TV Remote is universal for a reason. Using an internal IR blaster, this app can control your TV set along with 300,000 appliances across 8,000 brands including air conditioners, smart light switches, DVD players and more.
ZaZa contains a database of appliances, so you just have tosearch through that to get the app the remote control appliance code it needs tooperate the device. Any device you own that can be operated by remote can beoperated by ZaZa.
This includes smart devices. So it’s not exactly a hubdevice, connecting devices to each other. It’s a remote control that you canuse with all of your devices (again, assuming they can be operated by remote;for those that can’t, this app won’t work).
But it’s still a single app you can use to control all yoursmart devices. So save and favorite your smart devices in the app to keep fromsearching for them all the time, and operate them to your heart’s content viayour Android phone.
It’s not, perhaps, what you imagine when you think of an Android app that controls your smart devices. But it accomplishes the same tasks, just without voice control!
Really love voice controls for smart devices though? Us too; that’s why we’re so happy that AutoVoice exists.
AutoVoice is a Google Home app, but it can also supportAmazon Alexa, making it compatible with a ton of smart devices. This app allowsyou to make custom voice commands for Google Home/Assistant and Alexa, for anyof your smart devices.
This means you can set commands that you’d prefer to use, and can easily remember. The Tasker support AutoVoice offers lets commands get incredibly complex, too.
The more complex the commands, the more technical the setup is, and setting up AutoVoice commands can get a little technical as it is. Like IFTTT, this app is for the technologically-inclined; if computers make you nervous, avoid this app.
But, for those who know and like coding, AutoVoice is a great app to set up control of your smart devices with a ton of customization. Making all of your devices responsive to voice commands feels really cool, and can be super handy too.
If you have an Android phone, you can make that your smart home hub with any of the seven apps we’ve suggested. Find your favorite, and enjoy your smart devices all the more with the commands and routines the apps can set up!