With this gallery we explore the 16 top smart home apps for controlling and programming smart devices and changing the way your home responds.
Welcome to our gallery featuring some of the best smart home apps on the market today.
We love smart home technology and the multifaceted ways it can improve our homes and everyday lives.
Since most of these devices are controlled via smartphone and tablet apps, we wanted to take a closer look at the software that make your smart home work together.
While many smart home devices, especially hubs and other connectivity products, are paired with their own apps, we discovered a wealth of apps that work independently to connect and control devices.
Some of the apps you’ll see on our list are directly tied to products from the same company, while others are more universal. The distinction becomes less important when you realize that these are all completely free.
Without a price tag, you’re free to mix and match, pairing the solutions that work best for your home and lifestyle, until you find the app or apps that grant you maximum control and convenience.
While many of these apps perform similar functions, such as notifying you about important developments at home, or turning lights or appliances on remotely, there are some important outliers with very specific functions. You’ll want to take a close look at each app and see just what it is that they do uniquely.
Whether you’ve got your smart home ecosystem humming along, or you’re just starting to put the pieces together, a solid control app will be the glue that binds it all into one seamless experience.
As you explore our list of the best smart home apps, be sure to keep an eye out for specific features that might fit your lifestyle best. Not all apps are built the same, and one size does not fit all.
With the variety available, you’ll definitely find the perfect fit.
See more fantastic smart home products, check out our smart home technology ultimate guide!
1. Samsung Smart Things App
This free app from Samscung, available on the Apple, Google, and Windows stores, lets you receive notifications about what’s happening at home, no matter where you’re at. You’ll be sent instant alerts for a variety of conditions, including unwanted entry, smoke, floods, or anything else you set. With a compatible camera, you’ll be able to capture video footage of events. Of course, you’ll also be able to control your compatible smart devices with a tap of your finger.
The WeMo app is designed to work with a suite of compatible easy-to-use products over the internet from your smartphone or tablet. It’s also compatible with very popular app IFTTT, which we will cover below. It comprises several functions, including Insight Switch, to show you how much energy your devices are using, Light Switch, to let you turn all the lights in the home on or off, and NetCam, which triggers home automation features when you walk in the door.
Paired with the Nest Thermostat (see our list of smart home utilities) this smartphone app lets you adjust and program the temperature in your home from anywhere with an internet connection. The app goes deeper, showing how much energy is used every day, creating monthly reports and helping craft a better plan to become more efficient.
You can set detailed schedules with the app, with far more ease than you’ve ever been able to program a thermostat.
The app tracks your location and can automatically adjust the Nest thermostat when you’re away from home. Even more, the app can be used as a remote baby monitor or pet cam!
4. Control 4
This universally-minded app will allow you to use your Android smartphone or tablet to become a master remote control, covering entertainment devices, lighting, cameras, security systems, and more. If it can be automated and connected to a smart home network, you can control it.
The app specifically mentions compatibility with over 8,000 products including Roku, Nest, Sonos, Kwikset, Sony, and beyond. With such wide ranging control options, you’ll be able to centralize command of all your various smart home devices.
You probably recognize DirecTV as a satellite dish service, but they’ve now got a mobile app that allows you to operate and enjoy your programming from anywhere. The app lets you watch movies and TV on your tablet or smartphone, and can even let you set your DVR programming. It can all be operated by voice, lending a hands-free luxury to its function.
Even cooler, the app features a sports bar finder, letting you search out bars and restaurants carrying DirecTV sports programming. Additionally, once you’ve recorded shows, you can take them with you on your tablet or phone and watch any time.
6. Philips HUE
The HUE app works with Apple HomeKit technology, allowing you to use Siri to control the lighting in your home. The app is essential for creating custom scenes to control the home settings. You’ll be able to automate the lights, making it appear that you’re home while you are away – the lighting can also be controlled manually from anywhere, whether your bedroom or your job site.
You can set any shade of white light, from cool daylight tones to relaxing warm night lights. Even cooler, you can play with a full spectrum of colors, and even sync the lights with your music, movies, and games for a newly immersive effect.
7. Apple Homekit
Apple Homekit is designed to work through the apps that control your individual smart home devices, enabling the apps to connect, resulting in a comprehensive network that can be controlled from one place.
It works by creating “scenes” to connect and control your smart home appliances in different combination. This means that simple one-touch interactions can perform a suite of functions in your home.
You can create scenes like “leaving home,” which could turn off lights, lock doors, and lower your thermostat. Even better, it all works via Siri’s voice recognition software, so you can even go touch-free.
8. AT&T Digital Life
The AT&T Digital Life app is designed to be a comprehensive suite of functions that work in concert to manage your home from the ground up. The app covers your home security via video monitoring, door control, energy management, and even water detection. Sensors and cameras are all directly linked via the internet, so that you can have a first person view of what’s happening, get alerts if anything out of the ordinary occurs, and make sure that your lights and thermostat are programmed exactly as you like, from anywhere on Earth.
Insteon is an app designed to work hand in hand with the Insteon Hub, which is one of several similar devices that tie your smart home ecosystem of devices together. Available for every major brand of smartphone, Insteon will let you control all branded devices, from light bulbs to wall switches, outlets, and thermostats.
You’ll be able to receive notification alerts from any attached sensors, including motion, door, window, and even water leaks. Beyond this, the app is designed to let you automate and schedule your smart home devices.
IFTTT is designed to be the sort of digital connective tissue between the other apps on your phone, including smart home device apps. Thus, you’ll be able to set up “recipes” to control your devices in multiple ways at once. The process works by “if, then” statements, so that virtually anything that can be done in an app can be programmed and scheduled with IFTTT.
Thus, you can set condition events like this: “if it’s almost sunset, turn the house lights on,” or “brew coffee when I wake up.” The possibilities are quite endless, and can enhance your smart home devices beyond what their own apps can achieve.
SmartFX light bulbs are a uniquely creative way to spice up the lighting in your home, with fully customizable colors and programming that allows for a range of rhythmic features. The best part is that they can be directly controlled from your smartphone with an included free app. We previously showcased these lights in our guide to Smart Home Lighting.
The app enables unique features that let the lights “dance” or change colors to the music in your home, program and schedule them to come on at set times, and even tie them into your alarm, bringing up the lights when you’re supposed to wake up in the morning.
12. Somfy MyLink
MyLink is available for both Apple and Android devices, and lets you transform your interactions with Somfy-powered motorized solutions. You’ll be able to maximize the benefits like energy savings, privacy, comfort, and of course, convenience. You’ll be able to operate shades, blinds, awnings, screens, and shutters with your phone or tablet from anywhere with an internet connection.
Wink creates one of the most popular hubs we’ve featured in our series on Smart Home Devices. Their free accompanying app is a simple to use solution that allows for your diverse collection of smart devices to speak the same language. You’l be able to command lights, power, security, and more with a swipe or a tap, and you can control the whole home from anywhere in the world. Even better, you can customize the way your devices speak to one another, creating a series of shortcuts to automate the whole smart home ecosystem.
14. Loxone Smart Home
This smart home device companion app is designed to let you control a whole suite of the most important functions at home, including climate control, security, entertainment, shading, and even pool and irrigation systems. It ties together your isolated devices, letting them work in coordination without any modification.
You’ll be able to tie together the functionality of disparate devices like motion detectors, door and window sensors, and lighting control. You can manually control these items directly, or automate everything from your Apple or Android device.
Savant lets you create experiences to reflect your personality and lifestyle, switching between Sonos, Apple TV, cable, blu-ray, and other entertainment options with your smartphone or tablet. Even better, it can connect to other smart home systems like lighting, allowing you to set “scenes” where entire sets of functions can work in concert.
For instance, you can set up “movie night,” to change the lighting and set up your A/V equipment for a film viewing. You can even program scenes specific to individual users, so everyone in the family gets their own surroundings.
16. ADT Pulse
Focused on security, this app is a bit more direct and to the point than many others on our list. It’s designed to activate and deactivate your ADT security system, as well as notify you of broken sensors, and any time your system has not been armed. With added video surveillance, you’ll be able to see live video of your home from anywhere with an internet connection. Even better, you can set up motion sensors to trigger recording and send clips directly to your smartphone for review.
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