This one app can control your smart home
Discover how a single app can control an entire family of smart gadgets in your home
Admit it – you love your smartphone. (It's okay, we love ours, too.) And what's not to love? It's where you go to chat with your tribe, organise your schedule, shop, surf the web and play games. It's your camera, entertainment centre, sat nav, and, every once in a while, maybe even a phone. No, really – apparently people make calls with them, too. ;-)
Well, prepare to love your smartphone just that little bit more. With the free SmartThings app downloaded to your iPhone or Android smartphone, your pride and joy can now control a network of smart devices and sensors around your home. Devices that can save money on your heating bills, secure your home and let you know your family are safe. One app to rule them all. A world of possibilities. And it couldn't be easier to use.
Once you've plugged your SmartThings Hub into your broadband router, placed your various smart things around your home – motion, moisture, temperature, smoke and light sensors; smart cams, lightbulbs and plug and play power outlets – fire up the app and here's what you'll find:
1. The Dashboard
This is where you'll see the very swish Smart Home Monitor. It's the place where you get reports from all the SmartThings devices that monitor your home, giving you an at-a-glance overview of how things are going.
There are four sections: Security, which covers motion sensors and window / door sensors; Smoke, which covers smoke and carbon monoxide detectors; Leaks, which covers moisture detectors; and Custom, which covers anything else you want to bring into the Dashboard. From here you can do several things. You can arm or disarm sensors – you may want to disable motion sensors while you're in the house but turn the downstairs ones on while you're asleep, for example. You can set how you're alerted should anything happen – text or push notifications are good but you may want to trigger an alarm within the home, too, a security camera to record footage, or even turn on all the lights full blaze.
It's incredibly easy to set up and adjust the settings, and add or remove smart kit from the Smart Home Monitor, so the Dashboard always has the most crucial elements of your smart home front and centre when you start up the app.
2. My Home
This bit is genius. Within My Home you get to group your smart gadgets by room. It's super intuitive and even lets you tag a 'featured device' – the most frequently used and/or important device within that area. This is also where you'll see any connected family members so you can instantly know who's at home.
By now, you're rapidly becoming a smart home expert, so why not head to Routines and become a power user? This is how you personalise your various smart devices so that they work together.
What does that mean? Well, let's say you have regular movie nights. By creating a Movie Night routine you can create a one-tap setting that turns all the smart lamps and lights in the living room down to 30% and sets the Wi-Fi thermostat to a cuddly temperature.
Or you might set up a Good Morning routine that automatically turns your coffee maker on, gently turns the bedroom lights up and starts playing birdsong (or Slipknot) on your Sonos wireless speakers at 6:30am every day.
Linking actions is very easy to do and as you grow with confidence you'll discover new possibilities to make life better.
Simple, this one. This is where all the notifications your smart devices send (and those they receive from you) are recorded, so you know what’s going on around your home.
5. SmartApp Marketplace
New SmartThings and SmartThings-compatible devices and apps are coming all the time.
This is where you'll find them all. Have a browse, decide which ones will improve your home and continue making it even smarter.
And that's it. One easy-to-use smartphone app to control and personalise your entire smart home network.
What you need
- Free SmartThings app – iOS or Android
- A good starting point is the Samsung SmartThings Starter Kit which contains the SmartThings Hub and three sensors to begin your Smart Home transformation.