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apps-to-make-home-life-easier-header - Essential Living

Smart home: 7 apps that make your life easier

Technology
27.03.17

With the rise in popularity of ‘smart’ devices and apps, home life is becoming easier and easier. From doing your laundry to making you a cup of tea, apps can do almost anything these days.

We’ve selected some of the most impressive smart home apps currently on the market for you.

iKettle – make tea from your bed

Free, available on iOS and Android

This app does exactly what it says on the tin – it boils your kettle remotely. iKettle knows what time your alarm goes off, and when you get home, and it will ask you if you want a cuppa.

The kettle even allows you to heat water to different temperatures to achieve the best taste for different teas and coffees. For example, you can use water that is heated up to 65°C for green tea and to 100°C for herbal teas. There is also a ‘keep warm’ mode, which will keep your water warm for a maximum of 20 minutes.

Nest – manage your thermostat remotely

Free, available on iOS and Android

This app launched a couple of years ago but it’s still going strong, as it promises to save energy and lower your heating bills. The thermostat it works with doesn’t need programming, as it learns your habits based on sensors and your phone’s location. Once the Nest has learned your schedule, it will adjust the temperature in the house, as well as control the hot water accordingly.

The app also creates a monthly energy report to show you how much energy you’ve used and how much you’ve saved. This comes in handy when you’re trying to lower your bills, as you can easily identify the times of day and week where you have consumed more energy and where you need to cut back.

Quick Remote – control your TV from anywhere

Free, available on iOS and Android

If you have a Sony smart TV, Quick Remote lets you use your phone as a remote control and TV guide. This means you can record the shows you don’t want to miss through your phone. The app also lets you take your favourite programmes with you, as you can watch videos remotely when you’re not at home. 

Hue – lighting control and mood lighting

Free, available on iOS and Android

If you’re a romantic, you’ll enjoy using the Hue app. Hue is a personal LED lighting system by Philips, which allows you to control your light bulbs remotely.

You can create some cosy mood lighting with the coloured bulbs, which are available in 16 million colours. This means you can create a festive atmosphere at Christmas or Halloween, as well as using the colourful lights for a house party.

iRobot HOME App – clean your house while you’re out

Free, available on iOS and Android

Ever wished someone could do the hoovering for you? The iRobot cleans your home on your command, without the need for you to be there. This little hoover detects corners, steps, high amounts of dust and more, so it can clean your place independently. You can control the appliance from wherever you are through the app.

The iRobot HOME App lets you know how full the bin is and when it needs to get emptied. It also allows you to customise your cleaning and get updates on when the job has been completed.

HomeKit – control your entire home

Free, available on iOS

HomeKit app gives you control over your entire home by remotely connecting to its own appliances. In fact, you can link it in with a variety of HomeKit wireless devices, such as a motion sensor, a lighting kit, an HD camera, an outdoor sensor, or a programmable thermostat. You can just buy the appliances you feel you’ll need the most and control them all from the same app.

The accessories can also work in combination, with one single voice command. For example, you can create the command “leave home”, where HomeKit switches off the lights, locks the doors, turns the outdoor sensor on and lowers the thermostat or switches off the air conditioner.

Home Connect – connect to any smart appliance

Free, available on iOS and Android

Home Connect teleports you directly on to the future – it’s the first app that works with smart appliances made by different brands. It links in with washing machines, alarm systems, coffee machines, solar panels, and more. You can even connect it to a camera that lets you take a peek in your fridge to check how much food you’ve got left.

 

Home Tech Guide - Essential Living

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