Smart homes for beginners – Popular Science

Each of these companies wants you to choose its own proprietary devices for your smart home. As a result, they are reluctant to add support for their competitors’ products. The slightly better news is that device makers have lost patience with all this confusion and begun putting out products that work with all the smart home platforms. Philips Hue lights, for example, can be controlled by apps from Apple, Amazon, and Google.

Unfortunately, not all gadget manufacturers support multiple standards, so it’s a question of reading the small print and doing as much research as possible before purchasing a device. The smart home landscape is changing pretty rapidly, which is both good and bad news for the humble consumer. It means new integrations and partnerships are constantly being added, but it also means that your device can quickly become outdated, unable to talk to anything else in your fledgling smart home.

Apps like IFTTT (short for “If This Then That”) can plug some of the gaps by connecting devices and services that don’t normally communicate with each other. IFTTT lets you close your garage door on a schedule, get alerts about your Samsung washing machine, and more—but again, the number of supported devices changes on a regular basis.

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