Steve’s Smart Home Tips

Tech Tutor Steve
Tech Tutor Steve

Tired of using an old-fashioned light timer when you go on vacation? ????

Wish you could lower your window shades automatically each day at a certain time? ????

Wonder what it would be like to unlock your front door from your car? ????????

If so, you may be ready to bring a little Smart Home into your life! ????

A Smart Home is a setup where appliances and devices can be automatically controlled remotely from anywhere. It uses your home an internet connection, specially crafted devices (like lights, speakers, home security, thermostats, door locks, and even window shades), and an app on your phone to control devices or put them on a schedule. Some even function with just a switch or button on your wall, no app needed. Talk about living life like The Jetsons!

When we first considered writing a feature on smart homes, we knew our Tech Tutor Steve would have some great advice.

Steve comes to us with 18 years experience tutoring on Apple devices, and was one of the original Apple Creatives when the Denver store first opened.

With no further ado, here are Steve’s top three tips for Smart Homes:

#1. Pay Attention to Your Ecosystem. There are three major software ecosystems used to control almost all smart devices from a variety of manufacturers: Google HomeAmazon Alexa, and Apple Home. Some devices can be controlled under all three ecosystems, while others work only in one ecosystem. For now, you need to pay attention to which ecosystem the device you are purchasing works with. In the future, the three companies have agreed on a common standard for new devices called Matter, meaning that any device will work with any ecosystem.

#2. Consider Outlets. Smart outlets are an easy way to add “smart” capabilities to almost any device that operates simply as “on” or “off” (like a lamp).

#3. Use Your Car. You can control smart devices in your home using your voice from your car using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. If your car is too old for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, you can purchase an Amazon Echo Auto car accessory to control Smart Home devices with your voice.

(Note: All three methods of controlling smart home devices from your car require a connected compatible smart phone with a data plan.)

Thanks for your excellent advice, Steve!