If you’re a seasoned home automation fanatic, you probably have accumulated many or even dozens of individual apps for controlling your various products. For all but the techies, that’s a little much. Having fifteen apps to control your home is all well and good until you can’t remember which app dims the lights in the bathroom, and which in the bonus room, and which controls the toaster. Two to three apps? Now we’re talking.

Integrated Home Automation AppsVoice control is one form of integrated home automation apps. You’ve almost certainly heard of two – the names Siri (Apple) and Alexa (Amazon). These two lovely artificial intelligences can control many of your smart home products just by the sound of your voice, and your authoritative command, eliminating the need for multiple apps (and freeing up space on your iPhone – always a plus). Amazon works with various hubs, and wifi devices. Apple is setting standards of compliance, so products supporting Siri voice control are coming out at a slower pace, but they are coming! Amazon’s Alexa works with several Z-wave and Zigbee hubs, allowing voice control of devices hooked up to those hubs.

Z-Wave Hubs behave in much the same way, sans voice control – they “talk” to multiple products within your home using their App. SmartThings and Wink are considered to be integrated home applications even though you may also have some other devices in your home they can’t control. They can handle a large range of home automation products. Right now, the most visible brands include Apple and Amazon, on the voice side, SmartThings, Wink, and Insteon in terms of widely used hubs.

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