The iDevices Smart Switch is one of the most compatible smart switches on the market, as it works with HomeKit, Alexa and your Android devices – all at the same time. That functionality really makes it stand out from other similar products. Often, we must choose our device according to our home automation system. Do you want to use the Amazon Echo, Google Home or Siri? Do you have an Android phone, or are you an iPhone user?
The team at iDevices is dedicated to breaking those molds and launching products that are flexible. That makes their products capable of finding a place in most home setups, regardless of type. Many brands are joining the IOT and smart home market on an almost hourly basis. iDevices has been producing accessories for years and continues to gain momentum. They are US based, hailing from Avon, CT, boasting a full team of in-house engineers, designers, and marketers.
A quick browse of their website really makes me want to swing by for lunch, should I find myself in the area. Today, they offer a full line of products. There’s the iDevices Switch (reviewing here). There are also smart sockets that go between your bulb and lamp, in-wall outlets, wall switches and smart thermostats. You can be sure there are even more coming down the product launch pipe as well.
I was definitely surprised by this switch in regards to its functionality and how well it works. I know you may be thinking, “It’s a switch that plugs into any AC outlet and you control it with an app, what’s so special?” Read on, and I will go through it, play by play. The iDevices Switch brings some unique features to table that not every company is even beginning to address.
In this review of the iDevices switch I will cover :
- Installation / Setup
- iDevices app, HomeKit and Android app.
- Features and Functionality
- Summary and Award!
iDevices Switch Overview
The iDevices switch was full of surprises. As I first started this review, I expected it to be really cut and dry. It’s a switch that you plug in, then turn things on and off – or so I thought. The iDevices team has put a little more into this Switch.
As you are aware, we like to give products we review awards here at Smarter Home Automation. It gives our readers a quick reference to the product, its functionality, and performance. The iDevices switch is definitely worth the SHA TOO COOL AWARD!
Equipped with an energy meter, it will monitor your usage and provide usage data. There is a very usable night light on the front of the switch, providing even more functionality. The compatibility is really what sets this Switch apart.
The ability to make the Switch part of your HomeKit network, and at the same time, control it with your Amazon Echo and Android phone is incredible. We need more of this in the smart home industry. Cross-platform compatibility, reliability, and security are key.
Now, on to the review! Let’s dig into the iDevices Switch.
iDevices Switch - Installation and Setup
Installation and setup are two of the most important aspects of a good addition to your smart home. It’s never a good starting point if you have to deconstruct your smart home to get a new device to work. Same goes with finding out the product won’t work in your configured smart home system.
Installing the iDevices Switch is straight forward. You plug it in and you’re done. It doesn’t get much easier than that, does it? If you are looking to control that antique lamp your grandmother gave you, this is the product. You don’t need to hire an electrician, or fumble with the breakers as you go to change out the outlet yourself.
There is not a lot of fluff in the packaging – just the Switch and the Quick Start Guide. In the picture player above, I have setup a product out of box tour. You will see what comes in the box, and the layout of the iDevices Switch. One helpful tip as you set down the path of creating your own smart home: it’s a great idea to save your manuals and guides in a box, flip file or drawer, as they will come in useful later on. As HomeKit products like this iDevices Switch all have setup codes, it’s a good idea to keep them all organized in one place. Many other devices, such as locks, have programming codes and setup keys, and you never know when you may need them.
Setting Up HomeKit
Once you have the switch plugged in, you can add it to your Apple HomeKit on your iPhone. The process is pretty straight forward – Apple does a good job of making sure that products and applications follow their rules and processes.
iDevices is another HomeKit-product-maker that offers an app for earlier iOS devices. I do appreciate this, as I understand the need for newer hardware to support the features and the processing of HomeKit, but that doesn’t mean I am ready to retire my older iPads. They have all been upgraded to IOS 9.3. As I install the iDevices app, it gives them a front end into my HomeKit system, but the older iOS devices will not see the Apple Home app.
Adding a product like the iDevices Switch to your HomeKit setup takes only a couple of minutes. As I mentioned above, it is nice that the HomeKit setup is so straight forward.
- Install the iDevices app
- Plug in the iDevices Switch
- Open the app
- access your HomeKit information
- Place the iDevices switch onto your WIFI network
- Scan the product HomeKit setup code
- setup room
- setup Siri names
Poking Around The Apps
After setup, I, like most people, like to poke around the app. I opened the iDevices application and started going through the various settings. I noticed under my newly configured Switch, which was named Desk Lamp, there was an update available.
Updates are always interesting. I am always a little worried after setting a product up and being prompted for an update. Perhaps that worry is a little dated as companies have gotten much better about releasing updates that are tested and pretty well vetted for issues.
Nonetheless, it still makes me nervous. I posted screenshots below of the process. Should you decide to purchase one – or better yet, 3 or 4 of the iDevices Switches – it is good to understand how they update.
The iDevices app does a good job of letting you know what is going on step by step. There are also explicit instructions. That’s where things can go wrong – one pop up you don’t read, one click too many and you end up with a paper weight, which is why it’s always a good idea to register your product for warranty.
The iDevices app quickly informs you that there is an update. When you click on your iDevices Switch there is a clear Update Firmware button. Once you select Update Firmware, a dialog box will appear. You should not leave the app, connect additional products or unplug your product during the upgrade. Language like that is what makes me nervous.
Once you select Start, the iDevices app downloads the update, showing a nice pie chart that grows as the download progresses. Status is key in processes like this, that way you know things are moving a long and not locked up or lost.
With the iDevices app having downloaded the update, you will see a spinning circle to the right of your iDevices switch as the switch is updating, there is also a note that reads, “Installing Update.”
When the update completes, which only took a couple minutes, the Switch is available again.
After setting up the iDevices switch and updating the firmware. I took a brief look at the product page. I was looking to get some more information on the energy monitor function. As I looked at the iDevices product page for the Switch, I was surprised to see Android listed and references to the Google Play Store. I was, after all, reviewing a product that was specifically made for Apple HomeKit. Or was I?
I quickly downloaded the Android app and started searching for the product. I couldn’t get the Android app to locate the iDevices switch. After trying a couple times, I thought perhaps you had to choose one or the other. So, in the app, I emailed the iDevices support team.
I promptly received a reply the next morning and was informed that you could use both. I could have it connected to my Apple HomeKit system and also use my Android phone to control the iDevices switch. They were even thorough enough to send me a link with clear instructions.
I needed to hold the power button down for 3 seconds, wait for the night light to blink and signal that it was in pairing mode. The 3 seconds is key. The overachiever that I am, I first held the button down for 10 seconds, and reset the Switch.
Once configured with Apple HomeKit again, I tried a second time. The instructions did indicate to have your Android device close to the switch. I tried with the phone within a foot of the Switch. It took me 2 tries, but the Switch appeared in the Android iDevices app.
Once the iDevices switch was located, I proceeded through the app in the same fashion as with the Apple HomeKit setup. I was really surprised how the Android iDevices app looked the same as their HomeKit app. After another firmware update, I was up and running. I could configure and control everything from my S7 Edge. I checked and made sure that the iDevices Switch was still a part of my Apple HomeKit system. It was!
iDevices Switch and Amazon Echo
Now that I had access to the iDevices Switch on both my IOS devices and my Android phone, I was feeling pretty good. Then I noticed, in the settings for the iDevices Switch, there was an Alexa feature.
Who doesn’t want to configure everything a device has to offer? Having the ability to use Alexa or Siri? Now, that was appealing. Like many home automation users, I have bit of a mixed bag of products.
Configuring the iDevices Switch with my Amazon Echo was quick and easy. iDevices provided a wealth of documentation and explanation about the process. They even included some tips and tricks for using Alexa.
I have provided screenshots below of the setup in the Alexa app, as well as a tutorial of sorts from the iDevices app. I was configuring this from my iPad – this isn’t a feature just for the Android app. You can use Alexa even if you are just using Apple HomeKit.
I have covered the basics of setting up the iDevices Switch. On the next page, I will cover more of the features in depth such as controlling the night light using Siri and the energy monitor. We will go through the all important summary and wrap up the features for you.