5 Apple Watch Apps for Smart Home Mastery | Digitized House

5 Apple Watch Apps for Smart Home Mastery

Featuring integration with Apple iOS as well as watchOS, the Philips Hue app for Apple Watch enables Hue lighting control via widgets. Image: Digitized House Media.

There are a variety of watchOS apps that enable you to control your smart home accessories from Apple Watch. Variances in functionality and interface make evaluating each app a prudent endeavor, especially if you’re seeking a premiere app that lets you get the most out of smart home functionality. In homage to wearables, below we cover 5 watch apps that fit the bill for mastery of your connected home.

On this Apple Watch, we installed a trove of connected home apps, including Apple Home, Nest, Alarm.com, Philips Hue, Insteon for Hub, Lutron, Smappee, and Samsung SmartThings. Image: Digitized House Media.
On this Apple Watch, we installed a trove of connected home apps, including Apple Home, Nest, Alarm.com, Philips Hue, Insteon for Hub, Lutron, and Smappee. Image: Digitized House Media.

[1] Alarm.com

The popular Alarm.com app for Apple Watch lets you monitor and control your smart home from anywhere. Designed for homes fitted with security systems and other products from the company, their app provides very deep functionality compared to some other watch apps, including video monitoring, energy management, and home automation all in one. Turn lights on or off, lock or unlock doors, arm or disarm your security panel and see whatever’s happening at your property, all with this app. 

You can also receive notifications for specific events, like when the garage door is left open, there’s flooding in the basement, or someone changes the thermostat settings.

[2] Apple Home

A showcase for Apple HomeKit accessories, the Apple Home app for Apple Watch gains power every time a new HomeKit-compatible accessory hits the market. Accessories in the watch version of the Home app match functionality tap for tap and the visual effects of corresponding buttons in the iOS version of the app on iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch. Any scenes configured in the Home app on iOS also  appear automatically on the watch app. For example, a scene entitled “I’m leaving” can be used to control a specific set of accessories with a single tap on the watch face.

A wrist-borne gateway to every Apple HomeKit accessory in your home, the Apple Home app for Apple Watch brings reliability and versatility to the connected home. Here, a Liftmaster 8500W garage door opener processes a tap-to-open gesture from the app and a spoken Siri command. Image: Digitized House Media.
A wrist-borne gateway to every Apple HomeKit accessory in your home, the Apple Home app for Apple Watch brings reliability and versatility to the connected home. Here, a Liftmaster 8500W garage door opener processes a tap-to-open gesture from the app and a spoken Siri command. Image: Digitized House Media.

Another upside of using the Home app and HomeKit accessories in your home: the Siri digital assistant can be used to issue voice commands directly to the Apple Watch to control them. You will need to be running iOS 10.0 or greater on your mobile device in order to use the Home app on Apple Watch.

[3] Nest

The Nest app for Apple Watch accommodates direct control of the Nest Learning Thermostat or Thermostat E, and provides alert notifications regarding other Nest products. Compatible with watchOS 2.0 or greater, the app helps with thermostat functions, as well as delivering notifications from Nest Protect Smoke and CO Alarm products, Nest cameras, and Nest security system accessories.

Direct control of smart thermostats from anywhere is the primary claim-to-fame of the Nest app for Apple Watch. Various notifications from other Nest products are also part of the package. Image: Digitized House Media.
Direct control of smart thermostats from anywhere is the primary claim-to-fame of the Nest app for Apple Watch. Various notifications from other Nest products are also part of the package. Image: Digitized House Media.

An app that can control your thermostat, while also notifying you immediately about carbon monoxide or smoke detections, can be a lifesaver in addition to being convenient for thermostat settings.

[4] Philips Hue

If you want your home’s lighting to transcend the norm, the Philips Hue app for the Apple Watch is a great way to do so. Compatible with all Hue lights and accessories, the app provides the ability to set your lights to one of up to 16 million color options and any shade of white light through the Apple Watch, though you need to pre-configure Hue widgets from the iOS version of the app before that is possible.

In addition to individual lighting control, you can tap widgets on the watch to set certain scenes like “sunset in Honolulu” and “London’s Soho district” to transform lighting to that scene. The app features over 30 scenes designed by professional lighting designers, and users can configure as many others as they like. The same widgets you use to set those scenes can also appear in the iOS Notification Center, a feature that requires iOS 11.0 or higher (see image at the top of this page for more info).

[5] Insteon for Hub

Another excellent app for Apple Watch, Insteon for Hub packs a variety of features into its smart functionality. When used with the Insteon Hub, you have full control of Insteon lightbulbs, outlets, wall switches, and thermostats—in addition to receiving instant push notifications and emails from a variety of sources, like motion and water leak sensors. There’s little more one needs if they combine Insteon for Hub with an app that lets you find and turn on your car.

The app also provides the option to schedule devices easily. If you want to set your bedside lamp to turn on to aid you in waking up or falling asleep, then doing so is easy via the app. It installs your settings and configurations in the cloud so that you can access the same functionality across a variety of devices in addition to Apple Watch. An easy-to-follow on-screen setup for installation makes setting up the app easy.

Control from Your Wrist

All of these five Apple Watch apps are available for free from the Apple App Store, and showcase a diverse and wonderful collection of functionalities for smart homes. An Apple Watch and smartphone functionality are a great match, resulting in an easy way to customize a multitude of smart home features using a lightweight watch you can bring anywhere.

More About This Topic:

Apple Home app coming to macOS with Mojave upgrade
Nest expands smart-home foothold with security tech
Nest app embraces Apple Watch
More from Digitized House | Guide to the Connected Home

Kayla Matthews
Senior Contributing Writer
Kayla Matthews is a technology journalist and productivity blogger. She is a senior writer for MakeUseOf and the owner and editor of her tech productivity blog, Productivity Bytes. You can read more by Kayla at Inc.com, VentureBeat, DMN, and more.

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