Servo Light SwitchWhy do things manually when you can let technology take care of those sorts of things for you? Better still, what if you could handle all of that technology wirelessly, remotely and conveniently from your smartphone or tablet? We’d already looked at some of the better home security apps on the market, but what about when it comes to having a smarter home by way of home automation apps for your Android device?

Yes, there are an increasingly large variety of options in this arena too, most of which work in tandem with a range of home automation devices designed to make your life just a little bit easier and just a touch more convenient. And no, you generally don’t have to get all technical with the custom installation of Arduino-based gadgets and servo switches like the image above. It’s far easier than that.

Sonos Controller

Smarter Wireless Music with Sonos

Smarter Wireless Music with Sonos

Download from Google Play Store

There’s a good chance that you already know about how you can connect your smartphone to a Bluetooth speaker or how there are various docking stations that work with your existing stereo system, but the Sonos Wireless HiFi System is on such a different level. Not only do you get tremendously wonderful sound through the range of Sonos speakers available, but the big thing here is that they can all be centrally controlled through your mobile app. The speakers can tap into the music libraries on your network, including NAS drives, as well as through online sources like TuneIn Radio. There’s no need to transfer your music around, because it’s all available to you through any of the Sonos wireless speakers in your home.

Seedonk Camera Viewer

View All Your IP Cameras

View All Your IP Cameras

Download from Google Play Store

Many companies produce what are called IP cameras, which are effectively webcams that work without the aid of a computer. They log into the Internet and provide their video streams through the channel of your choosing. If you have one of these IP cameras, like the ones produced by companies like Compro, then you’ll likely be able to use the Seedonk Camera Viewer app too. This gathers up all of your cameras, including webcams on your computer, and provides your video feed in one convenient mobile app. Better still, you can build up a friend list like an instant messaging client and share those video feeds too. This is good solution for baby monitors, pet cameras and more.

WeMo

Belkin WeMo Home Automation Solution

Belkin WeMo Home Automation Solution

Download from Google Play Store

If you’re looking for one of the easiest and simplest home automation solutions, then the WeMo family of products from Belkin could be just the ticket for you. The idea is that you purchase the various WeMo products, like the WeMo Light Switch and the WeMo Motion, and then they can all be monitored and controlled through the accompanying mobile app. On the most basic of levels, you can turn them on and off remotely, but on a more advanced level, you can set various rules based on different triggers. In fact, WeMo integrates perfectly with IFTTT, so you can set even more complex and custom rules through that too. More WeMo products are being added all the time, given you even more flexibility with your home automation needs.

Next Learning Themostat

Smarter Home Thermostats and Smoke Detectors

Smarter Home Thermostats and Smoke Detectors

Download from Google Play Store

Who would have thought that a seemingly simple thermostat would garner so much attention? As it turns out, Nest is no ordinary thermostat, because it can learn your habits and help to reduce the heating and cooling costs in your home. The mobile app lets you monitor and adjust the temperature at will and you’ll receive instant notifications for important events too. The app will also work with the Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarms too.

Insteon Hub

The INSTEON Smart Home Family

The INSTEON Smart Home Family

Download from Google Play Store

The WeMo system from Belkin is one way to go about automating things in your home, but another system that you might want to try is called Insteon. Within this system, you’ll find a variety of Insteon light bulbs, wall switches, thermostats, and so on. The hub will let you control these gadgets, as well as send you instant email or text alerts when sensors are tripped up. The controls are easy to use, include support for rules, and the thermostat even supports humidity and fans, in addition to temperature.

Image credit: oomlout / Flickr

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