Home Security Apps and Smart Home Apps
When considering a home security and home automation system, one of the things you should consider is how well their associated apps function.
Today's home security and automation features are most often controlled using an app. Therefore, the app is the one feature that needs to perform exceptionally well. Otherwise, you could find yourself wasting valuable time, and possibly risking the safety of your family. Especially if the app is either too hard to use or doesn't work consistently and like it is supposed to.
So what exactly are home security and home automation apps supposed to do?
Let's find out…
Home Security Apps
If you have a smart home security system, an app can be used to monitor, access and control your system remotely through the use of a mobile or other web-enabled device.
If you want to see who is at your front door, tap your app. If you want to see what your kids or pets are doing, tap your app and select any given security camera for a live update. Did you forget to lock the doors, turn off the lights, or shut your garage door? Tap your app to find out, then you can remotely handle any necessary tasks using that app.
Those are just a few of the things you can do using a home security app. But there's more…so let's go over the most popular home security and home automation apps in a little more detail. We'll first start with the home security apps and finish with the home automation apps.
Here are the top 13 most popular home security apps along with their features and uses.
Xfinity Home App
With the Xfinity app, you can view your entire system. You can also arm and disarm the alarm, control the lights, appliances, thermostat, cameras, and manage the zones and sensors. You can also sign in and out, change the rules and scenes, as well as view any and all activity and/or system alerts.
With the SimpliSafe app, you can control your entire security system. It also allows you to view your security cameras live, arm/disarm your system, receive home entry alerts, and watch recorded video clips. You can also monitor your home for leaks, floods, and home temperatures (to alert you to the possibility of frozen pipes). In addition, you can check on your kids, pets, babysitters, or anyone else who might be in your home, as well as monitor gun, alcohol, and medicine cabinets, or anything else for that matter. However, SimpliSafe doesn't offer any home automation features so neither does their app.
Vivint Sky Mobile App
With the Vivint app, you can control your entire security system, which includes viewing doorbell and indoor/outdoor surveillance cameras, monitoring window sensors, and smoke detectors. You can also remotely control your home automation features such as the thermostat, lights, door locks, garage door, and more.
With the Canary app, you can monitor your entire home and control all your security devices via your phone, or any other web-enabled device. You can watch surveillance videos (live or recorded) during the day or night. You can also receive activity alerts along with a video clip of the event, as well as arm/disarm your system. The Canary app is customizable so you can set your own notification and privacy rules. In addition, you can trigger the siren and/or be connected to emergency responders. You can also monitor the air quality, temperature, and humidity of your home.
With the Ring app, you can monitor and control your security features from any web-enabled device including video doorbells, security cameras, and your entire security system, all from one dashboard. That means you can view videos, use the built-in microphone and speaker to hear and talk with anyone on your property, receive motion detection alerts, crime/safety alerts, and share videos with your neighbors.
With the Arlo app, you can view your live Arlo camera feeds and time-stamped recorded images, activate push notifications based on your chosen triggers, motion and sound detection alerts, and review daily cloud recordings. You can also arm/disarm your system, create a custom mode, adjust individual camera settings, and receive automatic system updates.
With the Nest app, you can arm/disarm your system, view your Nest cams to see who is coming and going from your home, and receive alerts and notifications if you forget to set your alarm or if an event triggers your system, etc. You can also control your home automation systems including the locks, thermostat, check your energy usage, and receive extreme temperature alerts to help prevent frozen pipes. This app will also send you an alert if smoke or carbon monoxide is detected and it will provide you with instructions about what to do. In addition, it will also run a safety check to test your alarms once a month.
Moni Smart Security App
With the Moni app, you can view and control almost every part of your security system and home automation features. You can easily interact with your alarm system, arm/disarm your system and remotely control your security cameras (live or recorded), lights, locks, thermostat, garage doors, or interact with the video doorbell. This system uses geofencing which detects your location so the app can send you useful alerts if you left your garage door open, to adjust your thermostat, or turn off the lights. The system also relays information to the app in real-time when your kids get home from school, if there has been a break-in, and even equipment failures, etc.
With the Alarm.com app, you can remotely monitor and control your entire home in real-time. When using this app you can access the live video feeds and cameras or watch recorded clips, as well as arm and disarm your system. You can also control and manage your home automation features including your lights, thermostat, door locks, search the system's event history, and more. This app will send you alerts when your kids get home from school, the housekeeper arrives, if you left your garage door open, if the system detects flooding or a water leak, or even if your kids open your medicine cabinet or enter any other restricted area.
ADT Pulse App
With the ADT Pulse app, you can arm/disarm your security system, turn your lights on before you arrive home or off if you forgot. You can also turn off your small appliances, adjust your thermostat, receive alerts or view live video feeds of when your kids get home from school. You can even lock and unlock your doors so you can let someone in remotely if you need to. Additionally, you can setup custom automations and schedules that include your vacations and other events.
Frontpoint Security App
With the Frontpoint app, you can monitor, access and control your security and home automation systems remotely. This app allows you to arm or disarm your system from anywhere, view a live camera feed or watch recorded video clips. You can also control your lights, locks, thermostat, and receive real-time alerts for any event based on your exact specifications. And much more!
Protect America App
With the Protect America app, you can control your home security and home automation systems from the palm of your hand. You can arm/disarm your security system, view live or recorded video clips from anywhere, including from your bed if you hear a noise, and view your event history anytime. You can also lock or unlock your doors for easy access and to control who comes and goes and when, as well as adjust your thermostat, and more.
Scout Alarm App
With the Scout app, you can create custom security modes and monitor the status of your home remotely. You can also receive custom alerts, allow instant access to approved visitors, and be immediately alerted when an event occurs. In addition, you can monitor and control your home automation features which are easily integrated with many popular smart home technology and devices, such as Zwave, Alexa, Nest, Google Home, and others.
Now let's take a look at the home automation apps.
Smart Home Apps
Home automation apps work the same way as the home security apps. In fact, most home security companies offer both home security and home automation features which can both be remotely monitored, accessed and controlled from one dashboard on the app. So let's take a look at the most popular home automation apps.
Here are the top four most popular smart home apps along with their features and uses.
The WeMo home automation app is currently in beta mode. However, it's able to control your lights, appliances, thermostat, or any whole room in your home from anywhere in the world. This means you can pair the app with the WeMo Mini, Nest, Amazon Echo, Google Home, or other compatible devices to control your smart home features. This will allow you to turn on your lights before you get home, or set them to turn on and off automatically. This will also make it look like your home, even when you're not. In addition, WeMo is also compatible with IFTTT so the possibilities are literally endless.
The Wink home automation app is compatible with hundreds of different smart products and any one of them, when paired with the Wink app, will allow you to remotely monitor, access, and control your lights, door locks, thermostat, as well as receive sensor alerts. These alerts will notify you when an event is detected, such as motion, opened windows or doors, fire, smoke, front door visitors (so you can unlock the door remotely), unlocked doors or garage doors(so you can lock them remotely). And, this app lets you control these features from anywhere. In addition, you can also customize shortcuts, setup schedules, and even Robots to work with your smart features.
The SmartThings home automation app, you can monitor, access, and control your home's smart features including the lights, locks, garage door, doorbell, motion and water leak sensors, and other devices using the Samsung SmartThings Hub. In addition, it's compatible with a variety of other Z-Wave or ZibBee chipped devices.
The IFTTT (If This, Then That) app works with over 400 apps, including Twitter, Instagram, Gmail, Google Drive and more. In addition, IFTTT also works with devices such as Alexa, Nest, Philips, Google Home and others. This applet helps access all the smart features around you using voice controlled devices. It also helps keep you informed using major publications such as The New York Times, etc. You can also receive the weather, message your friends, receive Craigslist (and other) alerts, home security alerts, streamline your social media, backup important files, pictures and other valuable information to a cloud storage option such as Dropbox or Google Drive. You can also remotely control your thermostat, and trigger events based on your current location.