Google Home is great, in certain situations; it's a cool party piece so you can say "Hey Google, play [insert artist name here]" and it'll play, impressing all your friends and causing them to want Google Home too. However, in other areas, such as setting reminders or home automation, it's a bit lacklustre (if you haven't already, read Corbin's great piece on Home's inadequacies). Well, the latter is getting fixed today with the addition of two new partners.
All of these "smart" devices in our lives sure are creating a mess for us. We have to remember to charge them and take the time to set them up properly, every gadget has its own app on our phone, and none of them seem to be able to communicate effortlessly with each other unless they come from the same manufacturer, and even then... That's where Yonomi comes into the picture.
With one app, Yonomi aims to solve the mess that is our connected life. It integrates with some of the big players out there, like Nest, Jawbone, Sonos, Philips Hue, and Belkin WeMo, as well as your Android phone or tablet.
If you have anything from Belkin's WeMo line, there's a chance you may be less-than-pleased with the app – it is pretty basic, after all. Today's update, however, brings some much-needed usefulness to the table, like better integration with IFTTT, and a home security enhancement.
Greater flexibility when scheduling events related to sunrise and sunset.
New Rule: Away Mode makes it look you’re home even when you’re not.
New IFTTT trigger: long-press the Light Switch to trigger customizable IFTTT recipes without turning on the light.
Bug fixes and general improvements.
For starters, the new "away mode" will turn lights on and off at random intervals, making it appear as though someone is home even when the house is empty.
Home automation is a pretty cool thing, and it's becoming more popular and encompassing every day. The ability to turn off a light from the other side of the house (or world) is a pretty cool feeling, but it also provides peace of mind – the days of wondering if you shut everything off before leaving are quickly coming to an end.
Belkin has been working to make this sort of automation simpler and more accessible to everyone with its WeMo line – a small group of devices that connect to Wi-Fi and make easy work of automating simple tasks and provide remote access to whatever unit they're attached to.
Back in mid-February, Belkin released and early beta build of its WeMo for Android app. It was very light on features at the time (and only available for the Galaxy S III), but has been receiving updates ever since to get it up to snuff with the experience Belkin was looking for.
For those who may not be familiar with WeMo, here's the in-a-nutshell explanation: it's a family of devices – WeMo Switch, WeMo Light Switch, and WeMo Motion – that connect to your Wi-Fi network and allow to you control household electronics directly from your smartphone. For example, you could have WeMo Switch plugged into the coffee pot and fire it up directly from bed when you wake up.
If Belkin had you excited about its upcoming WeMo Android app at CES this year, good news: the first beta version of the app just landed in the Play Store. According to the app's description, it has only been tested on the Samsung Galaxy S III, but should work on all 4.0+ devices. With that said, some (or even most) of the features may not work properly, as the app is a very early beta.
So, what can you do with the WeMo app? At the current time, you can control WeMo devices over Wi-Fi or cellular network, set custom icons and names, update the local firmware, and take advantage of IFTTT integration.