There's still no standard for connected devices around the home, but Belkin's WeMo home automation system is a pretty popular option. The Android app hasn't wowed users in the past, but it's getting an update today that might (I hope) address some of those issues.
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.
If you've been looking for an easy way to get into the home automation craze, Belkin has a series of plug-and-play accessories that will let you control lights and other electronics without any major home modifications. The WeMo series is relatively cheap and controllable with your phone or tablet via the Android app. Amazon's daily deal portal Gold Box has select WeMo accessories and switches on sale for today only.
The most basic part of the WeMo line is the WeMo Switch, a simple on/off switch that hangs out on a standard wall outlet and connects to your home's WiFi network.
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.
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.