Controlling your smart devices with a speaker is very convenient, especially when you're busy cooking or are far from your phone. Most importantly, Alexa and Assistant work with a great number of devices and allow you to control all of them without worrying about which bulb or plug works with what platform.
Sadly, there are times when using your voice isn't a great option, either because your "smart" speaker isn't so intelligent and doesn't get what you're saying, or you just want to be keep things silent.
When Samsung launched the Galaxy SmartTags alongside the S21 series, the company teased that they could be used for home automation via the SmartThings app. Now that the S21 and the SmartTags are arriving at people's doorsteps, it becomes clear how exactly this automation works. Our own Max Weinbach went hands-on with the tags' smart home routine capabilities.
Samsung revealed its new Galaxy S21 phones last week, but that wasn't all the company talked about. It was also announced that Samsung's SmartThings device controls would soon be accessible through Android Auto, and now the functionality is already going live.
Samsung officially revealed its SmartThings Find service in October of last year, which uses a combination of Bluetooth and ultra-wideband wireless signals to locate Samsung products. With yesterday's launch of the Galaxy SmartTag, Samsung is working to add Find support for more devices, and next in line is the Galaxy Watch Active2.
SmartThings is the app you use to take control of all your Samsung IoT devices, as the company aims to consolidate its other apps into one. Following all the big announcements it made at the recent Galaxy Unpacked event, Samsung is now updating the SmartThings app with a bunch of features, including one that leverages the Note20 Ultra’s UWB (ultra-wideband) support.
The Samsung SmartThings Hub is the Swiss Army Knife of smart home devices. It can connect to just about every smart home device in existence over a variety of wireless protocols, combining everything in a single control panel for easy management and automation. Those of you in the UK can get it for just £55 right now, during a limited Boxing Day sale.
Modern "smart" home standards have more than a few dumb things about them, like the fact that certain hardware often locks you into a specific ecosystem of supported devices and software. If something works with Alexa, it doesn't always mean that it will work with the Assistant or Siri, and that's not even mentioning the whole obnoxiousness of "hubs." Thankfully, a new open standard is being developed by some of the biggest names in the smart home industry, with Amazon, Apple, and Google all backing a new open-source approach via the imaginatively titled "Project Connected Home over IP." It's a complicated-sounding name, but what really matters is the fact that future smart home products will be more inter-compatible and secure.
Samsung's SmartThings hub was once a staple of most smart home setups, as it supported all the varying wireless standards used by smart devices (Zigbee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth, etc.) and integrated them into one place. Now that most smart home devices use regular Wi-Fi, SmartThings isn't quite as essential as it used to be, but Samsung still has big plans for the platform, as revealed at the 2019 Samsung Developer Conference.