The 3 Best Home Automation Apps for SmartThings and Wink in 2017

Best Home Automation Apps for Wink & SmartThings 2017

Wink and SmartThings offer some decent out of the box automation rules. From Winks Robots to SmartThings various SmartApps, you can certainly do a lot to connect various smart home devices. However, in both platforms, there are limitations in connecting those ancillary devices (ie: Wink cannot talk to Harmony and/or SmartThings cannot reliably connect to Nest, etc). How in the world do I connect all my DIY Z-Wave Home Automation devices? Well third party apps aim to solve that problem, allowing you to connect your ever growing smart home products to one another.

See also: Z-Wave vs Zigbee | Which Protocol Should You Choose?

Many of us fall victim to the Smart Home addiction. So many amazing new products are coming out daily and we’re bound to see more as the industry takes off. I remember how excited I was to purchase the August lock, thinking, “surely this will connect to Wink” (don’t judge, it was early in my home automation career and I didn’t realize Wink Hub 1 did not support Bluetooth LE) but to my disappointment, it did not. I still loved the August lock and was determined to find a way to get it to work.

Through a third party app, (I’ll disclose below, hang on) I was able to get the two connected and I’ve been using it ever since.

Fast forward a year or so and now we have all sorts of third party home automation apps that are amazing and help us connect devices that normally do not play nice in the sandbox and turn them into best friends.

I’ve narrowed down three of my favorite Home Automation Apps that can be used on Android and iPhone devices that work with both Wink and SmartThings and listed some real life examples of how each can be used. Happy Home Automating!

Home Automation App #1

Yonomi

Best Home Automation Apps | #1 Yonomi

Yonomi was what I was referencing earlier that helped me connect my August Lock with Wink. I quickly was able to setup a routine that would turn off all main lights and lock the door. I also took it a step further by integrating Harmony that had a routine that allowed my movie lights and television to turn on, but I’ll save that part for another day.

Below, is some quick setup instructions as well as the routine I use every Tuesday night for Family Movie Night.

Quick Facts About the Yonomi Home Automation App

Wink/SmartThings: Wink Only (at this time)
Download App: Android | iPhone
Website: www.yonomi.co
Accounts & HUB’s Supported:

  • Amazon Echo (Alexa)
  • August
  • Honeywell Lyric
  • Honeywell TCC
  • Jawbone
  • LIFX
  • Logitech
  • Mimo
  • Nest
  • Parrot
  • Philips
  • Wink
  • Withings

** List as of 02/01/17 — We’ll try to keep this updated as best as we can **

How I Used the Yonomi Home Automation App

For Family Movie Night

Imagine being the coolest mom or dad ever… using magic to turn off lights, lock the doors, turn on mood lights, and finally, turn on Amazon Fire TV. All with using 5 words…

“Alexa, trigger Family Movie Night”

Scratch just being the coolest mom or dad ever… you are now the coolest person ever. You literally just jumped to the year 2364, hopped on the Starship Enterprise and owned it (use “Computer” as your Echo wake word).

Yonomi Family Night Setup Instructions (Video/Written)

Below we’ll provide the video and written instructions for setting up the routine that we use every family night. The kids love it and enjoy asking Alexa to, “turn on family night”.

Pre-requisites (Connecting to the App):

  • Download and install the Yonomi home automation app (Android | iOS)
  • Connect your August Lock App, Harmony App, Wink App, and Philips Hue to Yonomi
  • In the Amazon Alexa (Echo) app, go to, “Home”, then, “Skills”, then search for, “Yonomi” and enable it

Pre-requisites (Setting up a Harmony Activity)

Prior to creating the routine within Yonomi, you will need to create an, “activity” within Harmony that pre-defines your Philips Hue lights to a certain color and dimness.

Video Instructions | Setting up Harmony

Written Instructions | Setting up Harmony

  • From the main screen, on the TV you want to control, click, “Edit Activities”
  • Then, click, “Add Activity”
  • Next, click, “Add your own Activity”
  • Name your, “Activity” and select an Icon that best represents your, “Activity”
  • Click on the top right arrow to move to the next screen
  • Now, we’re going to select everything that will be a part of your, “Activity” — In this example, select your TV, Amazon Fire Stick, and your Hue Lights — These are your, “Movie/Mood” lights, not your lights you want to turn off
  • Again, click the top right arrow to move forward to the next screen
  • Follow the on-screen prompts as your TV will be different than ours
  • When you get to the, “Activity Start” screen, you will now pick the colors you want your lights to turn. “Activity Start” is basically what happens when the activity starts (duh). For instance, when the activity starts, your lights will turn on.
  • When you select the lights to set up, you can set them all to be different or the same. In this example, all lights were made the same color and dimness.
  • Press, “When to Adjust” if you’d like your lights to only turn on during certain times — for instance, only after sunset.
  • In contrast to, “Activity Start” there’s an, “Activity End”. This is what happens when the activity ends (ie: lights and TV turns off)
  • Press the right arrow again (top right) and you will be all set!
  • You’ll have the option to, “Test Now” or “Test Later” — it’s a great idea to test your activity now to make sure it works the way you want.
  • Congratulations, you should be done and ready to move on to the next step — Setting up Yonomi!

Steps to Create the Routine within Yonomi

Now we’ll set up the actual Yonomi routine which will pull together Harmony, August, Wink and Philips Hue to create a, “trigger word” for Alexa to use.

Video Instructions | Setting up Yonomi

Written Instructions | Setting up Yonomi

  • With all the apps connected above, you are now ready to start creating the routine
  • On the home screen, click on the “routine” icon Yonomi Home Automation App | Routine Icon (3rd from the left up top)
  • In the bottom left corner, click on the yellow, “Plus (+)” sign to create the new routine
  • Name your Routine whatever you’d like (this will be used as your phrase when you ask Alexa to do something so make it easy to understand)
  • Leave the, “When” section blank
  • Under the, “Run these Actions” section, click on the, “Plus (+)” sign next to the, “Add Action” button to start adding your devices
  • We’ll start with the Logitech Harmony action you created in Step 1
  • Click on the Harmony logo and then, “Start Activity”
  • Next to the Harmony icon, click on the gear sign and select the correct action (the one you set up in Step 1)
  • Now, we’ll set up all the other actions by clicking, “Add Action” again and scrolling down to the devices you want to include in the routine
  • In this example, we scrolled to a light we wanted to turn off, selected it and turned it off
  • Continue to add lights you want to turn off/on and select them
  • For doors you want locked, scroll down to the door lock, click it, and select lock
  • When you’re done, click the checkmark in the top right corner to complete
  • Congratulations! You can now move on to the final step — connecting your routine to Alexa

Bonus: Using Alexa to Run Your Routine

One of the best things about the Yonomi Home Automation App is that it has a direct connection with Amazon Alexa via a skill. What this means is that you can literally say, “Alexa, turn on [insert routine name here]” which leaves all sorts of options.

Video Instructions | Integrating Yonomi with Alexa

Written Instructions | Integrating Yonomi with Alexa

  • Start by clicking on the three lines in the top left of the screen, next to where it says, “Home”
  • Then, scroll down and click, “Smart Home”
  • Scroll down to where it says, “Your Devices” and click, “Discover Devices”
  • Wait for it to finish and you should see your Yonomi routine
  • Congratulations, you should now have voice control over your routine!
  • Test it out by saying, “Alexa, turn on [name of your routine]”

Pros/Cons of the Yonomi Home Automation App

  • Pros
    • Integrates seamlessly with Alexa
    • Geofencing works great and is very responsive
    • Easy to setup app
  • Cons
    • Only works with Wink (no SmartThings support)
    • Limited amount of partnerships compared to IFTTT/Stringify

Other Cool Uses for Yonomi

  • Setup a Kids Bedtime Routine by having an RGBW Smart Light turn on to their favorite color, their bedtime music start playing (either with Sonos or a smart plug), and adjusting the temperature
  • Morning Work Routine by turning on selected lights at a certain time, while brewing your morning coffee with WeMo’s Mr. Coffee machine and when you leave your house, your doors automatically lock, lights shut off, and you receive a message that the routine has run successfully when you’ve reached a certain mileage away from your house
  • Workout Routine by turning on the TV with Harmony, turning on a floor fan and mood lights with a dual z-wave plug-in outlet

Conclusion

Yonomi is great for linking various smart home devices together in a seamless way. The response time is quick and I love the fact that it integrates seamlessly with Amazon Echo and allows you to voice control entire routines.

Home Automation App #2

IFTTT

Best Home Automation Apps | #2 IFTTT

IFTTT or, “IF This, Then That” has actually been around since 2011 and is one of the coolest apps out there in terms of connecting various services with each other (ie: send text via Android when your favorite team scores a touchdown via ESPN account or text your Android phone to turn the volume up to 100% if you lose it).

When it comes to a Home Automation app, it truly shines.

Below are some quick setup instructions as well as the routine I use to keep my house at the optimal temperature during the seasons where windows are left open.

A word about IFTTT Applets (formerly IFTTT Routines):

“Applets can do everything that Recipes could — and much more. They bring your services together, creating new experiences that you can unlock with a single switch. A house that welcomes you, an efficient workplace, an easier way to stay informed — there are thousands of experiences to choose from, or you can create your own.”

https://ifttt.com/blog/2016/11/the-new-ifttt-is-here

Quick Facts About the IFTTT Home Automation App

Wink/SmartThings: Wink & SmartThings
Download App: Android | iPhone
Website: www.ifttt.com
IFTTT partners:

Appliances

  • GE Appliances Cooking
  • GE Appliances Dishwasher
  • GE Appliances Dryer
  • GE Appliances GeoSpring™
  • GE Appliances Refrigerator
  • GE Appliances Washer
  • Home Connect Oven
  • Home Connect Washer
  • LG Dryer
  • LG Washer
  • Ooma
  • Samsung Refrigerator
  • Samsung Robot Vacuum
  • Samsung Washer
  • simplehuman
  • WeMo Coffeemaker
  • WeMo Slow Cooker
  • Whirlpool Dryer
  • Whirlpool Refrigerator
  • Whirlpool Washer
  • Wink: Egg Minder
  • Wink: Porkfolio

Blinds

  • Hunter Douglas PowerView

Blogging

  • Blogger
  • Medium
  • Tumblr
  • Weebly
  • WordPress

Bookmarking

  • bitly
  • Delicious
  • Diigo
  • Inoreader
  • Instapaper
  • Narro
  • Pinboard
  • Pocket

Business Tools

  • Airtable
  • Buffer
  • Concur Labs
  • DocSend
  • Envoy
  • JotForm
  • MailChimp
  • Pruvan
  • Quip
  • Salesforce
  • Sharpr
  • Stringify
  • Wolfram Data Drop
  • Workflow

Calendars & Scheduling

  • Date & Time
  • Google Calendar
  • Is It Christmas?
  • Office 365 Calendar
  • U.S. Independence Day

Clocks & Displays

  • LaMetric Time
  • Wink: Nimbus

Cloud Storage

  • Amazon Cloud Drive
  • Box
  • Dropbox
  • Google Drive
  • OneDrive
  • OneDrive for Business
  • QNAP
  • Seagate Personal Cloud
  • Verizon Cloud

Communication

  • Cisco Spark
  • Convo
  • dondeEsta Family
  • Fleep
  • Flock
  • GroupMe
  • IBM Watson Workspace
  • indoona
  • join.me
  • LINE
  • MessageBird
  • Roger
  • Skype
  • Slack
  • TeamSnap
  • Telegram
  • Yo

Connected Car

  • Automatic
  • Automatic Pro
  • BMW Labs
  • Dash
  • EVE For Tesla
  • Mojio
  • Vinli
  • Zubie

Contacts

  • Google Contacts
  • iOS Contacts
  • Office 365 Contacts

DIY Electronics

  • Adafruit
  • Bixi
  • Bttn
  • Flic
  • littleBits
  • Logitech POP
  • MESH
  • MicroBot Push for Prota
  • NIU
  • Thinga

Developer Tools

  • ARTIK Cloud
  • AT&T M2X
  • GitHub
  • Maker
  • openHAB
  • ORBneXt
  • Particle
  • Seeed

Education

  • Code School
  • Email
  • Email Digest
  • Gmail
  • Office 365 Mail

Environment Control & Monitoring

  • AirPatrol WiFi
  • Ambi Climate
  • Awair
  • Caleo
  • D-Link Water Sensor
  • Daikin Online Controller
  • ecobee
  • Eight
  • Foobot
  • GE Appliances Window AC
  • Genius Hub
  • Heatmiser
  • Hive Active Heating™
  • Honeywell evohome
  • Honeywell Lyric
  • Honeywell Single-zone Thermostat
  • Honeywell Total Connect Comfort
  • hugOne
  • IntesisHome
  • iZone
  • Leeo
  • LightwaveRF Heating
  • Melissa
  • Nefit Easy
  • Nest Protect
  • Nest Thermostat
  • Netatmo Thermostat
  • Netatmo Weather Station
  • NIBE Uplink
  • Roost Smart Battery
  • Samsung Air Purifier
  • Samsung Floor Air Conditioner
  • Samsung Room Air Conditioner
  • Sensibo
  • Skylark
  • tadoº Smart AC Control
  • tadoº Smart Thermostat
  • ThermoPeanut
  • ThermoSmart
  • WallyHome
  • Wattio THERMIC
  • WeMo Air Purifier
  • WeMo Humidifier
  • Wink: Aros
  • Wink: Spotter
  • Wireless Tag
  • Wiser Air

Finance & Payments

  • Chain
  • Donation Manager RedCloud™
  • Gumroad
  • Qapital
  • Square
  • Stocks
  • Stripe

Fitness & Wearables

  • Cronologics
  • Fitbit
  • GO
  • Google Glass
  • Lifelog
  • Misfit
  • Nex
  • Nike+
  • Oticon
  • PAVLOK
  • Recon
  • Star Wars Force Band by Sphero
  • Strava
  • UP by Jawbone
  • Withings

Gardening

  • GreenIQ
  • Parrot Flower Power
  • Rachio
  • RainMachine
  • Skydrop

Journaling & Personal Data

  • Day One
  • Pryv

Lighting

  • Emberlight
  • Hive Active Light™
  • LIFX
  • LightwaveRF Lighting
  • Lutron Caséta Wireless
  • Philips Hue
  • Stack Lighting
  • WeMo Light Switch
  • WeMo Lighting
  • Yeelight

Location

  • Location Services

Mobile Devices & Accessories

  • Android Battery
  • Android Device
  • Android Wear
  • Button widget
  • iOS Reading List
  • iOS Reminders
  • LG Smartphone
  • popSLATE

Music

  • Deezer
  • Musaic
  • Musixmatch
  • Muzik
  • SoundCloud
  • Spotify

News & Information

  • AppZapp
  • Digg
  • Entertainment Weekly
  • ESPN
  • Feed
  • Feedly
  • Genius
  • IFTTT
  • InStyle
  • NewsBlur
  • NPR
  • People
  • Product Hunt
  • ProPublica
  • Sotheby’s
  • Space
  • Sports Illustrated
  • The New York Times
  • Time
  • Trusted Reviews
  • Wikipedia

Notes

  • Evernote
  • Nimbus Note
  • Note widget
  • OneNote

Notifications

  • Android Phone Call
  • Android SMS
  • Boxcar 2
  • Instapush
  • Nightingale
  • Phone Call
  • Pushalot
  • Pushbullet
  • Pushover
  • SMS

Pet Trackers

  • Whistle

Photo & Video

  • 500px
  • Android Photos
  • Camera widget
  • Dailymotion
  • Flickr
  • Giphy
  • iOS Photos
  • Keenai
  • Narrative
  • Printhug
  • Stockimo
  • Vimeo
  • YouTube

Power Monitoring & Management

  • D-Link Smart Plug
  • LightwaveRF Power
  • myStrom
  • Neurio
  • Smappee
  • Wattio POD
  • WeMo Insight Switch
  • WeMo Smart Plug
  • WIFIPLUG
  • Wink: Pivot Power Genius

Routers & Computer Accessories

  • blink(1)
  • Das Keyboard Q
  • Google Wifi
  • HP Print

Security & Monitoring Systems

  • abode
  • Arlo
  • August
  • AXA Home
  • Beseye
  • Bhome
  • Blink
  • Camio
  • D-Link Connected Home Camera
  • D-Link Motion Sensor
  • D-Link Siren
  • Danalock
  • EZVIZ
  • Garageio
  • GetSafe
  • Gogogate
  • Homeboy
  • HomeControl Flex
  • iSecurity+
  • iSmartAlarm
  • Ivideon
  • Kevo
  • Lockitron
  • Manything
  • Myfox HomeControl
  • Myfox Security
  • Nest Cam
  • Netatmo Security
  • Nuki
  • Oco Camera
  • Piper
  • RemoteLync
  • Ring
  • Scout Alarm
  • Sighthound Video
  • SkyBell HD
  • SpotCam
  • WeMo Motion
  • Withings Home

Shopping

  • Best Buy
  • Boxoh Package Tracking
  • Classifieds
  • eBay
  • Fiverr
  • Home Depot
  • Semantics3
  • ShopYourWay
  • Slice
  • Tesco

Smart Hubs & Systems

  • Almond
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Bang & Olufsen’s BeoLink Gateway
  • Energenie Mi|Home
  • Futurehome
  • Google Assistant
  • Greenwave Systems
  • Harmony
  • Home8
  • HomeSeer
  • Homey
  • Launch Center
  • Life360
  • LightwaveRF Events
  • Lynx Technology
  • microBees
  • Moni.ai
  • nomos
  • Pert
  • Prota
  • Qblinks Qmote
  • Sen.se Mother
  • SkylinkNet
  • SmartThings
  • Telia Zone
  • Telldus Live!
  • Ubi
  • Wattio GATE
  • WeMo Maker
  • Wink Relay
  • Wink: Shortcuts
  • Z-Ware

Social Networks

  • Ello
  • Facebook
  • Facebook Pages
  • Foursquare
  • Instagram
  • Instawell
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • reddit
  • Sina Weibo
  • Twitter
  • Whaller
  • Survey tools
  • SurveyMonkey

Tags & Beacons

  • Pebblebee
  • SIGNUL Beacon
  • Ticatag
  • XY Findables

Task Management & To-Dos

  • Beeminder
  • FollowUp.cc
  • Kyber calendars, todos & reminders
  • MeisterTask
  • Todoist
  • Toodledo
  • Trello

Television & Cable

  • Comcast Labs

Time Management & Tracking

  • Harvest
  • QualityTime
  • RescueTime
  • Time Tracker
  • Travel
  • Voyages-sncf

Weather

  • BloomSky Weather
  • Surfline
  • Weather Underground

How I Used the IFTTT Home Automation App

To Keep My Home at the Optimal Temperature When the AC/Heat is Off

Living in Michigan, the weather is always changing – snowing on Thursday and shorts and a t-shirt on Friday is not uncommon. This leaves our smart thermostat (Nest) confused sometimes as to what temperature it should keep our house at.

In the late summer to early fall (or late spring to early summer) phase, we typically open and close the windows to regulate the temperature, but sometimes there are those days where we’re at work, the windows are open and while the weatherman predicted a 68 degree sunny day, in reality, it’s 90+ degrees. Now, that’s a bit dramatic, but you see my point.

Who wants to come home to a scorching house? The windows are open so it would be pointless to turn on the air conditioning… so, what do you do?

Well, luckily IFTTT has your back and so do we.

Here’s what you do. Using the Nest and Wink (or SmartThings) Applet, you can use the temperature sensor within Nest to set thresholds on how hot you want your house to get before you cool it down.

Example: If the Nest thermostat detects the temperature to be above your threshold (mine was 75) it will run an applet to “trigger” another event to happen. In my example, I had the following events trigger when the applet was run:

  • Floor fan plugged into our Z-Wave Dual Smart Plug would turn on
  • Ceiling fans would start and turn to medium speed

IFTTT Optimal Temperature Setup Instructions (Video/Written)

Below we’ll provide the video and written instructions for setting up the applet that we use during that time of year where you don’t want to turn on the AC, but also don’t want to come back to a scorching house. It’s nice to come home to a house that feels perfect after a long, hard day at work.

Pre-requisites (Connecting to the App):

  • Download and install the IFTTT home automation app (Android | iOS)
  • Connect your SmartThings (or Wink) App, and Nest App to IFTTT

Both Wink and SmartThings users can take advantage of this IFTTT applet and we’ll provide video and written instructions for both. Wink users, click here to be taken to the Wink section.

SmartThings Users: Additional Pre-requisite | Setting up a Virtual Switch

Don’t be intimidated by the nerd talk of virtual switches. I promise this is simple and we’ll have this created for you in no time. Basically, a virtual switch is a switch that does not physically exist within your SmartThings Home Automation App, but rather is used to trigger various events. In this case, IFTTT will turn on your virtual switch, which will be connected to other physical switches.

The reason we have to do this is that IFTTT only has the ability to control one switch within the app, and since we want to control more than one switch, a virtual one is needed.

Let’s get started.

  • Login to the IDE @ https://graph.api.smartthings.com
  • Click “My Devices”
  • Click the “New Device” Button
  • Enter a “Name” for the device, this can be whatever you want.
  • Enter a “Label” for the device, this is optional and can be whatever you want.
  • Enter a “Device Network Id” This can be anything you want. In this example, we’ll use, “IFTTT01” but you can also use something like, “FAMFAN01” for, “Family Room Fan”
  • “Zigbee Id” should be left blank
  • Select a “Type” from the dropdown, this should be Simulated Switch
  • “Version” should be published
  • “Location” should be your hub location, probably “Home”
  • “Hub” should be your hub name.
  • “Group” you won’t be able to select when creating, but these are Groups you’ve created in the Things page in the SmartThings app.
  • Click Create

For reference, your device page should look like this:

IFTTT ST Home Automation App | SmartThings Setup

Alright, now open up your SmartThings Home Automation app and see if you can notice the new virtual switch you created.

Step 1 | Video Instructions | Setting up SmartThings to Work with IFTTT

Step 1 | Written Instructions | Setting up SmartThings to Work with IFTTT

  • Before moving forward, make sure your virtual switch (ie: IFTTT Climate Control) shows up within your SmartThings Home Automation App (under the, “Things” tab)
  • Next, click on the, “Automation” tab to add a new, “Routine”
  • We will create two routines — one that turns on your fans if your home temperature rises above your threshold and one that turns off your fans if the home temperature falls back into your target threshold
  • To start on the first routine, click, “Add a Routine”
  • Feel free to name this something like, “Turn On Fans” — just make sure you know this is your, “On” routine
  • Under the, “What do you want to happen?” section, click on, “Turn on these lights or switches” and select the fans/lights/switches you want turned on
  • Click, “Done” twice to finish
  • Repeat steps 4-7 to create an, “Off” routine that will turn your smart home products off if the temperature falls back into your target threshold — in this case, make sure you label it the opposite of what you named your, “On” routine and when you are on the page, “What do you want to happen?” you click on, “Turn off these lights or switches”
  • Now, click on, “Marketplace” and we will be adding a SmartApp that will make connecting SmartThings with IFTTT easier
  • Under the, “SmartApps” tab on the, “Marketplace” section, click on, “Lights & Switches” and scroll down until you find the SmartApp titled, “Switch Activates Home Phrase
  • Where it says, “Choose a switch to use…” click on the, “Switch” section and select your, “Virtual Switch”
  • Under the, “Perform the following phrase when…” click on, “Switch is on” and select the, “On” routine you created (ie: Turn On Fans)
  • Next, click on, “Switch is off” and select your, “Off” routine you created (ie: Turn Off Fans)
  • Click, “Done” and you’re all set!

Feel free to test the routine by clicking on the, “Virtual Switch” under the, “My Home” tab — if setup properly, if you click on the, “Virtual Switch” all your fans/lights/switches should turn on and off.

Step 2 | Video Instructions | Linking a SmartThings Routine to IFTTT

Step 2 | Written Instructions | Linking a SmartThings Routine to IFTTT

  • Click on, “My Applets” on the bottom right corner of the screen to create a new applet
  • Then, click on the (+) sign to create the applet
  • Now, click on, “(+) this” to start the process
  • Search for your Nest Thermostat and select it
  • On the, “Select Trigger” page, click on, “Temperature rises above” and set your threshold (ex: type in, “75” if you want the applet to run when your Nest thermostat detects the temperature rises above 75)
  • When finished, click the check mark
  • Now, we’ll add the second part of the applet, which is the, “(+) that” statement — go ahead and click on the, “(+) that” button and search for SmartThings
  • Under the, “Select action” section, please click on, “Switch on” and select your, “Virtual Switch” (ie: IFTTT Climate Control)
  • Click on the check mark on the top right of your screen and then hit, “Finished”

Now, you should receive an IFTTT notification every time your applet runs. More importantly, on those days where the weatherman was wrong about it not being hot and you leave your windows open, your home will be nice and cool thanks to SmartThings and IFTTT.


Step 1 | Video Instructions | Setting up Wink to Work with IFTTT

The great news is that Wink is actually really easy to set up. Create a shortcut within Wink, link to IFTTT and boom, all set. For reference, a shortcut combines multiple actions into one action. Let’s get started.

Step 1 | Written Instructions | Setting up Wink to Work with IFTTT

  • Click on the shortcuts icon Wink Home Automation App | Shortcut Icon located at the top of the screen (second from the left)
  • Scroll down and click, “Add Shortcut” to get started
  • Under the, “Name” section, clic on the box and name your shortcut (ex: Turn on Fans)
  • Now, click, “Make This Happen” to add your devices
  • Scroll down to find the device you want to turn on, select it, and switch it to, “On”
  • Repeat the last two steps for as many devices as you’d like to add
  • When finished, click, “Done” and you’re all set!

Feel free to click the shortcut button to test it out.

Step 2 | Video Instructions | Linking a Wink Shortcut to IFTTT

Step 2 | Written Instructions | Linking a Wink Shortcut to IFTTT

  • Click on, “My Applets” on the bottom right corner of the screen to create a new applet
  • Then, click on the (+) sign to create the applet
  • Now, click on, “(+) this” to start the process
  • Search for your Nest Thermostat and select it
  • On the, “Select Trigger” page, click on, “Temperature rises above” and set your threshold (ex: type in, “75” if you want the applet to run when your Nest thermostat detects the temperature rises above 75)
  • When finished, click the check mark
  • Now, we’ll add the second part of the applet, which is the, “(+) that” statement — go ahead and click on the, “(+) that” button and search for Wink: Shortcut
  • Click, “Activate Shortcut” and find your shortcut (ex: “Turn on Fans”)
  • Click the check mark (top right of the page) and then press, “Finish”

Now, you should receive an IFTTT notification every time your applet runs. More importantly, on those days where the weatherman was wrong about it not being hot and you leave your windows open, your home will be nice and cool thanks to Wink and IFTTT.

Pros/Cons of Using IFTTT as a Home Automation App

  • Pros
    • By far the most partnerships
    • User-friendly app
    • Has been around the longest and is trusted
  • Cons
    • There can be up to an hour delay in triggered events
    • In order to control multiple devices (ie: more than two) some extra work needs to be done (ie: shortcuts in Wink and a special SmartApp in SmartThings)

Other Cool Uses for IFTTT

  • Turn on certain lights in the morning if the weather calls for rain by having an RGBW Smart Light turn on based on Weather Channel predictions for the day
  • Log events to Google Drive while you are away by enabling the Google Drive applet and pairing it to SmartThings
  • Automatically turn down the thermostat and turn on the kids RGBW lights at bedtime using Nest and SmartThings

Conclusion

IFTTT is the OG of linking various services together. They started out as a cool way to link your Facebook to Gmail, or Instagram to Google Docs, but have evolved into much more of a powerhouse in terms of Home Automation Apps are concerned. The sky is the limit and we absolutely love this app.

Home Automation App #3

Stringify

Best Home Automation Apps | #3 Stingify

Stringify is the new kid on the block in terms of home automation apps, but wow… does it deliver.

It’s similar to IFTTT and Yonomi in that it can combine multiple devices and services together, but what separates it from the others is the ability to, “string” more complex actions together.

For instance, you can combine multiple devices and only run the, “string of events” when you are in a certain GPS location and/or only during certain times.

We used it as a burglar deterrent when we were away on vacation and it worked amazing.

Below are some quick setup instructions as well as the, “string” I used while we were on vacation (and continue to use to this day).

Quick Facts About the Stringify Home Automation App

Wink/SmartThings: Wink & SmartThings
Download App: Android | iPhone
Website: www.stringify.com
Accounts & HUB’s Supported:

  • Automatic
  • Box
  • BuzzFeed
  • CNET
  • Craigslist
  • Date & Time
  • Dropbox
  • eBay
  • Ecobee
  • Email
  • Evernote
  • Facebook
  • Fitbit
  • Flickr
  • Foobot
  • Football Championship
  • Foursquare Swarm
  • Friends
  • Garageio
  • Google Calendar
  • Google Drive
  • Homeboy
  • Honeywell Lyric
  • Honeywell Wi-Fi Thermostat
  • Hue Bridge
  • IFTTT
  • Instagram
  • Insteon
  • Jawbone UP
  • LIFX
  • Location
  • Logitech Harmony
  • Misfit
  • Mode
  • Nest
  • Netatmo
  • Netgear Arlo Cameras
  • New York Times
  • Notifications
  • Rachio
  • Rainforest EAGLE
  • Reddit
  • Ring
  • RSS Feed
  • Sengled
  • Skybell HD
  • Slack
  • Smappee Energy Monitor
  • SmartThings
  • Steam
  • TechCrunch
  • Timer
  • Traffic
  • Tumblr
  • Twitch
  • Twitter
  • Weather
  • Wink
  • Withings
  • Yahoo News
  • Yelp

** List as of 02/01/17 — We’ll try to keep this updated as best as we can **

How I Used the Stringify Home Automation App

Cheap, But Effective Burglar Deterrent While Away on Vacation (Or Any Time)

Want an easy to set up burglar deterrent? So did we… and Stringify helped us accomplish that.

We had a light that turned on when motion was detected, but only during the night and only when we were away from the house. After 10 minutes of the light being on, it turned off until new motion was detected and a text was sent letting us know the action fired.

We strung together the following to create one of the simplest security measures while we were on vacation:

  • Nestcam
  • Z-Wave RGBW Smart Bulb (or any smart bulb, we just wanted to be cool)
  • Android phone (for location and SMS purposes)

Stringify Burglar Deterrant Setup Instructions (Video/Written)

The great thing about Stringify is that that the setup is the same with SmartThings as it is with Wink. It’s a little challenging to figure out, but once you get the hang of it, setup is a breeze. The cool thing here… you can connect Wink and SmartThings to Stringify… #mindblown

Video Instructions | Setting up Stringify (Works with both Wink & SmartThings)

Video Instructions | Setting up Stringify (Works with both Wink & SmartThings)

  • Start by clicking on the “Flows” tab and then the (+) sign, followed by, “Create a new flow”
  • Click the (+) sign again to add devices and select your devices
  • In this example, we used the following:
    • Nestcam (Our Front Door Camera)
    • Two Bulbs (Our RGBW Z-Wave Smart Bulb paired to SmartThings and another smart bulb which is paired to Wink)
    • Location
    • Timer
    • Notifications
  • Now, we’ll build our flow — it may help if you watch the video along with these written instructions, but we’ll try out best to explain
  • Start with placing the Nestcam
  • Click on the, “settings” (gear icon) of the Nestcam and click on, “Motion detected” and click, “Save”
  • Next, go ahead and place (drag/drop) the, “Location” button
  • Click on the, “settings” (gear icon) and click on, “I am away from a location”
  • Type in your location, select your radius and click, “Save”
  • Next, drag and drop your lights and click on the, “settings” (gear icon)
  • Under settings, click on, “Turn on” to turn your lights on
  • Drag and drop your, “Notifications” button and click on the, “settings” (gear icon)
  • Click on, “Send me a push notification” and type in what you want the notification to say and press, “Save”
  • Now for the fun part… stringing everything together
  • Drag the, “Nestcam” button and move it on top of the first light — this will create a, “string”
  • There will be an infinity sign in between the Nestcam and your light — drag the infinity sign down, on top of the, “Location” button
  • Take the new infinity button created and drag it on top of the second light
  • Then, take the infinity sign again, and drag it on top of the, “Notifications” button
  • Drag and drop the, “Timer” button and place it next to one of the lights and click, “settings” (gear icon)
  • Click on, “Start the timer” and set it for 10 minutes (or however long you’d like) and click, “Save”
    • This is the amount of time the light will stay on after motion is detected
  • Drag the lights to the, “Timer” button
  • Then click the, (+) button to add the final buttons — add the lights that were turned on because we are now going to turn them off
  • Click on the, “settings” (gear icon) for both of the lights and turn them off
  • Rename the flow to whatever you’d like and you’re done!

Congratulations, you now have a low-cost burglar deterrent, brought to you by Stringify!

Pros/Cons of using Stringify as your Home Automation App

  • Pros
    • Connections (strings) are way more advanced than what other Home Automation Apps offer
    • A lot of partnerships (ability to pair both Wink & SmartThings)
  • Cons
    • App can be overwhelming until you figure it out (YouTube is your friend)
    • App is still in its infancy (it runs great, but it’s still new)

Other Cool Uses for Stringify

  • Alert you by SMS and turn on your RGBW light when water is detected by connecting your Leaksmart (or any other water detector) and your smart light bulb
  • Turn on Heat/AC and lights when you come home from work by enabling your ecobee or nest thermostat, smart lights, location and date/time (to only run the flow at a certain time)
  • Tap a button and turn on a light for 20 minutes (then it turns off) by enabling the date/time function along with either your double z-wave plug-in module or colored smart light bulb 

Conclusion

Stringify has a ton of potential and is already making waves in the Home Automation App market. This is by far the most diverse app on the market today and we’re excited to see where it goes. There are so many possibilities and so many advanced flows you can create to make your home, truly, “smart”.

See also: What is Z-Wave? and What is Z-Wave Plus?

One reply on “The 3 Best Home Automation Apps for SmartThings and Wink in 2017

  • Ben Hobbs

    I’d never heard of Stringify as a Smart Home app, I will be taking a look at that – I couldn’t get on with Yonomi and IFTTT is great for doing certain things but I wouldn’t use it to control my home I think. It’s great for tying in email, facebook and twitter for example.

    Reply

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