The face of your home automation system is the app that controls everything. Whether you’re using it on your desktop computer, laptop, or smartphone, your Z-Wave app is what connects you to all the Z-Wave devices in your home. It’s how you setup your network, add or delete devices, create scenes, control your devices, get notifications from your devices, and even how you check things like security cameras.
Your smart home control app is arguably the most important component of your home automation system, so you need to pick the best one. This can be hard, though, when every Z-Wave device manufacturer has its own app, however, there are a few third party apps.
Let’s look at some different Z-Wave apps so you have a better idea what might work for your smart home and which Z-Wave app is the best!
This is a list of Z-Wave apps that are made by the companies that manufacture the Z-Wave smart devices and home automation devices you use in your home, including hubs. Many of these apps come with the hub, but they are also available for download without the hardware, you just won't be able to do much without the hub.
In this list, we'll give you an idea of what each app can do and how they can help you control your smart home.
- Almond - Smart Home App
The Almond app works with the Almond hub made by Securifi. While it’s technically proprietary, made by Securifi, it has one of the only rules engines built into any app, meaning that you can set your own “if this, then that” rules to control everything in your smart home system.
- Honeywell Total Control - Smart Home App
Honeywell is a trusted name in home automation, with everything from smart thermostats to doorbells. With the Total Connect app, all of these devices can talk to each other and talk to you with notifications. The app allows you to control the temperature, arm and disarm the security system, lock or unlock doors, everything remotely.
- Insteon - Smart Home App
The Insteon app works with their hub to control all the Insteon devices in your home from one place. When you connect Insteon devices, the app allows you to control and also configure those devices, as well as send alerts, schedule actions, and set up scenes for automation.
- Vera - Z-Wave App
Vera makes a powerful hub to control your smart home, and the app has the same functionality on a mobile device. The app uses plugins from the MiOS Application Marketplace to support other Z-Wave devices like the Nest thermostat or DSC alarm panels, and it also offers geofencing, meaning it knows when you get home.
- SmartThings - Z-Wave App
Samsung has entered into the world of smart homes with the SmartThings platform, and the app seamlessly connects not only SmartThings products but other Z-Wave smart devices. It controls these different devices, sends notifications, allows for automation of common tasks, and shows camera feeds. The app is free, and it connect with Samsung phones obviously, but also with iOS, and Windows devices.
- Wink - Z-Wave App
The Wink is a gateway or hub that controls the whole system and it’s one of the more reliable and powerful smart home controllers on the market. Despite having a brand of hub, the Wink app connects to many different brands of smart devices, including Phillips, GE, Schlage, GoControl, and Levitron.
- Nest - Smart Home App
The Nest was one of the first smart thermostats on the market, but the application for the Nest goes way beyond temperature control to connect with other devices like security cameras and smoke detectors. It also collects data about how you use your home and your devices so that it can help you and your home be smarter. It even knows when you come home!
Other Z-Wave Apps
Product manufacturers aren’t the only people that make smart home control apps, so read on to learn about other apps that aren’t connected to any specific product line.
- Imperihome - Smart Home App
This is an Android app for Z-Wave devices that allows you to control your different devices, get notifications, and create scenes. You can use this app on various Android devices including the Sony SmartWatch2. The display is highly customizable, as well as optimized for viewing on a smartphone or a tablet.
- VeraMate - Z-Wave App
This is an iOS Vera app for Apple products, including the Apple Watch, and it’s only for controlling a Vera hub and only on Apple products. It features geofencing, customization of backgrounds and icons, as well as iBeacons, or bluetooth locations in your home that can trigger scenes.
- openHAB - Z-Wave App
This is an open source home automation solution, meaning that users can help develop the software. This is a popular Z-Wave app for people who have built their own hubs and love tinkering with technology. You also probably need a working knowledge of programming to really be able to configure the openHAB app with a wide variety of devices.
- Home Assistant - Z-Wave App
Another open source Z-Wave app, Home Assistant has a huge community of programmers supporting and improving the software. Of the open source home automation apps, Home Assistant is more accessible to the average user, though some programming knowledge is recommended to get the most out of the app.
- Z-wave Home Mate - Z-Wave App
The Home Mate series of apps are part of the Philio Smart Home System, which is an emerging force in the Z-Wave home automation market. Philio Taiwan’s leading manufacturer of home automation products, and their app also shows promise, integrating many different Z-Wave products with apps for phones, tablets, and the computer.
As with any kind of app, you want to do your research before downloading. Always make sure there isn't a monthly subscription involved so that you know your options. (Monthly subscriptions aren’t necessarily bad, but that’s your personal choice.)
Check the reviews to make sure other customers are happy with the software, and maybe even visit the developer’s site to see if they’re updating regularly. Look into what technical support and customer service options they have available. That said, have fun finding which app works for your smart home, and don’t be afraid to experiment with rules and scenes. Home automation can be a lot of fun with the right Z-Wave app!