TOP TAKE­AWAYS

iPhone Life Magazine - - 2018 Best Tech Guide -

1 Smart Homes Aren’t Cheap:

I strug­gled to find bud­get-friendly items for this roundup. For ex­am­ple, a smart light­bulb costs roughly ten times that of a stan­dard light­bulb. Some de­vices in this cat­e­gory, such as smart ther­mostats, can save you money in the long run; but for most smart home de­vices, you're pay­ing a pre­mium for con­ve­nience.

2 Make HomeKit Com­pat­i­bil­ity a Pri­or­ity:

HomeKit makes smart home ac­ces­sories much eas­ier to use. Rather than hav­ing to use a sep­a­rate app for each ac­ces­sory, you can con­trol all of them from the Home app. You can also cre­ate au­to­ma­tion that in­volves mul­ti­ple de­vices. Most im­por­tantly, you can use Siri to con­trol your de­vices so that you don't need to con­stantly be on your phone.

3 Smart Ac­ces­sories Are Bet­ter To­gether:

Smart home ac­ces­sories cre­ate a syn­ergy—the more you own, the more use­ful they be­come. With a house full of smart lights, you can tell Siri to turn off all the lights at once. If you add in mul­ti­ple types of de­vices, you can cre­ate even more syn­ergy. I have my smart home set up so that when I say good­night to Siri, it turns off all the lights, locks the front door, and ad­justs my ther­mo­stat.

4 These Are Early Days:

While smart home ac­ces­sories have come a long way, they're still far from per­fect. Even the prod­ucts on this list can be com­pli­cated to in­stall and will mal­func­tion on oc­ca­sion. At times, it can feel like what­ever con­ve­nience is achieved is coun­tered by the has­sle of trou­bleshoot­ing them. Be­tween the high price and the finicky na­ture of these de­vices, most smart home ac­ces­sories are still best suited for early adopters who en­joy hav­ing the lat­est tech­nol­ogy rather than ev­ery­day con­sumers who don't want to deal with set­ting up and learn­ing how to use new tech.

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