My Watch­dog

Build a free home se­cu­rity sys­tem

Mac|Life - - CONTENTS - J.R. Book­wal­ter

Free From Ralf An­drae, an­draeweb.de Made For iPhone, iPad, Ap­ple Watch Needs iOS 8.0 or later

Would you trust your home se­cu­rity to a free app? Maybe not, but MyWatch­dog works well enough it could be con­sid­ered an in­ter­est­ing proof-of-con­cept. The idea is to turn your iPhone and seven other iOS de­vices con­nected through the same iCloud ac­count into “a re­li­able and pro­fes­sional alarm sys­tem.”

Your iPhone acts as a cen­tral mon­i­tor, con­trol­ling all con­nected de­vices as sen­sors to pro­vide mo­tion, noise, or video-based feed­back us­ing each piece of hard­ware’s ac­celerom­e­ters, mi­cro­phone, and cam­eras. It’s a pretty neat idea and not ter­ri­bly dif­fi­cult to set up, so if you have a bunch of old iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch de­vices ly­ing around your home, then MyWatch­dog is def­i­nitely worth a look.

Events can also be re­motely ac­cessed from Ap­ple Watch, which in­cludes view­ing a map of where mo­tion sen­sors have been trig­gered, and even view­ing video recorded when­ever a mo­tion event takes place. Video must first be down­loaded to your Watch, so the lat­ter is ham­pered by the lim­i­ta­tions of watchOS, which re­duce trans­fer speeds when Blue­tooth and Wi-Fi are both en­abled. You can also ac­ti­vate and de­ac­ti­vate the en­tire alarm sys­tem right from your wrist.

In Live View, un­used iOS de­vices act as cheap home mon­i­tors, where the main iPhone can peek in to see and hear what’s go­ing on in your home any time of day. How­ever, for ob­vi­ous rea­sons

this doesn’t work on Ap­ple Watch, and an in-app pur­chase is re­quired af­ter the first 10 min­utes of use.

the bot­tom line. It’s not per­fect, but MyWatch­dog mostly does what it prom­ises, as­sum­ing you have the pa­tience and enough spare iOS de­vices to set it up in the first place.

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