Smartwatch apps to make your smart home smarter

Get your IoT setup running smoothly with these essential downloads
Making your smart home smarter

What use is your internet-connected smart home if you still have to get up off the sofa to work it?

Instead, grab yourself a smartwatch and get full control of your life with a quick tap of your wrist. Whether it's your heating, your media or your home security that you're looking to fine tune, these are the very best apps for Pebble and Android Wear to look out for.

Your computer

With media servers and NAS drives now commonplace as the conductors of your smart home's entertainment, there's increasing importance placed on the humble computer. That's all very well and good it you're sitting right next to it but chances are that you're not, so you might need one of these for a little remote access.

Android Wear: Unified Remote Full

The more you route through your computer, the better this app is going to be for you. It acts as a universal remote for your PC with full mouse controls, volume control, voice control, on and off, and switching apps too. So, whether your machine is connected to your TV, your music system or anything else, you can do it all through your smartwatch now.


Read this: Pebble Time price, release date and specs

Pebble: Unified Remote for Pebble

It's the same as the Android Wear version and yet not. This unofficial version of the app acts as an extension for the official Android smartphone one that you'll need installed on your mobile. Sadly, it's not quite as easy and fun if you're trying to do this through iOS. Because there is no Unified Remote for iPhone, the best you can get at the moment is controlling your computer photo slideshows with Wrist Presenter. So, now there's two ways to bore your guests with your holiday snaps.


Your music

The hurdle with music control is that you can't connect your smartphone to your mobile at the same time as your mobile is wirelessly connected to a Bluetooth speaker. Sonos and the like might not have released anything official for Android Wear and Pebble but there are still some very clever options.

Android Wear: Wear Music Controller

This is the music controller of choice on Android Wear. You will have to purchase the license after a 4-day trial but it's well worth it. You get all the standard stop/start/louder/quieter options plus voice control. Best of all, it works with a list of music sources as long as your arm and that includes the Sonos Controller app meaning that you don't even need your mobile hard connected to your home system.


Pebble: Music Boss

The native Pebble music app is decent but, if you've ever been frustrated by a lack of features, then Music Boss is for you. Change the volume, switch music apps and find support for Spotify, Audible, Google Play and just about any other audio service you care to mention. As with the Wear Music Controller, there's a nice bonus that it works for Chromecast connected systems too. So, if you've opted for Google's TV dongle, you can control most things streamed through there.


Your lighting

Philips Hue is the household name in smart home lighting at the moment, so that's what the apps we've chosen work with. Give it another year and you can expect to find plenty more for the Misfit Bolt and friends.

Android Wear: Hue Control

This isn't the best or smoothest of app experiences but it does allow you to control your Philips Hue lighting set up from your smartwatch. There aren't really any other apps that do it. You get a lock screen widget, lighting previews and all the colour and intensity sliders you'd expect. Handy.


Pebble: Huebble

Huebble (see what they did there?) is a better Philips Hue experience for those with a Pebble watch. It does all the individual and group light controls that you need plus a selection of mood presets and a couple of slightly leftfield extras. Metronome and Dance Mode aim to flash the lights to random colours according to the BPM of the music you're listening to or the movements made from any shapes that you're attempting to throw. Hey presto, instant disco.


Your security cameras

IP cameras are getting more popular in the smart homes of today. You might have one set up for watching out for intruders or simply for keeping an eye on your children, your pets or any sex slaves you've got locked up in your internet-connected smart dungeon. We're not here to judge.

Android Wear: tinyCam Monitor Pro for IP Cam

A very neat and successful app is tinyCam and now it comes with smartwatch support. Plug in the details of your IP cameras, baby monitors and whatever smart video capture units you have and it acts as a dashboard with windows for them all. You'll feel just like a security guard. Each one of those can be screen-cast to your wrist.


Pebble: Nothing at present

Bit of a bummer here but the lack of IP camera apps for Pebble is probably something to do with e-paper versus OLED colour screens. There's some scripts cooked up by some clever devs that you can download so that your device will send Pebble an alert when something sets off its motion sensor but that's about it. Not easy stuff but take a look over here if you're feeling brave.

Your heating

Again, Nest is pretty much the de facto and best version of smart home heating at the moment. As a result, there's not many smartwatch apps for Honeywell or the British Gas Hive. You might have to wait for the Apple Watch for those ones.

Android Wear: Wear Temperature for Nest

It's a bit ropey and doesn't work on all devices but Wear Temperature for Nest is as established as it gets. If that's not a goer for you, then there is a new kid to try instead in the shape of WrisTemp Pro but there's only one review and it's 5-stars, so presumably it's been rated by the developer's mum. Both will let you choose thermostats, select temperatures and switch from Home to Away wherever you are.


Pebble: Leaf

Pebble's Nest app is a much more official piece of software than Wear Temperature. It also works far better too. No surprises here; you can turn your heating on, off, up and down from wherever you are in the world and manage your profiles too. Not as fully-featured as the phone app but certainly worthy of your wrist.


Your front door

What? You're still using a dumb lock? You're so old school. Pick yourself up an August Smart Lock or a Lockitron and you can be gate-keeping from across the globe.

Android Wear: Wear-a-tron

Lockitron is one of, probably, two smart locks that you'll be considering for your front door. The fact that this one has an Android Wear app to go with it, might just help tip the balance. Wear-a-tron turns your smartwatch into your key. Tap to lock, tap to unlock; enough said.


Pebble: PebbleLock

Same lock, same functionality; if you happen to own a Pebble, then you're still covered with Lockitron thanks to the Pebble developer community. Until Lockitron gets itself an official app going on then Pebblelock will have you tap-tapping for all your door security needs.


Your TV

Smartwatch control of your TV all rather depends which make and model you've got and what you've got connected to it. There's nothing official at the moment from any manufacturer but there's plenty of very decent workarounds no matter your brand or service of choice. Here's two that we like.

Android Wear: SamyGo

There's no one remote to control them all as far as Android Wear goes but go searching for your TV type and you'll probably find what you need. Like the name suggests, SamyGo is for those with an internet-connected Samsung TV bought since 2009. It works over Wi-Fi, which isn't ideal, but you do get a full version of the remote on your wrist.


Pebble: Plex Remote

There's no IR emitter on the Pebble which makes turning it into a TV remote control a bit tricky. There's not many decent solutions that don't require a PhD to get working either. The best you can hope for at present is probably to use the Plex media server platform to watch all your TV and films. Then all you need is this handy Plex Remote Pebble app to send commands for volume and content hopping over Wi-Fi. Far from ideal. In fact, it's probably less of a hassle to have a Moto 360 with SamyGo on your other arm instead.


Your everything else

No two smart homes are the same and chances are that you're after some kind of specific smartwatch control for a combination of services that not everyone is using. Good for you. If that's the case, check out these catch-all apps.

Android Wear: WearTasker

Tasker is on of those big hitting Android mobile apps. It allows you to automate just about any process in your life through your mobile phone's settings. Create geo-fences and rules according to time and all sorts of modes and functions can kick in. With this extension for your watch, you can access your list of tasks and re-configure them too all without having to reach into your pocket.


Pebble: IFTTT

It's not actually an app but IFTTT is an interesting service that can bring all sorts of reports, notifications and controls from the web at large to your wrist. In fact, there's 93 recipes for actions involving Pebble at the moment. On the smart home side, they include the Wi-Fi connected Wemo socket switches which can turn appliances on and off remotely. Best of all, come up with your own smart home recipes and let us know.


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