We are now living in a world where smartphones are getting… well… smarter! There seems to be an app for everything these days including some to help and control things around the home. If you love a bit of technology here are a few ways to fully utilise your phone to get the best out of your house.
WikiHow is a source of numerous quick guides to many everyday life challenges such as home maintenance, DIY car fixes, life hacks, recipes and more. In fact there are currently more than 175,000 entries, many accompanied by videos and illustrations to make understanding that much easier.
A search of the categories will answer almost any question that is prefaced with the word ‘how’. There is even a Survival Guide in the initial menu covering off subjects such as animal attacks, party emergencies and extreme scenarios (though we remain unsure on how you will apply the ‘How to avoid a bear attack’ if you have to read it once the bear appears!).
All in all, a really great source of information. Most are practical, some amusing.
With an introductory statement of: ‘Earth has limited resources. We help you to fix and reuse your stuff’ this is an app on a mission. This app will enable you to repair a myriad of things with useful, step-by-step guides, making repair a very real, inexpensive option when faced with possible replacement of a favourite device. In fact the website boasts 21,870 free manuals. These cover things such as PC’s and Mac’s, phones, appliances etc. Most categories subdivide into make, model, and model version. The list of fixes included for most things is reasonably comprehensive and, should it be required, iFixIt has its own online store that can provide parts and tools if required.
An easy way to preview an alternative colour scheme for a room that you are considering decorating. Simply take or load an existing photo, allow TapPaint to analyse the lighting in the photo and then select from the colour deck and let the app do the rest.
The only downside to this is the fact that currently the app only offers American paint brands should you be looking for a very particular colour. However, you will get a real idea of what the colour, or one very similar, will look like if you decide to decorate with it.
Find it at the Apple App Store
For the home improvement enthusiast or the person just seeking a little inspiration, this is a ‘must have’ app. An endless source of ideas for home improvements and projects this has been called the “Wikipedia of Interior Design” and included on the Independent’s “50 best interior websites”. It offers ideas and inspiration on design, architecture, room guides and furniture with 11 million plus photos. And it links with specialists such as architects, designers and builders.
Great Home Products Run on Apps
Phillips have released a smart colour changing light bulb which can be controlled from your smartphone.
Not only can you change the colour of the light, but you can decide on the brightness of your bulbs and sync them up with other apps to flash when you get a notification.
More details can be found on the Philips Hue website.
This kettle can be controlled from an app. Want to have the water heated before you enter kitchen? Then this is the kettle for you. Schedule the water to boil for when you wake up so you can have your morning cuppa without the wait!
It’s not particularly cheap, but can be bought from places like Amazon.
Kohler Moxie Shower Head
The Bluetooth shower head that takes singing in the shower to the next level. Now you can stream music whilst you are washing. The speaker connects to the shower head via a magnet and is easy to take off and charge up.
More details can be found on the Kohler website.
Belkin WeMo switch
A smart plug that allows you to turn any device plugged into it on and off from your phone. It can even switch things on and off when your phone enters and leaves the house.
More details can be found on the Belkin website.
You may already be aware of Sonos, but we thought it was well worth mentioning. This popular app allows you to wirelessly stream music to anywhere in your house. Just purchase a pair of Sonos speakers and you can listen to your tunes in high quality wherever you like around the home.
More details can be found on the Sonos website.
Nest Smoke Detector
A fantastic smoke detector that lets you know if there is a problem at home. It detects carbon monoxide as well as smoke and notifications can be viewed and silenced via your smartphone.
More details can be found on the Nest website.
Use these apps to create your own ‘home of the future’! Are there any that you use not listed here? Add your suggestions and comments below.