home automation

Should I buy a dedicated tablet for home automation?

Late 2019 iPad

Episode 1668

Paul from San Diego, CA

Paul has a bunch of different smart locks where they all have their own locking app. Leo says that can be a hassle, but in the future, there will be centralized hubs that can handle that. Amazon Echo should be able to do it via voice. Could he have a dedicated tablet for all of them? Leo says sure. But that doesn't really solve the problem; it just shuffles over to a dedicated device. You can probably get a really cheap one to do it, as well. But don't fall for those $99 deals, they're likely woefully underpowered and rarely updated.

What's a good home hub alternative to IRIS?

IRIS

Episode 1568

Steve from Rancho CucaMonga, CA

Steve just found out his IRIS home hub service is being discontinued at the end of March. So what should he get to replace it? Leo says that the wide variety of competing standards has created a kind of house of cards where one platform goes out of business, leaving users to look elsewhere. If there was a standard protocol, that wouldn't happen. Leo says that Samsung SmartThings may work with his existing products because they use Zigbee and Z-Wave protocols. Google is a big player but can tire and kill off services. Leo recommends going with Samsung SmartThings.

Amazon Echo or Google Home?

Amazon Echo Show

Episode 1450

Nancy from Tarzana, CA

Nancy has an Android phone, her kids have iPhone. Which assistant should she get, Amazon Echo or Google Home? Leo says it doesn't really matter, but for Nancy, using the Google Home would be similar to Android's voice assistant. The Echo has been out for a few years now and it's a mature system, whereas Google Home just came out not long ago. Google Home is better for facts because of its search knowledge. Amazon Echo is better for home automation. It works well with a variety of Internet of Things devices. Google Home isn't quite there yet with Internet of Things.

Amazon Echo or Google Home?

Amazon Echo Show

Episode 1433

Nancy from Tarzana, CA

Nancy has an Android phone, her kids have iPhone. Which assistant should she get, Amazon Echo or Google Home? Leo says it doesn't really matter, but for Nancy, using the Google Home would be similar to Android's voice assistant. The Echo has been out for a few years now and it's a mature system, whereas Google Home just came out not long ago. Google Home is better for facts because of its search knowledge. Amazon Echo is better for home automation. It works well with a variety of Internet of Things devices. Google Home isn't quite there yet with Internet of Things.