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Home control from your wrist: 10 great smart-home apps for the Apple Watch

Whether you want to crank up the heat or check in on your kids, these apps put the controls at your fingertips.

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The Apple Watch puts your smart-home devices within reach

Plenty has been said about how the Apple Watch changes the way we do everything from working out to making purchases. What’s been glossed over is that it’s also ideal for interacting with our homes. Simple interfaces like tapping, pressing, swiping, and glancing make for a fluid way to access and control smart-home products. And it’s always on your wrist, so you don’t have to dig for it in your pockets or between the couch cushions when you need to dim the lights or take a peek at the security cameras.

Apps abound for connecting with and controlling the most popular smart-home appliances. Here are 10 of the best. Not sure the Apple Watch is for you? Read our in-depth review.

applewatch huemote
Humote for Philips Hue lighting

A must for Philips Hue users, this third-party app gives you complete remote control of the energy-efficient lighting system. Huemote goes beyond the basic functions of Philips’ official Hue app, enabling you to control up to 16 lights simultaneously, save your favorite light settings as “scenes,” and sync your settings across devices via iCloud. (Free)

applewatch wetap
  • Belkin F7C033FC Link Networked Dimmable LED Bulb

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WeTap for Belkin WeMo devices

Belkin’s WeMo technology powers a range of smart-home products, from cameras to coffee makers. (Read our review of the WeMo-enabled Mr Coffee here.) The company’s official app doesn’t yet support all its devices, but it does allow you to easily manage your WeMo lights and switches. The only requirements are that you have at least one switch installed and all devices are on the same WiFi network. ($2)

applewatch lyric
  • Honeywell Lyric Wi-Fi Thermostat - 2nd Generation...

    $198.49 MSRP $249.99
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Honeywell Lyric

What could be better than having your thermostat controls close at hand—or wrist—during the dog days of summer? This app allows you two adjust the Honeywell Lyric’s temperature settings and fan and system modes remotely. It also uses geofencing to recognize when you’re away from home and automatically change thermostat settings to save energy until you return. (Free)

applewatch drip
Drip for Dropcam

The Nest Cam —formerly Dropcam—is the granddaddy of home security cameras. Owners of either model would do well do download this app. While it doesn’t show live camera feeds, it does display a live image from the selected camera every three seconds, so you can keep an eye on the homestead. It supports multiple cameras, and you can turn each of them on and off from the app. Future versions will allow you to enable/disable night vision and view motion events. ($3)

applewatch withings
  • Withings Home Wi-Fi security camera

    $179.99 MSRP $199.95
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Withings Home

This app connects to the Withings Home, a DIY security camera with night vision, two-way audio, and a 135-degree viewing angle. It streams the camera’s live feed and sends motion- and sound-detection alerts right to your wrist. You can even access the camera’s “Homelapse” feature, which condenses the day’s events into a few seconds of video for digest-sized viewing. (Free)

applewatch ecobee
  • Ecobee 3

    MSRP $249.00
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    on Amazon
Ecobee3 Wi-Fi thermostat app

Ecobee introduced the first Wi-Fi-connected smart thermostat in 2009. Its flagship product, the ecobee3, uses multiple remote sensors to help deliver the right temperature based on where you are in your home. This app allows you to remotely manage temperature and humidity settings; change fan modes; and view system status, sensor data, and local forecasts so you can create the optimum environment. (Free)

applewatch insteon
Insteon for Hub

Users of the Insteon DIY smart home system should download this app. Once you pair your Apple Watch with your Insteon Hub, you can remotely control your thermostats, lights, ceiling fans, and other appliances; view camera feeds; receive alerts from motion and water leak sensors; and more. You can also create “scenes” to activate multiple appliances at once. (Free)

applewatch smartthings
SmartThings Mobile

Samsung’s SmartThings Hub allows you to wirelessly integrate hundreds of compatible smart devices. You can read of in-depth review of the SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit here. This app doesn’t support all of them, but it lets you control lights, thermostats, and security devices via pre-configured settings for mornings, nights, and when you’re away. (Free)

applewatch simplecontrol
Simple Control

Run your home entertainment system from your wrist, and you’ll never have to worry about misplacing your remotes. That’s the idea behind this app, a universal control for TVs, Blu-ray players, cable and streaming boxes, receivers, lighting, cameras, and thermostats. It’s compatible with many of the biggest brands in home automation and home theater, including Dish Network, Sonos, TiVo, Nest, Roku, Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, JVC, and more. Depending on your subscription plan, you can control up to three, 20, or 100 devices. ($10 for the app, plus subscription fee.)

applewatch alarmcom
Alarm.com

Alarm.com is a SHaaS (smart home as a service) provider with more than $2 million subscribers. If you’re one of them, this app allows you to remotely arm or disarm your security panel, control lights, lock and unlock doors, watch live and recorded videos from your security cameras, and receive Glances on your home status. You can also get alerts about specific events, such as when your kids arrive home from school or your garage door is left open. Feature availability depends on you service plan and compatible equipment. (Free)