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Smart Home Apps Volume One: Wink

In my opinion, Wink is one of the easiest smart home systems to get started with. The hardware selection is pretty large and setup and compatibility is easy right out of the box. A big reason for this is the Wink App. It is incredibly easy to use. Sure the color scheme could use an update but you can overlook that for an App that does just about everything for you.

When you first install the app you start by creating an account and adding your Wink hub. From there you a free to explore the remainder of the app and start adding devices.

Devices are grouped into categories such as Lights and Power, Thermostats, Sensors, Plumbing or any of the other categories that they have supported devices for. This makes finding the device you want to see that status of or control pretty simple.

Since a big part of home automation revolves around lighting and sensors let’s take some time to talk about these. Now one thing I do not like about the Wink app is that it groups Lights and Power together. I for one would like to have these separate but that could just be me. Inside of lights and power you have the ability to create schedules and groups which can be super convenient. You also have the House Sitter option which is a handy little-preset automation that helps to mimic your normal lighting behavior while you are away. You can also use robots to do a lot of automation based off of sensors.

The sensors section of the app is divided into subcategories for what they monitor. This gives you a good quick look at what is going on then you can click into any subcategory to drill down for more information. Creating robots based off of sensor subcategories or individual sensors is super easy with the way the app works.

Everything else about the app follows suit with these sections, the design and functionality is consistent through the app. The Wink app makes everything very cookie cutter and I think it does this to its own detriment. The app is incredibly simple to use… Even overly simple because of this I don’t think it has the power or appeal for more advanced users.

From within the Wink app, there is no way to do any serious automation. For this, you have to rely on third-party services like IFTTT and Stringify. Both are great an allow you to do so much but they are third-party and unfortunately you never really know when support will end of them.

I think anyone looking to make the jump into home automation should look long and hard at Wink and the Wink app. It is a great platform that makes it easy for you to get into the pool but keep in mind that you might need to use third-party services if you want to do anything more advanced.

Any Wink users please comment below with what you like or dislike about the Wink app.


Mike View All

I am passionate about the IoT and connected devices. Using connectivity to automate our lives will empower civilization to achieve greatness.

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