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Smart Home Apps Volume 5: Stringify

Stringify_Comcast

I have a love hate relationship with Stingify. Don’t, get me wrong Stingify has done nothing wrong by me and it is an excellent service that allows you to tie together everything in your smart home and easily some real automation. Stingify did however cause me to switch from Wink to SmartThings amid fears that the Comcast acquisition of Stringify would cripple the service and thus creating a lot of work for me to not only move my 150 plus devices over but also to recreate all of my automation in other services. Now that we are done with that, I am perfectly happy but no longer an avid Stringify user even though Comcast has yet to break Stringify. Well that is enough of my back-story with Stingify so let’s get into the important stuff, how does Stringify work, what can be done with it and how difficult is it to use?

Stingify is a cloud based service for connecting IoT devices and services. Think of it like IFTTT on steroids because you can have multiple ifs and that’s as well as conditions that need to be met in order to go from if, to that. Stingify has a wonderful front-end powered by an app that is available, free of charge for Android and iOS. Inside the Stringify App you can link all of your “Things” and start putting them into “Flows” and automating your life and your home. The user interface for creating “Flows” in my opinion is one of the ways in which Stringify really shines as it is super intuitive and easy to use with only a few pointers needed to get you going. Inside the Stringify App all of your “Things” get a little icon and you drag those icons onto a grid going left to right based on the order in which you want things to happen. I have heard some people complain that Stingify is difficult to use but I just do not understand it as I find it so intuitive and easy to use and think you will as well.screenshot_20180818-100829242995124924941871.jpg

Stingify has integrations with so many devices and services it is almost impossible to talk about them all. The highlights really are, Amazon Alexa, August Smart Locks, Automatic, eBay, Ecobee, Facebook, Gmail, Google Assistant, Honeywell, Phillips Hue, Lifx, Logitech, Lutron, Nest, Netatmo, Netgear, Rachio, Ring, SmartThings, TP-Link, Twitter, Wink, Xfinity, and Yale. In addition to these you can also tie in things like the weather, variables, buttons and even IFTTT. Now I know what you are thinking, why is IFTTT a “Thing” in Stingify? Well that connection is huge even if a device or service can not be directly integrated with Stringify, you can use IFTTT to get it into the ecosystem.

When I started my modern smart home journey, I was locked into the Wink ecosystem. While Wink is a great ecosystem and the one I recommend to most people just getting into home automation because it is easy to use, it does lack some of the horse power needed to do real automation. It is with the need for powerful automation that Stringify comes in and really saves the day for Wink and others as well. Stringify becomes the rules’ engine backbone of your automation system and also is the glue that ties together devices that were once incompatible allowing you to do automation that you could not do when locked into a specific ecosystem. You can now pick the devices that will work best for you without the need to worry about if that device will work with your hub.

As I mentioned designing flows in Stringify could not be easier simply lay out all the screenshot_20180818-100945_facebook8348114381049170942.jpg“Things” you want to incorporate in your “Flow” and link them together with the simple swipe of the finger. You can incorporate physical “Things” like light switches but also immaterial “Things” like variables. I will warn you however once you start going down the variable rabbit hole you are going to be in for a long ride but at the end you will be opened up to an amazing new world where just about any automation you can think of is possible.

Services like Stringify lessen our dependencies on hubs and specific smart home ecosystems. With the fragmentation in IoT these services are indispensable and when you truly learn how to use them and the power that you can wield with them you will never look back. If you have a need to join services that were once incompatible or do automation that are a little out of the reach of your current ecosystem you should really look at Stringify as it is a powerhouse in this aspect and has only been displaced for me with WebCoRE.

Are any of you using Stringify? Let me know your thoughts and share some “Flow” ideas in the comments below.

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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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