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Smart Home

The Apple Watch gains smart-home savvy with SmartThings

The SmartThings iOS app now includes Apple Watch Compatibility. Your connected home can now be controlled from your wrist.


SmartThings updated its iOS app today, adding an exciting new feature to its repertoire -- Apple Watch compatibility. Now, you'll be able to control all of SmartThings sensors and switches from your wrist.

It's an interesting move for SmartThings. SmartThings was recently acquired by Samsung, a chief rival of Apple in the smart phone industry, and a linked iPhone is necessary to use an Apple Watch. SmartThings does have a wearable app with the Samsung Gear S , and clearly want to keep up-to-date with both Android and Apple.

Colin West McDonald/CNET

SmartThings arrival on the Apple Watch opens up lots of connected home possibilities for Apple's wearable. SmartThings itself offers a wide array of motion sensors, connected plugs, and even leak detectors. Via IFTTT, SmartThings devices can connect to any number of other platforms.

To interact with the watch, you'll need to use the SmartThings iOS app, specifically its Hello Home actions. Hello Home is a first party rules system that lets you trigger multiple devices with a single command. For instance, you can tell your lights and coffee maker to turn on in the morning from the single command, "Good Morning."

You won't have full functionality on your wrist for now, so you'll need to get your actions properly arranged into Hello Home buckets to take advantage of SmartThings via the Apple Watch, and it doesn't look like you can give commands to Siri just yet. She'll respond to you after you activate a trigger, but the audio seems to be one way for now.

That said, all notifications you have set up for SmartThings can be forwarded to your wrist. It's simple functionality, but if you have a SmartThings system, it'll be nice to not have to pull out your phone to activate your most common commands. Siri might take care of unifying Apple's smart home with the upcoming iOS-based HomeKit soon. In the meantime, SmartThings gives you plenty of options for wrist-based home control.