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Smart buttons are hard explain, partly because they look so different depending on who's using them. You can control the music on your phone, toggle the smart lights in your house, order a pizza, and more -- all with the press of a button. At it's best, using smart buttons can feel magical.
But when it comes to reviewing any particular smart button, the process is strictly scientific: How flexible is it? How many functions can it perform? How many platforms does it work with? These are the simple building blocks that construct the user experience.
Cliki, a new smart button by Florida-based Cane Wireless, is Android-exclusive and can perform thirteen distinct functions. It sends commands to your phone -- to take a picture or toggle tethering -- and it does so reliably. The problem is, for a $39 product, Cliki should do so much more.
Cliki does a few things well. First off, you can attach Cliki to your keychain and use it as a fob. To me, that feels much more useful than the adhesive strips that other smart buttons have used. The Cliki app is also efficient. Rather than programming the button one command at a time, the commands are grouped into sets. That way, when you select the music icon, your button will automatically be able to play/pause your music with one press, and skip to the next song with a double press. Grouping commands in this way makes transitioning between button uses really easy.
The problem is, these pros are minor when compared to the shortcomings. To get at the heart of Cliki's problems, let's compare it with another smart button that costs a little less -- the Shortcut Labs Flic.
|Price||Distinct commands||Supported devices||Integration platforms|
|Flic||$34||over 50||Android and iOS||IFTTT, Zapier|
On every level, Flic outperforms Cliki. An especially important note is Cliki's lack of IFTTT integration. What IFTTT allows is vastly increased flexibility, and further device reach. Rather than simply controlling your phone's functions, IFTTT allows you to connect a smart button to home devices like smart LEDs or a smart garage door opener. It also lets you integrate uncooperative apps, adding a whole new web of potential connections. And Cliki can't access any of it.
At this point, you might be wondering if there's any reason to buy Cliki. And the answer for now is no. But Cliki is adding IFTTT integration, iOS compatibility, and more features later this year. These additions, in combination with its quality app, will make Cliki much more competitive with buttons like Flic.
While it's hard to recommend Cliki to anyone right now, it's a device to watch. In under a year, it could be competing with the best smart buttons on the market.