June 9, 2015 at 4:03 am

Three Must Have Mobile Apps for the Home

Three Must Have Mobile Apps for the Home

I’m on a quest to use my phone for everything because I hate having stuff in my pockets. House keys, car keys and a garage door remote control are no exception. The reason… I don’t like to carry more than one thing on me at a time.

Now before you say anything I know it sounds silly that I don’t like to carry keys or use my garage door opener. But what it’s really all about is I like gadgets and mobile apps, much to my fiancèe’s chagrin!

Here are three must have mobile apps for the home for anyone who wants to empty their pockets!

Keyless Home Entry

Kevo by Kwikset is the mobile app that allowed me to ditch my house key. Kevo is a bluetooth smart lock for your door. With your phone in hand, simply touch the deadbolt to lock and unlock the door. Your phone establishes a bluetooth connection, which authorizes the Kevo to lock and unlock.

I only needed a screwdriver to install the Kevo. It only took a few minutes and I was ready to pair it with my iPhone. It took a little longer to pair and adjust the Kevo to get it working, but overall it was easy.

One really cool feature of the Kevo is the ability to send an electronic key to anyone you want to have access to your house. However, they will need to create an account within the Kevo system in order to retrieve their electronic key.

The Kevo system logs who unlocked and locked the door for tracking and security.

No mobile app is perfect and the Kevo is no exception. Sometimes it would lock the door behind me when I’d go outside to take the trash. If I didn’t have my phone with me, I was stuck ringing the doorbell to get back inside, assuming of course, that someone was home to let me in. I could have used the Kevo FOB that came with it but who wants to have that in their pocket all the time.

Read my full review of Kevo here.

Mobile Garage Door Remote

GoGoGate is the mobile app that allowed me to ditch my garage door opener. This little device is great and very easy to install. I did my homework on mobile app garage door openers and GoGoGate received very good reviews.

NOTE: Always read the reviews on anything before you buy it. It can save you time, money and a few grey hairs!

I was very excited when my GoGoGate arrived in the mail. I felt like a kid at Christmas. I did say that I like apps and gadgets, right?

The installation of the GoGoGate was pretty simple. Connect the power cable to the bottom and connect two wires to the opener button on the wall.

The app pairing was a little more tricky. You connect the receiver to your wifi through your smartphone’s information. Pairing is done through sensors on the front of the GoGoGate face plate and the front of your smartphone. It took me a few times to get the settings downloaded to the GoGoGate but once I had it completed I no longer had issues.

Once you have the system setup you can open the garage door from anywhere. There are two ways to connect to your GoGoGate receiver. Over your home wifi or using cellular.

If you can extend your wifi signal out to the front of your house securely, you can open it once you are within range. If you don’t want to wait, you can connect to the app using your cellular connection.

Personally, I think the app is a bit clunky in cellular mode. It shrinks the size of the app and you can either resize with your fingers or use as is. I wasn’t a fan of that, but overall I was happy with the access.

The GoGoGate also allows you to grant access to others as well. This makes it easier for house guests and family members to gain access to your garage and house.

There is one drawback though, if the receiver doesn’t have access to your home’s wifi you won’t be able to open the garage from either wifi or cellular. The GoGoGate is dependent on a stable wifi connection at all times. I did not always have a stable connection and found myself parking in the driveway on occasion.

Keyless Car Entry

I don’t technically own the last mobile app I’m going to talk about next. However, for the purpose of this article, I’m going to discuss the options available for a remote car start mobile app.

I’ve been researching a remote car start mobile app for ages and I have a several friends and colleagues that also use remote car starters. When doing a search for “remote car start app,” Viper’s SmartStart is the first search result. Viper is widely known for its car alarms and from the research I’ve done, it gets pretty good reviews for both their products and support.

The Viper SmartStart product starts at $299.99 for the VSS3001 model and $499.99 for the VSS5000 model. Again in order to use the system a service plan is needed and Viper’s plans range from $69.49/ and up to $199.99/ yr.

Another option, which I believe is relatively new, is the DroneMobile. The starting costs for DroneMobile is $299.99 and goes as high as $549.99. You also will need to have a service plan which ranges from $49.99/ yr for their basic plan and $119.99 for their premium plan.

I’ve not used either of these two options so I can’t tell you which I prefer. However, both options are expensive and have received good reviews.

Although I’ve provided you with two options for a remote starter system and their costs to purchase and maintain, I didn’t include the installation costs. Also, make sure you verify that your car is compatible with either system prior to purchasing them.

Those are my three, ok well two and a wish list item, mobile apps/gadgets I use the most at home. Tell me about your favorite home mobile apps/ gadgets. I would love to hear what you like best and maybe I will add them to my list.

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