When it comes to the smart home, there are many brands out there offering up all kinds of gadgets that can make your home smarter. iDevices is likely one that you haven't really heard of before, but it does have some rather interesting products. Like the iDevices Switch. This is an outlet that you plug in, and it makes your appliance - or another gadget - smart. It's great for plugging in that old lamp and then being able to control it from your phone or via your voice. We've spend about a month or so using the iDevices Switch and it's time to talk about our experience with it.
The iDevices Switch is really easy to setup. One of the things that really impressed me with iDevices was the fact that it authenticates you using your Google account. So that means that you don't need to worry about creating a new account for iDevices, and all of your home data is synced to your Google account. Which makes switching phones (or even just doing a factory reset) that much easier. The app will walk you through the entire process, which is pretty simple actually. You'll need to plug in the switch nearby, and then connect to it with your smartphone. From there you'll be able to change the name and other things, of the switch.
In the app, you'll see everything in your home right there on the home screen, as you'd expect. Now since I do only have one switch here, there's only one showing. And I have my Google Home plugged into it. From there you can toggle the switch on or off, or tap on it to get to more settings. Now there is a light on the switch, which you can adjust the color of, as well as the brightness. It works well as a nightlight. It will also show you the current draw from the appliance, also the average daily use of that appliance, and below that it'll show you how much you are paying in energy costs for that appliance, in a 30-day period. Likely not any information that you'd really use, but it's still cool to see that there.
Now with the app, you can set up schedules. This is a good feature to have, and really it's a common one that almost every smart plug has. This is great if you have a lamp plugged in, and want it to automatically turn on around 8PM when the sun goes down, so your place doesn't become totally dark. Or say you want it to turn off after you've gone to bed at 11PM. It's a good feature that you could really put to good use. You are able to edit the product, so say I unplugged my Google Home from it and plugged in a light, I could change the name and the product type, and change it to "Light". You could also take a photo of the outlet to add to its "profile". Now this seems a bit odd, but if you have multiple outlets in your home, this will allow you to tell which is which, much easier.
In 2017, the big feature is whether you can control things like this with your voice. And you sure can. The iDevices Switch (and its other products) are compatible with the three major personal assistants. That includes Amazon Alexa, the Google Assistant and Apple's Siri. So if you have a Google Home, you can tell it to turn off the switch (although in my case, it wouldn't turn back on, unless I used Google Assistant on my phone). It's pretty easy to setup, surprisingly, you do need to login to Amazon (as iDevices uses AWS for this), even for connecting to the Google Assistant. But once you do that, and link the accounts together, you're all set.
The iDevices Switch is a great product, there's no doubt about that. It's pretty compact in size, unlike some of the earlier smart plugs from Wemo and TP-Link which covered both outlets in a wall outlet. It's pretty reliable as well, and it's simple to use. The only downside is the price, unfortunately. iDevices sells this for $49.95. Which makes it one of the most expensive smart switches out there. Wemo's Smart Plug Mini is around $34.99, and usually under $30. And the same goes for TP-Link's Smart Plug. And it's pretty hard to justify the higher price tag here, unless you're already invested in the iDevices ecosystem. It does also offer a pack of three switches for $135. Making it easy to outfit your home with smart switches. It's worth the price, but there are other high-quality and lower-priced options available, so it's a tough call here.