Smart Home App Development: Step-By-Step Guide

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12 Apr 2017
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12 min
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Sergey L.
Copywriter

East or west - home is best. I bet you are unlikely to disagree with me. So when we are at home, we want to feel safe and calm. Every day we go to work, then return to the comfort of our home in the evening. Nothing compares to this thought! But if we want to feel safe, we must equip our home with the appropriate security gear. It can be anything from security cameras to sensors, alarms and so on. Moreover, today all equipment can notify us about all changes occurring in our home via our smart gadgets even when we are a hundred miles away. 

In addition, modern digital solutions make it possible not only to keep track of the in-house safety but even to switch on a kettle, microwave oven or air conditioner. These capabilities can be determined by the term smart home. Such homes allow you always be aware of what is going on in your residence. The only thing you need, apart from the high-tech hardware, is the smart home app development - the creation of the mobile software which can be connected to all devices. And we can tell what you should do to develop a home automation application to rule your apartment. Please, join us to learn th secret!

What is a home automation application?

First, we should consider the definition of a home automation app or a smart home app. What is it? Even a few years ago people considered a smart home to be something interesting but almost a useless toy for the rich. But today the public's opinion towards smart technology for home is changing - these technologies are becoming more and more available.

Benefits

Apart from the protection of your dwelling, a smart home can also help you reduce electricity, water, and gas bills. In addition, these technologies contribute to the comfort and safety.

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Smart economy. We can estimate the economical benefits from the integration of intellectual technologies in a private house. The IoT smart home system allows you to save up to 30% on heating. How? Simply by heating only specific areas of your apartment only in specific time. When a family leaves the house, the meantime system switches to the minimal heating mode. Why should the house be heated if nobody is there?

Then, when the owners return, the temperature may increase. Time of arrival can be indicated in the relevant app too. But you can also send a signal to the system via app and the heating will be turned on.

In the summer you can save money on air conditioning using by using the same method. Actually, a smart home system allows your to save on electricity consumption by domestic electrical appliances as well, due to the automated lighting system.

Kitchen temperature

Temperature at home

Security technology. Smart homes have serious advantages over the conventional technical security systems. First, it is possible to apply rather complicated scenarios to some pretty menacing situations. Second, you can not only track your home remotely but also control all systems in case of an intrusion or any other harsh events.

For example, somebody climbs over your fence, and home automation security system detects it. In this case, you receive a signal. You can see that there is a thief that wants to steal something precious. Then you can activate a dogs barking that you have recorded on your computer or lighting system. Thus, the thief will be unlikely to keep on doing his dirty work.

Security in app

Smart home app security

Multi-Room feature. It is one of the advantages of a smart home that can substantially increase the level of comfort. Especially if you are a true music lover. Imagine that your house has a few rooms. If you start listening to music in one room, you can decide to continue listening to it in another room, when you go there. Usually, you buy many music devices and take a disc or flash drive with you. It isn't convenient, is it?

Multi-Room is a device for music playback, and all the speakers in the other rooms are connected to this device. You turn on your favorite disc or radio frequency, and music follows you around your home. Moreover, it is possible to listen to different music in various rooms. You can control everything with one smart home app for Android or iOS. Smartphones or tablets allows you to control the Multi-Room system. If necessary, you can check your e-mail via the Multi-Room system too.

Multi Room feature

Multi-Room feature

Internet of Things (IoT). We just cannot allow ourselves to ignore this important issue. Due to the Internet of Things, it became possible to create a smart home. What is this? IoT is making the whole environment smarter using a Web Network that covers various hardware. Any appliance that is capable of exchanging information can be a part of IoT.

IoT functions on the basis of two main technologies. It is the radio frequency identification (RFID) and wireless sensor networks (WSN).House automation and security system use these technologies to the fullest extent.

Types of home automation applications

A smart home app, or a home automation app, allows you to control all of your home with a remote home control, pushing a single button. The only thing you need is to have a smartphone or tablet for proper interaction with the smart home system.

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Single-purpose apps. According to its designation, such an app is developed for controlling only one type of technology. For example, it can control only kitchen appliances. If your home is not completely smart, like for example only the kitchen or the living room can boast about having smart devices, you'd better use a special app for one specific area.

Single purpose app

Single-purpose app for lighting

Multipurpose apps. If you are lucky to have a dwelling covered with innovative IT tools including home automation remote control, the multipurpose app is just what you need. It makes it possible to control heating, lighting, doors opening/closing, security features, appliances etc. Everything is possible because of a bunch of complicated sensors and devices installed in your home.

Multipurpose app

Multipurpose app all smart home technology

Smart hub. It is impossible to use the multipurpose app without this intelligent device, which is the main component of a smart home using IoT. It is a central unit that connects all appliances functioning on various standards of data transfer. In turn, it substantially simplifies the life of users in their complicated digital environment.

Smart hub connection

Connection to smart hub

There are numerous devices and gadgets on the market with a wide range of prices and brands. Smart home developers keep up with the pace. So anyone can find something interesting especially for him or her. But as for the software, what features should it have to manage all necessary processes in a house or an apartment? We will check it out.

How to make a smart home app - steps to undertake

So, you've decided to create your own smart home app. Congratulations! What should you do first? This task may seem like a real challenge, full of obstacles and troubles, but everything can be implemented if you really want to pursue your goal. We will try to analyze everything and provide you with a reasonable solution as to how to create a smart home app.

MVP feature list. To begin with, it is necessary to determine what features your smart home app should implement. There is an obligatory feature list that should be integrated into the new app. These features may be the following:

Remote control

Actually, using a Wi-Fi hotspot or router, the app allows the client to control the required hardware remotely. It is one of the main integral features. 

Remote control

Smart home equipment remote control

Wireless connection

Wireless transmission of commands, confirmations and any other data between your app for smart home and smart home devices.  

Push-notifications

The app should receive all signals about any deviations whether it be an intrusion, water leakage or fire. It is better to assign special notification sounds. Moreover, settings should be adjusted to loudly notify the user even when the phone is muted. 

Push notification

Push-notification on display

Access configuration

In most cases, a few family members can use the home automation system using Android or iOS app. But it would be better if only one person changes the main settings, so the app should have an admin and user rights. 

Availability

The application must be available for all popular mobile operating systems as well as have the web app version to control everything with the help of your PC. 

Determination of your goals. What are you aiming for? The development process will depend on what app you need and what you can control with it. If we consider one or two smart home devices we need to make an app for, the development time and cost of the final product should not be not very high.

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But if you need a multipurpose app that will be your first assistant in a home control, then the price will be substantially higher, and it will take a quite some time to create it.

The idea itself to determine how to build a smart home app is rather sophisticated. If you want to make a commercial app to gain money, you should consider it to be simple. The smart home app is created to simplify and improve the life of users, but nobody wants to rack his or her brain using your complicated app. Therefore, it must be user-friendly.

Development and technologies to be used. In case you are not a software developer, and you dont know at all how to create an app, it is better to find a good app development company. Especially if you want to get a high-quality product. Anyway, you should be aware of what you need and what the development process will be.

Platform

It is the first issue that must be taken into account when you start immersing in the development. As we noted above, the app should be available for both iOS and Android in case you want to add it and gain some profit. But if you are intending to make it only for you and your family, there is no need to go through the hassle and choose only one operating system. Moreover, a number of platforms will directly influence on the development cost.

Technologies

Proceeding from the fact that software cannot function without a proper hardware, first, you should ponder what is smart home technology. Then you need to purchase smart devices for your home. It may include cameras, smoke and fire sensors, kitchen appliances etc. But it is unlikely that all this equipment is manufactured by one company. So in order not to use many applications for these devices, it is better to order one multipurpose app. Or if you are cognizant about how to build a smart home system, there won't be any problems.

Hub

A central unit for your smart home that creates mesh networking and unites all devices into one system. Usually, smart home system providers manufacture such hubs together with smart devices. Today, as a rule, smart hubs use the two most popular communication protocols - Z-Wave and ZigBee. These protocols were created specifically for home automation. But today there are hubs with open platforms that allow geeks to create their own software to connect to all their smart equipment. It connects to the Internet via Ethernet port or Wi-Fi.

Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE)

BLE technology is the most popular technology for the wireless connection between devices if you are making your own smart home app. It is a low-powered technology so it consumes little energy.

Development of the client-server app

The main process where the development company is engaged in is back-end building. According to its name, the client is the app on your mobile device, and a server is a program that receives queries and implements them. Developers integrate all required features. Smart home app development is performed in Android Studio or Xcode depending on what OS the app is developed for.  

UI/UX design. Of course, despite the fact that back-end is the most important component in any software, primarily we see the interface of the app, i.e. front-end. Good and attractive design, as well as elaborated user experience, mean a lot. UI/UX designers are those who usually make their contribution to the full-fledged app development.

How to create a smart home app?

How to create a smart home app?

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This list of technologies can be changed or modified depending on what you need and how complicated your app can be. Also, you can never forget about serious obstacles that you may come across - proprietary hardware that has closed-source software and it makes it impossible for anybody to find out how to create a smart home app for this specific hardware. So when you are planning to develop a smart home app, you should consider it. Software and hardware are a single whole here.

Conclusion

Having read our article, now you can decide eventually whether you want to have your own smart home app or not. The process of the development will be labour-intensive and costly, but you should do it if it is worth the candle. Having such an app, your home will become the center of a futuristic environment where you can feel like a magician.

We are always ready to help you and answer all your questions, so just get in touch with us! Our knowledge makes it possible to find the best solution for you.

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