Home Away From Home
Innovations in smartphone hardware compounded with the natural evolution of apps has led to incredibly sophisticated apps that harness new technologies and seem to find new ways to integrate into every facet of our lives.
One of the most interesting developments in the mobile app landscape is the emergence of lifestyle apps that allow users to control the stationary parts of their lives while on the go. Smartphones are fast becoming the remote controls of modern life, and here I’ve curated a few of the most interesting apps available for Android that give you the power to manage your life from afar.
ADT home security is a big deal to those serious about protecting their homes, and this app extends the reach of industry leading service. My first encounter with this app was not on some blog’s list, but in a real-life situation. I was eating lunch with a colleague when she got a text from her husband saying that he had just left home but forgotten to arm the security system. A few pokes on her Droid X, and the deed was done. ADT Pulse is pretty impressive in its breadth; users can arm systems, naturally, but they can also adjust thermostats and view security camera images.
This remote access app is less about controlling your home as it is about accessing everything on your home computer on an Android device. The term cloud computing gets thrown around a lot these days, but this app delivers an impressive package of functionality that gives users the ability to access applications stored on remote computers and use them on an Android device.
Additionally, you can control the computer remotely, which is helpful in those rare situations when you need to setup a recording time on your Windows Entertainment Center setup or start a recording of an internet radio show. The real draw here is being able to pull an image of your home computer to a tablet and use applications. Using Photoshop on the go has never been easier.
Google has a tendency to sit idly by while other developers lay out good ideas and then at the flick of a wrist, they pounce! Sometimes that strategy doesn’t work out so well for them (see: Google Buzz), but other times it does-–the Android platform itself is a great success. For this reason, Android@Home is a nebulous mystery. The tech was debuted last year at some tech conferences, but we haven’t seen much since last May. What we do know is that Google is trying to create a comprehensive, first-party home automation system.
There are obvious security risks inherent in forging access to your home computer or protection system into your phone, but as devices continue to evolve, security systems inevitably become more cryptic and safe.