As you begin to delve into the smart home, one thing quickly becomes clear: a mountain of different apps are needed to control everything.
Not only do you have all sorts of different hubs and hardware fitted into your walls, ceilings and sitting on shelves, but the companion apps are populating folders and screens on your smartphone and constantly in need of attention.
Read this: Get started with the smart home
With all-in-one smart home automation apps like Yeti, that's changing. No longer do you have to be restricted by the limitations of the big ecosystems β Alexa or Google Assistant β or parcel out your routines through a range of different apps. No, this can become your new hub of smart home control.
But putting all your eggs in one basket is a big commitment, which is why we've outlined all the details regarding Yeti before you jump in. Read on below as we guide you on exactly what the app does, which devices are aligned with the platform and how it all works.
Getting started β what is Yeti?
As the overworked Yeti promotional video above demonstrates, there are plenty of things in the home that have the potential to be controlled to make your life easier. It may be a partner leaving the TV on, it might be your flatmate always forgetting to lock the front door, or it might be that moment of indecision when trying to figure out if you left an appliance plugged in.
Whatever it is you want to control, Yeti aims to sit on your phone and let you take care of it all in one place β that's the sell here.
The first step when using Yeti is for it to learn which devices are actually ready to be controlled within your home. Download the app for iOS and Android, create an account and then begin by telling Yeti which brands you own. Once it has scanned your home network, the app will automatically find them and ask you if you want to connect everything up.
Once you've had a few devices discovered, your appliances will appear in the Yeti home screen, where you can then control them all. So, for example, if you had four Philips Hue bulbs in your kitchen, Yeti will show them individually in the hub and then have a 'room' with all your bulbs in.
What do you actually get to control? Well, that depends on what devices you have synced up. This could range from full control or just a simple on/off. You can also set routines through Yeti, which we'll get into below.
Now, keep in mind that Yeti is free to initially set up and manually control, but to get the most out of the platform, you're going to need Yeti Premium. The $3.99 monthly asking price isn't exactly cheap, considering this is just simple control, but it does give you access to the main features: control through Alexa, the ability to manage multiple homes, the routines we just mentioned and charms, which let you set the status of multiple devices with just one tap.
Which devices can connect to Yeti?
So, this is naturally an important consideration if you're looking to dive into Yeti β there's no use making it the next commander of your smart home if it can only control a handful of your devices.
And while we're not going to list the individual devices here β Yeti does that for you already β we will run through some of the brands that are on board with the service. Smart bulbs are perhaps the most popular and well-catered category, with Philips Hue, Lifx, TP-Link, Yeelight and Osram all involved.
For smart plugs, you have TP-Link, Broadlink, Xiaomi and Wemo, while supported thermostats/sensors come from Nest, Honeywell, Netatmo, Xiaomi and Ecobee. If you want to link cameras, they'll also have to be from Nest, and handily there's also support for Sonos if you want audio control.
As we mentioned above, for those with Yeti Premium, this can also be all controlled through the power of Alexa.
Set up routines and charms on Yeti
While it's nice to have all your devices available to control in one screen, this is something both Google and Amazon have recently improved through their own redesigned apps. That's why you need routines and charms to help make Yeti as useful as possible.
As you can probably guess, Yeti's routines allow you to set different schedules, for instance, instead of manually doing so.
Say, for example, you wanted to make sure the door was locked through the Nuki Smart Lock and all your Lifx bulbs were switched off before you went to bed. You could simply have a routine set up on Yeti that kicked in at a certain time of your choosing.
There are also charms, which allow you to adjust your home devices more quickly, depending on your mood. For example, if it's a cold night and you want to turn up the heating, control your music and turn on the TV through a smart plug, you can have a charm set up to kick this into life with just one hit of the widget.