Samsung Connect app takes aim at Apple's HomeKit

Although everyone's been talking about the connected home for some time now, it's never really delivered on its lofty promises to simplify out lives. 

Part of the issue is that, although we have plenty of devices that are able to connect to isolated app, it's proven harder to get them to talk to each other. 

Samsung's new Samsung Connect app, announced as part of its Samsung Galaxy S8 livestream, is an attempt to change all this. 

One app to rule them all

Much like Apple's Home app, Samsung Connect will allow you to control your various connected home devices from a single app. 

This means that you'll be able to control everything from your lights to your thermostat, and have these devices talk to each other. 

The interactivity is enabled with Samsung's SmartThings ecosystem, which unifies connected appliances into a single ecosystem much like Apple's HomeKit has attempted to do. 

Samsung Connect will also tie into Samsung's new Bixby voice assistant, so you'll be able to raise the temperature of your home by simply speaking to your phone. 

It's great to see these various products being united into a single ecosystem, but we're wary of home devices being tied to specific phones. If you invest heavily in SmartThings, it then makes it more difficult to switch to an iPhone in the future if you want your devices to continue to be able to speak to each other. 

In the long term we might begin to see devices working across these different ecosystems, but in the short term it's looking like the connected home is still something of a walled garden.  

Jon Porter

Jon Porter is the ex-Home Technology Writer for TechRadar. He has also previously written for Practical Photoshop, Trusted Reviews, Inside Higher Ed, Al Bawaba, Gizmodo UK, Genetic Literacy Project, Via Satellite, Real Homes and Plant Services Magazine, and you can now find him writing for The Verge.