Lack of interoperability is extremely frustrating. I use, for various purposes, Apilio, Alexa, IFTTT, Smart Life, SmartThings, Nest. Each has limitations in what it can do, so for example:
- Apilio works directly with IFTTT and Smart Life, but not the others
- Alexa works with most things
- IFTTT doesn’t work with Nest
Sometimes it is possible to get around this by using more than system, for example it is possible to configure the Nest from Apilio or IFTTT by first passing a command to Alexa. And I currently set light colours from Apilio by passing information to IFTTT, which processes this and passes a command to Alexa, which then sets the colour. But this sort of “Heath Robinson” setup is neither desirable nor easy to maintain.
Then there are things that don’t fully work, even though there is some support. For example, I have Tuya colour-changing light bulbs for which I can set the colour in Alexa, but not in Smart Life, IFTTT or Apilio. And I have smart thermostats that I can control the temperature of to 0.5 degree precision in Alexa, but only 2.5 degree precision in Apilio. But in Alexa these thermostats, which can be set manually in the range 5 to 35C, for some reason have an upper temperature limit of 32C.
On top of that there are devices I’ve bought that I’ve never managed to get to work. I have Zigbee switches that just refuse to talk to my Zigbee gateway—whether this is the fault of the switch or the gateway device I have no idea.
Tuya smart devices are particularly stupid when it comes to network connections—I had some devices in an area of weak Wi-Fi signal and so to get around this I installed a new repeater (in a mesh network, so no issue about different SSID). The new repeater is a couple of feet away from the devices, so the signal strength from that is huge. Do the devices use the new far stronger Wi-Fi signal? Even when you power down and restart them? Not a chance… they continue to connect to the original more distant Wi-Fi and continue to complain that their Wi-Fi signal is weak. I’ve eventually fixed this by completely resetting the devices, but this should not need to be done whenever you move a device.
As an aside, tomorrow I finally get gigabit broadband installed, which will mean getting a new router. This will result in a nightmare of reconfiguration, as each device will need to be re-connected to the new network and there is no way of doing this apart from device-by-device. Wish me luck!