Tuya Smart vs Smart Life: what's the difference between these apps?

Apilio is directly integrated with Tuya but we often get the question if we are also integrated with Smart Life, or if Smart Life and Tuya are the same company/app…

:female_detective: In short: Tuya Smart and Smart Life are versions of the same app, both of them official apps by Tuya. Smart Life is focused on consumer products and Tuya is the big corporation that powers the IoT platform.

If you’d like to know a bit more, keep reading :open_book:

Tuya or Smart Life?

Tuya, or Tuya Smart, is a global IoT platform that allows brands and manufacturers to integrate quickly into a huge ecosystem of brands and smart devices.

We decided to integrate with Tuya last year because most of you were using Tuya-compatible devices with Apilio as they are available all over the World and there’s a immense catalogue of these easy-to-use devices.

We wanted to ensure a real-time response for these devices so any automations would be faster and more reliable.

One of the platform products they have to help brands launch their smart hardware products quicker is a white-labelled mobile app. Brands can customise their app with their brand colours and the list of their devices. This is why you have probably seen many different smart home apps that look almost identical: they are all Tuya-powered apps.

Some brands don’t develop their own mobile app and simply instruct users to download the Smart Life or Tuya apps.

The Smart Life brand is just a customised version of the Tuya white-labelled app. They are both official Tuya apps, but the Smart Life version uses Smart Life logos instead of Tuya ones. Moreover, Smart Life is a service available on IFTTT.

You won’t find Tuya on IFTTT, but you’ve probably seen other Tuya-powered brands that are also integrated with IFTTT.

Tuya Smart vs Smart Life: do they have the same features?

In terms of feature parity, usually we’ve seen the same features if both apps were up to date. Tuya explains in their help centre in this article that both apps share the same manual.

But when brands are configuring their devices and app, they have a lot of control when it comes to choosing features and device configuration on the Tuya platform. This means that it is likely that you’ll find some differences between custom apps.

When it comes to Smart Life and Tuya, the main difference you’ll notice is that Smart Life is integrated with IFTTT.

Can I move my devices and setup from Smart Life to Tuya app, or viceversa?

Yes you can, but the login details are not shared, so you’ll need to create a new account.

This is part of the white-labelled platform app: each brand gets their own database of users, and the databases are not shared across brands.

Are all Tuya-powered devices compatible with any app?

No, from our experience this has not been the case. Brands can control the catalogue of compatible devices so you should do some testing. All brands share the same backend but they have control over the app and device configuration.

If all your devices belong to the same Tuya-powered brand, and if that brand has their own app, you can probably just use that one. As always, do your own testing :slight_smile: But if you are mixing several Tuya-powered brands, it might be more flexible for you to use Smart Life or Tuya main apps.

Why does Apilio use both Tuya & Smart Life to refer to this integration?

Because any Tuya-compatible devices are compatible with Apilio, we couldn’t include all the different brand names out there (there are too many, and the list is expanding rapidly), so that’s why we went with Tuya and Smart Life, as this is the brand they have integrated with IFTTT.

It’s worth mentioning that we cannot control the data that the device or sensor sends to Apilio, as this depends entirely on how the brand has configured the device. In some cases, they didn’t include control commands so we can see the device, but we can’t do anything with it.

Tuya devices that work nicely with Apilio

We have a growing, curated list of devices that work well with Apilio and have been tested by some of you here or us (feel free do add more to the list through the form!):

A special mention to Zigbee devices

Zigbee devices of any brand (even non-Tuya ones) can be used with Apilio natively thanks to this Tuya integration - as long as they follow the Zigbee standards and you can pair them with a Tuya hub :point_down:


Thanks @Anna super-helpful clarification. :bowing_man: