Control4 and Android Home Automation

August 29, 2013

My wife thinks Android home automation is a non-issue, but I beg to differ. There’s a reason that the “other brand” of home control for mobile devices isn’t really on her radar screen. She has Apple iPhone and iPad devices, and uses both to control everything in our home, from the temperature to the ceiling fans to the volume on the television. She’s extremely happy with the iOS version of Control4’s MyHome app, and she’s definitely not alone.
I’ve been using Apple devices since we got our first Mac in 1985. I have an iPad that I use all the time, and it’s also the “alarm clock” that gets me up every morning. But the device that goes with me everywhere—that’s part of my don’t-go-anywhere-without-it outfit—is my Android smartphone. So of course, when it comes to our smart home, the topic of Android home automation is pretty important to me.
And apparently I’m not the only one who feels this way about my phone. According to the recent IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker report released, Android smartphones now make up 79.3% of worldwide smartphone market share. That means that the Linux-based, Google-developed operating system is powering eight out of 10 smartphones in the world. That’s a pretty amazing statistic. According to the report, 62.5% of new Android smartphones came from five manufacturers: Samsung, LG, Huawei, Lenovo and ZTE. And there are lots of other technology companies that make up the remaining 37.5%.
The cool thing is, the Control4 MyHome app I use on my Samsung phone is pretty much identical to the MyHome app that my wife uses on her iPhone. The look is the same, the controls are the same. She could be using my phone to turn on lights or change audio settings or whatever, and she wouldn’t even know she’s using Android home automation to do so. Or maybe she would—my screen is much bigger than hers. But that has nothing to do with the app.
Interestingly, the importance of the Android OS isn’t just being felt in the smartphone segment. According to the same IDC study, consumer tablet sales are up 59.6% year over year, and the Android operating system now commands a 62.6% share of all tablet devices. This means that Android home automation will continue to be an important focus of all home control manufacturers and software developers, including Control4. When a platform grows so quickly, everybody has to pay attention.
The best thing is, there’s no reason for a “platform war” on par with the Windows-Mac arguments that seem to crop up from time to time. My kids all use their iPods to control the stuff in their rooms and in our house. But they also use their Android-powered Kindles. The MyHome app works great on both Apple iOS and Android devices, so whether your focus is on Apple-based control or Android home automation, your needs are being met with Control4 technology.