Belkin’s WeMo connected home products are no longer iOS only. On Monday, the company released an Android app for its WeMo suite of devices that can control lights and appliances through a home Wi-Fi network. The free software is for Android 4.0 or better smartphones and tablets.
Belkin initially made a smart decision when designing the WeMo modules by choosing Wi-Fi as the supported network method. Having put together my own home automation system, I know that the various network options — Insteon, ZigBee, Z-Wave and X10 to name a few — can make for a challenging project. Some devices work with one protocol while others don’t.
Wi-Fi is more far universal and is something that most consumers already have experience with. It’s very likely they also have a home Wi-Fi network so the WeMo products work with existing infrastructure.
But I never understood why Belkin originally limited the product’s software to Apple’s iOS platform. Yes, iOS is certainly popular and has widespread usage. To ignore a large part of the smartphone carrying market, however, never made sense to me. Belkin actually announced an Android version of the WeMo software in January and released a beta version specifically for Samsung Galaxy S 3 devices earlier this year.
With the new mobile app, expected to hit the Google Play store at 1pm PT today, Android owners can remotely control their WeMo switches remotely over mobile broadband, create WeMo device rules and even build automation actions though IFTTT (If This Then That) integration.