Considering Ikea still loves the pencil-and-paper shopping list, I was a little nervous about trying its smartphone app.
But luckily the Tradfri experience on iOS and Android is classic Ikea – so clean and simple, it’s easy to forget the extra flourishes you’re missing (and compared to Hue, there are many).
Unlike the physical controller, the app lets you choose ‘moods’ (Ikea’s equivalent of Philips’ ‘scenes’), create moods and tinker with the brightness of individual bulbs.
Even better, it now has some handy timer functions. These include ‘rise and shine’ for being gently awoken by a gradually brightening light, a burglar-deterring ‘away from home’ mode for getting certain lights to switch on and off at different times, and a simple timer function.
Compared to the likes of Hue, there are limitations though. The ‘away from home’ function is simply a timer – you can’t actually control your lights from outside your house if, say, you forgot to turn one off. And there’s no geolocation for triggering lights as you come home, or smartwatch support.
Because the Tradfri system isn’t yet compatible with the likes of Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, Amazon Echo or Google Home, there’s no voice control yet either.
Ikea did tell us that “being compatible with other products on the market is something that we are working towards”, so some compatibility is likely to be in the pipeline. But when you’re building a new lighting system for your house, it’s always nice to know for sure that you’re not permanently blocking future gadget extensions.
Another slight niggle is that there’s a slight delay every time you open the app, while it connects to your gateway. Altogether it adds up to an app that can do the basics, but feels a little dated.
Published at Thu, 11 May 2017 16:38:21 +0000