Samsung Smartthings Hub

To get Google Home to play with my WeMo switches I ordered one of these hubs. For about fifty dollars it added a bunch of other features like door and window sensors along with multi sensors that can detect water leaks and motion. I sent Google Home back as it wasn’t as well integrated with other devices  as the Echo Dot ,aka Alexa and cost $99.99 on sale compared to Alexa at $39.99 on sale.

This has been easy to setup but requires another app on my phone and a connection to the cloud to work.

I used the labs section and connected my WeMo devices immediately and they worked with no more problems. I went to the Google Home and said hey google, “turn on the Christmas lights”, and everything worked. With Alexa I didn’t need the smart hub to make this work as the plug for this was a WeMo and native to Alexa.

The hub did add other options though like motion, and temperature sensing. I can’t find a decent doorbell option though. I just want the doorbell to ring inside and record when it was used, no fancy video or two way communication needed.

Geofencing

Once I got my location set this seems to work pretty well.

I have eight devices setup with the hub now, Belkin Wemo, Amcrest SmartPlug, Samsung Multisensor, Aeon Multisensor, and a Samsung Door sensor. The Amcrest SmartPlug has been the most interesting so far, it is a re-branded Kankun plug that needed some slight tweaking to make it work but cost about ten dollars less than the Wemo switch that does the same thing.

Google Home Arrived and was returned

Setup took about ten minutes from unboxing to being in use. It probably would have taken less time if I had my phone and the Google Home on the same wireless network.

I have two WiFi networks and decided to try and switch Google home to the one with the stronger signal. This left me in a loop for several minutes while my phone and Chrome-cast on the same network waited for Google Home to catch up. The App stayed in a loop waiting for the Google Home.

I wanted to listen to WGY Radio and I got a fail. WGY uses iHeart radio not Google radio. I can install iHeart radio on my Nexus 5x and cast the station over to the Google Home with no problem, but that isn’t going to fly with my seventy three year old mother and she is the one that wants to listen to this.

Google Calendar, Google Home can’t find anything on my calendar? I have a user with a vanity domain smithjon.com and Google didn’t like that, fortunately I also have a regular gmail account and shared the calendar between the two and events show up in both locations now. Google Home however still doesn’t know about any events on my cale

Google Home and Chrome-cast don’t play together very nicely. For example I have Warren Zevon playing on the Google Home and say “Hey Google, cast music to Chrome-cast”. The Chrome-cast comes up and starts Google Music. Nice but that’s not the music I wanted.

I ask Google Home to play Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer, sorry its not in my library and it plays something sort of similar, but different.

So far I’ve only used it to play music and asked a few random questions. For a hundred dollars I want it to do more, we’ll have to wait and see how more works out. I ordered a Samsung Smartthings hub to use to control the WeMo switches that I have. I’m trying work something out with the Amcrest plug and my door bell but we’ll see how that goes.

With the Smartthings hub my lights work but with a small delay sometimes, other times they are as quick as using Alexa with the lights direct connected. I still think the Google home is going back.

Google Home has been returned and Alexa has taken over. I kept the Samsung Smartthings hub that I got to work with Home and I’m using that with Alexa and replacing the different phone Apps that I had for WeMo and Amcrest switch control.