Home Automation is Growing Beyond Tinkerers

Ariel Ariel

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps - Collaboration and Competition. Check out the full article for more insights.

Home automation, aka being able to turn your lights on from your phone, is quickly becoming mainstream. I say that not because the leader, Samsung SmartThings, was downloaded by 12 million people last year, but rather because a much smaller competitor also grew a lot last year.

That competitor is Home Assistant.

Home Assistant is one of my favorite new apps/platforms. I've been turning my lights on from my phone for many years now -- too many to admit -- and have seen the entire field evolve. Both the hardware and the software around it.

Unlike popular solutions like SmartThings, undoubtedly the leader in the market -- and certainly in downloads -- Home Assistant is the "Android" version of home automation platforms. It's open source, community-driven, works with a variety of integrations, and is not proprietary.

Home Assistant ended 2022 with 156K estimated downloads, its highest quarter of downloads, ever. When compared to Q1 of 2020, quarterly downloads grew 122%.

Nearly half a million people downloaded Home Assistant in 2022. For an open-source solution that requires a bit of tinkering, that's great news. For the industry at large, that means there's more interest in home automation.

Home automation is something Apple supports but so far hasn't really led in any way. The HomePod and AppleTV are both great solutions that can lead the way but Apple's very proprietary platform and lack of interoperability with existing solutions and protocols is a big blocker for adoption.

I expect (and hope) that will change in the future.

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