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Smart-Home Apps Fail To Live Up To Expectations

Smart-home apps available from installing service providers and cable companies are held in higher regard by consumers than the apps that come with DIY products, an Argus Insights survey of online user reviews and Twitter feeds found.

But apps from both segments of the industry fail to live up to expectations, the company noted.

In surveying online user reviews from Jan. 16 through April 30, Argus concluded that “users prefer [service provider and multichannel video service provider] smart-home applications over DIY device apps.” Yet for both types of apps, “the gap between consumer perception of the smart-home devices they install and the apps used to control them persists, with the apps failing to deliver the promised functionality and usability.”
Argus found that “DIY experiences are still plagued with connectivity issues bleeding over from the initial installation of the device within the home.” As for service provider and MSO installs, “most of the issues … are related to software quality issues such as app stability and constant bugs.”

Among service providers and multichannel video operators, Argus found that Vivint’s smart-home app is the most-liked by users, while those of ADT and Suddenlink are the least-liked. Time-Warner’s app placed second, followed by AT&T Digital Life in third, in fourth and Comcast/Xfinty in fifth.

In the January through April period surveyed, the favorability of Vivint’s Sky app, Cox Communications Homelife app, Xfinity Home app and app all trended up because of new releases and subscriber growth, Argus said. Xfinity Home “made impressive gains after a new version of their app was released at the end of March, addressing customer issues with stability and remote access of camera feeds,” Argus added.

Argus based its findings after reviewing more than 56,000 app and device reviews.