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How your majority smart home device mix dictates a lot


Active Member
Mar 12, 2021
Like many, I started out with Alexa compatible devices, like smart plugs, a few years ago. I tried to get devices that were Alexa and Apple Home compatible. Ultimately thinking: I would go all Apple anyway, as they got their shite together in the end.
This worked well. Until I began the change to all Apple smart speakers. My frustration in getting Apple Music to play on Echo devices easily, finally made me begin the process (not Apple's fault). I picked up some HomePods on sale over Thanksgiving.
Uh oh, it turns out that all my TP-Link Kasa plugs are not actually fully HomeKit compatible. Just Shortcuts compatible. For a while, TP-Link Kasa had Apple compatible up on their web site (and I think, even in the Kasa app). Also announcing it some months ago with updates. Now, zip. Nada.
Long story short, I like the Kasa devices. To replace them all would be too expensive but the hassle of setting new devices all up? No thanks. HomeKit stuff is generally more expensive too.
At this point, I can see no advantage to Apple other than the better privacy they have (my main reason and I am all Apple home otherwise.)
I returned the HomePod Minis and traded in some older Echos for a couple new Echos. The new Echo (round) sounds fine (for what it is). The Minis were fine too (if twice what they were worth and half as sonically viable as they should be). I think Apple needs something that is not a Mini and not the original big HomePod. IOW: about the size of the current round Echo.
The lesson here is: You are stuck with the majority of what your smart home uses that you are happy with.
I hope the arrival of Matter next year begins to clean up this corporate triumvirate of smart home systems.
I also hope Apple makes some kind of better control connection to play Apple Music on Alexa speakers/compatible systems with a bit more ease, other than the partly janky Skill in use now.
A final observation: I have also noticed that Google and Amazon seem to all be following Apple's quest for more privacy. Good but, to a lesser degree. (Amazon Sidewalk is not as bad as many think but, still, is really stupid!)
It all may be better in the end in that regard too.


Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Mar 16, 2016
Suffolk UK
The irony is that in George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984, the populace were obliged to have monitoring devices in their homes. We now pay good money to buy them for ourselves!

I won't have these things in the house, and my mobile 'phone is switched off when I'm at home and my laptop's webcam taped over.

Paranoid, moi?



Major Contributor
Dec 5, 2018
For me such vendor lockin was something to be avoided from the start, as was a "phone home" requirement for devices to work. There are several open home control systems that will interoperate with a wide variety of hardware, and provide interoperability between things from different ecosystems.
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