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Multiple Homes

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Multiple Homes

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Multiple Homes
Multiple Homes
2022-07-18 18:20:31 - last edited 18 hours ago
Tags: #kasa app
Model: Kasa  
Hardware Version:
Firmware Version:

I have two homes and 50 Kasa devices between them.  Managing them inside the Kasa app is an absolute nightmare.  

 

Two features EVERY smart home app needs to have is "shared user access" (which Kasa has) and the ability to organize smart devices into different homes.  I get this doesn't affect the majority of users, but it's a basic building block. I'm sure there are people out there with 3, 4, 5...  Maybe because they want easy access to devices at a family members house, maybe because they own a vacation property, whatever the reason this is basic app architecture for all the other smart home apps.  

 

And no, groups aren't a substitute for this. 

Anyway, I need a list of devices for a specific property because the organization as is is so awful.  Sorting devices alphabetically without first grouping by device type (Smart Lighting, Smart Plugs, Smart Switches) would help at least a little, but homes are what is needed.  I mean serious who thinks about their devices based on the type of device? no one...  I don't want to think "Are my outdoor lights in the smart lighting or smart switch category...  of wait they're in smart plugs..." Total PITA.

#1
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1 Accepted Solution
Re:Multiple Homes-Solution
2022-09-27 23:49:24 - last edited 2022-09-28 00:38:16

  @jb510,

To help ease your concerns that Kasa was being put to rest we released an entirely redesigned Kasa Application with a ton of new features and increases in its automation capabilities. Most importantly for you, the new app includes the ability to sort devices into various homes, and then rooms within each home.

 

Find out more in the newly posted Featured Story Here: https://community.tp-link.com/us/smart-home/stories/detail/501836

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#5
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Re:Multiple Homes
2022-07-18 19:12:45

 

  @jb510,

Thanks for the feedback, while the app was not initially designed to accommodate more than one house under one TP-Link ID; we are beginning to see many users use our products across multiple households. To get a better idea of how users need to use their devices across multiple properties and how we can improve the user experience, would it be possible for you to detail the functions that are difficult for you to use, or what features would make cross-property control much easier?

 

I will already be passing along the feedback that you would like to be able to sort alphabetically, without the device type influencing the order. Until a solution is reached, it may be possible to use a third-party integration such as Alexa, Google Home, or Smarthings to Sort Your Devices into Homes, that way you can have an interface that would show all the device's statuses for separate property. While still having complete control over your devices in the Kasa app.

#2
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Re:Multiple Homes
2022-07-18 20:35:18

Hi  @Riley_S

 

Thank you for the response. I've given this same feedback to different tp-link folks a few times over the last 2-3 years...  So excuse me for being seriously doubtful at this point it'll ever get addressed. Especially since it looks like your shutting down Kasa in favor of Taco.  It's unfortunate, the product themselves are pretty good having tried several systems.  This one aspect of the app hobbles them though and I'd probably never have bought a single Kasa product if I'd realized up front this would be such a mess over time.

 

Anyway, it's not complicated, just have a top level grouping based on location.  No different than Google Home, Alexa, HomeKit, and most of the others do.

My situation is that I have two homes and an office. So 3 physically separate locations. 


In total, I have 2 smart color changing light bulbs, 27 smart plugs (2 are power strips), and 22 light switches.  Roughly evenly splut between 3 locations.

For the two homes I abbreviate one MR and one TE for the street they're on and prefix all the devices there with the two letters. This is the lesser of two evils workaround. 


For example, devices get named "MR Kitchen Lights", "MR Outdoor Lights", "MR LIving Room Lights" and "MR Landing Lights", then at the other property "TE Kitchen Lights", "TE Outdoor Lights", and "TE LIving Room Lights". 

I tried using a suffix instead, for example, "Kitchen Lights MR" and "Kitchen Lights TE", but doesn't logically group them together alphabetically in the app by location, AND seriously breaks voice commands. 

 

It is easier with a suffix to find Kitchen Lights in the list, but it makes using it painful because all the other lights for that house aren't next to each other. I'm usually needing to turn off/on "MR Kitchen Lights", "MR Outdoor Lights", and "MR Landing Lights" all at the same time... With 50 lights it's a total PITA to find all three in the list if they're named "Kitchen Lights MR", "Outdoor Lights MR", and "Landing Lights MR" since there are 4-5 items alphabetically between each of those.

 

The Kasa app ought to be smart enough to use the same name in different locations and show the location I'm at, with the ability to switch to another location if/when I need to.  And again, this carries through to Google Home, Alexa, etc, since they all USE whatever name you put into Kasa.  So, while I can group them properly in those apps, the names are all still awkward.

 

Second, using the prefix as I do, "MR Kitchen Lights", "MR Outdoor Lights", and "MR Landing Lights" is still hard to find because "MR Landing Lights" is actually a smart wall plug. Even though it's controlling lights and one logically thinks of it as a "light", it's not LISTED with all my other lights that are controlled by switches.  It literally makes no sense whatsoever to separate plugins from switches from light bulbs.  No user would ever "think" this way. We name things for a reason.


To reiterate, coming up with clever names to manage this breaks voice commands and neither naming them with a prefix that groups them within their product type, nor a suffix that alphabetizes them by the actual room name is actually a good solution.  

 

And the answer to the other obvious logical question not mentioned above is yes I do frequently need to control the devices at a property I'm not physically at. Turning on/off lights at home or work, turning on/off heaters or airconditioning to warm/cool where I'm headed, etc...  Or in the rental example turning on/off the lights at a rental property before guests arrive, or turning off a heater after they leave.  

#3
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Re:Multiple Homes
2022-07-20 00:57:17

  @jb510,

Thanks for expanding on your feedback, I have worked to include as many of your ideas as possible in the feedback that is being passed to our development team.

 

Until I hear back about the possibility of adding this feature, I wanted to give one suggestion. Even though the device names carry over to Amazon Alexa and Google Home; it is possible to change the name of the device in the integrated apps themselves. That way you would not have to mess with the prefixes when giving voice commands.

Also, another weird hack, in Google Home you can change the device type from plug to light so that it will respond to the appropriate voice commands, I do not know if this feature is in Alexa though.

 

Also, there are currently no plans to discontinue our Kasa Brands, Products and Services. You have nothing to worry about. You can expect to see new products and features being released for the platform over the coming years.

 

 

#4
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Re:Multiple Homes-Solution
2022-09-27 23:49:24 - last edited 2022-09-28 00:38:16

  @jb510,

To help ease your concerns that Kasa was being put to rest we released an entirely redesigned Kasa Application with a ton of new features and increases in its automation capabilities. Most importantly for you, the new app includes the ability to sort devices into various homes, and then rooms within each home.

 

Find out more in the newly posted Featured Story Here: https://community.tp-link.com/us/smart-home/stories/detail/501836

Recommended Solution
#5
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Re:Multiple Homes
2022-09-28 00:11:16 - last edited 2022-09-28 00:13:33

  @Riley_S OMGosh!  This is WONDERFUL!!!  I just updated and sorting everything into houses and rooms!  

PS.  Thank you for defaulting to "_Main_ Bedroom".  Language matters.

#6
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Re:Multiple Homes
2022-09-28 00:33:46

  @jb510,

Glad youre enjoying the new features already, I'm still waiting for an official version for my personal devices :( 

 

Take a peek around the rest of the app, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how many improvements were made overall. Every day I keep finding something new!

#7
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Re:Multiple Homes
2022-09-28 00:58:59

  @Riley_S Hey, it really is great.   

 

Ran into a pretty minor thing.  I have several outdoor KP400s.  I'm finding it a little annoying that I can't put each plug of a power strip in a different room if I want too.  

 

Why? On one of those KP400s, one plug controls my outdoor deck lights, but the other plug controls the waterfall in my koi pond.  

I want to have a room for "Outdoors" which would really be for all my outdoor lights and a couple bug traps.  I want to have another room just for my Ponds which just has all the stuff related to my 3 ponds (2 small and 1 big).  

The reason for making these different rooms and not just different groups is that I often turn off all the outdoor lights at once, but I would NEVER want to turn off the pond equipment (some of it like lights are on schedule, but other things like the pumps and aerators stay on 24/7).  

Anyway, I'll try putting them all in an "Outdoor" room, and then just groups, with a room called "Ponds Lights" and another room "Pond Equipment".  Maybe me wanting separate rooms is over-organizing things...  but like I said, I have a LOT of devices.

Again, so far SUPER happy with the new app.  Homes are "life-changing".  

 

 

 

#8
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Re:Multiple Homes
2022-09-28 01:01:10

  @jb510,

Ill revisit this tomorrow, but one thing i noticed in my testing is that device groups can be added to a separate home than the home that the parent devices belong to

 

#9
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