Smart Thermostats and Voice Over
I am considering replacing the thermostats in my house with smart thermostats. Does anyone here have any experience with this and do you know which ones have companion iPhone apps that are Voice Over friendly?
I have the nest thermostat and use it with the Google mini and my iPhone with the Google app and the Nest app and it works wonderful with voiceover.
I have an EchoBee which I have been using for a couple of years. The App is accessible but is not the easiest App to use. You can use Siri to turn on and off heat and air as well as changing the temperature. The issue with this can sometimes be difficult because the temperture is outside the hold area.
We recently got a Honeywell Lyric T5, which has a companion app that works well with VoiceOver, although some buttons have odd labels. The thermostat can also be used with HomeKit, which lets you control it using the built-in Home app on iOS, as well as Siri or the Control Center. The HomeKit integration was a primary factor in deciding on this thermostat, since it will allow me to continue to use it even if the Honeywell app were to be updated to a version that didn’t work with VoiceOver. I hope that doesn’t happen, but you never know.
There is a newer version of the thermostat, the T9 I believe, but at the time we made the purchase the newer version did not have HomeKit support, though Honeywell indicated that HomeKit would be added later. I don’t know if that has happened yet or not.
I have a Honeywell T5 Wi-Fi thermostat. It is a totally flat touchscreen device and I have my doubts about being able to install and set it up. I wanted to test doing so but my husband did it 1st. I can say that the Honeywell Home iOS app is a bit weird but totally accessible. I believe I can use all features. The Alexa skill also works well. There was a sticker on the thermostat to activate an automatic process for setting it up with Apple Home Kit, but I didn't get far with that because I don't have any device to work as a hub. My iPhone did easily grab that number with the camera and initiant the process. The best things about the thermostat was that I got it for only $25 from my city utility company, and the thermostat keeps working when the internet is down. You can't make changes to the setup then, but your heating and cooling system won't just cease to work as it does with some other supposedly smart thermostats.
This is something I’ve learned a lot about with trial and error. I have a Nest and am very satisfied. Most accessible app.
Most apps are accessible. They however often suffer from unlabeled, or hard to understand labeling. Playing with those buttons usually can help figure them out.
I started with an Emerson Sensi. While I navigated the app, Wifi disconnect was an issue. Not an easy way to reconnect without assistance. Common occurrence with less expensive models. The Nest has not suffered from this. I do control thermostat mostly through my Google Home.
I’ve never had problems with my Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi. I bought that one because it has tactile buttons like a regular thermostat, unlike the Honeywell or nest, as far as I know. The Cincy app is mostly accessible but not the scheduling feature, last time I checked. I don’t use schedules. But I think I could do it through HomeKit, since both that and Google home can control the thermostat. I do think that nest is probably the way to go if you have the cash, particularly if you have Google Home devices. But I stayed in an Airbnb with a nest thermostat and we just about died, because my sighted partner could not figure out how to work the touchscreen. W I have a lot of iDevices smart plugs, and that app is pretty accessible. Haven’t heard anything about their thermostat, but it’s also a budget option