Does a homeowner living in San Diego really need to be able to set back his air conditioner while on vacation in South Africa? Well, neat usually beats out practical, especially for the folks who love their iPods, iPhones and now iPads.


Ranging from do-it-yourself, one device controllers to sophisticated, professionally supported remote security video monitoring, Apple has approved scores of applications aimed at home systems that work on its various devices and with existing home electronics. It seems that everyone is jumping on the application store bandwagon.


For example, HAI, the maker of integrated automation and security products, has developed an application for use on the “i” devices. By downloading the application developed by HAI, users can control HAI homes through a hand-held interface similar in design to HAI’s other mobile interfaces including Snap-Link Mobile and WL3. Homeowners have the ability to view event logs, real-time surveillance footage, and adjust anything under HAI’s control including lights, temperatures, window coverings, audio, and more.


The various home automation platforms all boast “i” applications, of course. But there are diverse and often free iPhone and iPad applications from third parties. One source of an almost complete listing is and its so-called “ultimate list.” Apple’s app store also lists downloadable software, often under the Lifestyle category.


It seems there is no limit to the “i” applications.


Among apps:


·         Control4 My House from Control UI – There is full control of Control4's home automation system, but the end user must have a "Mobile Navigator" license through a dealer. At this year’s CES, Control4 released its own energy-saving system, an app that turns Blackberries and Droid handsets into remote control for its system, and the company added its own app store. 4Store is specifically for the smart home with applications that can be integrated with multiple household devices.


·         Promixis has an automation interface. It’s the maker of Girder and NetRemote.


·         iMyHomeLE is a native solution for home automation control of BTicino My Home.


·         Insteon Tracker by Mobile Vision Software aids in cataloging Insteon and X10 home automation devices.


·         CF iViewer by CommandFusion provides full control of Crestron, AMX, Control4 and other platforms.


·         Crestron Mobile by Crestron Electronics has products that control entertainment and environmental systems from touchpanels, keypads, remotes and Web-enabled devices.


·         HomeWorks Light Control by Lutron Electronics allows the homeowner to control a Lutron HomeWorks system over a Wi-Fi, Edge, or 3G network with the convenience of iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. A key feature of this application is that it automatically configures itself using the information stored in the HomeWorks system.


·         HomeLogic Mobile Control by HomeLogic is a complete entertainment and home control interface designed specifically for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Control from a local WiFi network or remotely over the Internet.