Tuya Smart vs. Smart Life

Don’t know the difference between Tuya Smart and Smart Life? Our guide will tell you everything you need to know about these super convenient management apps.
Tuya Smart vs. Smart Life
Published: 16th Apr 2021
Author Image

By Ricky Harewood

Ricky is our Head of content and has written a large amount of the content on SMARTHOME.news. He man Read More...

With so many new smart devices now available, staying in control could prove challenging. That’s especially true if you have to use separate management apps for each individual manufacturer whose products you’re using.

Luckily, that’s where smart home apps come in – they allow you to control all your devices from a single app. One of the most popular smart home apps comes from Tuya. In fact, they don’t have only one app, but two of them – Tuya Smart and Smart Life. And if you’re wondering which one you should use, this article will help to answer the question.

What’s the Difference?

Although these two apps come under different names, they’re actually the same app. They both share the same design, layout, features, smart device management, and creation of automation scenarios. Yes, you read that right – they’re absolutely the same.

The main difference is in the name and the look of the app icon on your smartphone. Naturally, since these are two distinct apps, they also come as separate apps for download:

The other difference concerns color accents in the app itself. Tuya Smart uses the orange color for some of its buttons and options, while these same features appear blue in the Smart Life app. Since neither one contains any in-app logos, all the differences start and end with these color accents.

And that’s it. Everything else is the same.

Why Have Two Same Apps?

Having two different apps that are actually the same might not make much sense at first glance. But when you take into consideration Tuya’s positioning on the smart home market, things start to make more sense.

Although Tuya’s main product is their smart home app, or “All-in-One App” as they call it, this company also offers a wide variety of customization services for various industry niches. Some of these include customized apps for hotels, restaurants, elderly care, agriculture, and even for people who rent their apartments. Of course, their offer doesn’t stop there. They even provide developer kits which allow companies to customize the app on their own if they have qualified people for that kind of job.

Some of the globally present companies which cooperate with Tuya include Philips, Schneider Electric, and many more. The main benefit for the manufacturers is the fact that they can offer their customers a free app with which they can control their smart device. And that’s without having to invest in research and development of such an app.

As you can see, Tuya manages to do two things with a single app. With Tuya Smart, they provide a smart home app which builds market awareness of their own name and brand. And with Smart Life, they offer a non-branded solution for the manufacturers of smart home products. All they need to do is ship their products and direct their customers to install Smart Life so they can setup and control the device they just bought.

Pretty brilliant, right?

What Does the App Do?

To give you a better sense of what Tuya’s smart home app does, this section will outline some of its main features:

  • Smart device management
  • Organizing smart devices into groups
  • Automation scenarios
  • User management
  • Managing multiple homes with one app

If you want to read an in-depth analysis and learn how to set the app up for use, you can check our comprehensive guides for both versions of the app:

  • Smart Life
  • Tuya Smart App

What Does the App Do

Smart Device Management

With the Tuya app, it’s super-easy to add new smart home devices. You can let the app search for them automatically or you can add a device manually, following the clear instructions the app provides. If you have multiple devices, the auto scan does a great job of finding every single smart device you turn on.

Once your devices connect to the app over your home Wi-Fi network, they’ll appear on the app’s home screen. From here, you can turn them on or off, check various parameters the devices provide, as well as do some fine-tuning for each device. For example, when you connect an RGB smart bulb, you can quickly access the controls from the home screen. You can change its color, light intensity, and, of course, turn the light bulb on or off.

Device Organization

Once you add your devices to the app, you can assign each one to a separate room in your home. For instance, you might have several smart thermostats placed in different rooms. If you assign each one to a room within the app, you can use simple voice commands to tell your assistant exactly which device you meant. This is pretty useful for smart speakers and light bulbs as well.

If you have multiple devices of the same type, Tuya’s app allows you to organize them into a single group. For instance, you might have a couple of smart light bulbs both in your living room and dining room. If you arrange them into one group, you’ll be able to control all of them with a single tap from within the app.

Automation Rules & Scenarios

This feature brings “smart” into your smart home. As outlined in the section above, it’s super convenient to group your devices by room or type. But if you use automation, you can take things a couple of steps further. One of the best examples is automation of multiple tasks which the app executes just before you come home from work.

By tracking the location of your smartphone, the app will know when you’ve entered a one kilometer radius of your home. Once you do, the automation rules kick in and things start happening. The lights in your living area turn on and the air conditioning unit regulates the temperature to the ideal level. Your smart speaker tunes to your favorite radio station and the TV switches on to show you the latest news. All without any intervention on your part.

User Management

For anyone not living alone, this feature is a must. By allowing your family members to use the app, the entire household will be in control of your smart devices. The person who sets up the app serves as an administrator and is able to assign separate sets of app features to different members of the family.

You can even setup a “Guest” profile which you can assign to anyone that comes to visit for a couple of days. That way, they’ll be able to control smart devices that are essential for everyday life. Of course, you can also assign administrator privileges to other family members as well, so that you don’t have to be the one doing everything in the app.

User Management

Multiple Home Management

What’s great about this app is that it allows you to control more than one home from with the same user account. Simply add new home to the app, define which rooms you have there, add devices, and that’s it. Naturally, you can set the automation here as well.

If you have a second apartment or house, you can easily check in with Tuya’s app. It’s perfect for people who are in the renting business, have a private office, or simply want to be able to check up on their parents or grandparents and help them with tasks smart devices can do. One more scenario where this feature becomes essential is if you have a cabin in the woods. The app gives you access to any surveillance equipment and you can also use it to turn on the water heater when visiting for the weekend.

Making Your Home Smarter With Tuya

Hopefully, this article has outlined everything you need to know about the differences between Tuya Smart and Smart Life apps. As explained, there’s only one app, with two different marketing purposes. Although this might create a bit of confusion among smart home enthusiasts, it’s a great marketing trick on part of Tuya. While they promote their name through Tuya Smart, they also reach millions of users by simply offering the manufacturers a smart device management app for free. Brilliant!

Which version of Tuya’s app are you using? How many different smart device brands do you manage with your app? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.