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LG Smart ThinQ Standardizes Smart Home Software

BERLIN -- With hundreds of smart-home devices on the market, getting them to play nicely together can be a bit of a challenge. LG would, of course, be very pleased if you outfitted your domicile with its gadgets, and it offers up at least one distinct selling point: The Smart ThinQ interface for every LG smart device is very clean, and each is almost identical.

I took a look at a host of LG smart-home products at IFA 2014, and noticed that while there was nothing too unusual about any given device, controlling them all via very similar apps was quite easy. On the show floor, LG had an air conditioner, a wireless speaker set, a small oven, a refrigerator and a washing machine.

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Of the five devices, I spent the most time fiddling with the oven. Other conventioneers seemed more enamored of the fridge.

While I could simply press buttons on it to activate the oven's baking and self-cleaning modes, I could also access all the same features from a smartphone. This means I could, for example, tell my oven to clean itself before I got home from work, or monitor a meal-in-progress from another room. Using the LG Home Chat functionality, I could even text back and forth with an appliance to give it instructions in conversational language.

The Smart ThinQ app itself was extremely attractive and easy-to-use. Black text against a white background, with plenty of pictures and added colors, made each function distinct, and clear menu options made it simple to look up recipes, preheat the oven or establish a new Wi-Fi connection.

What makes LG's offerings so interesting are that the other apps, from the fridge to the air conditioner, all matched up with each other very closely. As the company's offerings become more sophisticated, it's not hard to imagine that you could one day control the lion's share of appliances in your house from a single, unified app.

The LG Smart ThinQ devices all vary in price and availability, but you can check out the company's website for more information if you want make the upgrade and control your appliances from anywhere.

Marshall Honorof is a Staff Writer for Tom's Guide. Contact him at mhonorof@tomsguide.com. Follow him @marshallhonorof and on Google+. Follow us @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.