October 17, 2018
Homeowners who have made the jump into high-end smart home systems have found their investments to be richly rewarding. The ability to control lighting, sound and entertainment systems, and more—either in the moment or by setting a pre-defined ‘atmosphere’ wherever you happen to be—can transform how you experience your home.
And every added convenience, every new opportunity to further centralize the control of your home, makes this experience all the more satisfying.
Garage door openers are one of the few classes of home appliance that have seemingly seen little progress in the last several decades. Everything from coffee makers to refrigerators offer programmable features, but you still control your garage door with the same clicker that has been found clipped to the sun visor of every homeowner’s car since the 1980s.
But finally, that’s changing.
With an app-integrated receiver, you can open your garage door with the tap of button on your iPhone or Android phone.
In recent years, several companies have rolled out receivers which can be wired into your existing garage door opener, allowing them to be paired with an app installed on your phone. Just open the app, tap the button, and your garage door will open as normal, but without the hassle of needing a dedicated device.
Many of these products do a great deal more than just open and close your garage door. They include such features as logging each time your door opens or closes, the ability to open the door remotely to allow a family member or other person to enter the garage, scheduling the door to open or close at specific times, and so on.
Here are just a few of the most popular products that allow you to control your garage door from your smartphone.
MyQ Smart Garage Control – $79.95 – iPhone & Android Compatible
The MyQ smart garage door system was designed specifically for use with the Chamberlain line of garage door openers. Some new models of garage door opener feature ready-to-go MyQ integration, but existing models manufactured as far back as 1993 can be retrofitted with the Wi-Fi garage hub device.
However, other brands of garage door are compatible with the MyQ, including Craftsman, Genie, Liftmaster, Linear, Overhead Door, and more.
Chamberlain has sought to make a smart garage door system that can readily be integrated with popular smart home brands, including Honeywell, Apple HomeKit, Alpine, and more. Homeowners should note that some compatible application integrations, such as IFTTT (If This Then That), require small monthly or annual subscription fees.
- App alerts in real-time when the garage door is opened or closed.
- Door can be opened or closed from anywhere with Wi-Fi access.
- Schedule garage door to open or close at prespecified times.
GarageMate – $49.95 – iPhone & Android Compatible
The receiver for the GarageMate can be purchased from many brick and mortar and online retailers. The GarageMate site claims that the receiver can be installed in only two minutes and is compatible with most popular models of garage door opener, including Sears-Craftsman, LiftMaster/Chamberlain, Overhead Door, Genie, and so on. The manufacturer’s list of compatible models and installation notes can be found here.
An unusual feature of the GarageMate is that it utilizes Bluetooth pairing, rather than Wi-Fi. This means that the GarageMate can be used even in homes without Internet access.
Additional features include:
- Doors can be opened using Siri or Google Assistant voice command
- Activity log that details when and who opened or closed garage door
- Can be paired with up to 8 phones
- App can be paired with more than one garage door
- No subscription fees
Gogogate 2 – $99.99 – iPhone, Apple Watch & Android Compatible
The Gogogate 2 system is designed for those who want a more nuanced access control system. A single Gogogate 2 receiver can be integrated with up to 3 garage doors or gates, making it ideal for homeowners with a remote-controlled exterior gate and/or multiple garages.
The Wi-Fi enabled system delivers alerts via app or email whenever a door is opened or closed. It can control doors remotely from anywhere with Internet access—even a desktop browser—and can be integrated with optional camera systems for increased security.
Gogogate 2 allows for a variety of custom options, such as:
- Control with voice command systems, including Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa
- Automatically opening a garage or gate when you are within a specified distance
- Scheduling doors to open or close at certain times
- Sharing access for pre-specified periods of time, so that caretakers can access your home as needed.