Photo: David Ferencik (Shutterstock)
When you live with someone, you share your things. You both use the smart speaker to listen to music all over the house and you both use the smart lights to show your friends (“Look, I can turn them blue!”). The point is, they’re all using the same smart devices, and it’s time to tie those devices to the same email address too.
Smart devices need an email address in order to function
Smart devices – including smart speakers, smart lights, and smart locks, to name a few – often need to be linked to an account in order to function. Sometimes they fit into a common “Home” app, but sometimes they need a separate account. This is usually not a big deal; You set up the device, enter an email and password, and boom, your lights are now voice controlled while your light switches are never used again.
But you inevitably have to tinker with this smart device. You may need to use the app to change a setting; maybe there is a new update that you need to apply to the system; or maybe you need to control the device from a new phone. And what if you try to do this thing for the smart device? It asks for your email and password.
If you’re setting up these things in a rush – as we often do – you may have simply walked back and forth with your partner to set up the systems. Maybe one device is under your account, another under theirs, and so on. Collect enough devices and trying to remember which device is under which account becomes a frustrating exercise: “Is the Sonos under your or my email?” “I have four different emails ; it could be under any of them. ”“ You have four different emails? ”
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Why you should create a common email for smart devices
Avoid the headaches, avoid the need to keep a master list of all your devices and their accounts, and avoid answering questions about your many email addresses. Just do yourself and your household a favor by creating a shared email account.
Think about it: the smart lights under one email, your smart doorbell under one email, the TV and all its apps and services under one email. No more guessing, no more waiting for someone to come out of a meeting to ask what the smart speaker’s email is – all under the same simple system.
This tip basically works for any type of account you and your partner might use together. Never again wonder whose email is associated with your streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max. Have access to the same calendar, which you can both view and edit together; Sign up for a cloud-based to-do app so you can keep an eye on shopping lists. It just makes common tasks a lot easier.
A common email address is not the be-all and end-all
Of course, that doesn’t mean that separate email addresses aren’t in the picture. Keep your personal account for your own correspondence, independent accounts, and the like. No need to clutter a partner’s inbox with your own messages (there is already enough junk mail for that). Save the joint account for the things that benefit both of you.
A common email address isn’t the only solution either. You could get a similar result with a password manager, as you could put all of your different accounts in one family vault that the two of you work from. However, the best password managers are paid subscriptions. Email is free.