Top critical review
The curious case of a smart plug and two apps
21 January 2019
I was already using a couple of Dlink smart plugs so when i decided to buy another one I thought of going along with Dlink to maintain homogeneity. While not the greatest of products I have found Dlink smart plugs to be more reliable than some of the dozen unnamed Chinese brands that you will find on Amazon. (Dlink products are also made in China by the way - the parent company is Taiwanese). I ordered this plug because of the awesome discount going on and I thought I had a good deal.
The plug arrived the very next day and I was immediately disappointed. The box was a bit shabby and had been obviously released. At one point in my life I was into IT hardware selling and I can tell if an item had the original company seal or if it had been opened. There was no missing part however and I thought of ignoring it and go along with what I got.
I took the plug out and started setting it up. As said before I was already using two more Dlink smart plugs, so I had the myDlink Home App installed and login already created. I straight away tapped on adding new device and started following the setup wizard instructions.
Now in the past Dlink products have been known to have buggy installation procedures and I myself faced some challenges trying to set them up. But usually they start working after a couple of attempts. However this time I spent almost 2 Hrs trying to install it and it just would not work.
I finally concluded that the plug was probably defective and was on verge of returning the product when I thought of uninstalling and reinstalling the app just to ensure that I am on the latest version. And when I opened apple App Store and searched for Dlink to my utter surprise I saw that Dlink had silently released two Apps . One is the old one I had called myDlink Home and the other myDlink. The names were almost similar but the icons were different. I downloaded the new one called myDlink and voila the setup process worked and the plug was up and running in 1 Min. But then I realized that my older plugs were not showing up in this new App. So I opened the old App myDlink Home and sure enough it had my older plugs there.
So for some strange reason Dlink has released two Apps each of which controls some of its Smart IOT devices but not all. Not only that even Alexa and Google Assistant has separate skills corresponding to each App. If you have one of the skills enabled it will only work for the devices the corresponding app will support.
Now why will Dlink release two Apps with almost similar sounding names both of which does almost the same thing? I tweeted Dlink but they are yet to respond as of writing this review, but my guess is that they probably made some hardware changes and the new chips does not support their existing App. Instead of working to make them backward compatible Dlink simply released a new one.
My rating reflects the fact that Dlink in-spite of being quite a big name pays such scant consideration for ease of use of its products by its customers. No clear documentation or indication and 99% of times folks will have problems in installing it the first time and understanding which skill and App to go along with. The fact that both apps have similar sounding names also does not help. Overall an Ok product ruined by poor customer experience .