What Does the SimpliSafe App Do?

The SimpliSafe Home Security App is one of our favorite home security apps because you can easily share videos from your SimpliCam or Video Doorbell Pro on social media. You can also use it to arm your system, watch live video from your security cameras, and unlock your SimpliSafe lock without getting out of your chair.

While we liked this app overall for its easy-to-use, glitch-free features, one issue we had is that you must sign up for SimpliSafe’s most expensive monitoring plan for the app to be useful. If you self-monitor your system, the app has little to offer. It’s a little too basic too. Some of the features left us wanting more.

Here’s what we found when we tested the SimpliSafe app.

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Where can I download the SimpliSafe App?

You can download the SimpliSafe security alarm app for iPhone from the Apple Store, and the SimpliSafe app for Android can be downloaded from the Google Play store. If you’d rather use the app on your computer, you can use the SimpliSafe web app on SimpliSafe.com.

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Is the SimpliSafe app free?

The app is always free no matter which store you download from.

How do I set up the SimpliSafe app?

After you download the app, setting it up is easy:

  1. Open the app and tap Create Account.
  2. Use the email you used to order your SimpliSafe system and choose a password.
  3. Click on the link in the email from SimpliSafe to verify your account.
  4. Tap Set Up Now if you’re in the process of setting up your SimpliSafe security system. Otherwise tap I Already Set Up My System.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish.

Once that’s done, it’s important to set up app security to prevent the wrong people from accessing your SimpliSafe system if you ever lose your phone:

  1. Tap on the menu.
  2. Tap on your email address to open the dropdown menu.
  3. Choose Configure App Lock.
  4. Enter a four-digit PIN that will be used to unlock the app.
  5. Choose whether to enable your phone’s biometric access to unlock the app.

From now on, the app will lock itself automatically after 10 seconds of inactivity. Only those with your PIN will be able to unlock it. If you choose to enable the biometric access option, you’ll also be able to use your phone’s fingerprint or face, voice, or iris recognition to unlock the app.

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High ratings

Users love the SimpliSafe app. It has close to perfect ratings on both the Apple Store and the Google Play store as of April 12, 2021.

Can you arm the SimpliSafe from your phone?

screenshots of SimpliSafe app

The SimpliSafe Home Security App lets you arm and disarm the system while you are at home, work, or anywhere else. This is a big win for those of us with terrible memories. You’ll never have to hurry back home to arm your security system again. We also love that you can use your phone to disarm the SimpliSafe security system before your hands get full carrying groceries, kids, or fur babies inside.

How to arm/disarm using your phone

To arm or disarm your security system just tap on the corresponding button at the top of the home screen.

Can you use the SimpliSafe app without monitoring?

You can use the SimpliSafe app without monitoring, but we don’t recommend it. Without a monitoring package, the app will do only a very limited number of functions.

Without a monitoring package you can:

  • See if the security system is set to Off, Home, or Away
  • Watch live video feed from cameras
  • View and change system and device settings
  • Lock and unlock the SimpliSafe Smart Lock

Now that you know what you can do, here’s what you can’t do with the app if you skip monitoring:

  • Arm or disarm your SimpliSafe security system
  • Receive push, SMS, and email notifications
  • Download video footage from the app
  • Save video footage

About monitoring

Monitoring plans start at $4.99 for the Camera Plan, then range from $14.99 per month with the Standard Monitoring Plan to $24.99 per month with the Interactive Monitoring Plan. The camera plan is basically for storing and viewing camera footage on the app. The other two plans offer 24/7 monitoring and dispatch for break-ins, fires, and medical response.

Why? There’s a big difference between the Standard and Interactive plans when it comes to the app. You can disarm and arm your SimpliSafe system using the app only if you use the Interactive plan. Advanced notifications are available only with the Interactive Monitoring Plan as well.

What features does the SimpliSafe app have?

We’ve already talked about arming and disarming, but there are a few other things you can do with the SimpliSafe app:

  • Send real-time system alerts to you through phone notifications, text messages, and emails
  • Unlock or lock doors with a SimpliSafe Smart Lock or August smart lock
  • Watch live and recorded footage from SimpliSafe cameras
  • See a timeline of events, like when motion sensors were triggered or when the system was armed or disarmed

The app is missing some features. For example, SimpliSafe’s doorbell camera technically has person detection, but the app doesn’t tell you when a person is detected. It only says “motion” on the alert, which makes person detection like every other motion alert. It does tell you when the doorbell is rung instead of just alerting you that it detects motion though, so at least you know when someone wants you to come to the door.

We also wish it had built-in AI like the Vivint app to sense when you’re home and automatically adjust your thermostat and turn lights on and off.

The SimpliSafe app doesn’t work with any thermostats or smart bulbs. And while you can arm the system using Alexa or Google smart speakers, that’s it. In fact, it has very few smart home integrations overall. Too bare bones for us.

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Additional questions about the SimpliSafe app

Yes. You can use them to arm your SimpliSafe system using voice commands and check the system status. You can’t disarm the system using your voice, though.

Besides motion alerts, the SimpliSafe app will also notify you about smoke, fire, carbon monoxide, and water leaks. Even better, you can customize alerts to fit your needs.

You can arm and disarm your system and get camera notifications on your watch.

Yes, you’ll need to download the app through the Apple Store on your iPad.

Alina Bradford
Written by
Alina Bradford
Alina has been reviewing the latest tech for more than a decade and has contributed her insights to CNET, CBS, Digital Trends, MTV, Top Ten Reviews, and many others. She specializes in smart home and security technology, working to make gadgets less mystifying one article at a time. In the early 2000s, Alina worked as a volunteer firefighter, earning her first responder certification. Her activities aren’t nearly as dangerous today. Her hobbies include fixing up her 100-year-old house, doing artsy stuff, and going to the lake with her family.

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