Reviewed by The Ambient
Best smart garage door controller: Tailwind iQ3
The Tailwind is packed with features, works with a tonne of systems, and has a really great app. But what really makes it stand out is that it has nailed the automatic opening feature, and it does it totally securely.
This is that magical smart home experience when something just happens the way it's supposed to. In this case, Tailwind will open the door for you automatically when you arrive home, and then close it for you as you leave. No tapping, talking or waiting required.
Tailwind has devised a neat system that uses your phone's GPS and your car's Bluetooth connection to accurately geolocate you and make your door dance like magic.
It works natively with Android phones, but iPhone users need to get one of Tailwind's sensors for the feature to work. These are waterproof though, and are handy for putting on things like bikes, scooters or even in a kid's backpack.
You can also assign "vehicles" to people in your family so the app can tell you who opened your door and when - a lot like smart door locks so.
Other features Tailwind offers includes schedules, customizable notifications about your door's status, the option to auto close after the door's been open for a pre-set period of time, and a Night Mode that shuts the door if it's still open when the sun goes down or after 5 minutes if someone opens it during the night.
There's also a history log so you can see what the door's been doing and you can share access with family members and guests, plus schedule times they can use the door. Also, one Tailwind unit can control up to 3 doors, you just need a sensor for each one.
There's no integration with smart cameras, which is something you might want to make sure your door is shut when using one of these gadgets. But Tailwind works with a wired door sensor, so false sensor readings (the app telling you the door is shut when it's actually open) won't happen. A wired sensor does mean a more involved - although not hard - installation.
Tailwind works with Amazon's Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT, SmartThings, and Siri Shortcuts, with HomeKit coming soon (available now). It's compatible with all garage doors with safety sensors, although you will need a free adaptor for newer Chamberlain and Liftmaster brand openers. Consult the compatibility checker here.
What we love
- Super reliable
- Automatic opening and closing
- Tells you who opened your door
What we don't love
- Tricky installation
- iPhone users need to buy an extra sensor