James's Cabinet Fiasco

Using And Troubleshooting Smartphone Garage Door Openers

Garage door openers and smartphones have both come a long way--together. Unfortunately, sometimes things go awry and smartphone-controlled garage door openers do not always work. Here is an introduction to the innovative smartphone garage door opener, and things to check if this revolutionary method hiccups.

Innovative Garage Door Openers

Gone are the days of manually opening the garage door. The first models were actually invented in the 1920s, and made commercially available in the 1950s. In the decades that followed the release of these original models, electric garage door opener designs rapidly improved in quality and affordability.

With the advent of the smartphone, however, garage door openers took a radical new innovative direction. 

Smartphone Takeover

In 1992, IBM unveiled the first true "smartphone." The features were not vast and the price was not conducive to most Americans' budgets, but it was the beginning of a new way of life. Ten years later, in 2002, smartphones spiked in popularity, affordability, and usefulness.

A few years later, in 2008, the concept of the smartphone app was born. This truly instigated the smartphone takeover and changed the way people used their cell phones. With the increase of the smartphone app, these devices easily worked their way into nearly all aspects of Americans' lives.

Smartphones and Garage Door Openers

Today, there are numerous smartphone apps available that can turn a cell phone into a garage door opener. There are apps available for different cell phone models and different garage door opener models. There are also ways to "hack" a smartphone and garage door so that the cell phone can be used as an opener without relying on a downloadable app.

Troubleshooting a Smartphone Garage Door Opener

Like all technological innovations, smartphone garage door openers are not fail-safe. Here are some common things to check when the garage door does not respond to a smartphone opener:

  • Check the Bluetooth: Most smartphone garage door openers connect to and communicate with the garage door through a wireless Bluetooth connection. If the garage door is not opening or closing in response to a smartphone opener command, it might be because the smartphone's Bluetooth connection is turned off. In most smartphones, the on/off switch for Bluetooth connectivity is found in the phone's Settings.
  • Ensure that the Wireless is Working: Most interactive smartphone apps require a working internet connection. If no wireless connection is available, the smartphone opener may not work. The problem might be as simple as turning the phone's wireless setting on (usually found in the Settings), but might also be attributed to an unpaid internet bill or a weak internet connection. 
  • Make Sure that the App is Up-to-Date: Smartphone app developers consistently release updates for their products. Developers do this to improve the app security, fix bugs, and make improvements. If the most recent version of the smartphone app is not downloaded, it could prevent it from working properly. Most apps have automated updates, but sometimes the user can manually check for updates in the phone's app "store." 

The Past is the Present

Sometimes, the smartphone owner needs to do more investigation before determining where the problem lies. When time does not allow for more troubleshooting and the garage door must be opened or closed, the owner should still know how to manually work the garage door. Having a backup garage door opener that works independent of a smartphone is also advised. Naturally, problems can occur with these devices, as well, so knowing how to troubleshoot these devices can come in handy.For more information on garage door openers, contact Girard's Garage Door Services.