Smart Life – how to utterly screw up your account
Smart Life is an app/service that works with a lot of OEM smart lights, smart switches, and devices of all kinds. They provide the pairing functionality and get your device into the ecosystem you want such as Google Home or the Alexaverse. I use smart plugs quite a bit in my life as having the ability to remotely turn it off and back on again.
Many years ago I registered for Smart Life using my Google email address and a password that I’d never forget… oh yeah, I forgot it 7 years or so in and it’d been working well and signed in up until yesterday. I was adding a new bulb and it wanted me to sign in again and there was an option to enter username and password or just log in with Google.
I tapped log in with Google as, well, my guess is I wasn’t thinking. What I got was a new account unrelated to my other account. Whoops. Chose to log out, remembered the old account password, logged back in, and sure enough I’m back to the Google account with absolutely none of my 26 or so devices (work, power cycle the air filter / kill a cooling system / etc).
I asked the nearest Google Home to turn on a light that had been configured, worked fine. So my Home was talking to Smart Life and getting all the old devices, but when I added a new one in the now-empty Google account it was not accessible. I unlinked my Smart Life account, re-linked it using the username and password, and discovered I now only had 1 device – the light bulb. All the rest were gone. Womp womp.
Here’s where things get weird – I attempted to locate a contact us, support, anything, nope. Couldn’t delete the account for a week in the app. Finally decide to forge forward and set everything back up. I added a couple of lights that were in the same room, both of them were discovered at the same time and both came back with what I’d named them previously – Maggie’s overhead lights.
I found that everything I re-added came to the new account with the old name, which means I was able with a blank Google-authenticated account to pull data from a cross-emailed dead account and get what it was named.
So yeah, if you’ve got a Smart Life account, even if you’re busy working on a ransomware attack, make sure you take that extra minute to not log in using a different form of authentication that uses the same email address or you’re going to regret it and spend more time cleaning up your own mess on top of everything.