HomeKit is my chosen platform for my smart home, but there are still ways that Apple could expand its platform to grow with its users as their home grows, and as their families change. While Apple allows you to invite people in your family to have access to your home as well as invite guests. My current issue is that I want to give my kid’s selective access to specific devices, but not them all. Selective device sharing is something Apple should add to HomeKit.

HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework.


My oldest son is getting closer to the age where he is using his iPad to access Apple Music, and he’s been using his Echo Dot to control lamps in his bedrooms. I’ve considered sharing our HomeKit setup with him, but I am also concerned with giving him access to our entire HomeKit structure.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve invested in getting our thermostats integrated with HomeKit and installing a security system that has HomeKit integration. While I am okay with my kids having access to things like lights, speakers, and Apple TVs, I would love to lock them out of devices that they do not need access to at their age.

How should Family Sharing with HomeKit work?

Over the past few years, we’ve gone from a couple of lamps on HomeKit to almost every light in our house, every TV, alarm system, locks, and door locks. It’s going from convenience to an essential part of our home. Thanks to access from the Home app on iPhone and Siri on HomePod, I can do so many things around my house without even thinking about it.

As a result, the security of HomeKit is ever more critical. If my kids were able to control the thermostats from their iPads, they could potentially raise my electric bill if they raised the heat to 75 degrees in the winter instead of the 68 degrees that I keep it on. If they had access to our alarm system or door locks, they could potentially access sensitive parts of our HomeKit setup without prior authorization.

What I’d like to see Apple do with future versions of the Home app on iOS and macOS is let me give other members of my Family read access to all of our devices, but not the ability to change them. I would be fine if they were able to see the status of our alarm system, but not modify it. They could be able to see the temperature on their floor of the home without being able to change what I temperature I have it set for in our schedule. They should be able to see if the doors are locked, but not be able to unlock them from their iPad or from Siri.

Wrap-up

As families integrate more and more HomeKit devices, it’s going to be imperative that Apple allows the primary HomeKit owners to selectively sharing specific devices with other members of their families. With my August Lock on Alexa, I am required to put in a PIN code verbally unlock my door. As I integrate more and more of my home into HomeKit, I want Apple to recognize that not all members of a home can have access to all the devices.

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