Matthias Hochgatterer has been developing the best HomeKit app for power users since before Apple ever shipped their own Home app. The latest version of the third-party HomeKit management app called Home+ 5 brings a redesign and new ways to customize and organize complex smart home configurations.
Home+ for iPhone and iPad has a brand-new look that will be familiar to HomeKit users coming from the built-in Home app. Here’s Hochgatterer’s approach to design in version 5.0:
In Home+ 5 the usability and appearance of the app is very similar to Apple’s Home app. Why? Because most people already use the Home app. They should “feel at home” when switching to Home+.
One thing I really like about the Home app is the user interface to control accessories. You can seamlessly turn on devices, dim lights and close blinds. Apple did an awesome job designing those user interfaces. I’m really happy that Home+ now features the same controls.
The app continues to beat the built-in Home app in terms of customization with device icons and capabilities with advanced automations.
Brand new to Home+ 5 are new ways to organize and preserve all the customization that power users invest in HomeKit:
- Automation Folders – you can group automations in folders to get a better overview. If you are an advanced user of HomeKit and you have a lot of automations, you know that the automations screen gets confusing very quickly.
- Backups – you can store your home configuration in a backup. A backup includes information about accessories, groups, rooms, zones, scenes and automations. A backup is useful because HomeKit can be buggy. If you have to reset your HomeKit configuration, you know how painful it is to manually restore your accessories, rooms and automations. A backup can help you with that.
- Smart Groups – Home+ 5 automatically groups similar accessories together in a Smart Group and shows them at the top of the screen. With Smart Groups you can dim all lights in a specific room, close all blinds in a zone or turn off all lights in your home.
- Favorites – you can finally see all your favorite accessories, scenes, cameras and sensors in one screen. This makes for a great dashboard.
- And More – this update includes a lot more improvements like the new, and faster watchOS app, icons for rooms and Settings Sharing.
Home+ for iPhone and iPad is available as a single $14.99 purchase on the App Store; no subscriptions or in-app purchases. Version 5.0 is a free update to all previous Home+ customers.
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