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

HomeKit Weekly Stories September 10

The August Lock is one of my favorite HomeKit devices I own, so when I came across the Yale Smart Cabinet Lock, it was something I was immediately curious to try to see how it worked with HomeKit, as I’ve not used an indoor lock before.

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HomeKit Weekly Stories September 3

Since I’ve started working from home full-time as the Senior Digital Web and Marketing Manager for Cribl, I’ve had to rethink my desk set up in the short term. My wife and I are currently in the home building process, so this setup isn’t permanent, but it’s what I have for now. A few weeks ago, I added the HomeKit compatible Meross Smart LED Floor Lamp to my home office, and it’s become the perfect way to brighten up my video calls.

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HomeKit Weekly Stories August 27

About a year ago, I did a review of HOOBS, which is an out-of-the-box solution for running a Homebridge environment. Homebridge has become the centralized platform for connecting devices that don’t natively support HomeKit to Apple’s platform. There are countless other projects going to make all of your smart home products HomeKit compatible. HOOBS 4 is a recently released software update that makes it an even better place to run Homebridge

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HomeKit Weekly Stories August 13

I frequently review Eve products for HomeKit because I’ve grown to appreciate their support for Thread and being very privacy-focused. One of their products I am just getting around to using is the Eve Aqua with Thread support.

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Weather plays a huge part in the automation of your home. From understanding when to heat and cool your home to running the sprinklers at optimal temperatures, being able to drill down with your home’s actual temperature will be a handy feature. Over the past month, I’ve been using the new Eve Weather as yet another data point in understanding my home’s weather.

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HomeKit Weekly Stories August 6

I’ve been working my way through all of Eve’s products sold in the US, and I am continually amazed by its tight integration with HomeKit and reliable products. If Apple planned on buying a vendor to build first-party HomeKit products, Eve should be at the top of the list. A recent addition to my office was the Eve Room indoor air quality monitor.

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HomeKit Weekly Stories July 30

HomeKit surge protectors are a popular way to add HomeKit support to multiple appliances at the same time. Many of them allow you to individually control each outlet using the Home app, Siri, or an automation. This week, I am looking at the Energy Strip as a HomeKit option for power strips and built-in energy monitoring.

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HomeKit Weekly Stories July 22

Aqara has been a great option for people starting out with HomeKit, as their starter kits provide a low-cost way to add a number of HomeKit-compatible products all at once. Once you add a hub, you can add start adding water sensors, motions sensors, etc. Today, Aqara is unveiling a brand-new TVOC Air Quality Monitor with an e-ink design.

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HomeKit Weekly Stories July 16

Meross has become one of the top Homekit manufacturers due to its expanding product portfolio and affordable price points. I’ve got a number of their previous products in my house including its smart strip, table lamp, outdoor plug, and dual smart plug. This week, I am looking at the new HomeKit compatible Meross LED light strips.

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HomeKit Weekly Stories July 9

There is no shortage of smart outlet adaptors for HomeKit. In the past, I reviewed products from VOCOlinc, Eve (with Thread), Meross, Wemo, and more. The one thing they are all missing is support for dimmable bulbs. If you need that feature, keep reading to learn more about the Legrand Smart Switch.

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HomeKit Weekly Stories June 25

HomeKit Secure Routers have had an interesting lifespan. The technology was first introduced at WWDC in 2019, but it was another year before any manufacturers started rolling out support. Even into 2021, there are still just a handful of Wi-Fi solutions that support HomeKit Secure Routers. One of the most recent additions is eero Pro 6 and eero 6. I recently decided I was ready to implement HomeKit Secure Router, so I purchased the Pro edition and went to work upgrading my network.

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HomeKit Weekly Stories June 18

It’s summertime, so many people are sprucing up the outdoor parts of their homes with new flowers and mulch, but it’s also a great time of year to take on some new HomeKit projects to streamline aspects of your house, including adding some extra security.

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HomeKit Weekly Stories June 8

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been testing the Aqara M2 hub, and it’s a worthy addition to HomeKit. I’ve been using the original Aqara hub in my home for the better part of a year. I’ve done a complete reversal on my opinion on the use of hubs between devices and HomeKit. In my early days of using HomeKit, I preferred devices that worked on Wi-Fi or Bluetooth without using a hub. In practice, I’ve found that the devices attached to hubs are the most reliable in my HomeKit setup.

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HomeKit Weekly Stories May 28

E-ink technology is typically found in Kindle devices, but it’s one of the critical features of the Qingping Bluetooth digital thermometer.

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HomeKit Weekly Stories May 21

Smart outlets are one of the simplest ways to start your smart home journey, and I’ve tried almost all of the ones that support HomeKit. With its new Thread support, the Eve Energy will become my go-to recommendation until other products add Thread supports.

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HomeKit Weekly Stories May 14

While it’s entering the humid months here in the southern United States, I am always on the lookout for new HomeKit devices to simplify my life. In the dryer months, my family uses humidifiers to keep our rooms from drying out at night. I recently acquired the VOCOlinc MistFlow smart humidifier for my HomeKit setup. Let’s dive into all it can do.

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HomeKit Weekly Stories May 7

In the process of building a new house, I’ve been putting a lot of thought into what I want to do camera-wise. I’ve even considered putting in Nest cameras outdoors (bridging to HomeKit via Starling Home Hub) and then HomeKit cameras indoors. As part of that process, I’ve been purchasing every HomeKit camera on the market, so this week, I am looking at the Ecobee SmartCamera as a potential option to build around.

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HomeKit Weekly Stories April 23

Before I became an adult, I rarely worried much about the weather. Now, I somewhat obsess over what’s happening and what will happen. After tornados ran through my town in 2020 (yes, a tornado during a pandemic), I especially watch the weather much closer in the spring. Dark Sky has been my weather app of choice with occasional use of Carrot Weather. Both apps are fantastic, but I am taking my weather monitoring to new levels by adding the Netatmo Weather Station into my HomeKit environment.

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HomeKit Weekly Stories April 16

VOCOlinc is one of the best manufacturers of HomeKit products, and I’ve grown to appreciate their hardware quality and software quality. For the last few weeks, I’ve been testing the VOCOlinc T Guard Smart Lock to see how it works with HomeKit.

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HomeKit Weekly Stories April 2

There’s been a lot of discussion about Apple’s decision to discontinue the original HomePod and its relation to what the future of Apple’s Home strategy will become. I highly recommend that you read Zac Hall’s piece on this topic. This week, I want to look at the positive aspects of where Apple is at with its Home strategy. After filling my house with HomePod minis, I’ve now discovered how essential having a voice-driven Home assistant in every room is for your home. Read on to learn why, despite having a lower-quality music speaker, the HomePod mini and HomeKit are the perfect match for each other.

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HomeKit Weekly Stories March 26

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my wife and I purchased some land that I am starting to think through what some of the HomeKit setup I will end up having as I’ll install everything during construction instead of having to retrofit it. One of the things I am thinking through is cameras. There are several ways I could go. Part of me thinks I should stick with the eufyCam setup I have now, but then part of me wants to look at something hardwired to power like the Logi Circle View. To better prepare my decision-making, I am attempting to test all of the HomeKit cameras on the market to see what I want to include in our new house. This week, I am taking a look at the Eve Cam.

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HomeKit Weekly Stories March 19

When someone asks me why now is a great time to get into home automation and build out a smart home, I tell them that we’re finally at a place where you can build off of a platform instead of having to buy everything from a single vendor. A product from one company can create triggers to turn on products from other companies. For people in the Apple ecosystem, as long as you see the HomeKit logo, you know that you’ll be able to control it from the Home app and from Siri using your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or HomePod. This week, I want to look at the Eve motion sensor to show you why having motion sensors in all of your rooms is a key part of automating your smart home environment.

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HomeKit Weekly Stories March 12

HomeKit Secure Video, in my opinion, is one of the prime examples of what makes Apple great and terrible at the same time. HomeKit Secure Video is the most secure way to record footage inside and outside your home, but it can also be one of the most frustrating Apple technologies at the same time. This week, I want to discuss how Apple can continue expanding HomeKit Secure Video to solve its problems while making it a better service at the same time. Let’s dive into what Apple can include in HomeKit Secure Video 2.0.

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HomeKit Weekly Stories March 5

Spring will be here soon, which means it’s officially time to start thinking about the summer of iOS 15 and macOS 12 betas after WWDC. From my vantage point, HomeKit is at a real crossroads for Apple. It’s a platform that I have invested thousands of dollars in. Still, it’s time to take it to the next level with expanded product categories, increased automation with Machine Learning, and increased stability – particularly with HomeKit Secure Video. Here are some things I want to see in HomeKit with iOS 15.

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