HomeKit Overview Updated August 18, 2019

HomeKit

Your home at your command.

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429 'HomeKit' stories

June 2014 - August 2019


What is HomeKit / Apple Home?

Along with several other new APIs for developers, Apple announced HomeKit in June 2014 which allows all home automation accessories/devices to work together in harmony with iOS. The new API will allow home automation developers to centralize all home automation without needing separate apps to access each device’s specific features. These devices include locks, lights, cameras, doors, thermostats, plugs, switches, and more.

HomeKit allows for secure pairing with devices and the ability to control individual devices. It also makes it possible to group several home automation devices into scenes that allow for easier control of any automation device in specific situations. One of the coolest features available with HomeKit is the ability to control any home automation accessory with Siri based on certain commands or scenes previously configured with these devices.

In 2016, Apple introduced a new Home app which comes with a modern look, relatively easy-to-use controls, and access to accessories and scenes from anywhere on iOS 10. Apple’s new built-in Home app on the iPhone’s Home screen, plus you can access a ton of functions from the lock screen or anywhere on iOS from the new Control Center (a swipe up from the bottom of the screen) once you have a HomeKit accessory set up.

In 2018, Apple released the HomePod. It was a way to interact with your connected home devices through Siri using a standalone device.

How Do You Use HomeKit?

HomeKit devices can be controlled from iPad, iPhone, Mac, Apple Watch, and HomePod. A 4th generation Apple TV (or newer) is an essential Apple smart home device as it acts as a bridge over iCloud to allow access to your devices when away from home.

9to5Mac’s Zac Hall does a regular column about the “Apple Home” lifestyle in his HomeKit Weekly column.

Popular HomeKit Devices

HomeKit Stories Today

IKEA has announced that it is increasing its investment in smart home technology and products. This comes as the company has gradually expanded into the smart home market with low-cost products that often integrate with Apple’s HomeKit platform.

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HomeKit Stories August 16

IKEA HomeKit blinds unboxing shows off rechargeable battery and more ahead of expected US launch this month

IKEA’s highly anticipated HomeKit blinds are expected to launch sometime this month or next in the US and they’ve just become available in the retailer’s home country of Sweden as well as other European countries. With the launch of the highly affordable HomeKit blinds we’ve now got our first hands-on look with a YouTube unboxing and teardown.

HomeKit Stories August 15

After my 20-year-old garage door opener decided to kick the bucket, I asked a friend to install a new opener. The LiftMaster WLED Elite Series garage door opener that I opted for includes built-in Wi-Fi, allowing it to connect to my home network without the help of any additional hardware.

By itself, the Wi-Fi-enabled opener can talk to the MyQ smartphone app, allowing users to open and close the overhead door remotely via the app. More important for those engrossed in the HomeKit ecosystem, however, is direct support for the MyQ Home Bridge hardware.

The MyQ Home Bridge acts as a liaison between HomeKit and the overhead door opener, allowing you to control a garage door via Siri or the Home app on your iOS device.

Is the MyQ Home Bridge a worthwhile investment if you have a capable garage door opener? Watch our hands-on video for the details.

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HomeKit Stories August 14

Sonos and IKEA’s home decor meets smart speaker collaboration has an interesting challenge: will it blend? Not in the squeeze-it-in-a-blender sense; will it blend in with your home and fit your taste?

Like sound, design preference is highly subjective. What’s not is just how versatile the new SYMFONISK lineup can be. Sonos and IKEA have bundled a Play:1 level Wi-Fi speaker inside a table lamp and bookshelf end cap. Useful features and attractive prices make both speakers worth considering even if you’re not in the Sonos ecosystem.

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HomeKit Stories August 12

At CES in January, TP-Link announced plans to add HomeKit support to its popular Kasa Smart Plug Mini sometime in “early” 2019. Unfortunately, however, it now appears that TP-Link has dropped those plans completely.

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HomeKit Stories August 9

HomeKit support for Arlo Pro and Pro 2 cameras started to roll out this week and we went hands-on with the support for Apple’s smart home platform. Now, Arlo’s Director of Product has answered a range of questions on the company’s forums and shared when Arlo Ultra should receive HomeKit support, details about HomeKit Secure Video, and more.

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