HomeKit Overview Updated December 1, 2019

HomeKit

Your home at your command.

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453 'HomeKit' stories

June 2014 - December 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 December 1

Update: Apparently, this launch was meant to be more ‘secret’ than official. Netatmo is testing with a small group of customers whilst in beta. A wider public launch is yet to be officially announced.

Another popular home security camera now supports Apple’s HomeKit Secure Video feature. Starting this weekend, Netatmo is rolling out HomeKit Secure Video support to its uniquely designed Smart Indoor Camera, enabling more advanced control and recording via the Home app.

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Apple has been playing the slow game with HomeKit compared to Amazon’s Alexa ecosystem. Where Apple is working on detailed projects like HomeKit Secure Video, Amazon and Google are being bundled into nearly every device that has Wi-Fi in it. I love HomeKit, and I prefer it over Alexa or Google Assistant, but as we come to the end of 2019, I have four Amazon Echo Dots in my home and no HomePods. One of the key reasons I finally succumbed and bought a few Echo Dots was when Apple Music support launched and I found them on sale. If someone who loves Apple has started to dip his toes into the Alexa waters, what should be on Apple’s HomeKit plans for 2020? expand full story

HomeKit Stories November 27

Apple lists the cameras and routers that will be compatible with the latest HomeKit features

Apple has updated its HomeKit accessory list with the latest information on which smart home devices will support the latest HomeKit features introduced alongside iOS 13.2, namely HomeKit Secure Video and HomeKit routers.

HomeKit Stories November 21

Abode has been planning to bring HomeKit functionality to its Iota home security system for two years and today it has delivered on that promise to support Apple’s smart home platform. Abode’s security system includes door and window sensors, motion sensors, vibration sensors, cameras, and more.

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HomeKit Stories November 20

A new smart lock with a unique approach has been announced today called Level Lock. The clever invisible design means it works with your existing (traditional) deadbolt and keys to bring Apple HomeKit functionality to any door without changing the look of your existing hardware. Beyond Siri and the HomeKit integration, there are handy features like auto-unlock via proximity with your iOS device (in addition to Bluetooth), a “Party Pass” feature to give multiple friends or family access, and more.

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HomeKit Stories November 19

HomeKit Secure Video officially arrived last week starting with Logitech Circle 2 cameras. While my early impressions are positive for Apple’s new smart security camera feature, the very first version of HomeKit Secure Video leaves out some familiar features.

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