HomeKit Overview Updated May 26, 2020

HomeKit

Your home at your command.

See All Stories

536 'HomeKit' stories

June 2014 - May 2020


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 API allows 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 that came 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 arrived 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 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.

HomeKit Secure Video

With iOS 13, Apple announced HomeKit Secure Video.

Footage from home security cameras contains your most personal and sensitive data. With HomeKit Secure Video, activity detected by supported cameras is privately analyzed by your home hub using on‑device intelligence to determine if people, pets, or cars are present. When important activity is detected, you and anyone you share your Home app with will receive a rich notification that lets you view the clip right from the Lock Screen. Recorded video is available to view for ten days from the Home app. It’s securely stored for free in supported iCloud accounts and doesn’t count against your storage limit.

While the rollout has been slow, Logitech, Arlo, Netatmo, and Eufy are among the early standouts. With recent privacy issues with Ring, HomeKit Secure Video is likely to continue to grow in popularity. One key benefit with Secure Video is that it works with your existing iCloud storage (200GB and up plan), so you don’t have an extra monthly fee for storage.

HomeKit Router

HomeKit Router was also announced with iOS 13, but it wasn’t released until early 2020. The idea behind the feature is you can give granular control to smart home enabled devices to control where on the internet they can reach.

eero was the first company to roll out support in for HomeKit Router.

With Apple HomeKit, eero gives you even more protection of your HomeKit accessories and an easy way to manage what they are allowed to communicate with in your home and through the internet.

There are three levels of security Apple offers for accessories paired with HomeKit routers:

  • Restrict to Home: Most secure. Your accessory can interact only with HomeKit through your Apple devices. The accessory won’t connect to the Internet or any local devices, so any third-party services, like firmware updates, might be blocked.
  • Automatic: Default security. Your accessory can communicate with HomeKit and connections recommended by its manufacturer.
  • No Restriction: Least secure. This setting bypasses the secure router and allows your accessory to interact with any device in your network or Internet-based service.

How Do You Use HomeKit?

Homekit app

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 Bradley Chambers does a regular column about the “Apple Home” lifestyle in his HomeKit Weekly column.

Popular Reviews

HomeKit Stories Yesterday

HomeKit security system maker Abode launches redesigned app with new quick actions, access to multiple systems, more

Abode, maker of the Iota HomeKit security system and other smart home devices has launched its all-new mobile app for all users after running a beta test. Abode 5.0 for iOS and Android features an updated UI, new one-tap quick actions, the ability to manage multiple systems without logging out, and more.

Update: The app has now been updated to add HomeKit support.

If you’ve been waiting for a HomeKit-compatible air purifier, the good news is that there’s now one on the way. The Vocolinc PureFlow Air Purifier is already available for pre-order in some European and Scandinavian countries, with shipping shown as 11-12 days.

You can’t yet order them in the US, but the company says that US distributors have already placed orders …

expand full story

HomeKit Stories May 25

HomeKit doorbells are like unicorns. Mythical and make-believe, yet they still hold a place in our imagination. But what if they were real? HomeKit doorbells, not unicorns, that is. Turns out they do exist, and they’re as magical as any HomeKit enthusiast would expect. Especially if you’ve been waiting for years to get your hands on one.

Yobi B3 is the star of the HomeKit doorbell category. With an affordable price tag and a consumer-friendly design, Yobi is made to fill the massive gap left by Ring and other popular smart doorbells.

expand full story

HomeKit Stories May 22

When 2020 started, I didn’t have a single camera in my HomeKit setup, but as the year as gone on, I’ve been picking up cameras left and right. After deploying multiple eufyCameras around the exterior of my house, I turned my attention to covering parts of the interior of my house. While HomeKit Secure Video is essential for outside of the house, it’s required for the inside of my house. It’s one thing for a company to have views on the outside of my house, but only I want to be able to see what’s going on inside my house. End to end encryption is required for any indoor cameras that I use in my house. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been testing out the Netatmo Indoor Camera with HomeKit Secure Video. expand full story

HomeKit Stories May 19

How to manually add a HomeKit accessory in the Home app

Need to add a HomeKit device but don’t have the QR code available or having trouble with scanning it? Follow along for how to manually add a HomeKit accessory in the Home app on iPhone and iPad.

HomeKit Stories May 18

Logitech has officially unveiled its new Circle View smart camera that works exclusively with Apple’s HomeKit Secure Video platform. The Circle View is similar to the wired Circle 2, but with a focus on privacy and a new black design.

expand full story

Powered by WordPress.com VIP