HomeKit Overview Updated July 23, 2018

HomeKit

Apple's home automation framework and platform

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294 'HomeKit' stories

June 2014 - July 2018


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.

Check out our hands-on to see Apple’s Home app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch in action.

HomeKit Stories Today

Philips announced a new outdoor lineup of Hue lights this past spring that consists of spot lights, bollard lights, and luminaries. Now the company is expanding its offerings, unveiling an outdoor version of its popular LED LightStrip.

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HomeKit Stories July 19

Belkin was remarkably late to the HomeKit scene with their Wemo line of smart home accessories, but the company finally remedied that in January with a dedicated $40 bridge. Now Belkin is going one step further and making its $35 Wemo Mini Smart Plug work with HomeKit without requiring a bridge.

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HomeKit Stories July 18

In the last day or so, Apple has updated its list of HomeKit accessories with some seemingly bad news: all references to HomeKit doorbells have been removed. The page previously featured the August Doorbell Cam as ‘coming soon’.

Infamously, August first promised HomeKit support in 2016, and the Ring Video Doorbell has said that it has been ‘testing’ HomeKit integration for many months. It’s not clear what has caused Apple to remove the listings.

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HomeKit Stories July 16

Quick Review: Sensibo Sky smartens up your in-window air conditioner with web connected thermostat

There are now a few HomeKit-enabled window mounted air conditioners on the market, but what about the millions of installed and working dumb air conditioners already in homes and apartments? Does it make sense to trash a perfectly good air conditioner just to get a smart one?

Perhaps! But an Israeli-based company called Sensibo has a quicker/easier/better solution. For most air conditioners with a remote, the Sensibo Sky is will add an app/web controlled and timer equipped thermostat to your air conditioner in minutes, and today it is $99 as part of Amazon’s Prime Day. 

HomeKit Stories July 11

Today is the day that many Sonos and Apple users have been waiting for! This morning, Sonos has launched AirPlay 2 support via a software update that brings HomeKit and Siri functionality. Follow along for how to get your Sonos speakers up and running with AirPlay 2.

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HomeKit Stories July 9

New York Times report last month pointed to the growing problem of smart home devices being used to harrass and stalk former partners.

Smart home technology is being used to inflict new forms of domestic abuse on partners and former partners. Examples include everything from video surveillance through cameras to blasting out loud music through smart speakers and turning up thermostat temperatures to oppressive levels.

A British university has now put together a series of links to resources which can help those who find themselves being targeted in this way …

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