HomeKit Overview Updated May 19, 2019

HomeKit

Your home at your command.

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394 'HomeKit' stories

June 2014 - May 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

This week, an image appeared on the HomeKit subreddit claiming to show a first-generation August Doorbell Cam within Apple’s Home app on iOS. In a statement to 9to5Mac, however, August has confirmed that its smart doorbell cameras still do not support HomeKit.

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HomeKit Stories May 13

Smart home device maker, Ring, has been promising that it would bring HomeKit support to products like its video doorbell for almost three years. Now the wait may be finally (almost) over, as the company has earned HomeKit certifications for its Video Doorbell Pro and Spotlight Cam.

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HomeKit Stories May 9

Last month, images of a new Ecobee camera leaked and showcased a sleek black and silver design. Now, the first details of Ecobee’s next smart thermostat, believed to be called the Ecobee4+, have emerged.

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Although I do generally have a rule that smart home tech has to be HomeKit-compatible, there have been a few exceptions here and there. HomeKit-compatible window blinds were one of these, because the only option available at the time was just crazy money for the number we needed.

We did still get iPhone-controlled blinds, with HomeKit support promised down the line. Alexa support arrived first, which gave me an interesting insight into how the two ecosystems compared – but then HomeKit support finally landed for Hunter Douglas blinds …

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Philips Hue zones have been added in the latest update to the iOS app, allowing for more flexible control of your lighting. The option is currently flagged as a beta feature …

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HomeKit Stories May 2

Smart home devices are ‘creepy’ according to the majority of people who own them, based on an Ipsos MORI poll. Two-thirds of US owners of smart home gadgets bought them despite this feeling.

The take-away appears to be that consumers consider the convenience to outweigh privacy concerns …

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