HomeKit Overview Updated February 23, 2018

HomeKit

Apple's home automation framework and platform

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253 'HomeKit' stories

June 2014 - February 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 February 23

Those of you who’ve been following my Smart Home Diary series will know that I’ve learned a number of lessons – some of them the hard way. But I thought it would be useful to distill these into a single piece offering my best advice for anyone planning to create a smart home from scratch today.

And that advice begins with considering whether or not creating a smart home is a smart choice for you …

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HomeKit Stories February 22

CarPlay isn’t expected to gain any major features this year according to recent reporting, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dream. One simple change I would love to see in some future update is support for HomeKit alerts through CarPlay. Going a step further, a dedicated Home app for CarPlay with a few key features could be very beneficial.

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Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

HomeKit Stories February 21

Lots of companies promise HomeKit support for existing products then fail to follow through for one reason or another, but Netgear’s Arlo has proven to be an exception to that trend. After promising HomeKit support for its Arlo Baby Camera line, Netgear has released an app update that makes the baby monitor cameras work with Apple HomeKit.

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I explained in my first HomePod Diary piece that there was one smart home issue we needed to address: while I’m happy to use Siri to control everything from my Apple Watch or iPhone, my partner would often find that she wanted to switch lights on or off while her phone was in another room. We’d partially addressed this with Hue dimmer switches, but wanted more flexibility.

Some kind of smart speaker was the obvious solution to this, and the HomePod would have the advantage of being able to act as a HomeKit hub too.

In my HomePod Diary, I’ve been focusing mostly on music, but I’m also happy to report that the smart speaker has also passed the Steph Test …

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HomeKit Stories February 20

Homecam is a handy HomeKit app on iOS and tvOS that specializes in letting you view multiple video streams simultaneously. The latest version of Homecam builds on top of the app’s multi-feed view by adding new data layers, room control, and more to the Apple TV version.

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HomeKit Stories February 13

Canary has announced that its home security camera system now works with Amazon Alexa devices with screens including Echo Spot and compatible Fire TVs. Alexa support lets you use voice to view live video from connected cameras. While the company is shipping Echo integration, Canary is still not offering a clear roadmap for when Apple HomeKit support may be coming.

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