HomeKit Overview Updated February 20, 2017

HomeKit

Apple's home automation framework and platform

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136 HomeKit stories

June 2014 - February 2017


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 20

AAPL: 135.72

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I wrote last time that despite having 16 HomeKit devices, I was already wanting more. No-one who knows me will be the slightest bit surprised that the interval between ‘wanting more’ and ‘getting more’ was rather short. Every light in my home is now HomeKit-enabled, and I’ve also added some switches and motion-sensors.

The lightbulb additions were the kitchen and bathroom, and the justification of adding these two rooms seemed somewhat flimsy. Were we really ever going to want mood lighting in the bathroom or kitchen? But having added these rooms into the mix, along with some rather old-fashioned HomeKit technology, I’m glad I did it.

That doesn’t mean that HomeKit is perfect, however – but let’s start with what I’ve added and why before I list my complaints …

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HomeKit Stories February 17

AAPL: 135.72

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D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD is the first home security camera with HomeKit support to hit the market since Apple added video support with iOS 10. Read on for our quick hands-on to see how Omna 180 HD works with HomeKit and Apple’s Home app for iPhone and iPad.

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HomeKit Stories February 15

AAPL: 135.51

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Smart home accessories are priced at a premium over basic appliances which makes HomeKit an expensive hobby. Homebuilders are offering HomeKit accessory packages for new home buyers with a $4,000 starting price so that’s one ballpark estimate, but how much would it cost to retrofit your existing home with HomeKit hardware?

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9to5toys 

D-Link has just announced that the first smart home security camera with HomeKit integration is now available to buy from Apple Online Store with delivery from next week. The Omna 180 Cam HD features a wide angle 1080p camera with night vision and two way audio, enclosed in a sleek cylindrical body.

It integrates with the latest HomeKit features in iOS 10 displaying a live video feed from the Home app. It can even send a rich notification to your iPhone when motion is detected, including video of the event.

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HomeKit Stories February 9

AAPL: 132.42

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Elgato Eve Motion is a standalone motion detection sensor that’s compatible with Apple’s HomeKit feature. Eve Motion can be used as a sensor in iOS 10’s Home app to trigger scenes and control accessories.

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HomeKit Stories February 7

AAPL: 131.53

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If you’re assembling a HomeKit home, First Alert’s Onelink Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm is currently the best smoke detector to purchase. As a smart smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, Onelink sends you alerts when triggered while you’re away and HomeKit support turns Onelink into a trigger for automation. Check out our hands-on review below:

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