HomeKit Overview Updated November 20, 2017

HomeKit

Apple's home automation framework and platform

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214 'HomeKit' stories

June 2014 - November 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 November 20

Hunter is a company known for commercializing ceiling fans over 130 years ago, and today the company is the only firm making smart home ceiling fans that work with Apple HomeKit. Hunter’s SimpleConnect line includes three ceiling fan models available in multiple finishes that are priced from $299.

Each Hunter ceiling fan includes a built-in LED light that makes SimpleConnect a 2-in-1 essential for HomeKit homes. This enables Siri control from Apple devices, Control Center access on iPhone and iPad, automation with other smart accessories through Apple’s Home app, and much more.

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HomeKit Stories November 16

ecobee is the maker of what I consider the best HomeKit thermostat on the market, and the new version called ecobee4 adds built-in Amazon Alexa voice control and works with Google Home. ecobee4 offers the same features as the HomeKit-enabled ecobee3 which we reviewed last year, so should iPhone users spend the extra money on the new version?

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iHome launches affordable HomeKit-enabled Outdoor SmartPlug just in time for your holiday lights

iHome today has released several new smart home products including the affordable Outdoor SmartPlug with HomeKit compatibility just in time for the holidays as well as three new Wi-Fi based home security sensors.

HomeKit Stories November 15

LIFX launches new LED light strip w/ HomeKit support, new HomeKit controller to retrofit existing products

LIFX today has released two new products that feature HomeKit support. The new LIFX Z Starter Kit with HomeKit is the company’s latest lighting product, while a new HomeKit controller will bring HomeKit support to existing LIFX products.

HomeKit Stories November 1

After a few false starts, IKEA has finally added HomeKit integration to its Tradfri smart light range. For owners of Tradfri smart bulb accessories, you can now update your hub firmware and get the latest version of the Tradfri app from the App Store.

This allows you to generate a HomeKit code for your existing accessories and add them using the Apple Home app. You can then control the devices like any other HomeKit accessory, including Siri voice control.

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HomeKit Stories October 25

Smart locks offer a number of benefits over the traditional key-operated kind. There’s the fact that you are less likely to get locked out if you have multiple methods of entry – key, phone and Watch, for example. Auto-unlocking is also convenient when you are carrying shopping and don’t have any free hands.

Typical smart locks offer another key benefit: the ability to allow other people entry into your home when you’re not there. For example, if a family member is visiting, and will arrive before you get home from work, you can create a ‘guest pass’ for them that allows them entry.

Today, Amazon has taken that one step further

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