HomeKit Overview Updated August 20, 2019

HomeKit

Your home at your command.

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433 'HomeKit' stories

June 2014 - August 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 August 20

Apple is upgrading HomeKit this fall with new features like Secure Video and expanded automation, but it’s not all good news for Apple’s smart home framework. The Home app where users manage the smart home experience makes one design choice that is likely meant to make it more approachable. In practice, the change degrades the experience for a whole category of HomeKit products.

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IKEA’s affordable smart blinds won’t support HomeKit at launch after all

On Friday, a video emerged offering our closest look yet at IKEA’s long-awaited smart blinds. Throughout the entire launch process, IKEA has said the blinds would support HomeKit through its TRÅDFRI hub, but now the company says HomeKit won’t be supported at launch.

Theoretically, HomeKit supports fans as a smart home accessory. There are some HomeKit ceiling fans already on sale, but what I’ve been holding out for is a HomeKit tower fan for my office. Unfortunately, there aren’t really any to speak of.

After years of waiting, and a particularly hot summer, I gave up and explored the enthusiast route. I bought a standard fan with an IR remote control and set out to induct it into my HomeKit home using Homebridge…

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Ecobee HomeKit Thermostat

HomeKit Stories August 19

macOS Catalina Home app adds new icon options for HomeKit lights and plugs

The new macOS beta released today includes a nice little surprise for HomeKit users: new icon options for HomeKit lights, smart outlets, and fans.

HomeKit Stories August 18

IKEA has announced that it is increasing its investment in smart home technology and products. This comes as the company has gradually expanded into the smart home market with low-cost products that often integrate with Apple’s HomeKit platform.

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HomeKit Stories August 16

IKEA HomeKit blinds unboxing shows off rechargeable battery and more ahead of expected US launch this month

IKEA’s highly anticipated HomeKit blinds are expected to launch sometime this month or next in the US and they’ve just become available in the retailer’s home country of Sweden as well as other European countries. With the launch of the highly affordable HomeKit blinds we’ve now got our first hands-on look with a YouTube unboxing and teardown.

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