HomeKit Overview Updated September 27, 2016

HomeKit

Apple's home automation framework and platform

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.

101 HomeKit stories

June 2014 - September 2016

HomeKit Stories Today

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Honeywell is announcing a new HomeKit-enabled Wi-Fi thermostat today called the Lyric T5 that will cost $149.99. HomeKit support means you can control the temperature with your voice using Siri or with Apple’s new Home app on iOS 10 and watchOS 3. Lyric T5 features a highly improved design over Honeywell’s other HomeKit thermostat and a larger touchscreen display that makes it worthy of being called a smart home accessory.

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HomeKit Stories September 26

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Apple’s HomeKit feature lets you control “smart” lights with Siri or Apple’s new Home app on iOS 10, and there are generally two ways to make your home lighting more intelligent. You can change your light bulbs to “connected” bulbs that talk to a bridge over Wi-Fi, or you can replace your light switches with “connected” switches that take the same bridge approach.

The Lutron Caséta kit takes the latter approach by replacing your existing light switches with smart switches that make your traditional light bulbs work with Siri. There are notable differences between both approaches including cost and ease-of-setup which I’ll unpack below. And if bells and whistles don’t impress you, Lutron takes the crown for having the most elegant solution to HomeKit lighting with one exception…

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HomeKit Stories September 23

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Controlling smart home devices with your iPhone or iPad is far from a new concept, but in iOS 10, Apple is lending much more focus to home automation. It’s all thanks to the new built-in Home app that ships with iOS 10 and watchOS 3.

Resident Apple HomeKit enthusiast, Zac Hall, already wrote a thorough walkthrough of the new Home app during the initial iOS 10 beta period, but now that iOS 10 and watchOS 3 are shipping, it’s only right to give it another in-depth visit with a corresponding walkthrough.

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9to5toys 

HomeKit Stories September 20

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Apple’s new Home app in iOS 10 promotes HomeKit to a built-in app with Control Center access, but a few accessories require firmware updates to fully work with the new home automation software. Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt was previously in this camp, and today Schlage is announcing that its Sense Smart Deadbolt is fully compatible with Apple’s new Home app.

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HomeKit Stories September 16

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Update: Apple has updated its documentation to reflect the fact that the third-gen Apple TV can do HomeKit remote access, but not automation.

iOS 10 includes a pre-installed Home app from Apple that lets you easily set up and manage smart accessories and automation, which previously required using third-party apps from various developers. There is one important drawback for HomeKit users on iOS 10: you can no longer use the third-generation Apple TV as a hub for automation or remote access.

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HomeKit Stories September 12

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Before Apple built its Home app for HomeKit in iOS 10, Matthias Hochgatterer created the best HomeKit app around with the original Home app. Apple’s Home app on iOS 10 is built-in, free, and has its own panel on Control, but the third-party Home app is still the best solution if you’re in deep with HomeKit like me. The iOS 10 version includes updated widgets, a new design, a refreshed Apple Watch app, and a temporarily discounted price to mark the launch.

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9to5google 

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