Thanks to Apple's user-centric philosophy, the company has dominated the tech market for the past few decades. Their vast array of devices has redefined the way we approach productivity, and the company has set the standards as so many products were invented by them. Apple continues to elevate its ecosystem, resulting in innovative features that will provide great features for home and business alike.
In the age of artificial intelligence and virtual assistants, it's no surprise that Apple has entered the smart home market. If you're already deep in the Apple ecosystem or looking to make the switch to Apple, here's what the HomeKit brings to the table.
What is the Apple HomeKit?
Apple HomeKit is a framework that already lives in your Apple products. Instead of having different apps for every smart device you own, HomeKit condenses them into a single platform. Because of this capability, users can manage things in their homes like lights, televisions, and speakers through their MacBooks, iPhones, Apple Watches, and iPads.
To transform your house into a smart home, you can start by purchasing compatible accessories from any major retailer by just searching for HomeKit. To set them up, open the Home app, and scan their codes located on the manual or box. Once they've been detected, your gadgets will appear in the Home app. This is where the magic begins.
All devices in your home can be sorted into different groups like which room they are in, their usage, or the most frequently used accessories around the house. These features can help as you go through your daily routine.
6 Things to Do with Your Apple HomeKit
Still need more convincing? Here are 6 awesome things you can do with the Apple HomeKit!
1. Turn the lights on or off
Lighting doesn't seem like a crucial aspect of your home, but don't take it for granted. Luckily, there are a ton of smart lights that are compatible with HomeKit.
The Home app can trigger your lamps and light bulbs across different conditions. For example, you can program them to go bright after the sunset, turn them off when you leave your home, or dim when you're reading a book or watching a movie. Just ask Siri (voice interface on your phone, computer etc.) or tweak your control center for a quick fix!
2. Check and regulate your home's temperature
HomeKit can work perfectly with your HVAC. By purchasing the necessary sensors, you can automate your devices according to your location or home's current temperature. The moment you leave for work, the Home app can ensure that your preferred settings are adjusted accordingly.
3. Play and control music
Play your favorite songs hands-free! Smart speakers aren't new, but the HomeKit can take their performance to a whole new level. If you have an Apple Music subscription or own a HomePod, the Home app will let you issue commands to play music with ease.
4. Centralize and improve your home's security
One of the best features of HomeKit is the seamless integration with security devices. If you install a compatible lock on your front door, you can ask Siri to close and open it for you. In case someone starts ringing your door, your smart camera will display a real-time feed through your iPhone or Apple Watch.
These capabilities will go a long way to monitor activities when you’re not home, or if you just don’t feel like coming to the door.
5. Control your home from anywhere
The beauty of HomeKit is the easy access to your home no matter where you are. As long as you have access to WiFi, you can check on the status of any HomeKit devices in your home. Until recently the ability to control your home remotely in one super easy app was not available across so many devices as it is now.
6. Put your house on autopilot
In usual Apple tradition, programming HomeKit is easy via the very intuitive interface. Coming home to a house that is lit to your specifications, with your preferred room temperature, while playing your favorite tunes sure makes coming home so much more pleasant.
Easily program different modes that fit your lifestyle (for example party mode, chill time, vacation time). Your smart devices will turn on or off accordingly. Your customization may also result in energy savings, for all the times family members forget to turn off lights.
How It Works With…
The Apple HomeKit is programmed to work across multiple Apple devices. However, setup procedures and certain functionalities may differ depending on the type of device you're using.
To put things simply, the HomeKit will turn your iPhone or iPad into a universal remote. By opening the Home app and registering your gadgets, you can manage all your appliances through the Home app, Siri, or the control center. However, note that you'll need an Apple TV, HomePod, or iPad to control your home and program advanced automations.
- Apple Watch
Setup procedures with the Apple watch are relatively the same as with the iPhone and iPad. But due to certain limitations, you can only control accessories that you've tagged as your favorites. For ease of use, it'll be best to utilize Siri to make commands.
- Apple TV
Apple TV is an excellent HomeKit hub since it's always plugged in and can be controlled with your voice. However, setup can be a bit tricky since there's no Home app on the device. But don't worry, we'll teach you how to get things running.
- Open your Apple TV and go to Settings.
- Select Accounts and log in to the Apple ID that you use for your other iOS devices.
- iCloud will automatically transfer data and turn your AppleTV into your HomeKit Hub.
The HomePod is Apple's smart speaker. Just like the Apple TV, it can be used as a HomeKit hub since it needs to be plugged in and connected to the internet at all times. Once you plug in your HomePod, your iPhone will automatically detect it and set it up for you. In case you're having some trouble, refer to Apple's HomePod setup guide for more information.
Scenes and Automations in Detail
Once you have all the required gadgets, you can automate appliances and accessories to do what you want. To help you out, we'll give you a brief rundown on how to create scenes and automations.
- Create a Scene
Scenes allow you to control multiple accessories with a press of a button. For example, you can create a scene called Good Night that will close down all the lights and lock all the doors. Conversely, you can also make a Good Morning scene that will open the lights and play your favorite songs as you wake up.
Here's how you can create a scene:
- Open the Home app and select Add Scene.
- Choose a suggested scene or create a custom one and label it accordingly.
- Click Add Accessories and register every device you want to that group.
- To adjust the settings for an accessory, press and hold it down. For Mac users, you'll need to double-click the device.
- Preview your scene by clicking "Test this Scene."
- Turn on Include in Favorites to access the scene in your Control Center or Apple Watch.
- Create an Automation
After you create a scene, the next thing to do would be to automate it. By creating automation, you can instantly turn on your accessories based on the time, location, or the detection of a sensor. Trigger your Good Morning scene every 6 a.m. or program your Good Night scene whenever you enter your bedroom.
Here's how to create automation:
- Open the Home app and head over to the Automation tab. Click Add.
- To program automation when a device turns on or off, choose "An Accessory is Controlled" or "A Sensor Detects Something."
- Determine the accessory that will start the automation, then tap Next.
- Choose the action that triggers the automation (e.g., if you open or close the lights), then click Next.
- To adjust an accessory on your iPhone or iPad, press and hold it down. For Mac users, double-click the accessory.
Apple HomeKit Tips and Tricks
The Apple HomeKit is already powerful and capable on its own. With scenes and automation, you will be living in a smart home soon. Here are a few more tips and tricks to have a seamless Apple HomeKit experience:
- Use Siri
Back when Siri was introduced, people would ask her silly questions like, "Siri, do you love me?" or "What is the meaning of life?" Fast forward to this day, and Siri is now being used to perform complex tasks. As you get started with your HomeKit, making use of Siri will let you control your appliances with your voice.
- Share HomeKit devices to everyone in the household
Once you've set up your iPad, Apple TV, or HomePod as your HomeKit hub, you should share permissions via the Home app. After you enter the Apple IDs of every person in your household, they'll gain access to your accessories and the authority to edit scenes and automation.
- Set up HomeKit favorites
If you're an Apple Watch user, setting up your favorites is a must. Enabling this will allow you to trigger scenes and manage accessories through your control center. Just make sure that all your devices are set up properly.
- Update your Apple devices
Apple is always looking to improve the user experience by constantly providing free software updates. Keeping your gadgets in check will optimize the features of HomeKit and enable you to capitalize on its benefits.
- Use the intercom feature
Planning to get a HomePod? Great! The intercom feature will come in handy, especially if you live in a big house. Activating it will enable you to make an announcement in a specific area zone or send a voice recording to different devices. Here are the steps to enable it:
- Open the Home app.
- Tap Home, then click Home Settings.
- Tap Intercom and tweak your settings.
- Tap Back and select Done.
A Smart Home is Now Within Your Reach
With Apple entering the smart home market, living in a technologically advanced home is now within your reach. The introduction of the HomeKit is a surefire way to improve your quality of life by switching to Apple technology.
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