Skip to content
Thoughtful, detailed coverage of everything Apple for 28 years
and the TidBITS Content Network for Apple professionals

Category: Home Automation

Mike Matthews No comments

A Prairie HomeKit Companion: The Honeywell Lyric Controller with HomeKit

Looking for a security system controller that not only integrates with HomeKit, but also turns all your connected security devices into HomeKit accessories? Look no further than the Honeywell Lyric Controller.

Michael E. Cohen 28 comments

The Big News about macOS 10.14 Mojave Is Dark

Dark Mode leads the list of new features in the evolutionary macOS 14 Mojave. But, while most of the changes are small, many of them will be welcome.

Josh Centers 14 comments

Ecovacs Deebot N79S Robot Vacuum Feels Like the Future

If you’re skeptical of robotic vacuums, but tired of dealing with dirty floors, the affordable Ecovacs Deebot N79 and N79S are worth your consideration.

Josh Centers 14 comments

A Prairie HomeKit Companion: The Ecobee 4 Thermostat

Josh Centers is back to smartening up his home with a smart thermostat, the Ecobee 4. But it may be more than he bargained for and way more than he needed.

Rich Mogull 8 comments

Smart Home Lessons from a Home Automation Veteran

Rich Mogull shares the lessons he’s learned over a decade of home automation and how the new “Take Control of Apple Home Automation” book compresses many of them into a neat package.

Josh Centers 11 comments

$20 WyzeCam Security Camera Is Almost Too Good to Be True

A Wi-Fi security camera for $20? What’s the catch? Josh Centers shares his experiences with the unbelievably cheap WyzeCam. It’s well-built, has a decent app, works in the dark, and even provides limited cloud storage for free. There’s only one minor problem.

Adam Engst 16 comments

HomePod First Impressions: Let the (Apple) Music Play

We’ve had the HomePod for a weekend, and for the most part, it has been a success when it comes to music, thanks to excellent audio quality and Siri spinning Apple Music tracks with aplomb. Siri on the HomePod has been less useful as a fount of general knowledge, or perhaps we just don’t have the right questions.

Josh Centers 9 comments

HomePod Arrives February 9th, Multi-Room Audio to Follow Later in 2018

Apple has announced a shipping date for the HomePod smart speaker, and you can preorder it now. But should you? Josh Centers expresses some doubts.

Josh Centers 3 comments

HomeKit Hardware to Expect in 2018

Apple’s HomeKit home-automation ecosystem has been growing slowly but steadily, and numerous companies took advantage of CES 2018 to announce new HomeKit-compatible devices. Explore the most compelling new devices with HomeKit expert Josh Centers.

Josh Centers 1 comment

Apple Releases iOS 11.2.1 and tvOS 11.2.1 to Fix HomeKit Vulnerability

Apple has released small iOS and tvOS updates to fix a significant HomeKit vulnerability.

Josh Centers No comments

HomeKit Vulnerability Discovered, Already Patched

Zac Hall of 9to5Mac discovered a vulnerability in HomeKit, Apple’s home automation framework, that could allow unauthorized control of accessories like smart locks and garage door openers. The good news is that Apple has already closed the security hole on the server side, so your devices are no longer vulnerable. Unfortunately, Apple’s server-side fix also prevents you from giving remote access to shared users. A future update to iOS should eliminate the vulnerability and restore full functionality.

Adam Engst 3 comments

watchOS 4.2 Adds Apple Pay Cash and Moistens HomeKit

In keeping watchOS in sync with iOS, Apple has released watchOS 4.2 with support for Apple Pay Cash, HomeKit sprinklers and faucets, and a workout type for downhill snow sports.

Josh Centers No comments

Philips Adds HomeKit Support to Hue Accessories

In iOS 11, Apple allows device manufacturers to retroactively add HomeKit support to existing home automation devices that rely natively on other standards. Philips is taking advantage of that change and has added HomeKit support to the Hue Smart Tap Switch, Hue Smart Dimmer Switch, and Hue Smart Motion Sensor. HomeKit support does require a second-generation Hue Smart Bridge, but all three of those devices need the Hue Smart Bridge to operate anyway. In theory, you should be able to use these Hue switches and sensors to trigger any other HomeKit device.

Josh Centers 3 comments

Amazon Unveils New Fire TV and Echo Smart Speakers

Amazon is countering Apple’s new Apple TV 4K and upcoming HomePod with a 4K-capable Fire TV and an assortment of aggressively priced Echo smart speakers.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata No comments

A Prairie HomeKit Companion: HomeKit Security Provides Peace of Mind

Julio Ojeda-Zapata frets about potential burglaries when he’s away from home, so before a recent trip he tricked out his house with Internet-connected video cameras, motion sensors, and smart outlets. Most, but not all of the gadgets work with Apple’s HomeKit, which points to lingering gaps in the company’s home-automation ecosystem.