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Category: Home Automation

Josh Centers 2 comments

HomeKit on the Range: Hue Lightstrips

Have a dark place in your home you’d like to light up, such as under the range in your kitchen? The HomeKit-compatible Hue Lightstrips are flexible (literally), easy to install, and bright. So, so bright.

Adam Engst 13 comments

HomeKit for the Holidays (And Home Troubleshooting Tips)

In which Adam Engst finally hops on the HomeKit bandwagon for real and gets totally sucked in, installing smart outlets, controlling motorized shades, and adding some Flic buttons. 

Glenn Fleishman No comments

Apple’s HomeKit Secure Video Leverages iCloud Storage and Preserves Privacy

You can use a home security camera without sending its video stream off to cloud storage that’s accessible by the camera’s maker—or anyone who can log into the account. Apple’s HomeKit Secure Video works with existing iCloud subscriptions and numerous third-party cameras. Glenn Fleishman, author of “Take Control of Home Security Cameras,” looks at HomeKit Secure Video’s strengths and weaknesses.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata 23 comments

Apple Introduces $99 HomePod mini

Apple announced the HomePod mini, a smaller, less expensive, and more rounded version of its two-year-old HomePod. The expanded speaker line has little in the way of groundbreaking features as it competes with speakers from Amazon and Google, but at least it’s now more affordable.

Josh Centers 9 comments

Here’s What Next for tvOS 14 and HomeKit

Apple’s upcoming tvOS 14 and additions to the company’s HomeKit home automation framework won’t rock your world, but they offer some nice improvements.

Josh Centers 4 comments

Make Your HomePod Pipe Down at Night

Don’t want your HomePod’s Siri responses being too loud at night? Matthew Cassinelli has come up with a tip on how to automatically quiet the HomePod at bedtime.

Glenn Fleishman 20 comments

Three Reasons You Might Want a Home Security Camera

Home security cameras are all the rage, but you have to start with the reason you want one in the first place. Do you want to record criminal behavior? Spot wildlife? Know your kids came in before midnight? It’s all about intent, and many people discover they have multiple overlapping desires.

Josh Centers 10 comments

Apple Teams Up with Rivals to Create Open Smart Home Standard

Apple is teaming up with Amazon, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance to create an open-source, security-focused communication standard for smart home devices.

Josh Centers 2 comments

Amazon’s Ring Doorbells Sent Wi-Fi Passwords in the Clear

Security researchers have revealed that Amazon’s Ring doorbells were transmitting Wi-Fi passwords in the clear. That’s now fixed, but what other devices might be exposing your network traffic?

Josh Centers 6 comments

Features Added in iOS 13.1: Personal Automations, Driving ETA, and More

iOS 13.1 is here to fix numerous bugs in the short-lived iOS 13.0 and to provide some features that were missing from iOS 13’s initial release. Alas, there are still more features that Apple has pushed off to a future iOS update.

Josh Centers 5 comments

Wyze Sense Is a Cheap Sensor Package for Your Home

The maker of Wyze Cam has introduced an add-on sensor package with contact and motion sensors for the low, low price of $20. Like the Wyze Cam, the Wyze Sense product cuts a few corners but still delivers.

Mike Matthews 1 comment

Considering a Smart Doorbell? SkyBell HD Reviewed

A number of video doorbells are on the market, but at the moment, none work with Apple’s HomeKit. A couple of companies announced future support for HomeKit and more products were announced at CES. But is HomeKit really critical for a doorbell?

Adam Engst No comments

Apple in 2018: The Six Colors Report Card

Jason Snell of Six Colors has published his fourth annual report card on Apple’s performance in the last year, drawing once again on ratings and comments from a large group of industry observers.

Josh Centers 16 comments

Apple Opens iTunes Video and AirPlay Up to TV Rivals

Apple is opening up its TV ecosystem to rivals, bringing iTunes content and AirPlay to Samsung TVs, and AirPlay and HomeKit to others. “Take Control of Apple TV” author Josh Centers explores what this move could mean for the Apple TV.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata No comments

The HomeKit-Compatible Arlo Baby Security Cam Is Not Just for Parents

The Arlo Baby security camera is officially a souped-up baby monitor. But look beyond its marketing and you’ll find a quality—if pricey—security camera with broad appeal. Though HomeKit is not yet fully integrated, other capabilities help make up for its limitations. Just ditch those animal ears.