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Category: Home Automation

Josh Centers No comments

Apple Enhances HomeKit with Sensor-Based Automations and Timed Turn Offs

Over the years, Apple has quietly enhanced Home automations to take advantage of more sensors and let you automatically turn off automations. “Take Control of Apple Home Automation” author Josh Centers examines the new features.

Josh Centers 18 comments

Apple Releases iOS 15.5, iPadOS 15.5, macOS 12.4, watchOS 8.6, tvOS 15.5, and HomePod Software 15.5

In what may be the final release of the iOS 15/macOS 12 cycle to include more than bug fixes and security updates, Apple has updated all its operating systems with some improvements to Podcasts and Wallet, plus bug fixes and security updates.

Josh Centers 15 comments

Apple Releases iOS 15.3, iPadOS 15.3, macOS Monterey 12.2, watchOS 8.4, tvOS 15.3, and HomePod Software Version 15.3

Apple has updated all of its operating systems with bug fixes and security updates but no new features apart from Siri on the HomePod learning to recognize two new languages.

Adam Engst 27 comments

Reflections on a Year with HomeKit

Adam Engst shares how he has significantly added to his HomeKit-based home automation system over the past year and muses about the true benefits of home automation. Hint: it’s not about making things physically easier.

Adam Engst 3 comments

HomePod Software 15.1.1 Prevents Podcasts Problems

Getting an error when you try to play podcasts on your HomePod running HomePod Software 15.1? It’s not you, it’s a bug, and Apple has just released HomePod Software 15.1.1 to resolve it.

Josh Centers 38 comments

Apple Releases macOS 12 Monterey with iOS 15.1, iPadOS 15.1, watchOS 8.1, tvOS 15.1, and HomePod Software 15.1

Apple has officially launched macOS 12 Monterey, along with updates for iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15 that add various and sundry new features.

Josh Centers 3 comments

Home Automation Standard Gets an Official Name

The home automation partnership featuring Amazon, Apple, Google, and others is taking off, with an official name for its standard, an enormous list of partners, and a release timeframe.

Josh Centers 1 comment

HomePod mini Features Undocumented Temperature and Humidity Sensor

Mark Gurman of Bloomberg reveals that the HomePod mini contains an undocumented—and unused—chip that can sense temperature and humidity. “Take Control of Apple Home Automation” author Josh Centers offers a couple of possible explanations.

Adam Engst 19 comments

Apple Discontinues Original HomePod, Focuses on HomePod mini

Apple has announced that it is discontinuing the original HomePod to focus on the HomePod mini. The company will continue to service and support the HomePod, and it will remain available while supplies last.

Josh Centers No comments

Improve Your Seed Starting with HomeKit

If you garden, it’s time to think about starting seedlings indoors in many parts of the world. “Take Control of Apple Home Automation” author Josh Centers shows how you can use HomeKit to help.

Josh Centers 1 comment

Ring Security Cameras Adding End-to-End Encryption

After several privacy controversies and pressure from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Amazon is rolling out end-to-end encryption for its Ring video doorbells.

Josh Centers 17 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 15 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 5 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.