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Category: Home Automation

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 18 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.

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.