Skip to content
Thoughtful, detailed coverage of everything Apple for 34 years
and the TidBITS Content Network for Apple professionals

Category: Home Automation

Glenn Fleishman 37 comments

Reconnect a HomeKit Accessory over a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi Network

After a network hiccup caused his HomeKit-enabled smart thermostat to lose its network connection, Glenn Fleishman had to do tweaky network reconfiguration to get it to rejoin his Home setup.

Adam Engst 13 comments

Apple Squashes Bugs with iOS 17.1.1, iPadOS 17.1.1, macOS 14.1.1, macOS 13.6.2, watchOS 10.1.1, and HomePod Software 17.1.1

If you have experienced issues with Apple Pay after wirelessly charging your iPhone 15 in your car, Photoshop tools, update problems with M-series MacBook Pros or the M3 iMac, Apple Watch battery drain, or Siri not paying attention on your HomePod, these updates promise to help.

Adam Engst 18 comments

Kini Provides Peace of Mind with Minimalist Motion Detection

Do you have anything—valuables, medicines, alcohol, guns—​for which you’d like to monitor access? The Kini motion detection device notices when it moves and alerts you by text message within seconds. No apps, no subscription, no privacy issues.

Adam Engst 31 comments

Apple Opens Public Betas for macOS 14 Sonoma, iOS 17, iPadOS 17, watchOS 10, tvOS 17, and HomePod Software 17

Apple has opened the public beta program for its forthcoming 2023 operating systems, but remember that these aren’t for everyday use. Only install on devices that you can dedicate to testing!

Julio Ojeda-Zapata 8 comments

Using Smart Speakers While Temporarily Blind

How smart are smart speakers, really? Julio Ojeda-Zapata put this to the test when temporarily sightless due to a medical condition.Leaning on his Amazon, Apple, and Google speakers more than usual proved an often-frustrating exercise because Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are still pretty dumb.

Adam Engst 58 comments

Apple Releases iOS 16.4, iPadOS 16.4, macOS 13.3 Ventura, watchOS 9.4, tvOS 16.4, and HomePod Software 16.4

It’s update day at Apple again, with updates to all the company’s operating systems. A few changes may be particularly welcome, including Voice Isolation for cellular calls, duplicate handling in an iCloud Shared Photo Library, and Web app notifications.

Adam Engst 20 comments

iOS 16.3.1, iPadOS 16.3.1, macOS 13.2.1 Ventura, watchOS 9.3.1, tvOS 16.3.2, and HomePod Software 16.3.2 Fix Bugs and Security Vulnerabilities

Responding to a nasty WebKit vulnerability that is being actively exploited in the wild, Apple has released updates to all its current operating systems. We recommend updating soon.

Adam Engst 37 comments

Second-Generation HomePod Supports Spatial Audio, Temperature/Humidity Monitoring, and Sound Recognition

Apple has unexpectedly revived the full-size HomePod, releasing a second-generation model that supports spatial audio, includes a temperature/humidity sensor for home automations, and promises a Sound Recognition feature to detect alarms.

Adam Engst 43 comments

Apple Releases iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, macOS 13.1 Ventura, watchOS 9.2, and tvOS 16.2

Apple has updated all of its operating systems, adding the Freeform digital whiteboard app, support for Advanced Data Protection for iCloud, Apple Music Sing, Stage Manager on external displays, and various smaller improvements. A fix for a serious security vulnerability encourages updating soon.

Josh Centers 9 comments

Matter Is Here, but Does It Matter Right Now?

Matter may be the biggest thing to happen to the world of home automation, but does it actually make a difference at the moment?

Josh Centers 1 comment

Apple Opens Public Betas for macOS 13 Ventura, iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, tvOS 16, and HomePod Software 16

Apple has opened public betas of its next-generation operating systems, but remember that these aren’t for everyday use. Only install on devices that you can dedicate to testing!

Josh Centers 1 comment

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 29 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.