Apple’s Home app is easy to use, but an older app with the same name gives you more control over your HomeKit home automation.
In this installment of A Prairie HomeKit Companion, Josh Centers explains how to put the automation in home automation.
Stephen Nellis of Reuters has penned an article examining the difference in how Apple and Amazon approach home automation. Hardware manufacturers who want to sell HomeKit devices must include special chips and produce their accessories in Apple-approved factories. After that, manufacturers must send their devices to Apple for a lengthy approval process. By comparison, getting a device to work with Amazon’s Alexa personal assistant requires just a software review. Getting a “Works with Alexa” label requires hardware testing, but that can be done by a third-party lab and takes no more than 10 days. As a result, Alexa threatens to overwhelm HomeKit with the number of compatible devices, but Apple’s approach leads to easier setup, higher security, and better compatibility. Also, Apple HomeKit devices do not require an Internet connection, which improves both security and response times.
In this installment of A Prairie HomeKit Companion, Josh Centers moves past setup and explains how to manipulate your HomeKit Accessories. He also tells you how to set up Scenes to save time.
In this second installment of our HomeKit home automation series, Josh Centers walks you through setting up HomeKit Accessories and how to divide your Home into Rooms.
Having finished up with the media-only events, Jeff Porten hits the show floors of CES, and has many miles to go and products to write up for you before he sleeps.
iOS 10.2 introduces the new TV app for aggregating content across different apps. It also features some key HomeKit improvements and a bunch of new emojis.
Interested in home automation with HomeKit, but don’t know where to start? Josh Centers kicks off a series about HomeKit, starting with its fundamental concepts.
Today you purchase and install HomeKit home automation devices in existing homes, but Apple wants to go beyond retrofits by building the technology into new homes. “We want to bring home automation to the mainstream,” Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of product marketing, told Bloomberg. “The best place to start is at the beginning, when a house is just being created.” According to a survey by real-estate firm Trulia, twice as many people prefer a newly built house to a pre-owned property, so perhaps the boost that home automation needs is to become standard in new construction.
After years of dismissing them as a gimmick, Josh Centers broke down and purchased a set of Philips’s software-controlled lightbulbs. He explains why they’re better than he expected and how to set them up.
Details of this year’s MacTech Conference are starting to become available, and the conference organizers have announced that the event will feature an Apple-focused Home Automation Showcase. Register by the end of the month to save $600 off the standard pricing.
One of iOS 8’s touted features is HomeKit, which promises to unify home automation devices and allow them to be controlled by Siri. However, it wasn’t until this year’s Consumer Electronics Show that we got a glimpse of what manufacturers are working on, and so far it’s not pretty. The Verge reports that a number of devices they saw at CES were unstable, and that representatives said that Apple still has a lot of work to do. One fascinating tidbit: the Apple TV will serve as a bridge for HomeKit, enabling you to control your home with Siri while on the road.
HomeKit in iOS 8 promises to unify all of your connected home devices, but how would you control them while away from home? Christopher Breen of Macworld suggests that the Apple TV might be the home gateway to HomeKit, with an upgraded model serving as a smart hub for home automation.