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Series: A Prairie HomeKit Companion

Interested in home automation, with a focus on products that support Apple’s HomeKit framework? In this series, we explain the underpinnings of HomeKit, look at how to use Apple’s Home app, and review a variety of products that support HomeKit (along with a few that don’t… yet).

Josh Centers 12 comments

Getting Started with the Philips Hue Smart Light Bulbs

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.

Josh Centers 10 comments

A Prairie HomeKit Companion: Core Concepts

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.

Josh Centers No comments

A Prairie HomeKit Companion: Setting Up Accessories and Rooms

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.

Josh Centers 2 comments

A Prairie HomeKit Companion: Controlling Accessories

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.

Josh Centers No comments

A Prairie HomeKit Companion: Automating Your Home

In this installment of A Prairie HomeKit Companion, Josh Centers explains how to put the automation in home automation.

Josh Centers No comments

A Prairie HomeKit Companion: Fine Tuning with the Other “Home” App

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.

Josh Centers 3 comments

Using Philips Hue Lights as a Hurricane and Tornado Alert

After a tornado scare, Josh Centers whipped together a warning system using the IFTTT automation service and his Philips Hue bulbs.

Josh Centers 10 comments

A Prairie HomeKit Companion: Two Smart Outlets

Amidst the chaos of a house move, Josh Centers takes a break to tell you about two HomeKit-compatible smart outlets that are easy to take with you wherever you may go.

Josh Centers 4 comments

A Prairie HomeKit Companion: The Elgato Eve Room

The Elgato Eve Room is a HomeKit-compatible device that monitors air quality, relative humidity, and temperature in a room. Josh Centers shows you how you can use its data to control your appliances.

Josh Centers 3 comments

A Prairie HomeKit Companion: What’s Coming in iOS 11

Big changes are coming to the HomeKit ecosystem in iOS 11, along with some welcome tweaks for users. Josh Centers looks at why we’ll have more HomeKit hardware, how Apple redesigned Control Center in iOS 11, improvements in setting up Accessories and Automations, and more.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata No comments

A Prairie HomeKit Companion: HomeKit Security Provides Peace of Mind

Julio Ojeda-Zapata frets about potential burglaries when he’s away from home, so before a recent trip he tricked out his house with Internet-connected video cameras, motion sensors, and smart outlets. Most, but not all of the gadgets work with Apple’s HomeKit, which points to lingering gaps in the company’s home-automation ecosystem.

Josh Centers 14 comments

A Prairie HomeKit Companion: The Ecobee 4 Thermostat

Josh Centers is back to smartening up his home with a smart thermostat, the Ecobee 4. But it may be more than he bargained for and way more than he needed.

Mike Matthews 12 comments

A Prairie HomeKit Companion: The Honeywell Lyric Controller with HomeKit

Looking for a security system controller that not only integrates with HomeKit, but also turns all your connected security devices into HomeKit accessories? Look no further than the Honeywell Lyric Controller.

Josh Centers 1 comment

Wemo Mini Gains HomeKit Support

Belkin’s Wemo Mini has gained HomeKit support in a software update, making it the first home automation device to do so and paving the way for a larger Apple home automation ecosystem.

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.