Apple HomeKit is a relatively simple smart home system for beginners who want to say “Siri I’m home” on their iPhone before going through a door that automatically opens and enters a relaxing scene with lighting, temperature and other best HomeKit devices that work the way you want.
But what is HomeKit? and how do you use it? These frequently asked questions about Apple HomeKit have answers to everything you’ll want to know before you get started with this Siri smart home platform.
Table of contents
- What is Apple HomeKit?
- What can you do with Apple HomeKit?
- What is HomeKit on iOS?
- Does Apple HomeKit require a hub?
- How do I set up a Apple HomeKit?
- How to get HomeKit on my Apple TV?
- How does HomeKit communicate?
- What smart home devices can work with Apple HomeKit?
- How much does an HomeKit cost?
- What are scenes, and how can you create them?
- Can Siri control smart home devices?
- Does HomeKit work with Apple Watch?
- What can Apple’s HomePod do?
- Do I need an Apple HomeKit?
What is Apple HomeKit?
Apple HomeKit is an app that lets you manage all the best smart home devices, as long as they are compatible.
It enables you to control a smart thermostat, lights, locks and more in a variety of rooms, creating comfortable settings and the perfect environment with the touch of your smartphone. You can even use it to control devices remotely.
HomeKit doesn’t support as many devices as Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa, but the number is growing every day. With a solid foundation of compatible locks, lights, outlets, and more, the HomeKit is an easy starting point for Apple users who are just starting to set up their smart home.
What can you do with Apple HomeKit?
HomeKit lets you turn lights on and off, adjust thermostats, turn electrical devices on and off with one of the best smart plugs, lock and unlock front doors, check who’s at your doorstep and more.
Apple’s goal was to make setting up its smart home easier for newbies, which can be a daunting task for newbies.
What is HomeKit on iOS?
The Apple Home app for iOS allows you to securely manage any smart home device marked as a “Works with Apple HomeKit” add-on. In the app, you can organize accessories by room, manage multiple accessories at the same time, manage your home with Siri.
Think of it as an application that turns your phone into a universal remote control for smart home devices that you can use from anywhere in the world.
Does Apple HomeKit require a hub?
When you’re at home, all you need is the Apple Home app to manage HomeKit-enabled smartphones with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. To turn these devices on or off in the app, tap them.
To control smart home devices when you’re away from home, you’ll need a 3rd or 4th generation Apple TV with tvOS 9 or later version, HomePod, or iPad with iOS 10 or later versions.
For additional features, which includes the ability to allow other users to manage devices through Apple HomeKit, you will need a 4th generation Apple TV with tvOS 10, a HomePod, or an iPad with iOS 10 or later version.
You can also use the HomePod mini, a smaller, more affordable version of Apple’s original HomePod.
This is also same for users who want to set up home automation, such as scheduling a series of events based on specific circumstances or turning on lights, heating or air conditioning when they return from work.
How do I set up a Apple HomeKit?
To set up HomeKit, open the Home app on your iOS device. Tap the plus sign in option at the upper right corner to connect a device or create a scene.
How to get HomeKit on my Apple TV?
On Apple TV, go to Settings and select Accounts. Sign in to iCloud with the same Apple ID that you signed in to your iOS device. Your Apple TV should now be connected as a home hub.
How does HomeKit communicate?
Some HomeKit devices are usually connected to your hub through your Wi-Fi connection. Others need to be within Bluetooth range of your hub, which can be inconvenient if you want to control devices over 30 meters away.
In that case, one might be interested in getting a Bluetooth range extender, such as the Elgato Eve Extend or ConnectSense Bluetooth Extender, which acts like Bluetooth on Wi-Fi bridges to extend the Bluetooth range of your devices.
What smart home devices can work with Apple HomeKit?
Below are some of the highlights from Apple’s full list of compatible HomeKit devices:
HomeKit works with a variety of smart lighting devices, including those from Philips Hue, Eve, Lifx, Koogeek, Nanoleaf, and Sylvania. To control the temperature at home, try the Ecobee and Honeywell thermostats.
To keep your home safe, Apple HomeKit works with Smart Smart Locks; Latches; Elgato Eve Door and Window Sensors; D-Link Omna Security Camera; Fibaro sensors for doors, windows, movements and floods and Netatmo facial recognition security system.
The HomeKit can also control some of the best smart plugs, such as those from iHome and Lutron, Hunter Apache Wi-Fi ceiling fan, Arge baby monitor from Netgear; Brilliant’s complete home controller and even the first Wi-Fi Alert smoke and carbon monoxide alarm.
How much does an HomeKit cost?
The Apple Home application itself is free, but you will have to pay for smart devices to install if you don’t already have them. On the cheaper side, a smart plug iHome iSP6X control costs $27, and on the other side of the spectrum, a shiny home controller costs $299.
Depending on the size of your home and whether you want to control lights, temperature, locks, security cameras, and other devices, this could easily go over the $1,000 limit.
Plus, you will need an Apple TV, HomePod, or iPad if you want to control a smart home or set up advanced automation remotely.
What are scenes, and how can you create them?
HomeKit lets you create custom scenes that will activate multiple devices at the same time. These scenes can be automatically activated at a specific time or when certain conditions are met.
For example, before going to bed, you can set the HomeKit to close the front door, turn off all lights, and reduce the thermostat to the ideal sleeping temperature.
Or, if you have a motion sensor connected, you can also configure Apple Homekit to set lights or other connected devices to switch on or off when movement is detected in a particular part of your home.
Can Siri control smart home devices?
When you set up Apple HomeKit, Siri knows what’s connected, and without opening the Home app, you can ask the virtual assistant to switch devices on or off, adjust the temperature, set scenes, check connected cameras, and more if you have a real Apple TV. HomePod or iPad settings.
Does HomeKit work with Apple Watch?
You can manage some of your smart home accessories with Apple Watch by setting them to show up as favourites or by simply asking Siri to perform specific actions from your watch.
What can Apple’s HomePod do?
HomePod is a great smart speaker with built-in Siri. It can function as a home hub, allowing you to create home automation using the HomeKit. However, it also plays high-quality music with seven tweeters, a large woofer, and a six microphone chain. You can ask Siri to send messages, set reminders, make and receive calls, and answer general questions.
Do I need an Apple HomeKit?
Like many smart home devices, the HomeKit and all the devices you can connect it to are luxurious. But suppose you often travel, like to watch what’s going on at home when you’re not around, or want to come home to a quiet environment with just the press of a button or a few words of Siri.
In that case, Apple HomeKit could be all you need, especially if you already own an Apple TV.