Here's the New 'Home' App for Controlling HomeKit Devices in iOS 10

HomeKit users have long wished for a centralized, Apple-designed app for controlling HomeKit-enabled products, and in iOS 10, Apple has granted that wish, with the debut of the new "Home" app. Designed to be used on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, Home is Apple's new one-stop HomeKit control solution.

As can be seen in the video below, Home offers a simple, fast, convenient way to manage all of the connected products in your house. Not all accessories are fully functional with Home right now as its a beta, but support will improve before Home launches as part of iOS 10 this fall.

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Opening the Home app brings up a main screen that lists all favorite Scenes and favorite accessories for quick access. The app's wallpaper is customizable, and a Settings section offers options for changing the name of a home and inviting additional users. The "Rooms" section of the app is where new accessories can be added and new Scenes can be created, with Scenes able to work with all of the HomeKit-connected products in your house.

Each accessory can also be controlled individually by pressing on its name to bring up a set of options. With Philips Hue lights, for example, a long press or 3D Touch offers options for dimming lights and changing colors.

An "Automation" feature in the Home app allows HomeKit accessories to be set up to perform actions based on time and location, such as turning on the lights when the sun sets or turning on the air conditioning when you leave work. The Apple TV serves as a remote hub for HomeKit and in iOS 10, you can also set an iPad to serve as a hub to enable HomeKit devices to work remotely.

Along with a new Home app, iOS 10 brings support for additional types of HomeKit devices like air conditioners, heaters, air purifiers, humidifiers, cameras, and doorbells.

For full details on the new features coming in iOS 10, make sure to check out our iOS 10 roundup. Don't miss out on our previous videos, which have covered watchOS 3, macOS Sierra, and other iOS 10 features:

- WWDC 2016 Overview in Seven Minutes
- iOS 10's Overhauled Lockscreen
- The New iOS 10 Photos App
- The New iOS 10 Messages App
- macOS Sierra - Siri
- iOS 10 Hidden Features
- watchOS 3 Overview
- iOS 10's Redesigned Apple Music Experience
- 3D Touch in iOS 10

We've also got roundups for all of the upcoming operating systems, including watchOS 3, macOS Sierra, and tvOS 10.

Top Rated Comments

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57 months ago

Nice, but disappointed with the lack of 3rd Party support for HomeKit with previous products. I already have Wemo devices, two Nest Thermostats and a myQ Garage door controller. None of which are going to be supported in HomeKit. So basically I would have to start all over again with devices that have HomeKit support

Blame Wemo, Nest, etc. Apple can't exactly do much to force them to implement it.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
This is exactly what I've been asking for. I love how I can control everything via control center, Siri and Apple Watch and the UI controls are very slick. Looks like Apple really sweated the details.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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57 months ago

This is what I've been waiting for! Another stock app that I will have to throw in a junk folder that will be loaded onto my device whether I want it or not.

iOS 10 will let you uninstall the Apple apps you never use ('http://www.theverge.com/2016/6/13/11923112/apple-ios-10-delete-stock-apps')

Additionally, code thinning has made such apps smaller in size.

Some y'all need to chill.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago

I think this is solving a problem that doesn't exist. I've never walked into a room, sat down on the couch, and thought, "Oops forgot to turn the light on...I know! I'll get my iPhone, open the home app, page over to the room, and click the light on! Brilliant!"

You are missing the point on what Home Automation is about. It's a lot more than what you suggested above.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago

I think this is solving a problem that doesn't exist. I've never walked into a room, sat down on the couch, and thought, "Oops forgot to turn the light on...I know! I'll get my iPhone, open the home app, page over to the room, and click the light on! Brilliant!"

Once you have all of this set up in your house you'll realize just how convenient it is. Your scenario happens in my house all the time... except we don't unlock our iPhones, etc.... just a simple "Hey Siri, turn off the living room lights" gets the job done.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
One important factor some seem to be missing: energy saving functionality.

*Update: At the request of some, I added the setups in my homes below. It's a lengthy addendum that I tried to shorten so forgive the length. If interested, give it a read. If not, disregard it and just read the paragraph below from my initial post. Thanks!

HomeKit and home automation isn't simply convenience, home owners can properly utilize their smart home devices for energy conservation and security. Smart Devices work seamlessly with "Siri" and routines. Simply saying "Goodnight" to Siri locks all my doors, changes my temperature to "Sleep" mode, turns off my lights, closes my garage doors, checks my security camera's, etc. There's much more and I've done quite a bit of research as services such as TWC or ADT are a waste of money. It's less expensive to own your devices than leasing them in addition to monthly service costs while having full control.

For anyone interested, here's a rundown of my home systems

Philips Hue:

* Pricey yet energy efficient bulbs that last years.
* Philips will replace bulbs free of charge. I have yet to break/lose one since installing them in 2012. A friend dropped one of hers and Phillips sent her one free of charge.
* Supports non-hue bulbs including their excellent inexpensive LED warm dimmable lights (can find them online or any local store).
* The new Philips Hue 2 app, which I helped beta test, is a big improvement. The redesign simplified the system, improved HomeKit usage, and fixed bugs (syncing of stock and deleted scenes is now gone but can be added via MeetHue online).
* HomeKit integration with the Bridge 2.0 is now seamless.

Ecobee3 HomeKit Thermostat:
I have a 2-stage Heating and Cooling Trane 18 SEER HVAC system first used with a 2nd gen Nest that I replaced with an ecobee3 HomeKit thermostat after much research.

* Supports up to 32 1"x1" satellite motion/temp/humidity sensors for custom selecting which participate om "Away", "Home", and "Sleep" modes.
* "Follow Me" auto-detects motion in certain rooms and uses that data to calculate the overall home temperatures or I can bypass it to always include all sensors in maintaining the custom set temperate range.
* Supports traditional humidity pads or evaporative systems.
* "HomeKit" with Siri works with "Auto-Mode", a feature most do not support. My "Home" mode is custom set to maintain the temp between 68-74. Alexa or Siri can change my temp to 70 degrees. If that temp is already within my 68-74 degree range, it will respond "[Device name] is in auto mode , aiming for 70 degrees". Depending on your custom settings, one of two responses will happen:

* Your HVAC will not operate unless the desired temp is outside your custom range(s).
* Your HVAC will disengage auto-mode to reach your desired temp. Once reached, automode is reengaged.

* "Home IQ": An incredibly thorough summary of your HVAC usage. Tracks system mode(s), which stage (1 or 2 at heating or cooling) was operating at what time and compared to indoor and outdoor temp's (windows and sun factoring) to determine when and why your system engaged to improve use. Compares your energy use with those in your area and the year prior (via local records or your own), recommends adjustments to suit your custom needs (either energy efficiency or comfort, or both as they can be adjusted for the "perfect" setting), and much more.

August 2nd Gen HomeKit Smart Lock:

* Has remedied many issues with their first gen devices.
* Replaces only the interior deadbolt, no need for rekeying or multiple keys.
* Allows remote control away from home.
* Custom notifications (each lock can be customized for status and instant use notifications)
* Unlocking a particular door or all doors for someone if you're away (a neighbor or friend)
* Add individuals with full or guest access
* Works with Nest and others should smoke or fire be detected and notifies the local authorities, allowing them access.
* "August Access": August partners with services such as Sears, Alfred, Doorman, etc for access for service and repairs.
* New devices such as the keypad and door-cam have been released, but as first gen devices I would recommend waiting for second gen releases and stick with the HomeKit locks.

Security:
HikVision offers a full range of camera's, from consumer to enterprise models, and are compatible with many NAS's. I record locally on my Synology DS716+. Camera's allow two way communication, esp helpful away from home should my bell ring. No need to pay for cloud storage and access. I have yet to research and use window and door sensors which is my next step.

Chamberlain MyQ:
Recently replaced my garage door openers with Liftmaster systems. In 2015, Chamberlain announced their "MyQ" hubs for remote access would be HomeKit compatible with a firmware update. It's been a year with no update and many have voiced their disapproval. However, it turns out the hardware is "MFi" compliant and Chamberlain was ahead of the game. They are currently testing a firmware update with iOS 10 HomeKit that will be pushed out to all "MyQ" hub owners this fall.

All of the above works with HomeKit and Alexa (aside from "MyQ" which will soon with an update).
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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