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iOS 13 Includes Updated Home Interface, Support for AirPlay 2 Devices in Automations

In iOS 13, the Home app has received a few notable updates that will make it easier than ever to control and identify your HomeKit devices.

The main Home app screens are the same in iOS 13, but the control options for specific HomeKit devices have been revamped and streamlined. Available controls vary by device, but in general, the change makes options you check or use frequently (such as various light colors) easier to access.


With HomeKit lights, for example, there's a main display with brightness controls front and center (as it was before), but now, if lights have multiple colors, you'll see a selection of favorites at the bottom rather than having to tap on the color button at the bottom. Settings have also been hidden away a bit and are now accessible from the corner.

Small changes like these have been made for all device types, putting the information that you need at the forefront. There are also several new icons for different HomeKit types such as water sensors, motion sensors, and air quality sensors, making it easier to identify what's what at a glance.


Certain devices, such as the Hue Motion Sensor, will display more information in one place rather than splitting up information. In iOS 12, for example, there are separate HomeKit entries for the motion sensing portion of the Hue sensor, the light measurement, and the temperature measurement, which is confusing and clutters up your Home app. In iOS 13, these are all combined into one.


Controls for your HomeKit devices are also now shown in a card-style view so you can swipe them away to get back to the main Home app screen, which is an improvement over the full screen view in iOS 12.

Notably, your AirPlay 2 devices can be used in HomeKit Scenes and Automations for the first time in iOS 13, a major change from what's possible in iOS 12.


With automations support, your AirPlay 2 devices like the HomePod can be set to do things like play music when you arrive home, or turn off when you leave. You can also have music come on when a HomeKit sensor detects something like motion, or at a specific time of day.

In scenes, HomePod and other AirPlay 2 devices can be paired with other HomeKit devices, so you can do something like have your HomePod and lights come on all with one button press or Siri command.


Controls for speakers in Scenes and Automations include Play Audio, Pause Audio, Resume Audio, Don't Change What's Playing, Use Current Volume, and Set Custom Volume.


These new controls for AirPlay 2 devices will apply to everything from HomePod and Apple TV to HomeKit-enabled third-party TV sets and speakers, providing new ways to integrate audio devices into your home.

Apple also announced other HomeKit-related changes that are worth noting. In-home security cameras are becoming increasingly important, but these introduce privacy concerns related to unauthorized access. Apple has a solution -- a new Secure Video feature.

Secure Video is a new HomeKit API that offers on-device video analysis, sending an encrypted stream to iCloud, so you can be sure that no one is spying on your in-home security cameras. Companies like Logitech and Arlo plan to release cameras that use this technology.

Apple is also adding HomeKit support to routers from companies like Linksys, Eero, and Charter/Spectrum for the first time in iOS 13. With HomeKit controls, users will be able to prevent accessories from accessing their entire home networks.


All of these HomeKit and Home app features will be available in iOS 13, which is limited to developers right now. Apple plans to release a public beta in July, and the software will see an official launch in the fall.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS


Top Rated Comments

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2 weeks ago
I sure hope Apple Routers will gain that special Homekit support. Some of us are still using them...
Rating: 6 Votes
2 weeks ago
I've been waiting for HomePod integration into automatons and scenes since day one. So many possibilities! Kind of funny how they buried this news in the keynote—it shows just how packed WWDC was with new features.
Rating: 4 Votes
2 weeks ago
Please tell me there are more styles included for the light icons!
Rating: 4 Votes
2 weeks ago
I have most of my house running on HomeKit, but the one thing I really really want is to be able to turn off my AppleTV via HomeKit. I can turn it on, but not off.
Rating: 2 Votes
2 weeks ago
I was sooooo waiting for AirPlay 2 implementation! Great!
Rating: 2 Votes
2 weeks ago
Excellent! Apple should work to make Homekit the de-facto standard....just add a few echo-styled mini HomePods and I would leave Amazon in a minute. Apple should work hard and quickly to own the space that all those other guys have.
Rating: 1 Votes
2 weeks ago
Finally. It made no sense that the AppleTV and HomePod — of all devices — didn’t work with HomeKit. Waking up to the TV or arriving home to a music playlist are major missing features. Glad that that’s been corrected now.
Rating: 1 Votes
2 weeks ago
Great, I hope to be able to turn on AppleTV with HomeKit Siri commands!
Rating: 1 Votes
2 weeks ago

You can group lights together. I have two pot lights over my fireplace that are now joined. I don't remember how I did it, but a google search can find you what you want. Now I have one icon for those two (Hue) lights that can be turned on and off with a click.


Select the first light, go into settings and choose “group with other accessories”
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i love my hue and homekit things. Anyone figured out why often when i ask siri to turn on a light its not doing it at 100% its so annoying. Also i hope routers out now can be uddated via software to support homekit


If you just say “turn on the light” it will resume the last used colour and brightness. If you say “turn light to maximum” you’ll likely get the result you’re after.
Rating: 1 Votes
2 weeks ago
Does this mean, I can finally turn my Apple TV (and my connected TV) on and off with scenes? e.g. when I leave, my TV turns off?
Rating: 1 Votes

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