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.

homeaccessoriesios13
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.

homekitnewaccessoryicons
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.

homekitios13combinedaccessoryfunctions
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.

airplay2scenes
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.

homekitdevicescenes
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.

homekitsceneautomationoptions
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.

homekit routers
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 Forum: iOS 13

Top Rated Comments

imola.zhp Avatar
48 months ago
I sure hope Apple Routers will gain that special Homekit support. Some of us are still using them...
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DaneDeasy Avatar
48 months ago
Please tell me there are more styles included for the light icons!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nimoy Avatar
48 months 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.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chfilm Avatar
48 months ago
I was sooooo waiting for AirPlay 2 implementation! Great!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RomanEmpire Avatar
48 months 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?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gaximus Avatar
48 months 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.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

dewey airtag

Report Highlights Danger of Using AirTags for Tracking Dogs

Monday January 30, 2023 1:45 pm PST by
AirTags may be a convenient way for tracking dogs that might get off leash or otherwise lost, but there are dangers associated with the practice, as outlined by a report from The Wall Street Journal. At 1.26 inches in diameter, AirTags are able to fit easily on a dog's collar, but that size also makes the tracking devices small enough to swallow, at least for a medium to large-sized dog, and ...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Five New iOS Features Coming to Your iPhone Later This Year

Tuesday January 31, 2023 11:58 am PST by
Apple has previously announced several upcoming iOS features that are expected to be added to the iPhone this year. Some of the features could be introduced with iOS 16.4, which should enter beta testing soon, while others will arrive later in the year. Below, we have recapped five new iOS features that are expected to launch in 2023, such as an Apple Pay Later financing option for purchases ...
Apple Silicon Teal Feature

The Next Big Apple Silicon Device May Not Be a Mac or iPad

Wednesday February 1, 2023 3:57 am PST by
Apple's next device with an Apple silicon chip may not be a Mac or an iPad, but rather an advanced external display, according to recent reports. The display, which is rumored to arrive this year, is expected to sit somewhere between the $1,599 Studio Display and the $4,999 Pro Display XDR – but more exact information about the device's positioning and price point is as yet unknown. While ...
Multi Display CarPlay 1

Apple Launching All-New CarPlay Experience Later This Year With These 5 Features

Sunday January 29, 2023 10:15 am PST by
In June 2022, Apple previewed the next generation of CarPlay, promising deeper integration with vehicle functions like A/C and FM radio, support for multiple displays across the dashboard, personalization options, and more. Apple says the first vehicles with support for the next-generation CarPlay experience will be announced in late 2023, with committed automakers including Acura, Audi,...
MKBHD HomePod 2 White Ring Stain

New HomePod Can Still Stain Some Wooden Surfaces

Tuesday January 31, 2023 8:29 am PST by
When the original HomePod launched in 2018, it was discovered that the speaker can leave white rings on some wooden surfaces. Now, well-known YouTuber Marques Brownlee has confirmed that the issue persists to a lesser extent with the new HomePod. In a side-by-side test, he showed that the white second-generation HomePod left a white ring on the wooden surface that he placed the speaker on,...
HomePod 2 White and Midnight Feature Purple Blue

Apple Explains Why HomePod Was Released Again, Wi-Fi 4 Limitation, and More

Thursday February 2, 2023 7:57 am PST by
Apple's VP of hardware engineering Matthew Costello and product marketing employee Alice Chan recently spoke with Men's Journal and TechCrunch about the new second-generation HomePod in wide-ranging interviews about the smart speaker. Apple discontinued the original full-size HomePod in March 2021 after multiple reports indicated that sales of the speaker were lackluster, but Chan told Men's ...