HomeKit: Everything You Need to Know

The HomeKit ecosystem may seem daunting and confusing if you're unfamiliar with smart home products, their functionality, and their benefits, but getting started is actually simple and straightforward.

Learning the ins and outs of HomeKit after setup does take a bit of effort, but it's not a difficult process and having interlinked electronics that can interact with each other and be automated can save time and really streamline your life.



What is HomeKit?


HomeKit is Apple's smart home platform, which is designed to let you control various internet-connected home devices -- ranging from thermostats and plugs to window blinds, light bulbs, and more -- with Apple devices.

These days, more and more products are internet connected, which is why you've heard the phrase "Internet of Things."

The Internet of Things is a confusing mix of "smart" products that connect to the internet and can be controlled by a range of different platforms, from Amazon's Alexa to Google Home to Samsung SmartThings.

HomeKit is Apple's "Internet of Things" solution that connects HomeKit-enabled smart accessories together in a way that lets you operate them using your Apple products.

What You Can Do With HomeKit


HomeKit isn't a product or software, it's a framework that links smart home products together and adds new capabilities to devices like lights, locks, cameras, thermostats, plugs, and more.

HomeKit lets you control smart home products using apps on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, or simple Siri voice commands.

While controlling smart home products with Siri or with an iPhone is convenient, the real magic of HomeKit comes when you have multiple HomeKit-enabled products because you can control them all at once using scenes or set up automations so that they activate automatically.


You can, for example, create a "Good night" scene that makes sure the doors are locked, closes the garage, turns off the lights, lowers the thermostat, and then activates a night light whenever motion is detected. With automation, you can set individual HomeKit devices to come on or off at specific times, or you can set entire scenes, like the aforementioned "Good night" scene to come on at a set time.


HomeKit setups, scenes, and automations can be as complex or as simple as you like, and now that HomeKit is in its fifth year of availability, there are all kinds of HomeKit products you can purchase. With a bit of time and some money, you can have a whole smart home ecosystem that's streamlined, automated, and easy to control.

Setting It Up


Getting started with HomeKit is as simple as purchasing a HomeKit-enabled device, whether it be a smart plug, light bulb, AirPlay 2 speaker, Apple TV, HomePod, thermostat, or something else.

From there, open up the "Home" app, which comes pre-installed on all iOS devices. Tap on the "Add Accessory" button that's on the main screen of the Home app, and then follow the steps after it opens up to the rear camera.

All HomeKit products come with a HomeKit QR code on them, which you need to scan with the camera. Scanning the HomeKit code adds a device to the HomeKit framework, and then you can follow a few additional steps to assign it to a room, a necessary step for organizing your HomeKit devices.

How HomeKit Devices Connect


HomeKit devices connect to your HomeKit setup through Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or a hub, which connects to Wi-Fi.



Many HomeKit devices in the United States use WiFi or connect to a hub over WiFi. Hue light bulbs, for example, use a hub, while smart lights from other brands like LIFX use WiFi.



There are some devices that connect over Bluetooth, and with Bluetooth devices, it's worth noting that you're going to need home hubs to extend connectivity, otherwise connection range can be rather limited. Home hubs include the Apple TV, the iPad, and the HomePod.



Types of HomeKit Devices


There are all kinds of HomeKit devices on the market, some that are more capable than others. The following HomeKit categories are available:
  • Lights
  • Switches
  • Outlets
  • Thermostats
  • Window Blinds
  • Fans
  • Air Conditioners
  • Humidifiers
  • Air Purifiers
  • Sensors
  • Locks
  • Cameras
  • Doorbells
  • Garage Doors
  • Sprinklers
  • Speakers
  • Receivers
  • TVs
Apple maintains a full list of HomeKit-compatible devices on its website, complete with links, so this is the best place to get an overview of all of the different HomeKit devices that you can put in your home.


Smart home devices that are compatible with HomeKit will have "Works with Apple Homekit" labeling on the packaging to make it clear that they support HomeKit.

Basic HomeKit Setup Tutorials

Using the Home App

Setting Up Remote Access

HomePod and AirPlay 2

HomeKit Requirements


Using HomeKit requires an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running the latest version of iOS, along with at least one HomeKit-enabled device.

Using the Home app on the Mac requires macOS Mojave, and to control devices when away from home, an Apple TV, iPad, or HomePod is required to serve as a Home Hub.

Ways to Control Your HomeKit Devices


The great thing about HomeKit is the myriad ways that you can control your HomeKit compatible devices.

You can use Siri voice commands on the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, Apple Watch, HomePod, or Apple TV to ask Siri to complete HomeKit tasks.

Devices can be controlled manually in the Home app, or in the app that comes with the device. Each HomeKit device will have an app downloadable from the iOS App Store that offers a way to control it.

You can also purchase HomeKit-enabled button-type devices that serve as remotes to activate HomeKit scenes physically, and there are switches for controlling HomeKit products such as lights.

Reviews of HomeKit Accessories


Lights

Sensors

Buttons/Remotes/Switches

Locks

Cameras

Thermostats

Plugs and Outlets

Miscellaneous


Security and Privacy


Security and privacy are topics that Apple takes seriously, and thus every manufacturer that creates a HomeKit-compatible device has to follow Apple's security guidelines, better ensuring your devices are safe from hackers.

Apple's commitment to privacy and demand that HomeKit products be secure is reassuring at a time when our homes are filled with smart devices that can hear us and see us.

For a long time, Apple required all HomeKit products to include a hardware-based HomeKit authentication coprocessor for HomeKit certification, and many HomeKit devices continue to offer this. In 2017, Apple began allowing manufacturers to obtain HomeKit certification with software-based authentication, but HomeKit is no less secure as a result.

All HomeKit devices use the same security features, including end-to-end encryption, non-reusable encryption keys, and two-way authentication (Apple verifies your HomeKit device and your HomeKit device verifies your Apple device) when connecting to a HomeKit setup.

A HomeKit camera, for example, sends video and audio streams directly to an iOS device and those streams are encrypted using randomly generated keys to prevent someone from intercepting your video feed.

All HomeKit data stored on your devices is fully encrypted, and HomeKit syncing between devices is done via iCloud and iCloud Keychain, both of which have their own security. Apple also must approve each and every device that gets the HomeKit labeling. In a nutshell, Apple has worked to make HomeKit a secure smart home platform that people can trust.

HomeKit is not without its bugs, though, and there have been some security snafus. In December 2017, there was a bug that left HomeKit accessories vulnerable to unauthorized access, but Apple was quick to fix it.

For those interested, the nitty gritty details about HomeKit security are available in Apple's iOS Security Guide and are well worth checking out if you have security concerns about using smart home devices. [PDF]

Solving HomeKit Connectivity Problems


When using HomeKit devices, you might sometimes see an error that a device is unreachable in the Home app or have other problems connecting to a HomeKit product.

The Home app, and most HomeKit apps that accompany HomeKit products, provide very little info on why a HomeKit product isn't working properly or connecting to your network, which can make troubleshooting HomeKit issues frustrating.

There are a few basic steps you can follow that will sometimes solve connectivity issues.

  1. Make sure the HomeKit device has power, is turned on, and is in range of your router if it's a Wi-Fi device.

  2. Turn the HomeKit device off, wait a good 10 seconds, and turn it back on. Do the same thing with your iPhone or other device you're attempting to use with HomeKit.

  3. Check the Wi-Fi connection and reset your router. Make sure your iOS device is up to date, connected to the internet, and that you're signed into iCloud.

  4. Make sure your HomeKit device is on the right Wi-Fi band. There are a lot of HomeKit devices that are 2.4GHz while most devices connect to 5GHz networks, and that can sometimes cause problems. If you have a 2.4GHz accessory, make sure it's on the 2.4GHz network. Steps for this will vary based on your setup.

  5. Remove the device from HomeKit in the Home app and then re-add it by scanning it. For some HomeKit products, this is probably a last resort step because it eliminates scenes and automations.

  6. Remove the device from HomeKit and reset it. This is a step that's necessary when removing some HomeKit devices from a HomeKit setup. You're going to need to consult the manual of your device because resetting is different on every product.

If none of these steps work, you're going to want to contact the support staff for whichever product you're having problems with to get further information on what to do for troubleshooting purposes.

Many HomeKit manufacturers have online troubleshooting databases, so in some cases, you can just Google for a solution.

There are more drastic steps to take, such as logging in and out of iCloud or resetting your entire HomeKit setup, but we recommend contacting a manufacturer before trying these last resort options just because of the hassle involved.

Discuss HomeKit


Have a setup question or a HomeKit issue you just can't figure out? You might want to check out the HomeKit forums on the MacRumors site for additional help. There are quite a few HomeKit users on the forums, and most people are happy to help.

Guide Feedback


Want to offer feedback on this guide, ask for feature additions, or point out an error? Send us an email here.


Related Articles

Six HomeKit and AirPlay 2 Accessories Worth Checking Out

Last year, we shared a list of some of the best HomeKit products you can buy, which was quite popular with MacRumors readers, so we thought we'd follow it up. In our 2019 HomeKit video, we're featuring some more great HomeKit products, and we've added in some AirPlay 2 accessories as well. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Vizio TVs - HomeKit and AirPlay 2 support is coming to a bunch of TVs from Sony, LG, Vizio, and Samsung later this year, but Vizio has already rolled out support on some of its TVs in a beta capacity. If you have a recent M-Series or P-Series Vizio TV, you can try it out. AirPlay 2 lets you AirPlay content from your Apple devices right to the TV, and your TV will also show up in HomeKit. You can use the Home app and Siri commands to do things like change the volume, switch inputs, or turn the TV on or off. Sonos Beam ($400) - The Sonos Beam is an AirPlay 2-enabled soundbar that's meant to be used with your TV, offering up impressive sound and allowing the same music to be played through other AirPlay 2-enabled speakers in your home, like the Sonos One or the HomePod. BlueSound Pulse Flex 2i Speakers ($300) - BlueSound's Pulse Flex 2i Speakers are AirPlay 2 enabled, so you can use them alongside other AirPlay 2 devices. AirPlay 2 lets you play music on multiple speakers throughout the home, for a whole home audio experience. These are more expensive than some other competing products like the Sonos One, but BlueSound promises superior sound. Chamberlain myQ Garage Door Opener and Home Bridge ($142) -

Sony's Upcoming Smart TVs to Receive AirPlay 2 and HomeKit in Summer 2019, Including $70,000 Model

Sony today announced that some of its upcoming smart TVs will support AirPlay 2 and HomeKit in summer 2019, including its A9G series of 4K OLED TVs, Z9G series of 8K LED TVs, and X950G series of 4K LED TVs. The TVs themselves will be released on a staggered basis, starting with the X950G series in late April and followed by additional models in May and June, including a 98-inch 8K TV for a whopping $70,000. AirPlay 2 and HomeKit will presumably be rolled out in a subsequent software update. Apple also lists Sony's upcoming X850G series of 4K TVs in its AirPlay 2–enabled TVs list, but no timeframe for those features was provided for that model. AirPlay 2 support will allow users to stream videos, music, photos, and more directly from an iPhone, iPad, and Mac to compatible Sony smart TVs, complete with lock screen controls. HomeKit support will enable users to easily control the TVs using Siri voice commands or the Home app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Samsung, LG, and Vizio are also releasing AirPlay 2-enabled smart TVs this year. Earlier this month, we went hands-on with one of Vizio's compatible models

Ikea's Trådfri Smart Plugs Gain HomeKit Compatibility

Ikea's affordable Trådfri smart plugs that first debuted in November are now able to connect to HomeKit after an update to the Trådfri firmware that was released yesterday. After installing new firmware, Trådfri outlets can be added to the Home app and controlled alongside the rest of your HomeKit products. Ikea sells the Trådfri smart plugs for just $9.99, which is much cheaper than other HomeKit-enabled smart plug options on the market. You will, however, need the accompanying Trådfri Gateway, a $30 hub that is required for all of Ikea's affordable smart home solutions including light bulbs, dimmers, motion sensors, and more. The Trådfri outlets are larger than some other HomeKit-based outlets, but can be used sideways and will only take up a single socket. Multiple Trådfri accessories can be connected to the Trådfri Gateway. You can get the Trådfri smart plugs and the Trådfri Gateway from Ikea. Ikea is rolling out its new software update and it should be available to customers in the U.S. now before expanding to other countries in the near future. (Thanks, Daniel!)

HomeKit-Enabled Eve Energy Strip Now Available for Purchase

Eve, known for its line of HomeKit-compatible smart products, today announced the launch of its latest HomeKit accessory, the Eve Energy Strip. First shown off at CES, the Eve Energy Strip has three HomeKit-connected outlets that can be controlled individually or all at once, so you can make three non-HomeKit products HomeKit-compatible. Eve Energy Strip, which connects to a HomeKit setup over WiFi, is ideal for any non-HomeKit product, allowing whatever is plugged into it to be controlled using the Home app, the Eve app, or Siri voice commands. Along with adding HomeKit controls to existing accessories, Eve Energy Strip is able to track total power consumption and projected cost for running an accessory. Eve Energy Strip features a black matte body with an aluminum frame and a 6.3-foot cable. Eve says the outlets were designed at an optimum angle and with generous spacing so even bulky power supplies can be plugged in without obstructing a second socket. Three white LED buttons at the end of the Energy Strip display the socket's power status and allow for manually turning an accessory on or off. Eve Energy is equipped with protection against power surges, overcurrent, and overvoltage. The Eve Energy Strip can be purchased from the Eve website, from Amazon, or from Best

Hands-On With AirPlay 2 and HomeKit on a Vizio SmartCast TV

Vizio yesterday launched a beta version of its updated Smartcast software, which allows iPhone owners who have a Smartcast-enabled TV to use AirPlay 2 and HomeKit integrations for the first time on a third-party television set. We picked up a compatible Vizio television set (which includes the recent P and M series models at the current time) and were able to take a look at how AirPlay 2 and HomeKit work on a non-Apple device. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. AirPlay 2 support on the Vizio TV lets allows TV shows and movies to be streamed from an iOS device directly to the television, with no Apple TV set-top box required. A movie can be started on the iPhone and AirPlayed right to the TV, with support for 4K HDR and Dolby Vision included. Mirroring a Mac or iOS device screen to the TV is also possible, letting photos, spreadsheets, webpages, documents, games, and more be displayed on the larger display of the television set. We couldn't get this feature working in the beta, but it should be available in the launch version of the software. AirPlay 2 support allows multiple audio sources to play the same content, which means a song can be played on a single television set, multiple television sets, or a Vizio TV and other AirPlay 2-enabled devices like HomePods for whole home audio. AirPlay 2 functionality is linked with HomeKit, so Vizio television sets that support Apple's new protocols will show up right in the Home app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. From the Home app, you can do things like switch inputs, turn the television on

Vizio Launches Beta for Testing AirPlay 2 and HomeKit Functionality on SmartCast-Enabled TVs

Vizio's SmartCast-compatible TVs are gaining AirPlay 2 and HomeKit integration later this year, and ahead of the official release, Vizio has launched a new beta that will allow Vizio customers to test the functionality with compatible Vizio television sets. Vizio earlier this week updated its SmartCast app to add AirPlay 2 beta support, and today, the company began emailing customers who signed up for the beta test to let them know that AirPlay 2 and HomeKit are available in a beta capacity. Signups for Vizio's beta test began back in January, but Vizio TV owners can still sign up to participate through Vizio's Apple webpage. AirPlay 2 integration will allow iOS and Mac users to stream video content, music, photos, and more to SmartCast-enabled Vizio TVs, and with HomeKit integration, the Home app on iOS or Siri voice commands can be used to control the TV. @MacRumors Vizio Airplay 2 beta has begun. pic.twitter.com/KsB4C9P1ta— Vince Scarlata (@VincentScar) April 3, 2019 Official AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support will be coming to Vizio televisions in the summer. Vizio TVs from 2016 and later will support AirPlay 2 and

LG Announces Additional TVs With AirPlay 2 and HomeKit Launching Between April and June

LG today detailed upcoming availability of its 2019 NanoCell LED 4K Ultra HD smart TVs with AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support. The new NanoCell lineup is divided into the Nano 8 and Nano 9 series, with 11 models in total ranging in size from 49 inches to 86 inches. Seven models will be available starting in April, followed by one model in May and three in June. Prices range from $799 to $4,299 in the United States. LG detailed availability of other AirPlay 2 TVs coming to its lineup last week and says more will be announced later this year. AirPlay 2 support will allow users to stream videos, music, photos, and more directly from an iPhone, iPad, and Mac to compatible LG smart TVs, complete with lock screen controls. HomeKit support will enable users to easily control the TVs using Siri voice commands or the Home app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Samsung, Sony, and Vizio also plan to release AirPlay 2-enabled smart TVs this year. Last month, Samsung's new 2019 lineup of QLED 4K and 8K TVs with AirPlay 2 support became available to pre-order in the United States. MacRumors also reported that Roku is in talks with Apple about AirPlay 2 integration. LG's 2019 TVs will also feature Amazon Alexa alongside Google

First LG TVs That Will Support AirPlay 2 and HomeKit Coming in April

LG today announced that its first 2019 OLED TVs with AI ThinQ will be debuting in April. These models, like other TVs in the 2019 lineup, will support AirPlay 2 and HomeKit later this year. The 65-inch E9 and C9 models will be the first to launch, with additional models and screen sizes coming in May or June. Other LG OLED models will be announced later in the year. LG's 2019 lineup, first revealed at CES, will be available in screen sizes ranging from 55 inches to 77 inches. Along with TVs from Samsung, Sony, and Vizio, LG's newest TVs will include AirPlay 2 support. With AirPlay 2 support, LG TV users will be able to beam photos, videos, and music from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to the LG TV, similar to how the Apple TV works today. HomeKit support will let users control their television sets using Siri voice commands or the Home app on the iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Siri will be able to be used to do things like play a specific TV show or movie to be AirPlayed to your smart TV. All of the LG OLED, NanoCell SM9X, NanoCell SM8X, and UHD UM7X television sets from 2019 will work with Apple's services according to Apple's HomeKit website. Neither TV manufacturers nor Apple have provided a specific timeline for when AirPlay 2 and HomeKit will be made available on smart television sets, but LG recently said that it expects to enable the features through a mid-year

Hunter Douglas PowerView Window Shade Motorization System Gets HomeKit Support

Hunter Douglas has finally brought Apple HomeKit support to its PowerView Motorization system, which is designed to control Hunter Douglas motorized window shades. The PowerView Motorization Hub lets users control, time, and set their window shades to raise, lower, and tilt on an automatic schedule. Originally released in 2017, the system only supported Amazon and Google services out of the box, but the company said at the time that support for HomeKit would come later the same year. However it appears to have only just surfaced. After applying the update, users with the Powerview Hub Gen 2 should be able to enjoy HomeKit integration and control their window shades and blinds via Siri voice commands. If the support works as it was originally promised, users should also be able to incorporate shade settings into HomeKit scenes for full-home automation. (Thanks, Jeff!)

LG's Latest Smart TVs Will Receive AirPlay 2 Update in Mid 2019

LG today announced that its new smart TVs will receive a software update in mid 2019 with support for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit. LG first revealed plans to add AirPlay 2 and HomeKit to its latest smart TVs at CES in January. At the time, it said the features would arrive in 2019, and today's announcement narrows down the timeframe to the middle of the year.New LG TVs will receive an upgrade mid-year to support Apple AirPlay 2 and Apple HomeKit for easy streaming of video and audio content and connectivity to Apple's smart home products. 2019 LG TV owners can also expect to receive a firmware update that will add Amazon Alexa support to complement Google Assistant which is included out of the box…AirPlay 2 support will allow users to stream videos, music, photos, and more directly from an iPhone, iPad, and Mac to eligible LG smart TVs, complete with lock screen controls. HomeKit support will enable users to easily control the TVs using Siri voice commands or the Home app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. AirPlay 2-enabled TVs from LG will include its 2019 OLED, NanoCell SM9X, LG NanoCell SM8X, and UHD UM7X models, according to Apple's list. Samsung, Sony, and Vizio also plan to release AirPlay 2-enabled smart TVs this year. Last month, Samsung's new 2019 lineup of QLED 4K and 8K TVs with AirPlay 2 support became available to pre-order in the United States. MacRumors also reported that Roku is in talks with Apple about AirPlay 2 integration

Gardena Smart System Gains Apple HomeKit Support

The Gardena Smart System is now compatible with Apple's HomeKit, thanks to the availability of a software update that brings HomeKit integration to Gardena devices like the Smart Water Control, Smart Irrigation Control, Smart Sensor, and Smart Power. Originally announced at CES 2019, the update pushed out today should automatically apply to existing Gardena Smart System owners, enabling their systems to work with the Apple Home app and Siri voice commands. If your Gardena Smart System gateway hasn't yet received the update, you can manually trigger it via the Gardena Smart System App. The individual components (sockets, sensors, and so on) can also be manually updated with the new HomeKit firmware via the app. Gardena's Smart System products include watering sets for hedges and bushes on balconies, irrigation controls for controlling multiple irrigation zones, a control set for managing water usage, a water controller for automatic irrigation, sensors for measuring soil moisture and other parameters, and a smart power adapter. (Via Macerkopf.de)

Eve's HomeKit-Enabled Light Strip Now Available for Purchase

Eve, known for its line of HomeKit-enabled smart products, today announced the availability of its newest HomeKit accessory, the Eve Light Strip. First announced at CES, the Eve Light Strip is advertised as the brightest HomeKit-enabled LED strip to date with 1,800 lumens and support for full-spectrum white and millions of colors. At 1,800 lumens, the Eve Light Strip will be brighter than the Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus, which is 1,600 lumens, and it will provide enough light to replace a standard room lamp at its brightest levels. The Eve Light Strip is 6.6 feet long but can be cut at one-foot intervals for use in smaller areas or increased to 32.8 feet by adding 6.6 foot extension strips. Preset colors are included with the Eve Light Strip, but you can also create your own using the Eve app. Eve Light Strip connects to a home's WiFi setup and is HomeKit compatible, which means that it responds to Siri voice commands, can be controlled via the Home app, and works in scenes with othe HomeKit products. Eve is debuting the Light Strip today and it can be purchased from the Eve website for $79.95. Extensions are priced at

Vizio Offers Beta Signup for AirPlay 2 SmartCast TV Software

At CES this year, Vizio announced that their SmartCast TVs would be receiving support for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit in a free over-the-air update later this year. This would allow iOS and Mac users to stream music and video to SmartCast-enabled Vizio TVs, as well as allow users to control the TV from their Home app on iOS or via Siri voice commands. Vizio promised that beta testers would be allowed access to the software in the first quarter of 2019. Vizio has now posted a blog post (via Engadget) describing the upcoming features as well as a link to sign up for beta access (scroll to bottom). If you have a SmartCast-enabled VIZIO TV and an updated iOS device, you could be selected to participate in the beta. Provide your email, and we'll get back to you soon with more details on how to get started.Vizio has said that specific models as far back as 2016 will be getting the

Vizio Says 2016 4K SmartCast TVs Will Support AirPlay 2 and HomeKit

AirPlay 2 and HomeKit functionality will be available on all of Vizio's 2016 4K UHD SmartCast Displays, the company recently confirmed on Twitter. Vizio's Twitter account for support questions supplied the information in response to a question from a MacRumors reader. Apple recently shared a list of all AirPlay 2-enabled television sets on its HomeKit website, but only 2017, 2018, and 2019 Vizio models are listed. From Apple's list: - Vizio P-Series Quantum (2019 and 2018) - Vizio P-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017) - Vizio M-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017) - Vizio E-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017) - Vizio D-series (2019, 2018 and 2017) 2017 SmartCast models feature the same hardware as earlier 2016 models, which means the integration will work with 2016 TV sets as well. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We have confirmed that all 2016 4K UHD SmartCast Displays will support the Apple integration. -A— VIZIO Support (@VIZIOsupport) January 8, 2019 Vizio is one of the only companies implementing AirPlay 2 support on older television sets. Sony, Samsung, and LG are also enabling HomeKit support, but only on 2018 and 2019 models. Samsung, for example, will support HomeKit on its 4 to 8 series TVs from 2018 and 2019, while LG and Sony are limiting the feature to new 2019

CES 2019: Gardena Smart System Now Works With Apple HomeKit

The Gardena Smart System is gaining support for Apple's HomeKit, with HomeKit integration coming to Gardena devices like the Smart Water Control, Smart Irrigation Control, Smart Sensor, and Smart Power. Gardena accessories are gaining HomeKit compatibility through a software update, allowing existing Gardena Smart System owners to upgrade their systems to work with the Apple Home app and Siri voice commands. Gardena's Smart System consists of a range of products, including watering sets for various areas like hedges and bushes or balconies, irrigation controls for controlling multiple irrigation zones, a control set for managing water usage, a water controller for automatic irrigation, sensors for measuring soil moisture and other parameters, and a smart power adapter. The Gardena devices, available since 2016, are designed to allow gardeners to precisely monitor everything that goes on in their homes while also automating care in many ways. All of the devices have been able to be controlled via the Gardena app, but HomeKit offers more versatility and allows for integration with other HomeKit devices like outdoor lights, sensors, and more. HomeKit compatibility will be added by the end of the first quarter of 2019.

CES 2019: Sony's Upcoming 4K and 8K TVs to Support AirPlay 2 and HomeKit

Starting later this year, Sony's new 2019 Z9G Series 8K LCDs, A9G Series OLED 4K TVs, and X950G 4K LCD TVs will support Airplay 2 and HomeKit protocols from Apple. Other TV manufacturers, including Samsung, Vizio, and LG have also announced support for HomeKit and AirPlay 2 for their 2019 smart TV lineups. All of the major TV brands will support both, with the exception of Samsung. Samsung TVs support AirPlay 2 and will have an exclusive app for accessing iTunes content, but won't work with HomeKit. With AirPlay 2 support, compatible Sony television sets will be able to stream videos, music, photos, and more right from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, and multi-room audio across multiple AirPlay 2 devices will also be available. Content AirPlayed on Sony television sets will be able to be controlled using the Lock screen widget or the Control Center of an iOS device. Users will be able to play, pause, fast-forward, rewind, and adjust volume on the TV when AirPlaying TVs, movies, and music. With HomeKit and Siri integration, users will be able to control their TVs via Siri voice commands, using voice requests to do things like play specific TV shows on a specific television. The TVs will be present in the Home app, so Siri controls will also be available for doing things like turning on the TV or including the TV in a HomeKit scene. Sony's television sets run an Android-based operating system with built-in Cast support from Google, which means users will be able to choose between using Google and Apple services. AirPlay-compatible Sony television sets include

GE Debuts New C by GE HomeKit-Compatible Smart Wall Switches, Full Color Lights and Accessories

GE Lighting recently announced an expansion to its C by GE portfolio, introducing a number of new HomeKit-compatible smart wall switches, full color lights, and accessories. All of the below products will be rolling out across 2019, starting with the first quarter of the year. To use these products with HomeKit, the C-Reach Hub, introduced last year, is required. Full Color LED Bulbs C by GE is gaining colored LED bulb options, which will provide millions of colors along with tunable white colors, much like LIFX and Philips Hue. There's a 60-watt equivalent A19 bulb, a BR30 for recessed lighting areas, and a custom-sized light strip. The new lighting products can be controlled via an app or through Siri with the required HomeKit hub. Smart Switches GE is adding several smart switches, designed to let users turn on, off, and dim any brand incandescent, halogen, CFL, or LED bulb. There are multiple options available, from a basic smart on/off switch to a dimmer switch with motion detection and an ambient light sensor. For those who have C by GE smart bulbs, GE says that the smart switches allow for full control of the bulbs even when the switch is off, eliminating the inability to control smart bulbs when a light switch is turned off by kids or visitors. Smart Wall Plug and Motion Sensor C by GE is gaining a new smart wall plug, which is designed to make any appliance or device that's plugged into it controllable via an app or Siri. There's also a new battery powered motion sensor coming that is designed to detect motion and ambient light

CES 2019: Honeywell Home T9 and T10 Pro Smart Thermostats Debut With Per-Room Temperature Control, HomeKit Later This Year

Resideo today at CES 2019 introduced its latest Honeywell Home smart thermostats, the T9 and T10 Pro. The latest T-series thermostats feature wireless sensors that measure temperature and humidity on a room-by-room basis. The thermostats will be compatible with HomeKit later this year, according to an Apple spokesperson, allowing them to be controlled in the Home app on iOS and macOS and with Siri. The smart room sensors offer a few other features, including people detection that ensures occupied rooms are at a desirable temperature, and a 200-foot range to help deliver whole-home comfort, according to Resideo. The T9 and T10 Pro offer simple scheduling, geofencing, and compatibility with demand response programs that may qualify for utility rebates in select regions. With the companion Honeywell Home app on iOS, homeowners can set temperatures per room, switch which room is prioritized, receive temperature alerts, and more. The T9 can "configure itself with its wire-sensing technology and includes a C-wire adapter, making do-it-yourself installation very simple," while the T10 Pro requires professional installation due to its humidity and ventilation controls. Resideo says the new T-series thermostats will be available in North America "this spring." At launch, the thermostats will integrate with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Resideo's press release does not mention HomeKit support, but an Apple spokesperson confirmed the platform will be supported "later this year." The T9 with one sensor will be available at major U.S. retailers nationwide

CES 2019: Kwikset and Mighton Announce New HomeKit-Enabled Door Locks

Kwikset today at CES 2019 announced that its HomeKit-enabled Premis smart door lock will be available in a new contemporary style with sleek, square lines later this year in the United States. While pricing was not disclosed, the current Premis is available for $229 regularly in the United States. Kwikset Premis in new contemporary style on left, Mighton Avia on right Premis enables homeowners to unlock and lock a door in four different ways: using the Home app on iOS, using Siri voice commands, entering a passcode on the touchpad, or the old fashioned route of using a key. And with a HomePod, Apple TV, or iPad set up as a home hub, the lock can be controlled away from home too. Premis can also be added to HomeKit scenes. When you arrive home, for example, you could say "I'm home" to Siri and the deadbolt will unlock, perhaps alongside your lights turning on and your bedroom blinds lowering for the evening. Homeowners can assign up to 30 customizable user codes to guests for use when the homeowner isn't present using the companion Kwikset Premis app for iOS, which also lets users manage those user codes, view lock activity, track lock status, receive lock notifications, and more. The app is free on the App Store. In related news, Mighton has introduced Avia, a HomeKit-enabled smart lock that works on multipoint locking doors. The lock will be available in May 2019, according to Apple, which provided MacRumors with a summary of recently announced HomeKit-compatible accessories timed for CES 2019. Pricing was not disclosed. A variety of other HomeKit-enabled

Ikea's HomeKit-Enabled Smart Blinds Launch in Germany, U.S. Launch Coming April 1 [Updated]

Ikea this week added to its line of HomeKit-connected smart home products with the launch of the Kadrilj and Fyrtur smart roller blinds, which are now available for purchase in Germany. Both of the smart blind products are powered via a battery that allows users to raise or lower them through an included remote control, a smartphone app, or through Alexa, Google Assistant, or HomeKit. Demo video via Zatz Not Funny The blinds come in six different sizes to fit a variety of windows, ranging from 80x195cm to 140x195cm. Both are a gray shade, but the Kadrilj is a darker gray than the Fyrtur and less transparent. Ikea's website says that the blinds are available in some German Ikea stores, and will be available online starting on February 2. Pricing starts at 99 euros for Kadrilj and 199 euros for Fyrtur. It's not yet clear if the February 2 online rollout will include availability in the United States, but with the blinds available in Germany, a U.S. launch is not likely to be too far behind. Update: Ikea's HomeKit-enabled smart blinds will be available in the United States starting on April 1. Ikea plans to sell the Fyrtur model in the U.S., with the Kadrilj model limited to other countries.