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

Sony Smart TV Software Update Brings AirPlay 2 and HomeKit Support to Select 2018 and 2019 Models

Sony has begun rolling out a software update for some of its smart TVs that enables AirPlay 2 and Apple HomeKit support, including its XBR Z9F and XBR A9F series of 4K and 4K OLED TVs. Earlier this year, Sony announced that AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support would come to some of its mid-range and high-end smart TVs by way of a software update. This Android 9 Pie update makes good on that promise, and also includes Dolby Atmos support. The update is available for the 2018 A9F and Z9F models as well as the 2019 A9G, Z9G, X950G, and X850G (55, 65, 75, 85-inch). TV tech site FlatpanelsHD notes that the 2018 A9F and Z9F models weren't listed as compatible models in Sony's original announcement, but they've since been included. 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. The software update is available in the United States, Canada, and Latin America. There's no word yet on the availability of the update in Europe and elsewhere, but presumably Sony plans to extend the staggered rollout beyond these regions. To update the Android-based software, you need to press the HELP button on the remote control and select "System software update." If you don't see the update, enable the "Automatically check for update" option, and a notification will appear on your TV when the update is available. Samsung, LG,

Bloomberg: Apple Increasing Hiring for Team Working on New HomeKit Devices Beyond HomePod

Apple is ramping up hiring for a team working on new HomeKit-based devices and software, having posted at least 15 openings for engineering positions on the team in the last month, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The report claims the efforts are headed by Andreas Gal, the former CTO of Mozilla who joined Apple last year following the iPhone maker's acquisition of Silk Labs, an artificial intelligence startup that had created a privacy-focused security camera and smart home hub system. Details are vague, but one possibility is said to be new smart home devices beyond the HomePod speaker. Apple is also said to have explored creating a wide range of smart home accessories, such as modules for opening and closing windows, cabinets, and doors, but those efforts were reportedly put on

Anker's New EufyCam 2 Security Camera Will Be Able to Store Video Recordings Securely in iCloud Later This Year

Anker this week unveiled the EufyCam 2, one of the first security cameras that will support Apple's new HomeKit Secure Video feature, allowing the camera to capture and store recordings securely in iCloud. HomeKit Secure Video will only be available to users that pay for 200GB or more of iCloud storage, starting at $2.99 per month. Users with the 200GB plan can store 10 days of recordings from one camera in iCloud at no extra cost, while those with a 2TB plan can store 10 days of recordings from up to five cameras. HomeKit Secure Video recordings do not count towards a user's iCloud storage usage. With an Apple TV, HomePod, or iPad as the home hub, HomeKit Secure Video uses on-device intelligence to privately analyze activity captured from the EufyCam 2 to detect whether it sees a person, vehicle, or an animal before securely sending it to iCloud, ensuring that users are only alerted to important activity. A demo of HomeKit Secure Video from an iPad at an Apple Store was recently shared by Zach Truskowski, as noted by HomeKit Hero: HomeKit Secure Video is billed as a safer option than storing recordings on the servers of third-party accessory makers. With support for HomeKit in general, the EufyCam 2 can stream live video in the Home app on an iPhone or iPad, complete with Siri support. When the cameras detect motion, they automatically send a push notification to an iPhone or iPad, and users are able to view live video immediately from the lock screen. EufyCam 2 will be available for pre-order in November from Best Buy in the United States, with

Arlo Ultra Security Camera and Netatmo Weather Station Now Support HomeKit

Two smart home accessories gained HomeKit support today, including the Arlo Ultra security camera and the Netatmo Weather Station. Arlo Ultra While users can already control Arlo Ultra cameras via the Arlo app, HomeKit compatibility enables iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch users to control the cameras with Apple's Home app and Siri voice commands. A free-of-charge automatic firmware update is now rolling out for both new and existing Ultra users. With HomeKit, Arlo Ultra owners will now be able to receive notifications via the Home app when motion is detected. On the iPhone and iPad, users can also use Siri to quickly activate a HD livestream of the camera feed. HomeKit also allows users to set up automations to control other HomeKit-enabled smart home devices. For example, users can set up an automation to trigger HomeKit-enabled lights to turn on at certain times when motion is detected by an Arlo Ultra camera for added comfort and security. Arlo Ultra security cameras have a wire-free setup and feature 4K HDR video quality, color night vision, a 180-degree diagonal field-of-view, an integrated spotlight, and two-way audio with advanced noise cancelation. Pricing starts at $399.99, including a one-year subscription to 30-day rolling storage of cloud recordings. Netatmo Weather Station Netatmo has announced that all of its Weather Stations manufactured since October 2016 are now compatible with HomeKit. Older models do not support HomeKit due to necessary hardware changes Netatmo had to make. To check whether your Weather Station is compatible

LG's 2019 UHD UM7X TVs Now Support AirPlay 2 and HomeKit

LG recently rolled out a firmware update to customers who own an LG TV in the UHD UM7X series, enabling HomeKit and AirPlay 2 functionality. LG originally said that this firmware update would be available in October, but the software has come out early. LG UHD UM7X TV owners can download the new 04.70.03 software update to enable the new functionality. AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support first began rolling out on LG TVs in July. With AirPlay 2, LG TV users can stream TV shows and movies from an iOS or macOS device directly to the television, with no Apple TV set-top box required. A movie can be started on an iPhone and AirPlayed right to a TV, plus content can be mirrored from a Mac or iOS device to the TV. AirPlay 2 lets multiple audio sources to play the same content, so a song can be played on a single television set, multiple television sets, or a TV and other AirPlay 2 devices such as speakers for whole home audio. The AirPlay 2 functionality in LG TVs is linked to HomeKit, so LG TV sets with the new firmware will show up in the Home app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. In the Home app, LG TV users can do things like switch inputs, turn the television on and off, and adjust the volume. Siri can also be used for these commands, so a simple "Hey Siri" voice request on an iOS or macOS device can adjust the volume or turn the TV on or off, much like other HomeKit products. LG also plans to enable HomeKit and AirPlay 2 support on its LG UHD UM6X series television sets as well as the LG NanoCell SM83 series or below, but those software updates have yet to be released.

LG's $30,000 88-Inch OLED TV Now Available, Will Support HomeKit and AirPlay 2

LG today announced that its new 88-inch 8K OLED and 75-inch 8K LED smart TVs are available at select U.S. retailers starting today, priced at $29,999 and $4,999 respectively. LG says both models will receive a firmware update that enables HomeKit and AirPlay 2 support later this fall. AirPlay 2 support will enable users to stream videos, music, podcasts, and more directly from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to these TVs, with no Apple TV box necessary. And with HomeKit, users can easily control the TV's power, volume, source, and more using Siri or the Home app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. LG says the 88-inch model is the largest OLED TV ever, with an 8K Ultra HD resolution of 7,680x4,320 for a total of nearly 33 million pixels. The TV features a slim-bezel display with a brushed aluminum stand and comes with an integrated 80W speaker system that is said to deliver powerful sound. LG first rolled out HomeKit and AirPlay 2 to select 2019 OLED and NanoCell 4K UHD smart TVs with ThinQ AI capability in July, with remaining 4K UHD TV series in LG's 2019 lineup slated to receive the features in October. Many customers have petitioned LG to offer AirPlay 2 and HomeKit on its older smart TVs, but the company has not budged so far, noting that it "cannot guarantee" that pre-2019 models "will be able to deliver a seamless user experience." LG did note that it "may be a possibility in the future." AirPlay 2 and HomeKit are also available on select Vizio smart TVs, and Sony promised to roll out the features in summer 2019, but it has yet to do so. Samsung offers an Apple TV app

Eve Launches New 'Eve Extend' Bluetooth Range Extender

Eve Systems, known for its range of HomeKit-enabled products, today highlighted four new devices that are coming out later this year, some of which will be available in the United States and some limited to Europe. Eve Extend, a Bluetooth range extender designed for the Bluetooth-equipped Eve devices, is launching today. It's designed to connect to your Bluetooth Eve accessories to make them available across your WiFi network. Eve Extend is able to connect to either a 2.4GHz or 5GHz WiFi network, and it can work with up to eight Eve accessories. More than one Eve Extend can be paired up to expand the reach of Eve products to all corners of the home. Eve Extend can be ordered from the Eve website for $50 starting today. A European version of the Eve Light Switch, which replaces a traditional light switch and adds HomeKit connectivity, is launching in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands this fall. Eve Light Switch is priced at 99.95 euros and will be available on October 1. Eve is debuting a new version of the Eve Thermo smart radiator valve, which features a clearer display, better touch controls with feedback, and a quieter motor. Eve Thermo will be available for 70 euros starting on September 16. Eve is also working on the Eve Water Guard, a device that's designed to detect moisture and send alerts so you can address a leak as soon as it happens. Eve Water Guard comes with a 4.3 foot water sensing cable that extends its detection range beyond other HomeKit water detectors on the market. Eve says that the Eve Water Guard

Signify Launches New Philips Hue Smart Plug and Smart Button

Signify today announced several new Philips Hue branded products, adding to its available line of Hue bulbs and devic The Philips Hue Smart Plug, priced at $39.99, is designed to turn lamps that aren't compatible with Hue bulbs into smart lamps able to be controlled via the Philips Hue app and HomeKit. You can plug any table lamp, floor lamp, or other device into the Smart plug to add it to your Philips Hue setup. The Smart Plug can be switched on or off using the Hue app or HomeKit controls. A new Philips Hue Smart Button, priced at $19.99, gives you a physical control option for your Philips Hue lights. You can assign a single press to activate whichever lights you want to control, and a press and a hold can brighten or dim the lights. Paired with the Philips Hue Bridge, the button can be configured to do things like turning your lights to a preset shade of white and a brightness level that suits the time of day. In the morning, a press of the Smart Button will turn the lights to cool, energizing shades of white, and in the evening, a button press will trigger warmer, dimmer light settings. The Smart Button features a magnetic backing and an adhesive mini mount so you can put it wherever it's most useful. Signify is debuting a new Bluetooth version of the Philips Hue Go portable lamp ($79.99), which can be used on its own with the Philips Hue Bluetooth app or added to any standard Philips Hue setup. The new Hue Go option is similar to the existing Hue Go, but with a longer battery life. There are also new Bluetooth-enabled versions of the

Philips Hue Line Gains New Filament Smart Bulbs

Signify today announced that its Philip Hue line of lights is gaining several new filament bulb options, which will be available in a variety of sizes. Filament bulbs are bulbs that can be used with or without a lampshade, unlike other Hue bulbs that are designed for use primarily with lampshades. Filament bulbs can be viewed straight on and look attractive even when displayed in a naked lamp. The Filament bulbs can be used over Bluetooth without a Philips Hue hub using the Philips Hue Bluetooth app, but if you have an existing Hue setup, the bulbs can also be added in the traditional manner and paired with your other Hue lights. The Hue Filament bulbs are LED bulbs that are available only in a warm white light (2100K, 530 lumens) with an amber coating. The bulbs can be dimmed, but there are no color options. There are three Hue Filament bulbs that will be available in the United States starting in October. There's a traditional A19 bulb that will be available for $24.99, a ST19 tube that will be available for $27.99, and a G25 globe that will be available for $32.99. For more on the new Filament bulbs, check out the Hue website.

TP-Link's Kasa Smart Plug Mini Won't Support HomeKit After All

TP-Link today announced that it has abandoned its plans to add HomeKit support to its Kasa Smart Plug Mini. From a new support document on TP-Link's website via Reddit:Due to changes in our roadmap, the Kasa Smart Plug Mini (HS105) smart plug will not offer support for Apple HomeKit. Despite the change in direction for this specific SKU, our team is committed to the development of innovative smart home solutions that will continue to delight our customers around the globe.TP-Link originally planned to add HomeKit support to the smart plug in early 2019, a promise that it has now broken. Fortunately, HomeKit-enabled smart plugs are quite common, with a wide variety of options available from brands such as Eve, iDevices, iHome, and Wemo. They can be used to conveniently turn on and off TVs, lamps, coffee machines, and other household objects with an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch.

Vizio Begins Rolling Out AirPlay 2 and HomeKit to 2016 and Newer SmartCast TVs Following Beta Testing

Following months of beta testing, Vizio today announced that AirPlay 2 and HomeKit are now rolling out to its 2016 and newer SmartCast TVs via an over-the-air firmware update. The rollout will continue over the coming months. AirPlay 2 support enables users to stream videos, music, podcasts, photos, and more directly from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to a compatible Vizio TV, with no Apple TV necessary. And with HomeKit, users can easily control the TV's power, volume, and more using Siri or the Home app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. AirPlay 2 and HomeKit are rolling out to the following Vizio SmartCast TVs:VIZIO P-Series Quantum X (2019) VIZIO P-Series Quantum (2019 and 2018) VIZIO P-Series (2018, 2017 and 2016) VIZIO M-Series Quantum (2019) VIZIO M-Series (2018, 2017 and 2016) VIZIO E-Series (2018, 2017 and 2016 UHD models) VIZIO V-Series (2019) VIZIO D-Series (2018)MacRumors demoed AirPlay 2 and HomeKit on a Vizio SmartCast TV during the beta testing period: LG also began rolling out AirPlay 2 and HomeKit to select 2019 TVs over the last week, and Sony plans to follow suit later this summer. Samsung also offers AirPlay 2 and an Apple TV app on on select TVs, but not

LG Expands AirPlay 2 and HomeKit Rollout to United States, Remaining 4K UHD TVs Will Receive Update in October

LG today announced that AirPlay 2 and HomeKit are now available through a firmware update on select 2019 OLED and NanoCell 4K UHD smart TVs with ThinQ AI capability in the United States. The remaining 4K UHD TV series in LG's 2019 lineup are expected to receive these features in October. LG began rolling out AirPlay 2 and HomeKit on July 25, but the firmware update was not available in the United States until July 29. AirPlay 2 support enables users to stream videos, music, podcasts, and more directly from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to a compatible LG smart TV, with no Apple TV necessary. And with HomeKit, users can easily control the TV's power, volume, source, and more using Siri or the Home app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. AirPlay 2 and HomeKit are also available in beta on select Vizio smart TVs, and both features will be rolling out to select Sony models later this summer. Samsung also offers AirPlay 2, but not HomeKit, on select TVs. Many customers have petitioned LG to offer AirPlay 2 and HomeKit on its older smart TVs, but the company has not budged so far, noting that it "cannot guarantee" that pre-2019 models "will be able to deliver a seamless user experience." LG did note that it "may be a possibility in the future."

HomeKit and AirPlay 2 Rolling Out to 2019 LG ThinQ TVs Starting Tomorrow [Updated]

Update: An LG spokesperson now says that the information shared by its UK PR team is inaccurate and there are no current plans to bring AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support to LG TVs that were released earlier than 2019. From LG: "LG cannot guarantee that TV models prior to 2019 will be able to deliver a seamless user experience. Therefore, while this may be a possibility in the future, at the moment, LG has no plans to update its pre-2019 TVs with Airplay 2 or HomeKit." LG still plans to bring AirPlay 2 to its 2019 TVs this week, and did not rule out the possibility of support for older TVs in the future. Original article: LG today announced that AirPlay 2 and HomeKit compatibility are rolling out to 2019 AI ThinQ TVs starting on Thursday, July 25. While the 2019 LG AI ThinQ TVs will be the first to get the firmware update that will enable HomeKit and AirPlay 2, new information shared today by Screen Times suggests AirPlay 2 and HomeKit will eventually be coming to all LG TV models with AI ThinQ in the future. The information comes from Piers Le Moignan from LG's UK press team, who told Screen Times that "All LG TV models with AI ThinQ from past to present" will support AirPlay 2 and HomeKit eventually. It's not clear when older LG TV models will receive a firmware update to add AirPlay 2 and HomeKit compatibility, but starting this week, all 2019 LG OLED TVs, NanoCell TVs, and UHD TVs with ThinQ AI capabilities will get the update. With AirPlay 2, LG TV users can stream TV shows and movies from an iOS or macOS device directly to the television, with no

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a HomeKit-Compatible Dual Smart Outlet From Satechi

For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Satechi to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win one of the company's newly launched HomeKit-Compatible Dual Smart Outlets. Available for $60, the Dual Smart Outlet is Satechi's first HomeKit product, and it offers up two separate HomeKit-compatible outlets that let you connect any standard device or appliance to your HomeKit setup. If you have a light that's not compatible with HomeKit, for example, you can plug it into the Smart Outlet for HomeKit controls, automations, and compatibility with other HomeKit-enabled products through HomeKit Scenes. There are many HomeKit-compatible plug options on the market, but Satechi's new Smart Plug takes up minimal space as it won't block a secondary outlet. Both of the two outlets can be controlled independently, so you can connect two devices, and it can be placed either vertically or horizontally in an outlet. Satechi has also included real-time energy monitoring in the Smart Outlet, so you can figure out just how much power your devices are eating up. The Smart Outlet is controlled via WiFi and connects to an existing 2.4GHz network. It's compatible with any appliance or electronic device that plugs into a standard outlet, including fans, TVs, humidifiers, heaters, speakers, lights, and more. You can control the Smart Outlet using the Home app, Siri voice commands, or the Satechi Home app. You can do things like turn a device on or off, set it to turn on or off at certain times, or pair it up with other HomeKit items. We have five of the Dual Smart

Satechi Launches New HomeKit-Compatible Dual Smart Outlet

Satechi, known for its line of accessories for Apple's iOS and Mac devices, today announced the launch of its first HomeKit product, the Dual Smart Outlet. Priced at $60, the Dual Smart Outlet offers up two separate HomeKit-compatible outlets that let you turn dumb appliances into smart ones. If you have a light that's not compatible with HomeKit, for example, you can plug it into a the Smart Outlet and enjoy on/off controls and real-time energy monitoring. The Smart Outlet, which is controlled via Wi-Fi and connects to an existing 2.4GHz network, works with any appliance or electronic device that plugs into a standard outlet, such as fans, TVs, humidifiers, heaters, speakers, lights, and more. As with all HomeKit products, the Smart Outlet can be controlled via the Home app or through Siri voice commands. It's also available in the new Satechi Home app. The Dual Smart Outlet can be paired with other HomeKit devices in Scenes and automated using the HomeKit Automations feature. Satechi's Smart Outlet joins a market crowded with HomeKit-compatible plug options, but it takes up minimal space as it won't block a secondary outlet and adds an extra plug to a standard two-plug outlet panel. The Dual Smart Outlet can be purchased from Amazon.com or the Satechi website for $60 starting today. Through June 23, Satechi is offering customers 30 percent off with the promo code DUALOUTLET, which works both on Amazon and on the Satechi

Belkin's Wemo Brand Launches New HomeKit-Compatible 3-Way Light Switch

Belkin today announced a new addition to its lineup of HomeKit-compatible Wemo-branded smart devices, the Wemo 3-Way Light Switch, which is now available. Announced at CES, the new 3-Way Light Switch is priced at $49.99 and adds HomeKit functionality to your household lights. The new Light Switch joins the Wemo Mini Smart Plug and the Wemo Dimmer, Belkin's other devices that offer full HomeKit compatibility without the need for the Wemo Smart Bridge. Other Wemo products, such as the Insight Smart Plug, Motion Sensor, and existing Light Switch connect to HomeKit setups through the Wemo Smart Bridge. The newest Wemo products are much more convenient, offering a HomeKit connection without the use of the bridge. You're able to control the Light Switch using the Home app, the Wemo app, or Siri functionality, and it also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The 3-Way Light Switch is available today from Belkin or from Amazon, and it will be available from Apple starting on June

Apple's Secure Video HomeKit Feature Requires a 200GB or 2TB iCloud Storage Plan

Apple at WWDC announced a new HomeKit feature called HomeKit Secure Video, which is designed to offer up a better, more secure way to manage the footage captured by in-home security cameras. As Apple's Craig Federighi explained on stage when announcing the feature, many current home security cameras upload data to the cloud for analysis to enable features like motion detection. Cameras that support HomeKit Secure Video will leverage the iPad, Apple TV, or HomePod (aka Home Hub devices) to analyze video right in your home. Video feeds will be encrypted end-to-end and uploaded to iCloud where you and you alone will be able to see the footage. Like existing home security cameras, Apple will send you notifications if activity is detected so recordings can be reviewed; the entire process is just more secure. Apple is providing 10 days of "free" iCloud storage for video content that will not count against your iCloud data plan limits, but as announced on Monday, a higher-end iCloud storage plan is required. For one Secure Video camera, a 200GB iCloud storage plan is required, while you need the 2TB plan for up to 5 cameras. In the United States, 200GB of storage is priced at $2.99 per month, while 2TB of storage is priced at $9.99 per month. Many camera companies that offer cloud storage do charge monthly fees for data access, so Apple's decision to require a $2.99 to $9.99 per month fee isn't a major surprise, and a lot more utility is provided with an Apple iCloud storage plan than one from Logitech or Eufy. Apple says that Netatmo, Logitech, and Eufy

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

HomeKit Coming to Routers and Gets New 'Secure Video' Feature

Many home cameras today send video the the cloud to, for example, analyze the difference between a leaf blowing in the wind or someone at your door. Apple aims to improve this with a new feature called HomeKit Secure Video with on-device analyzing. An encrypted stream is then sent to iCloud that no one, not even Apple, can see. You'll be alerted to activity and can review what's going on. HomeKit is also coming to routers, effectively adding a firewall between smart home accessories and your network. Launch partners will include Linksys, Eero, and

Vizio's 2019 Smart TVs Now Available With AirPlay 2 and HomeKit Support Coming This Summer

Vizio today announced that its 2019 smart TV models with forthcoming AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support are now available at various retailers in the United States, including Amazon, Best Buy, Costco, Sam's Club, Target, and Walmart. The lineup includes high-end P-Series, mid-range M-Series, and lower-priced V-Series models. All of the TVs are 4K HDR, with prices ranging from $259.99 for a 40-inch model with under 400 nits brightness and a 120Hz refresh rate to $3,499.99 for a 75-inch model with 2,700 nits brightness and a 240Hz refresh rate. Vizio says AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support will roll out "in the coming weeks" in line with its promised "summer 2019" timeframe, but both of the features have been available for participating beta testers since last month. Support will extend back to select Vizio smart TVs released in 2016, 2017, and 2018. AirPlay 2 support will allow users to stream videos, music, photos, and more directly from an iPhone, iPad, and Mac to supported Vizio 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. Vizio's entire 2019 lineup comes equipped with SmartCast 3.0 software, providing access to services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Vudu, iHeartRadio, Xumo, CBS All Access, NBC, and more. SmartCast 3.0 also includes Chromecast, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa integration. AirPlay 2 support was also added to Samsung's latest smart TVs last week, with LG and Sony planning to add support later this