What's New With HomeKit in iOS 15

iOS 15 didn't focus heavily on improvements to HomeKit and the Home app, but there are some notable features like expanded HomeKit Secure Video support and new Siri functionality.

iOS 15 HomeKit Guide
This guide highlights all of the features that are new to ‌HomeKit‌ in the ‌iOS 15‌ and iPadOS 15 updates.

HomeKit Secure Video

‌iOS 15‌ introduces a new iCloud+ service that offers privacy-based features like ‌iCloud‌ Private Relay and Hide My Email, but the feature also comes with ‌HomeKit Secure Video‌ improvements.

homekit secure video
With ‌iCloud‌+, Apple is increasing the number of ‌HomeKit Secure Video‌ cameras supported with each ‌iCloud‌ plan. There have been no changes to ‌iCloud‌ plans and all ‌iCloud‌ plans are now ‌iCloud‌+ plans, but more camera footage can be stored.

The $0.99 per month 50GB ‌iCloud‌+ storage plan offers support for one ‌HomeKit Secure Video‌ Camera, which is a major improvement because previously, the 200GB plan was required to use ‌HomeKit Secure Video‌.

With the $2.99 per month 200GB ‌iCloud‌+ plan that previously offered support for one camera, you can now record with five ‌HomeKit Secure Video‌ cameras at one time. The $9.99 per month 2TB ‌iCloud‌+ storage plan supports unlimited ‌HomeKit Secure Video‌ cameras, up from five.

All ‌HomeKit Secure Video‌ footage that's stored in ‌iCloud‌ is secure and end-to-end encrypted, and no camera footage counts against the total ‌iCloud‌ storage that you have available. To use ‌HomeKit Secure Video‌, you need the 50GB plan at a minimum, along with a HomePod, HomePod mini, Apple TV, or iPad that serves as a home hub for your ‌HomeKit‌ devices.

Package Detection

‌HomeKit Secure Video‌ already supports people detection to narrow down motion alerts, but in ‌iOS 15‌, security cameras and video doorbells that support ‌HomeKit Secure Video‌ can detect a package delivery and let you know when the package you're waiting for arrives on your doorstep.

Home Keys

HomeKit-enabled door locks that support ‌iOS 15‌'s new Home Keys feature can store a digital key in the Wallet app.

ios 15 wallet app home key
The digital key can be used to tap to unlock a compatible lock, so you don't need a manufacturer's app to use digital unlocking features.

Home Keys can be accessed on the iPhone or on the Apple Watch using the Wallet app.

Time-Based Siri Commands

‌Siri‌ in ‌iOS 15‌ can be used to control a ‌HomeKit‌ device at a specific time. So if you want your bedroom lights to turn off at 9:00 p.m., you can say "Hey ‌Siri‌, turn the bedroom lights off at 9:00 p.m., and the voice assistant complies.

siri homekit automations
This feature uses the Automation option in the Home app, so every time you ask ‌Siri‌ control a ‌HomeKit‌ device at a specific time, it creates an automation. You can view and delete automations in the Automation section of the Home app.

Siri-Enabled Third-Party Accessories

Third-party ‌HomeKit‌ accessory makers can integrate ‌Siri‌ functionality into their devices in ‌iOS 15‌, but the person using the device needs to own a ‌HomePod‌ that can be used to route requests. This functionality needs to be implemented by manufacturers and so it won't be available right when ‌iOS 15‌ launches.

HomePodandMini feature orange
With ‌Siri‌ integration, you can ask any compatible product in your home to send messages, set reminders, contact family members, control devices, and more.

Guide Feedback

Have questions about the new ‌HomeKit‌ changes in ‌iOS 15‌, know of a feature we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

Related Roundups: iOS 15, iPadOS 15
Related Forum: iOS 15

Top Rated Comments

siddavis Avatar
5 weeks ago

I have one word for you, “Updating…”
Two words, "Not Responding"
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Think|Different Avatar
5 weeks ago

In all honesty, I gave up on HomeKit enabled devices. In all honesty, it would have been dope if Apple would have bought Arlo and then have a sure shot HomeKit native system (granted they would still be pricey, since Arlo's cameras + month packages (especially with 24/7 recording) is $$$). Then again, HomeKit is still quirky AF. I'll probably get ratio'd to heck, but that's just my opinion.
I'm a huge believer (and inve$tor, ha) in HomeKit accessories in every room but even I'd say "quirky AF" is pretty apt. It's the comments, not yours, that claim "it's trash" or simply "doesn't work" or something else dramatic. Legit, solid HK accessories – no, not Hoobs/Homebridge hacks – work solid depending on your home network. But very diverse wireless networks and issues at home, from boxes to mesh to ISPs to microwaves, really seem to create most 'IOT' issues, HomeKit or otherwise. This article highlights how much more Apple could do, personally. I'd have to hope further development on API or UX with Home app/HK was paused a bit this year while the 'more important' Matter alliance stuff is being worked out.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nitramluap Avatar
5 weeks ago
"This feature uses the Automation option in the Home app, so every time you ask ‌Siri‌ control a ‌HomeKit‌ device at a specific time, it creates an automation."

Yes, this makes me not want to use it. It creates unnecessary clutter. It's like the alarm issue when created with Siri - you end up with dozens of alarms which you need to manually delete.

It needs to be smarter. Siri should ask "Do you want to repeat this every day?". If it's a single request it shouldn't store it as an automation, or if it does, delete it immediately after running.

EDIT: better grammar
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PBG4 Dude Avatar
5 weeks ago

In all honesty, I gave up on HomeKit enabled devices. In all honesty, it would have been dope if Apple would have bought Arlo and then have a sure shot HomeKit native system (granted they would still be pricey, since Arlo's cameras + month packages (especially with 24/7 recording) is $$$). Then again, HomeKit is still quirky AF. I'll probably get ratio'd to heck, but that's just my opinion.
I have one word for you, “Updating…”
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aesc80 Avatar
5 weeks ago
In all honesty, I gave up on HomeKit enabled devices. In all honesty, it would have been dope if Apple would have bought Arlo and then have a sure shot HomeKit native system (granted they would still be pricey, since Arlo's cameras + month packages (especially with 24/7 recording) is $$$). Then again, HomeKit is still quirky AF. I'll probably get ratio'd to heck, but that's just my opinion.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aesc80 Avatar
5 weeks ago

Do you have issues with people assuming you are not being honest? But, I agree. Homekit is a strange hodgepodge ATM.
It's Macrumors - if you're not in love with Apple, then you're trash (unless it's something seriously bad, like CSAM). It's important to remember that while Apple tends to make features to be absolutely great (can't tell you how much I use AirDrop in my job, and I love it!), they'll swing and a miss on certain other ones. HomeKit is definitely in that list.

Homepods were grossly overpriced, Siri just wasn't exactly built like Google / Alexa to drive that kind of at-home interaction, and HomeKit overall is arranged in a way that feels like it belongs on Ubuntu rather than an smooth iOS device. It's a pain because, for my personal life, I'm so invested in the Apple ecosystem. It's just a shame that Apple invested so much into things like Smart Car that may never see the day (unless it gets released as an OS system for some other auto manufacturer), and nothing like IoT and Smart Home, where iOS and tvOS would totally shine.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iOS 15 Later Features

All the iOS 15 Features You Won't Get Until Later

Tuesday September 21, 2021 2:56 pm PDT by
There are multiple features that Apple wasn't able to get ready for launch prior to the debut of iOS and iPadOS 15, which is not unusual. There are usually some iOS features that take a little more time to prepare for primetime, and Apple releases these features in iOS updates. Below, we've rounded up iOS 15 additions that weren't ready when iOS 15 launched and will be implemented in iOS 15...
iOS 15 Siri Feature

iOS 15 Siri Guide: On Device Offline Recognition and Updates

Wednesday July 28, 2021 2:42 pm PDT by
There are some major improvements to Siri in iOS 15, with Apple introducing features that iPhone users have long asked for. On devices with an A12 chip or later, Siri can do on-device processing and there's support for offline requests. This guide highlights all of the new Siri features that are available in iOS (and iPadOS) 15. On-Device Speech Processing and Personalization Starting in ...
ios 15 notification summary

Just Install iOS 15? Here's Where to Start

Monday September 20, 2021 11:50 am PDT by
Apple today released the new iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 updates to all users, and there are dozens of new features to learn about. Some of these options must be toggled on or set up, so we've created a handy get started with iOS 15 guide that walks you through what you should do after installing the update. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Set Up Notification Summary If...
iOS 15 Privacy Guide Feature 1

iOS 15 Privacy Guide: Private Relay, Hide My Email, Mail Privacy Protection, App Reports and More

Friday August 6, 2021 1:31 pm PDT by
With every new version of iOS, Apple makes an effort to provide new privacy and security-focused features to make the iPhone and iPad more secure, and iOS 15 is no exception. It is, in fact, a huge leap forward in privacy thanks to features like iCloud Private Relay and Hide My Email. However, Apple’s recent announcement about the introduction of CSAM scanning on device has led to significant...
Ultimate iOS 15 Guide Feature

The Ultimate iOS 15 Walkthrough: Guides and How Tos for Every New Feature

Monday September 20, 2021 2:45 pm PDT by
While iOS 15 was in the beta testing phase, we here at MacRumors wrote up a series of in-depth feature guides to highlight everything that's new in the update, along with how tos to walk you through using those features. This is a comprehensive guide with all of our coverage, and it's a great resource for casual users who haven't had a chance to test out iOS 15 prior to its launch....
iOS 14 vs 15 feature 2

iOS 14 vs. iOS 15: Should You Update?

Friday September 24, 2021 7:42 am PDT by
For the first time, Apple is allowing users to continue using iOS 14, even after the launch of iOS 15. So should you update to iOS 15 or stick with iOS 14? In previous years, the main reason users needed to update their iPhone to a major new OS release was to continue getting important security updates. Apple would release security updates to older devices that could not upgrade to the...
ios 15 wallet feature salmon

iOS 15 Wallet Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Friday August 13, 2021 1:00 pm PDT by
Apple in iOS 15 is taking another step toward replacing the traditional wallet, adding several new features to its digital Wallet app that will allow people to leave their physical cards and keys behind. This guide highlights all of the new features that are coming to the Wallet app in iOS 15, but it's worth noting that many of them rely on third-party companies and services adopting Wallet...
iPhone 13 Feature Candy Corn

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 12 Buyer's Guide

Monday September 20, 2021 7:25 am PDT by
This month, Apple unveiled the iPhone 13 as the successor to the popular iPhone 12, with improved rear cameras, longer battery life, the A15 Bionic chip, and more. As devices that are more affordable than the Pro models, but more full-featured than the low-cost iPhone SE or iPhone 11, the iPhone 13 will likely be the most popular option among consumers. The iPhone 12 from 2020 continues to...
iOS 15 Top Features

iOS 15 Features: Our Top 10 Picks

Monday September 20, 2021 1:11 pm PDT by
iOS 15 is absolutely packed with new features, and it can be overwhelming sorting through everything that's new. If you're wondering whether it's worth upgrading and what new features might be worth getting access to right away, we've rounded up 10 of the best new additions in the iOS 15 update that you might not be aware of. 1. Android and Web-Based FaceTime For the first time, FaceTime is ...
iPhone 13 vs 13 Pro Feature

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 13 Pro Buyer's Guide

Friday September 17, 2021 7:04 am PDT by
This month, Apple unveiled the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro as the successors to the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, featuring a smaller notch, the A15 Bionic chip, longer battery life, improved cameras, and new color options across the lineup. The iPhone 13 starts at $799, while the iPhone 13 Pro starts at $999. As Apple's latest iPhones share a large number of features, should you consider...