How to Use Your iPhone With HomeKit-Enabled Devices

Now that HomeKit-enabled accessories are hitting the market, you may be wondering what you can do with your new connected devices. Whether you are controlling the temperature, turning off lights, or locking the front door, you will be able to use your iPhone to take care of various activities around the house.

If you are away from home, you’ll even be able to use Apple TV (third-generation or newer running Apple TV OS 7.0 or later) to control some functions while away from home. We've got a tutorial for getting your HomeKit-enabled accessories ready for use.

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Insteon's app for HomeKit-enabled lights

Download the App


HomeKit is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch running iOS 8.1 or later. When you get your device, be sure to download the compatible app from the App Store and pair your device using the special code that comes with your new HomeKit accessory.

Setup


Once paired, use Siri to take control of your electronics. You can tell the virtual assistant to set the temperature or turn off the lights in the kitchen. There are some commands that will require you to unlock your iPhone before Siri will comply. For example, you won’t be able to unlock your door until you unlock your iPhone.

sirilightson
Some apps allow you to group multiple accessories together, letting them be controlled with a single Siri command. Groupings need to be set up in third-party accessory apps, and the settings may be called "homes, rooms, or scenes." Third-party apps that offer HomeKit groupings can often incorporate HomeKit devices they're not even designed to control. Lutron's app, for example, can also control a Nest thermostat.

lutron_homekit
Lutron's HomeKit app

Not all apps have a grouping option, but for those that do, once the accessories are grouped, they can be controlled together. You might be able to tell Siri to "Get ready for bed," for example, a command that would turn off the lights and turn down the temperature.

If you want to reset the system and begin anew, open the Settings app on your iPhone and select Privacy. Then, select HomeKit and tap "Reset HomeKit Configuration."

Shared Connections


Multiple iOS users within the same household will be able to use the connected devices. However, one person will be designated the administrator. Add new users from the settings section of the company's app for the system you use.

Using Apple TV


If you are away from home, you will be able to set up your Apple TV to do the work while you are gone. All you have to do is make sure your iPhone and Apple TV are signed in with the same Apple ID account. Then, you can use Siri commands to remotely control your accessories, like turning on the lights while you are away. With iOS 9 later this year, remote access to HomeKit devices will get even easier via iCloud.

Lost or Stolen iPhone


If, against your desires, you no longer have your iOS device in your possession, use Find My iPhone to turn on Lost Mode so no one can use it to remotely activate your HomeKit accessories. You can also erase the contents of the device (only use this feature if you are sure you won't be getting the device back).

You can use another iOS device that is signed into the same Apple ID to control your HomeKit-enabled accessories. Just download the compatible app and follow the steps above.

lockediphonehomekit
If you don't have another iOS device, you will have to manually reset your accessories by following the manufacturers' instructions. When you replace your device, you will be able to pair it with your HomeKit-enabled accessories again.

Each system's app will have a slightly different user interface. However, HomeKit supported devices will all be able to work with Siri so you can control your home from your iPhone by activating the virtual personal assistant. When iOS 9 and watchOS 2 launch in the fall, you will be able to use Apple Watch to control HomeKit-enabled devices and you'll be able to access them remotely without an Apple TV.



Top Rated Comments

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57 months ago

'I get to my front door and it opens automatically when it senses my phone is near (I can disable this remotely if I lose my phone)'.

You get to your front door pursued by a madman. You get inside and slam the door shut. But it's unlocked because you're close by. The madman enters after you...

After an exhausting day at work, you accidentally leave your phone near the front door. A burglar comes in and steals the phone, along with several of your possessions.

You're going away on holiday for two weeks. You leave the house. Better check the door's locked. Damn, you can't! Stupid phone keeps it unlocked until you walk away.

Your phone gets stolen or runs out of battery just before you get home. Darn it! I can't open my front door. Better get that locksmith.

The hot weather has warped the wood of your front door, and the lock won't turn. Better use a physical key. Bugger! I don't have one.

Someone hacks your phone and obtains the remote code to unlock your front door.

I prefer a metal key.


1) - Lol Ben, you often get pursued by madmen?!?

2) - The lock detects when it's on the inside, and doesn't open the door :)

3) - Why would you need to check, it locks as soon as you close the door, you tap it to open it, when you're near it :)

4/5) - The keyvo comes with, and also accepts a physical key, just in case, having said that, i've never used it :)

6) - Surely it's easier just to steal someones physical key :) currently i trust my bank with all my money, so i trust my keyvo with my front door security.

you really should try it, or research a bit better, this feels a little like a trolling post, rather than a constructive debate about whether app based door security is viable

Rob
Rating: 5 Votes
Avatar
57 months ago

I really doubt that HomeKit, or, indeed, any Internet of Things thingy will get any traction.

Unlocking a door or turning on a light is so quick and easy. Quicker and easier than even getting your phone out or using your watch. You don't have to think; you just do a simple motion and it works all of the time. No batteries required. No glitches to worry about. No wireless problems. No re-wiring. No bluetooth woes. No extra gadget needed. No extra expense.

HomeKit and the Internet of Things are solutions in search of a problem for all but niche scenarios, such as handicapped people.

Totally disagree. If done right, these products will be able to seamlessly fit into your everyday routine.
Rating: 5 Votes
Avatar
57 months ago

I really doubt that HomeKit, or, indeed, any Internet of Things thingy will get any traction.

Unlocking a door or turning on a light is so quick and easy. Quicker and easier than even getting your phone out or using your watch. You don't have to think; you just do a simple motion and it works all of the time. No batteries required. No glitches to worry about. No wireless problems. No re-wiring. No bluetooth woes. No extra gadget needed. No extra expense.

HomeKit and the Internet of Things are solutions in search of a problem for all but niche scenarios, such as handicapped people.


Won't get any traction? Too late... You really think it's easier to unlock a door with a key than to simply walk up to it and open it automatically via Bluetooth? Getting up and walking over to a light switch to dim the lights is easier than looking down at my watch? Your entire entertainment center can be controlled by one wifi device, you think it's easier to use 10 remotes? Then again, you're just thinking about lights and door locks like it's 2001...you might get it eventually.
Rating: 4 Votes
Avatar
57 months ago
Can't wait until this just works. Then we won't need the tutorial. It will be implanted, you think "Let there be light!" and the light will be separated from the dark. A password may be necessary to use this on the Universe size scale.
Rating: 4 Votes
Avatar
57 months ago

Won't get any traction? Too late... You really think it's easier to unlock a door with a key than to simply walk up to it and open it automatically via Bluetooth? Getting up and walking over to a light switch to dim the lights is easier than looking down at my watch? Your entire entertainment center can be controlled by one wifi device, you think it's easier to use 10 remotes? Then again, you're just thinking about lights and door locks like it's 2001...you might get it eventually.


Is it worth it to replace all those pieces of hardware? Some of them, maybe. Some of them, I'm not so sure.



Also, that chart is strictly considering software automation, something that can be done for free. Since we're talking about buying new hardware, which probably costs more than the other hardware, you'll need to also consider the price difference and then convert that price difference into time based on how much you value your time at.

(Link to the page this chart is from. The chart is handy, I keep it bookmarked. (http://xkcd.com/1205/))
Rating: 4 Votes
Avatar
57 months ago
Someone needs to make a list of all the products that are currently available. I can't seem to find anything
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
57 months ago
I really doubt that HomeKit, or, indeed, any Internet of Things thingy will get any traction.

Unlocking a door or turning on a light is so quick and easy. Quicker and easier than even getting your phone out or using your watch. You don't have to think; you just do a simple motion and it works all of the time. No batteries required. No glitches to worry about. No wireless problems. No re-wiring. No bluetooth woes. No extra gadget needed. No extra expense.

HomeKit and the Internet of Things are solutions in search of a problem for all but niche scenarios, such as handicapped people.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
57 months ago

I really doubt that HomeKit, or, indeed, any Internet of Things thingy will get any traction.

Unlocking a door or turning on a light is so quick and easy. Quicker and easier than even getting your phone out or using your watch. You don't have to think; you just do a simple motion and it works all of the time. No batteries required. No glitches to worry about. No wireless problems. No re-wiring. No bluetooth woes. No extra gadget needed. No extra expense.

HomeKit and the Internet of Things are solutions in search of a problem for all but niche scenarios, such as handicapped people.


Truthfully, what you get with most of these kits, including HomeKit is "Home Control". Home Control is a waste of time and money. You get nothing out of it. Taking out your phone and finding the app to control it takes longer than doing the original action.

Now if you want to get serious, I would consider Home Automation. This is what I have and while it takes a few hours of extra programming time to set everything up, its completely worth the time and money you get out of it.

Most of my home is now automated. There's only three buttons to press throughout the day to set the mode and the rest is taken care of.

The three modes are: Home, Away, and Good Night.

When at home, my ceiling fans are controlled by temperature. If it reaches a certain temperature in a room, the ceiling fan will turn on. By using motion detection and scenes, it knows which room I am in or if more than one person is in the house and in a different room it will turn on a fan in that room too.

Lighting is completely automated using motion and door sensors. If I walk into my home by opening the door, the hallway lights turn on and a minute later off. The lights will only turn on during sunset hours.

Good Night mode turns off certain motion activities. And if a door sensor is triggered, the lights in the house flash on and off for 30 seconds.

The difference between control and automation is the luxury of not whipping out your device to "control" something.
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
57 months ago

I really doubt that HomeKit, or, indeed, any Internet of Things thingy will get any traction.

Unlocking a door or turning on a light is so quick and easy. Quicker and easier than even getting your phone out or using your watch. You don't have to think; you just do a simple motion and it works all of the time. No batteries required. No glitches to worry about. No wireless problems. No re-wiring. No bluetooth woes. No extra gadget needed. No extra expense.

HomeKit and the Internet of Things are solutions in search of a problem for all but niche scenarios, such as handicapped people.


I agree with this almost completely. The only "devices" in my house that I could possibly want to have easier control over (via my iPhone or Apple Watch [if I had one]) are my ceiling fans, non-critical systems in my home.

Other than that, I don't want an app to be able to open my garage door, turn on lights and appliances, or unlock my front door. Why would anyone allow something other than a key in their hand to unlock a door?

Won't get any traction? Too late... You really think it's easier to unlock a door with a key than to simply walk up to it and open it automatically via Bluetooth? Getting up and walking over to a light switch to dim the lights is easier than looking down at my watch? Your entire entertainment center can be controlled by one wifi device, you think it's easier to use 10 remotes? Then again, you're just thinking about lights and door locks like it's 2001...you might get it eventually.


It's definitely easier for me to unlock my door with a key than my phone. And a hell of a lot more secure. The thing is that, no matter what company it is creating these products, I will never trust them with being able to do things such as unlock and open doors. That's just too crucial a safety mechanism on a home to put in the hands of an electric device, programmed by some company with God knows what possible backdoor or flaw (hehe) built in.

There is always some bug, flaw, or weakness in the system, be it electronic or physical, but I believe that the physical route to doing some things is much more secure. I'll happily be using my physical keys, light switches, garage door clickers, etc until I can now longer find them. And that's going to take a long time.
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
57 months ago

Why would anyone allow something other than a key in their hand to unlock a door?


Easy one: i can disable it remotely. Try that with your key.

Then another one: you can hack away, break in some system, unluck your door if they're good,but:

They're leaving traces and evidence, wich at the least makes a vulnerability known that will secure it.
They won't bring a laptop, hacking software etc to go and be a hacker near your house. They'll throw in some window.


It's definitely easier for me to unlock my door with a key than my phone. And a hell of a lot more secure. The thing is that, no matter what company it is creating these products, I will never trust them with being able to do things such as unlock and open doors. That's just too crucial a safety mechanism on a home to put in the hands of an electric device, programmed by some company with God knows what possible backdoor or flaw (hehe) built in.


Do you copy your own keys?


There is always some bug, flaw, or weakness in the system, be it electronic or physical, but I believe that the physical route to doing some things is much more secure. I'll happily be using my physical keys, light switches, garage door clickers, etc until I can now longer find them. And that's going to take a long time.

Ofcourse don't mind me, you do what you want..
I don't want to have a bunch of keys on a ring. I don't want to give the babysitter a physical copy of my key. I don't want to get that key back if the babysitter is fired. I do want to walk up to my house, just open the door, get in and have my office lights on and my wife's office lights unchanged. It's like with the tesla: You walk up to it, get in, drive. No keys no start buttons. You'll know its the future when you get back into your old car: it just seems.. stupid.
Rating: 2 Votes
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