The New Apple HomeKit: What You Need to Know

With an increase in the popularity of Smart Homes, it was only a matter of time before the biggest tech company in the world (Apple) had their own take on in-home technology.

Apple HomeKit isn’t new, it was introduced with iOS 8 two years ago and has been going strong since. With Apple’s unveiling of its new line up of products yesterday, the new Home Kit was given its time in the spotlight.

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So what is Apple HomeKit?

HomeKit allows users to control all of their smart home devices from a single app. With the release of iOS 10 in the coming weeks the HomeKit app will appear on all Apple devices and allow owners of smart home technology to better integrate their devices. Once you open the app, all of your HomeKit enabled devices will appear and be ready to use.

The app is separated into three sections,┬áHome, Rooms, and Automation. In the “Home” section the most used apps will be readily available for use. In the “Room” section users can separate each device into a different room and “Automation” turns an iPad or Apple TV into a hub so users can control their devices from wherever they are, even if they aren’t home. Users can also control their devices from the control center on their phone and it is compatible with Siri’s voice commands.

What devices work with Apple HomeKit?

One of the biggest criticisms of HomeKit when it was first released was that it didn’t work with enough devices. New smart home devices come out constantly so it can be difficult to build a hub that controls them all, but the biggest improvement with the new app is the expansion of more devices. There’s an expanding list of devices that currently work with the app, and it’s likely that list will grow as new devices are made compatible. The most well known of these products is the Phillips Hue which has dominated much of the smart home lighting technology. Other devices include August Smartlock home security systems and the Honeywell lyric thermostat.

For those invested in building their home’s smart capabilities with a passion for Apple products, HomeKit seems like an obvious choice. Many critics say that the lack of compatible devices, and the fact that HomeKit doesn’t do as much as the other apps specially made for smart home devices, makes the HomeKit just another smart home app and not something that will replace all other similar apps.

The new app was just announced September 7th at the Apple Special Event. It’s likely that more information and features will come out as the new Apple Operating System gets released.

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