What’s this Apple Home App on my iPhone?

iPhone users who have recently updated their phones to iOS 10, may have noticed a new app on their handsets.

This new app which stands out with a white background and orange house graphic is actually Apple Home.

This app has been designed to allow you to take control of connected smart appliances. If you wanted to adjust your lights and thermostat and they are different brands, you won’t need the individual apps. The app also allows you to group devices by room or set scenes to take control of your devices all in one place. You can then automate routines by things such as leaving the house or arriving home.

apple home

What smart appliances can Apple Home control?

There are a range of devices which connect to apple home, they include the following brands:

  • Netatmo
  • Philips Hue
  • Honeywell
  • Elgato
  • Ecobee
  • D-Link

There are a few other less known brands which are also emerging with compatible devices.

What sort of things will Apple Home control?

Apple HomeKit enabled products can help control many different devices, these include the following:

  • Lights
  • Locks
  • Thermostats
  • Window Blinds
  • Security
  • Garage Doors
  • Humidifiers
  • Fans
  • Power Points
  • Cameras
  • Doorbells
  • Air Purifiers
  • Air Conditioners
  • Sensors

How do I set up Apple Home?

To set up Apple home, you will need a third generation or later Apple TV device which acts as the hub. This is because Apple wishes to ensure that your devices are secure on the network. You will then be able to take control and even use Siri to for voice control.

First you’ll need to make sure your iOS devices are up to date.

Secondly all your “Works with Apple HomeKit” devices need to be installed and allow access to your home data.

To be able to control things from outside your local network, you will also need to allow remote access by changing the settings in the HomeKit app.

Our thoughts on Apple Home and other automation software

The Apple Home App has the advantage of being already installed on millions of devices worldwide and this could lead to a strong take up. However there are alternatives on the market which could be more beneficial.

For readers of this blog you will be aware of Samsung SmartThings, this is a separate hub and app which allows users to connect a range of devices. It’s a more open platform which attracts many different brands to connect. Another benefit to the SmartThings platform is that Samsung have a greater range of electrical products from TV’s to dishwashers. This will allow them to have a wider range of compatible products when developing for the future.

Another benefit to SmartThings is that it is open for people to develop apps, there is already a huge community of developers making things work in a custom way.

My advice if you are looking to get into home automation, is to check which compatible devices you may already have. Then you can decide which software route to take.

One things for sure, with the automatic installation of their app, more people will start becoming aware of home automation and its benefits.

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