What You Need to Know About Apple HomeKit

Homekit is a Siri-powered network of smart devices to automate your home. It is controlled through Apple's Home app. Here's what you need to know.

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To automate your home efficiently, you need a network that connects all your smart home devices and lets you control them from one central app. If you like Apple products, you may want to consider their smart home platform called Homekit. Here’s what you need to know about Homekit.

What is Homekit?

Homekit isn’t a particular product you can buy. It connects various smart devices via WiFi or Bluetooth, all controlled through Apple’s Home app and hubs. The Home app can be used to turn your lights on and off, adjust your thermostat or lock your front door once it is connected to compatible smart devices like the ecobee3 lite Smart Thermostat, Kwikset Premis Smart Lock, or Sylvania Smart+ lights.

Unfortunately, the app only works when you’re at home. To control your smart devices while you’re away, you’ll need a hub (hardware that communicates with smart devices). For Homekit, you can use an Apple TV, HomePod or iPad as a hub. If you love Apple, then you probably have one of these devices already.

Drawbacks of Homekit

Homekit revolves around Apple. If you don’t own a phone that runs on iOS, you can’t use the Home app. Also, Amazon Alexa- and Google smart home-compatible products are much more readily available. The number of Homekit compatible products is growing, though, and there are plenty to choose from already. Apple has a full list of compatible products on their website.

Why You Should Consider Homekit

One of the biggest benefits of choosing a Homekit network over Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa-based network is using voice commands to have Siri control just about everything in your home. So if you’re a big Siri fan, Homekit is probably your best choice.

You can also use the Home app to create “Scenes,” allowing you to control multiple devices with one command. For example, you can set up a scene for bedtime. With one command to Siri, you could dim your lights, lower the thermostat and lock the doors throughout the house.

Another benefit: Connecting Homekit to your devices is really easy. Just scan the label on a compatible device with the app and the Home app will add it to your network.

Alina Bradford
Alina Bradford is a technology and internet safety and security expert for SafeWise.com and has contributed her insights to dozens of national publications, both in print and online. Her goal is to make gadgets less mystifying, one article at a time.