Apple’s smart home framework HomeKit certainly isn’t new, having been slowly revolutionizing numerous homes since its launch in 2014. However, with iOS 10, Apple has brought a number of additions that could help bring HomeKit into the mainstream.
Home sweet Home app
While iOS 9 predominantly uses Siri as the portal through which HomeKit functionality can be utilized, the ease with which many users can understand and launch a range of actions should be much greater in iOS 10, thanks to the addition of a new stock app: Home. It’s easily recognizable by its orange logo – and tapping it brings up an intuitive layout.
One major intention of HomeKit has always been to sweep away the complex and confusing mix of protocols which hinder ready control of various appliances throughout the home. Lights, thermostats, doorbells, locks and much more can all be controlled from the Home app – and what a fun experience it promises to be.
The convenient layout of Home on iOS
As 9to5Mac reports, once the Home app is loaded on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, you can readily access three main screens: Home, Rooms and Automation. The Home screen basically summarizes what your connected smart appliances are doing around your house, and you can also add new accessories here – you no longer need a manufacturer’s dedicated app for each accessory.
Rooms includes different screens for each room in your house, with each screen showing what accessories are in the designated room. We particularly like the option to give each screen its own wallpaper – why not make that wallpaper a picture of the room itself? Finally, the Automation screen enables you to set up triggers for controlling accessories; you can, for example, arrange for certain lights to be switched on come nightfall.
You can even control your home from your Apple Watch
watchOS 3 also includes a version of the Home app for Apple Watch – and, much like many users find Apple Pay more quick and easy to use with the wearable than with an iPhone, HomeKit could reach a new level of accessibility with the Apple Watch.
The Home app here comes with a vertical carousel view of accessories, and many accessories can be controlled through taps; nonetheless, activating many advanced functions will require turning to Siri.
Why not stock up on accessories in preparation?
With iOS 10 and watchOS 3 bringing a greater visibility to HomeKit and its functions on Apple devices, we reckon that many more people could be sufficiently excited to start adding smart appliances to their homes for the first time. Whether or not you’ve already commenced with this route, you could check out the home automation accessories available in the Apple Online Store ahead of the Home app’s post-beta arrival this fall.
This article, How iOS 10s Tweaks to HomeKit Could Boost the Smart Home, first appeared on Page Array AppleMagazine.