Does iOS11 finally fix HomeKit's issues?

daijholt

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I'm wondering if anyone running the beta can comment on the reliability of HomeKit in the new release? Check the image I've attached and you'll see what I mean; I'll intermittently get "No Response" on my Philips Hue Lights in the Home app, both on my multiple phones and my watch, as well as my AppleTV telling me "couldn't reach your devices".

All this, even though the lights work flawlessly inside the Philips Hue app.

I've reset everything possible multiple times over the months I've owned the Hue lights; the bridge, the home app, I've restored both phones, Apple watch and Apple TV and set up them all up as new devices but every time the same issue persists. This tells me its clearly a HomeKit issue, not a Hue issue.

Has anyone with HomeKit devices (and especially Philips hue lights) noticed this issue in their time with beta 1?

Would genuinely love to know if we're making progress on this...
 

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whtrbt7

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I'm getting no response on the Home app from the Hue lights and hub too from time to time. HomeKit is great for security but it's still in its infancy. I have a HomeKit house but with the Home app, I still have issues with no response from some items from time to time as well as inconsistency from the geofencing. Scheduling has been good but overall it still feels like a beta to me.
 
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Feenician

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I had a homekit rant in another thread. IOS 11 hasn't really improved the reliability and on the face of it isn't that much more flexible in its logic. For a company that made Automator and bought Workflow I was and am hoping for more.

I've been on an automation kick recently and I've found HomeKit frustrating and fragile; both HomeKit itself and 3rd party support for it.

I have a Liftmaster MyQ garage door and they've been promising homekit support for 2 years but never delivered it. In the end I built a Homebridge server on a Raspberry Pi to support it. It works but it is incredibly fragile - If I add/remove functionality about 50% of the time HomeKit becomes corrupted and I have to delete my house and start over (thankfully Phillips Hue App retains its own view and my 20-something lightbulbs can at least be restored quickly)

I bought EcoBee instead of Nest for this house specifically because of its HomeKit support (I half think I should have stuck with Nest and just used the homebridge-nest plugin sometimes though). Its HomeKit support is shambolic though. EcoBee is built around "Comfort Profiles" but these are not exposed to HomeKit. Instead, to add EcoBee in HomeKit you can either set temperatures manually (though unreliably) which then override your schedules or use the app to generate, which it does completely unreliably, often corrupting Scenes or failing to add anything to them.

I have a bunch of Elgato Eve door and window sensors. So, I can use these to get a notification when I'm away, right? No, not really. In iOS 10 notifications are either on or off (which means I get a notification every time I open the patio door etc) or in 11 they can currently be restricted to a time period and when TV OS is updated to a geofence.

Which brings me to Geofencing. In iOS 10 it simply does not work correctly for a household with multiple people. Rules trigger when one person leaves and there is not a concept of "everyone". I'm using another Homebridge plugin called homebridge-people, with this plus an iOS app called locativity, I've set up a web server that receives a ping from our phones when we leave the area and I've added 4 extra states "Me Home", "My GF Home", "Anyone Home" and "No-one Home". This is all a tremendous hack and I had to buy and set up DynDNS on my router to get it to work. Even then HomeKit inexplicably sometimes (maybe 1 time out of 10) fails to trigger - all the conditions are met but the rule simply does not trigger. Even with this hack in place there's still no provision for tying notifications to it (other than another home bridge hack and my patience for those is running thing). Supposedly iOS 11 will fix multi-person geolocation but I'm not holding my breath.

Hue. Well, Hue is OK. Sometimes the app and/or the bridge get confused but they're not difficult to reset.

It's decidedly not the home of the future I envisioned when I started out on this! :(

Edit: Hmm. This post didn't really belong in this thread. Apologies for the rant :oops:
 
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Nhott

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Aug 5, 2014
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I haven’t noticed any issues specifically with hue nor ecobee in regard to HomeKit since upgrading to the beta. It always works quickly. However, Siri commands for HomeKit are another story. If I tell Siri to turn on/off lights, she replies that there are no lights from time to time. I can however control them from the home app as well as iConnectHue without issue. I haven’t had any issues adjusting the thermostat to a specific temperature nor scenes.
 

Feenician

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Jun 13, 2016
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I haven’t noticed any issues specifically with hue nor ecobee in regard to HomeKit since upgrading to the beta. It always works quickly. However, Siri commands for HomeKit are another story. If I tell Siri to turn on/off lights, she replies that there are no lights from time to time. I can however control them from the home app as well as iConnectHue without issue. I haven’t had any issues adjusting the thermostat to a specific temperature nor scenes.

Me when Siri gets amnesia

IMG_0252.PNG
 

az431

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Sep 13, 2008
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Portland, OR
I'm wondering if anyone running the beta can comment on the reliability of HomeKit in the new release? Check the image I've attached and you'll see what I mean; I'll intermittently get "No Response" on my Philips Hue Lights in the Home app, both on my multiple phones and my watch, as well as my AppleTV telling me "couldn't reach your devices".

All this, even though the lights work flawlessly inside the Philips Hue app.

I've reset everything possible multiple times over the months I've owned the Hue lights; the bridge, the home app, I've restored both phones, Apple watch and Apple TV and set up them all up as new devices but every time the same issue persists. This tells me its clearly a HomeKit issue, not a Hue issue.

Has anyone with HomeKit devices (and especially Philips hue lights) noticed this issue in their time with beta 1?

Would genuinely love to know if we're making progress on this...

This is a Hue issue, not HomeKit. Accessories that are made to work with Alexa, Google, etc in addition to HomeKit will never be as reliable as a pure HomeKit accessory. For example, Hue accessories use the zigbee protocol instead of HomeKit Accessory Protocol (HAP). The hub is used to communicate with HomeKit, essentially acting as a translator between the accessories and HomeKit. Basically it’s an extra failure point in the entire chain.

I have just about every hue accessory made, as well as pure HomeKit accessories that don’t require a hub. The pure HomeKit accessories have never failed, whereas the hue accessories have random "unreachable" failures all of the time.
 

Feenician

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Jun 13, 2016
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This is a Hue issue, not HomeKit. Accessories that are made to work with Alexa, Google, etc in addition to HomeKit will never be as reliable as a pure HomeKit accessory. For example, Hue accessories use the zigbee protocol instead of HomeKit Accessory Protocol (HAP). The hub is used to communicate with HomeKit, essentially acting as a translator between the accessories and HomeKit. Basically it’s an extra failure point in the entire chain.

I have just about every hue accessory made, as well as pure HomeKit accessories that don’t require a hub. The pure HomeKit accessories have never failed, whereas the hue accessories have random "unreachable" failures all of the time.


It’s debatable whether it’s an extra step. If Hue bulbs were “pure” HomeKit devices each would require the chip Apple requires. With a hub, only the hub has it. In theory, fewer points of failure. In practise, as you say, something is wrong with Phillips’ implementation. My Pi homebridge hacks actually have fewer moments of unresponsiveness than the Hue stuff.
 

daijholt

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Original poster
Jun 14, 2013
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Wales, UK
This is a Hue issue, not HomeKit. Accessories that are made to work with Alexa, Google, etc in addition to HomeKit will never be as reliable as a pure HomeKit accessory. For example, Hue accessories use the zigbee protocol instead of HomeKit Accessory Protocol (HAP). The hub is used to communicate with HomeKit, essentially acting as a translator between the accessories and HomeKit. Basically it’s an extra failure point in the entire chain.

I have just about every hue accessory made, as well as pure HomeKit accessories that don’t require a hub. The pure HomeKit accessories have never failed, whereas the hue accessories have random "unreachable" failures all of the time.
You reckon? Ive used both Echo and Google Home and neither ever had problems talking to the Hue lights, so I always assumed it was HomeKit at fault. Might need to pick up another HomeKit accessory to test out.

Edit: as a footnote, I only ever get the No Repsonse issue on my lights when I'm actually at home, on the same wifi network as the hue. When I'm away from the house and I'm accessing hem remotely via my Apple TV it works 100% of the time. What are the odds that my router has something to do with it?
 
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TurboPGT!

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Sep 25, 2015
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I'm wondering if anyone running the beta can comment on the reliability of HomeKit in the new release? Check the image I've attached and you'll see what I mean; I'll intermittently get "No Response" on my Philips Hue Lights in the Home app, both on my multiple phones and my watch, as well as my AppleTV telling me "couldn't reach your devices".

All this, even though the lights work flawlessly inside the Philips Hue app.

I've reset everything possible multiple times over the months I've owned the Hue lights; the bridge, the home app, I've restored both phones, Apple watch and Apple TV and set up them all up as new devices but every time the same issue persists. This tells me its clearly a HomeKit issue, not a Hue issue.

Has anyone with HomeKit devices (and especially Philips hue lights) noticed this issue in their time with beta 1?

Would genuinely love to know if we're making progress on this...
These are not Home Kit issues. These are Phillips Hue is a piece of garbage issues. I know from first hand experience.

Try resetting the zigbee channel, this fixed it for me.
 

TurboPGT!

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Sep 25, 2015
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Good to know. Thanks! I'll try that later. I've been getting the red "no response" errors on my Hue Lights a ton lately, and I almost never get them on other HomeKit devices.
I've lived through it with Hue for years. Has nothing to do with HomeKit. Finally resolved it by resetting the zigbee channel.

Basic wireless channel/interference issue. Really a poor product they sell. Can't wait to move on from Hue in my next home.
 
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daijholt

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Original poster
Jun 14, 2013
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Wales, UK
I've lived through it with Hue for years. Has nothing to do with HomeKit. Finally resolved it by resetting the zigbee channel.

Basic wireless channel/interference issue. Really a poor product they sell. Can't wait to move on from Hue in my next home.
Will try this also. I spotted this but knew very little about zigbee, so I left it alone when digging through the hue app looking for a solution. I'll update later if it seems to improve things.

EDIT: May have figured it out...

So when thinking about the topic of interference, I had a realisation; my hue hub and wifi router are right next to each other (as in, 2 inches apart), which could be causing major interference. A quick Google search revealed that the is a real possibility due to the frequencies used by zigbee and wifi.

So for now, I've moved the hue hub upstairs and left my router downstairs. This seems to have made a night and day difference, as commands from Siri and home now have instantaneous results across all my devices.

Cant believe I didn't think of this sooner, seems obvious now. Now to see how it goes over the next few day.
 
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boston04and07

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May 13, 2008
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Will try this also. I spotted this but knew very little about zigbee, so I left it alone when digging through the hue app looking for a solution. I'll update later if it seems to improve things.

EDIT: May have figured it out...

So when thinking about the topic of interference, I had a realisation; my hue hub and wifi router are right next to each other (as in, 2 inches apart), which could be causing major interference. A quick Google search revealed that the is a real possibility due to the frequencies used by zigbee and wifi.

So for now, I've moved the hue hub upstairs and left my router downstairs. This seems to have made a night and day difference, as commands from Siri and home now have instantaneous results across all my devices.

Cant believe I didn't think of this sooner, seems obvious now. Now to see how it goes over the next few day.

That's a really interesting idea. I'm glad it's working...I'll have to try and figure out a way to do that. The Hue hub needs to be connected via Ethernet, right?
 

daijholt

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Original poster
Jun 14, 2013
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Wales, UK
That's a really interesting idea. I'm glad it's working...I'll have to try and figure out a way to do that. The Hue hub needs to be connected via Ethernet, right?
Correct. I had an obsolete 25m Ethernet still running upstairs from my router that wasn't being used, so it was an easy thing for me to test out. I don't think you'd need to go so far as to move the hub to a different floor, just maybe the other end of the room, so you'd only need a relatively short Ethernet.
 

TurboPGT!

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Will try this also. I spotted this but knew very little about zigbee, so I left it alone when digging through the hue app looking for a solution. I'll update later if it seems to improve things.

EDIT: May have figured it out...

So when thinking about the topic of interference, I had a realisation; my hue hub and wifi router are right next to each other (as in, 2 inches apart), which could be causing major interference. A quick Google search revealed that the is a real possibility due to the frequencies used by zigbee and wifi.

So for now, I've moved the hue hub upstairs and left my router downstairs. This seems to have made a night and day difference, as commands from Siri and home now have instantaneous results across all my devices.

Cant believe I didn't think of this sooner, seems obvious now. Now to see how it goes over the next few day.
Yeah that could be enough to resolve your interference issue. Changing the wireless channel for the zigbee support (which we don't even use) is the next step if needed.
 

boston04and07

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May 13, 2008
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I've actually just noticed that the Hue bulbs in my house that don't work are consistently the ones that are farthest away from the bridge - up one floor and on the opposite side of the house. It's not a big house at all, so I never thought of it being an issue, but...could it be? Have any of you guys found an improvement by adding a second bridge to your setups?
 

Nhott

macrumors member
Aug 5, 2014
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I've actually just noticed that the Hue bulbs in my house that don't work are consistently the ones that are farthest away from the bridge - up one floor and on the opposite side of the house. It's not a big house at all, so I never thought of it being an issue, but...could it be? Have any of you guys found an improvement by adding a second bridge to your setups?

Zigbee Light Link is a mesh network. if you have other bulbs that are powered on it doesn’t need to reach the hub. The only issue I had was using other 3rd party bulbs specifically GE. They would sometimes kick the hue bulbs offline so I gave them and my old round bridge to my nephew. Hadn’t had an issue since.
 

Vasilioskn

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HomeKit has probably been the only stable and upgraded part of the ios11 beta so far. Adding the custom notification / times/ locations in certain settings was an overdue step up.
 
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boston04and07

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Zigbee Light Link is a mesh network. if you have other bulbs that are powered on it doesn’t need to reach the hub. The only issue I had was using other 3rd party bulbs specifically GE. They would sometimes kick the hue bulbs offline so I gave them and my old round bridge to my nephew. Hadn’t had an issue since.

Interesting. I didn't realize that. Well the thing is the only HomeKit bulbs in the house are in the same room as the bridge, and therefore are as far away from the one lamp that always disconnects as the bridge itself. Now I'm wondering if a second bridge might help after all.
 

whtrbt7

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Jun 8, 2011
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When I upgraded to iOS11 it shifted and scrambled all my HomeKit Devices. I had to reorganize them. Anyone else with the same issue? Also, why don’t they make a non-AA battery motion sensor that doesn’t have a nearly 5 second delay? I really don’t like having to replace batteries and would rather just wire them into the walls.
 
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