HomeKit Getting Started With HomeKit: A Beginner's Guide

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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HomeKit is Apple's home automation platform for controlling smart home products with iOS apps and Siri voice commands. The platform was announced at WWDC 2014, and the first HomeKit-enabled products were released one year later.

The software framework communicates directly with connected accessories within the home, securely encrypts all data and even works remotely over iCloud remote access with a third-generation Apple TV or later when you are away from home.

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Article Link: Getting Started With HomeKit: A Beginner's Guide
 
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surfingarbo

macrumors regular
Jun 12, 2011
114
294
Calgary, AB, Canada
If you have Philips Hue bulbs and the square HomeKit enabled Hue hub, I highly recommend you download the free Elgato Eve app to set up your bulbs in rooms and other scenes. Works great for Siri on iPhone.

There's a slight delay on Apple Watch, but I suspect the second generation watch will be quicker for Siri HomeKit requests.
 

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
9,090
2,549
Seattle
I have the Lutron Caseta switches and they work great with Homemkit. Using Siri on the Apple Watch to turns lights off/on is really fun.
 
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MyGiG

macrumors newbie
Jan 28, 2016
2
0
Hey, looking for a homeKit enabled switch, that would cut electricity, but is not a socket. basically a regular switch. something that does the same thing as this: Slide_Switches_Electric_Switches_Electrical_Switches_Push_Button_Switches.jpg
Any suggestions?
 

ShinySteelRobot

macrumors regular
Jul 22, 2002
177
52
Upper Left Corner, USA
Is there a way to bridge HomeKit and Amazon Echo? I have a couple of Echos in different rooms (Alexa is always in earshot) but I don't always have my iPhone handy around the house.

Basically I'd like to be able to say "Alexa, dim the lights in the living room" and have it work with my HomeKit devices.

Alternately, if Apple announced an Echo-like device I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
 

rdlink

macrumors 68040
Nov 10, 2007
3,226
2,434
Out of the Reach of the FBI
Hey, looking for a homeKit enabled switch, that would cut electricity, but is not a socket. basically a regular switch. something that does the same thing as this: View attachment 613031
Any suggestions?
Are you talking about a wall switch? If so, the Lutron Caseta is a great system. They have dimmers and switches. The dimmers won't work as well if you're looking for a straight on/off action, but this switch works great:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NO7Z80S?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00

I've got it controlling a ceiling fan.
[doublepost=1454020310][/doublepost]
If you have Philips Hue bulbs and the square HomeKit enabled Hue hub, I highly recommend you download the free Elgato Eve app to set up your bulbs in rooms and other scenes. Works great for Siri on iPhone.

There's a slight delay on Apple Watch, but I suspect the second generation watch will be quicker for Siri HomeKit requests.
The Elgato Eve app is great. It works with a bunch of HomeKit stuff, including Hue and Lutron Caseta. But I bought an app called Home. It costs $15, which seems a little steep. But it gives you triggers, including geofencing and time-based.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,295
10,022
California
Is there a way to bridge HomeKit and Amazon Echo? I have a couple of Echos in different rooms (Alexa is always in earshot) but I don't always have my iPhone handy around the house.

Basically I'd like to be able to say "Alexa, dim the lights in the living room" and have it work with my HomeKit devices.

Alternately, if Apple announced an Echo-like device I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
The Amazon Echo does not support HomeKit, but it does work with many devices that also happen to support HomeKit.

For example, I use the Phillips Hue lighting system with my Echo for lighting. Once configured, the Echo interfaces directly with the Hue Hub to control lighting. So I can walk in my living room and say, "Alexa turn on the living room lights" and the Hue lights come on. But this is done by the Echo talking to the Hue hub and not using HomeKit. You can also control the Hue Hub 2 directly with HomeKit using Siri and without the Echo. So you have the option of using either method.
 

peteo

macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2007
224
134
Was looking into home kit for a while but nothing was really happening so I went with the wink system. There were some initial problems, but over all everything works great. I have dimmable light bulbs, a few light switches, dead bolts, an out door plug for holiday lights. You can really do some cool things like when I unlock my door after sunset turn on my living room lights. Or set a schedule to turn my holiday lights on and off or lights in the house on and off when I'm away on vacation. Locks can send me alerts when they get unlocked and I have a motion sensor on the front porch that will send an alert when that door is open (wind can blow it open some times) It even works with nest protect so if the fire alarm goes off all the lights in the house go on. It also has some IFTTH support and Apple Watch app. Pretty kick ass. But it does not have HomeKit or Siri support :(
 

unplugme71

macrumors 68030
May 20, 2011
2,801
748
Earth
How to use HomeKit

1. Buy HomeKit compatible iPhone and iOS.
2. Continue waiting
3. Repeat step 2 until further announcements unlikely to happen this decade.
 

ipedro

macrumors 603
Nov 30, 2004
5,155
5,898
Toronto, ON
iOS absolutely needs a Home app. Each HomeKit device's app is widely different from one another, with some offering some HomeKit features, while others missing key settings like rooms and groups.

Unsurprisingly, they often conflict with one another and it's a headache getting everything to work as it should. This is the complete opposite of what HomeKit was supposed to achieve.

A Home app would allow you to register all your HomeKit devices, create rooms in your home and group objects. It would allow you to write custom Siri commands and set up scenes. HomeKit hardware makers could then release plugins that would appear in the Home app once the device is registered. That way, you would be able to use just one app for all your HomeKit devices and everything would play nice with one another.
 

Whosdw

macrumors newbie
Jan 28, 2016
1
0



HomeKit is Apple's home automation platform for controlling smart home products with iOS apps and Siri voice commands. The platform was announced at WWDC 2014, and the first HomeKit-enabled products were released one year later.

The software framework communicates directly with connected accessories within the home, securely encrypts all data and even works remotely over iCloud remote access with a third-generation Apple TV or later when you are away from home.

Click here to read more...

Article Link: Getting Started With HomeKit: A Beginner's Guide
Am I the only one who doesn't want to have multiple bridges for different home kit products. I want the hue bulbs, couple switches and maybe some other home kit items but it seems like besides the independent plug items you'll need a bridge. I don't want 3 different bridges hooked up to my router. Seems like smart things might be they way to go but want to stick with Apple HomeKit because of the Siri features. Frustrating
 

ipedro

macrumors 603
Nov 30, 2004
5,155
5,898
Toronto, ON
Aside from the chaos that is HomeKit right now with many different apps and multiple hubs, I'm trying to go all in with HomeKit. I have confidence that it'll get sorted out in time.

So far, all my Hue lights and my August lock are HomeKit compatible. My Nest thermostat, smoke/CO2 detector and DropCam are not.

I have a Wink Relay wall plate which is completely useless. It uses the Wink cloud to communicate with devices even though they're just feet away from the Wink hub. That results in unacceptable lag — sometimes my lights turn on 10-15 seconds after I hit the switch. I also have a Wink Tripper on my patio door which is supposed to turn off my heating/cooling to save energy when someone goes on the patio and leaves the door open. It doesn't work. It used to sometimes work but many software updates ago, it just stopped.

So, in the coming year, I'm planning to replace my Nest with a HomeKit compatible thermostat. I'm also hoping that someone releases a HomeKit compatible camera. I'd like my camera to turn on when I leave and turn off when I arrive home. This should work with August's Works With Nest partnership, but it's very unreliable. I need to remember to manually set myself to Home/Away which doesn't fit in with my habits nor is it convenient.

Is there a HomeKit compatible tripper of some sort? Something that detects that a window or door is open? That would go a long way to solving some of my existing problems.
 

Alrescha

macrumors 68020
Jan 1, 2008
2,156
315
Am I the only one who doesn't want to have multiple bridges for different home kit products.
Letting each vendor create its own infrastructure with its own hardware optionally connected to HomeKit is likely the only way this would work. Otherwise you would have people screaming that Apple is forcing them to <conform to Apple's evil empire/kill children/you name it>.

A.
 

thefourthpope

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2007
942
199
DelMarVa
"Airbringer, Slayer of Heat" was worth the subscription price.

I'm excited for the future of HomeKit, but at this stage I don't see myself investing in enough of these gadgets to really effect the critical mass that seems necessary. Love the idea of triggers and scenes though; that's what will get me to go in on HK for our house.
 

LV426

macrumors 6502a
Jan 22, 2013
950
422
It's annoying that the market is fragmenting with competing standards for home automation. I'm getting a new central heating system installed, for example. I've reviewed various smart thermostats and opted for the new generation Nest Thermostat on the grounds of features and usability. It's compatible with other Nest products, but not with Homekit.

All these kinds of devices are secure, and have embedded chips that run their security protocols. It's just such a shame that this is proprietary. It would be much better for everyone if a common standard were available.
 
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341328

Suspended
Jul 18, 2009
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Is there a way to bridge HomeKit and Amazon Echo? I have a couple of Echos in different rooms (Alexa is always in earshot) but I don't always have my iPhone handy around the house.

Basically I'd like to be able to say "Alexa, dim the lights in the living room" and have it work with my HomeKit devices.

Alternately, if Apple announced an Echo-like device I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
iPhone 6S allows you to keep "Hey Siri" on when not plugged in. Or just buy some iPod touches and keep them plugged in.
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,262
1,352
What about insteon homekit hub, has anyone tried it yet?
It doesn't support all Insteon products yet, which is why I skipped it. I needed a hub that would support their motion detectors, and as of a bit ago, their HomeKit hub couldn't.

Insteon products are my first choices, though. I use a few of their in-wall SwitchLincs and Motion Detectors and they've been great. I'm going to get some of their leak detectors next.

My #1 requirement for a hub was that it could do the programming I wanted. If it also worked with HomeKit, that'd be the cherry on top.

I ended up using Universal Device's ISY 994i hub. Supports Insteon/X10 out of the box, and you can add support for Z-Wave and infrared. This company has been super-responsive to their community (you interactive directly with them in their forums), and they are all about support any manufacturers device, if possible. Programming capabilities are incredible on this device, but the UI is rudimentarily, the programming is literally programming (not hard, but not "cute" like IFTTT), and the whole product seems aimed towards geeks vs. the casual home user (IMO).

It's also does not work with HomeKit. But since the ISY hub was designed to allow other things to interact with it, there's an open-source project (Homebridge) (that can run on a Raspberry Pi) that acts as a bridge between the ISY and HomeKit. So for about $80 and a Saturday of geeking out, the end result is that the ISY now acts like it works with HomeKit. It's nice to say "Hey Siri, Good Night" and have my Ecobee switch to the night-time temperature, and have the ISY turn off all of the exterior lights (if any where left on).
 

asergioam

macrumors newbie
Jul 19, 2015
10
1
So, do you use ISY with homekit!!! That's awsome! Does it supports all insteon devices? Because there are a few that I will probably need.
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,262
1,352
So, do you use ISY with homekit!!! That's awesome!
That Homebridge app makes it possible.

I think it's pretty awesome, but it's definitely not for everyone. It' geeky to setup, and you need it to run it 24/7 on a computer somewhere in your house. I run it on a little Raspberry Pi -- cheap and uses very little power.

I'm using Homebridge with a Belkin WeMo plug-in outlet and the ISY. Neither the WeMo or ISY "work with HomeKit", but Homebridge makes it seem like they do.

Does it supports all insteon devices? Because there are a few that I will probably need.
Not sure about all Insteon devices, I only have some simple SwitchLincs and motion detectors. There are a few threads about using Homebridge with the ISY on the Universal Devices forum, but not as many as I had expected (for as geeky as some of the ISY folks seem like). :)

In the Eve screenshot below, the only "real" HomeKit device is the Ecobee. The rest are non-HomeKit devices being "Homebridged". The ones that say POWER and are turned off are ISY + Insteon, and the POWER outlet one is the Belkin WeMo.

IMG_0178.PNG
 
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