"Home" App Step-by-Step Guide, Devices, and More

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by 32828870, Sep 16, 2016.

  1. 32828870, Sep 16, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2016

    32828870 Suspended

    Jun 23, 2016
    New York and Berlin
    Many have been asking how to setup your SmartHome devices using iOS 10's "Home" app. As I'm a smart home enthusiast and beta tester/designer/programmer, I've been working in this subfield for a few years. Here's a list of my SmartHome devices and how to properly configure your smart home using iOS 10 "Home". Step 3 is especially important in initially setting up your smart home. Hope it helps.

    Configuring Your "Home" in iOS 10

    Beta tested iOS 10 on numerous devices
    2x iPhone 6, iPod Touch 6th Gen (Current), 2x iPad Air 2, Apple TV 4

    My Home Automation Devices:

    - Philips Hue Bridge 2.0 (HomeKit MFi Compliant)
    - August HomeKit Lock (2nd Gen) x2 (HomeKit MFi Compliant)
    - ecobee3 HomeKit thermostat w/ x3 Remote Sensors (HomeKit MFi Compliant)
    - HikVision Outdoor 2-Way Audio 1080p IP Cam w/ Night Vision x2 (Surveillance Station on a Synology DS716+)
    - Chamberlain MyQ for Liftmaster Garage Doors and Gates
    - Nest Protects x5
    - Amazon "Alexa"

    Since iOS Beta 1, the Home app has worked on all devices perfectly. It's tricky when first setting up but follow these steps:

    1. Update all devices to iOS 10
    2. Connect all devices on the same wireless network
    3. Log out all accounts on all devices (Clean slate is necessary as one device will be designated as "Primary" using the iCloud account on that device with "Home" checked in "iCloud Settings"). This is especially important as some devices already configured may delete your HomeKit setup (ecobee3 HomeKit and others do this when removing device from "HomeKit") or interfere with the process. The initial setup may require 1-2 hours of your time as you familiarize yourself with the new app and shouldn't rush the process.
    4. Decide which iOS device to setup HomeKit (Used my iPod touch 6th Gen)
    5. Open the "Home" app and follow instructions:
    - Create a home name
    - Select "Rooms" at the bottom
    - Select the "Entry" (Edit) button in the top left corner
    - Select "Room Settings..." (If rooms are listed it is because one of your home devices created "Zones"(aka Floors)/"Rooms". Check each device to ensure "HomeKit" is not setup yet)
    - Select "Add Room..." (or select a room you don't want and scroll to the bottom, select "Remove Room")
    - Name the room (Take a photo or add one of the room, you must do this for each device as the images do not sync)
    - Continue adding rooms until done
    - You may arrange the rooms by selecting "Edit" in the top left corner, "Done" in the upper right when finished
    6. After establishing rooms, begin adding devices one at a time:
    - Select the "+" in the upper right corner
    - Select "Add Accessory"
    - "Home" will detect HomeKit compliant accessories. Some may require additional steps:
    - Philips Hue 2.0 Bridge:
    - Assuming your Philips Hue System lights and devices are already configured, simply press the button for discovery (use the "Home" app to configure your Hue system and not the Hue App 2)
    - Some are setup
    within their respective apps:
    - August HomeKit SmartLocks:
    - Add each one directly at the lock as it uses BTLE
    - Select the "Gear" icon above each lock
    - Configure for "Siri" should appear, follow the instructions to add each lock one at a time, scan the HomeKit code on the back of the magnetic cover when prompted
    - Once all SmartLocks are added, select the "Gear" icon above each again to check/configure home settings
    - Select "Home Settings" then "Manage Homes", make certain your home is "Primary"
    - Configure "Siri Name" and "Room" location for each lock (Front Foyer, Back Foyer, etc.)
    - When done, each lock will appear in the "Home" app (It may state a "Firmware" update is required which is coming but functionality using Siri and HomeKit is done, you may add "August" to Amazon's "Alexa" via its app as a "Skill" (not in "SmartHome"). Once added, August locks can only be locked for security reasons using Alexa by this trigger: "Alexa, ask August to lock xxxxxx door." Alexa will respond with a confirmation and whether to check its status and/or the status of other locks)
    - ecobee3 HomeKit is best setup using the app:
    - Select the upper right corner gear on the main page
    - Select "Pair thermostat to HomeKit" (or "Manage HomeKit" and make certain it is not configured yet and removing it after configuring the "Home" app may delete your work!)
    - Select your home (named earlier in the "Home" app)
    - Select the "+" sign in the upper right corner and add "Zones" (essentially floors for homes or areas that will have rooms; for example "First Floor", Second Floor", "Third Floor", "Basement", etc)
    - The first page will list your "Zones". Select a zone then select "Edit" below the "+" sign in the upper right corner
    - Check which rooms you want to include in the zone, repeat for each zone
    - If your ecobee thermostat isn't in a zone/room, select it to change its name and room
    - Once done, open the "Home" app and your ecobee3 HomeKit thermostat and any sensors will appear.
    7. Once all devices are configured using one iOS device, open the "Home" app on that device
    8. Pressing down on each accessory (~2 seconds) will bring up the settings for that specific item.
    9. Each accessory will/may require configuring inside the "Home":
    - Example: Philips Hue lights will be ungrouped and not configured to user preferences yet
    - Select "Details"
    - Select "Accessories" if grouping a set of lights together (select the available lights)
    - Return to "Details" and select "Location" (which room, which was created configuring your home earlier)
    - Name your lights (Front Lights, Dining Lights, Kitchen Lights, etc)
    - Select "Include in Favorites" (the lights will appear as a group with the name you chose)
    - Select "Include in Status"
    - Follow the above steps for each lighting group
    - Select "Done" in the upper right corner
    10. Each accessory or group created can be controlled manually by holding down on its icon (just as "Details" for modifying scenes and accessories as above)
    11. Each accessory will have different controls and options:
    - Lights have a slider for turning them on to a certain brightness and a color option for a preset color or create a custom color
    - Locks will have a lock/unlock button
    - Thermostats will have a slider with "Mode" and "Details" on the bottom corners. Depending on your thermostat's settings, the slider will always change temperature within those parameters, i.e. maintaining a range - 68 - 74 degrees on my ecobee3, etc. Selecting "Mode" will list its current state and any options ("Off", "Heat", "Cool", "Auto"). Details will display your current home temperature and other statuses depending on your thermostat such as humidity, Motion Detected. Select "Location" to change the room, "Include in Favorites", and "Status and Notifications" to include in status.
    - Select "Done" then tap anywhere on the display that isn't a button to return to the main "Home" screen
    12. Favorite Scenes:
    - Once all accessories are configured (name, grouped, room location, etc.), Favorite Scenes will generate and/or change. Configure or remove "Favorite Scenes" by pressing down on the scene until the display shows the name of the scene with "Details" at the bottom. Select "Details" to configure the scene, then select the desired devices and their respective actions.

    For example, "Goodnight": This scene will lock my doors, change my temperature (ecobee3 will engage "Sleep" mode based on my ecobee3 "Sleep" configuration), check my camera's, turn off lights (or keep some lights on for security), and more depending on your home devices, etc. Scenes can be removed by scrolling down to the bottom of the scene and select "Delete Scene".
    13. Edit and rearrange Favorite scenes and accessories on the main "Home" page:
    - Select and hold the "Edit" button in the top right corner of the main homepage
    - Scenes and Accessories will "wiggle" indicating they can be moved and rearranged
    - Selecting on your home name will display information on your home (Name, Home Hubs, Image, Notes)
    14. Adding other iOS devices:
    - Once complete you can add other iOS devices in two [easy] ways:
    1. Make certain each device is using the same iCloud account and that "Home" is selected
    - Open the "Home" app on devices using the same iCloud account and everything should sync
    - First you may/will have to log into each accessory's app and login/configure it for "Home" to work
    2. Invite others (see 15 below)
    15. Inviting others to access your home:
    - Once everything is configured you may invite others (grant access) who have iOS 10 installed on their devices
    - Invited people will have "Allow Remote Access" by default with the option "Allow Editing" for full control
    - "Allow Remote Access": Control accessories and away from location (some accessories may have more security options within their respective apps). (similar to "Guest")
    - "Allow Editing": Add and Remove accessories, scenes, and other people (similar to "Admin")
    - Each invited person (who should be in your "Contacts") will have a prompt on their iOS device to accept or deny "Home" invitations
    16. Rooms:
    - Selecting "Rooms" at the bottom middle will bring up each configured room.
    - Swiping left or right will navigate you through your rooms
    - "Scenes" and "Accessories" will appear for each depending on the accessories in each room (Example: if a room has lights, locks, and a thermostat, respective configured "Scenes" that include those device will automatically show along with the "Accessories"
    - Rooms can be edited by selecting either the "List" icon in the upper left corner or the "Edit" icon in the upper right
    - Editing a room allows changing its name and adding a custom image (either take a photo or select one)

    Remember, begin the process by logging out any devices currently using HomeKit and use one iOS device to setup your home with the primary iCloud account, then configure other devices by using the same iCloud account or invite people. Only one individual will have full [Initial] control to setup the "Home" app. and it will differ depending on what SmartHome devices you own.

    "HomeKit" "MFi" compliant devices are only officially supported. We tried to bypass this requirement in order to avoid requiring new hardware. Yet should any device not have current hardware and strict security, the risks were too great. A lot of work went into home automation development before "HomeKit" was announced, resulting in "MFi" acting as a guideline for third party SmartHome devices in order to ensure safety, security, and functionality with Apple's systems and between other accessories.

    As Apple has no intention of developing our own SmartHome devices, it was necessary both for the safety and security of home owners and for legalities to ensure a proper foundation before fully bridging into home automation. Adding the ability for iPads to act as hubs in addition to the Apple TV 4 was a way for those who don't own an Apple TV or have no need for one to have the same benefits.

    I recently stumbled upon the "Smart Home DB", a free database of over 1000 devices. Each device lists Amazon and other online reviews, prices, Specs, Compatibilities, Apps, How-To's, and more. It's a very concise and easy to navigate database that allows you to find a product or research alternatives before making a decision.

    There is a secure way to add non-HomeKit devices to your home using "Homebridge". If you're interested, I've linked to another thread on how to setup a system using "Homebridge" here.
  2. MichiganFan macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2016
    Thanks for the guide! This helped to clarify a couple of issues I encountered when setting up the Home app. I have a couple of other issues I haven't been able to solve. I have an ATV 4 and an ATV 3 on my network. When I open the Home app I am greeted with "Living Room Apple TV not responding (detail >)". This is my ATV 3. It is also listed under my list of Home Hubs as "Disconnected". I don't see any way to remove it from the list of hubs, or remove the status message on the home screen. Since the ATV 3 is apparently not supported by the app, how can I hide it?
  3. JohnApples macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2014
    Thank you so much for this guide! It helped immensely when setting up my first HomeKit accessories. It's surprisingly confusing and clunky to do as there isn't much hand-holding.

    I am having trouble getting "guests" to control my devices though. Apple states that after you invite them and they accept, that they must be in the home, nearby the accessories, and connected to the home WiFi network to control devices. However, no one in my family can control them despite all these things being true. Apple Support has been less than helpful. Any suggestions?
  4. 32828870, Sep 18, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2016

    32828870 thread starter Suspended

    Jun 23, 2016
    New York and Berlin
    I'll try to help as you're right, the third gen Apple TV dropped support.

    As I have the current gen, I've forgotten the non-tvOS settings. Have you tried logging out of your iCloud account(s)? On the Apple TV 4 you can use different accounts for "Home Sharing", "Store", and "HomeKit". Not sure if that's possible on the third gen. Since both are configured as a hub it may cause erratic behavior.

    Maybe reset it as a last ditch effort? Since I only have the current gen as my hub, I don't see a way to remove another hub in "Home" settings. Interesting that iOS 10 lists it as a hub that's disconnected. Try physically disconnecting it as well.

    Select each individual and make sure both options are checked. What else? Hmmm.

    I'm assuming each one has their own iCloud account so inviting them is the only way. Try removing each one and resending the invite (which I'm sure you already tried). Check the Home settings in "Privacy" for each device running iOS 10 to make sure every app is listed.

    Eaxh device still needs the individual accessory's app installed and logged in with the same username and password. Philips Hue HomeKit Bridge 2.0 will need to be configured with each device (pressing the middle button when first logging into the Hue app) and make sure it's the second gen Hue app and not the first. Once they have all the accessory apps installed and configured just like yours on their devices, try resenting the invitation.

    I'll add some screenshots which might when I get home. Can you upload a video? I made a quick guide using QuickTime's screen recording on my iPhone 7. Great for visuals and easier to follow than a long list.
  5. allenshi macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2014
    Awesome thread. Great information.

    I currently have 2 iDevices in my house and i'm starting to add more but i've run into 2 issues. Not sure if you can help me.

    1 - My automation tasks i've sent up in Home does not run all the time. Example - i have both my devices turn off at 10pm at night. Sometimes none of them turn of or they all turn off or one of them turns off while the other one stays on. I've deleted my Home in the app and i've re-created the rule but that does not help. Any Ideas?

    2 - This is a a wierd one. I can never invite my wife to my Home in the app. I can invite my coworkers, and my sister but never my wife. She can invite me if she creates a home. I've tried everything already, delete my home and recreate, sign out and sign in of icloud, wipe my phone, sent a invite to her email that is with Apple ID.(@me, @icloud, @gmail). Only thing i have not tried is wiping her phone becuase she refuses....so not much i can do there.

    Thank in advance for your help
  6. sprtsgy9 macrumors newbie


    Sep 19, 2016
    Has anyone noticed that when using a location based trigger, Home will ask for your permission to run the scene? It's not really automated if I need to approve each time.

    Is there a way around this? Could it be because of my Schlage lock? I know that I am required to unlock my phone every time I try to access the lock with Siri.
  7. Paco II macrumors 65816

    Sep 13, 2009
    Question: I'll make updates to the Automation settings in the iOS Home app, but it appears that if the Apple TV (4th gen) is sleeping, that the changes are not picked up. Can anyone confirm that? I'm not sure if they are never picked up, or just delayed, but what I do know is that if the Apple TV is 'awake', changes get picked up right away. I've set my Apple TV to never sleep and will do more testing, but if someone already can confirm one way or another, I appreciate the info.
  8. Abqpete macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2010
    Atherton, CA
    The 3rd Gen (ATV3) is supported but does not provide the automation functions. What I have noticed is that the ATV3 will work fine as long as it is the ONLY device logged into your iCloud account at your house. Once you add an ATV4, the ATV4 seems to take priority causing the "Disconnected" message on the ATV3. This is a shame as Apple's developer conference materials showed the possibility to use several ATV as Bluetooth hubs throughout the house so that Bluetooth devices that are too far away from the main ATV could still connect.

    I have a couple of homes so I tested using an ATV4 in one home and an ATV3 in another, both logged into the same iCloud account. It works fine. When I have some more time, I will get another ATV4 and add it to the same home with the existing ATV4 to see if there are any issues.
  9. Paco II macrumors 65816

    Sep 13, 2009
    Fwiw, this is what I've found: ATV sleeping, added new automation, waited 1.25 hours, automation did not start. ATV awake, added automation for 1 minute later, started ok. So I'm not sure if a sleeping ATV will eventually pick it up, but if using an ATV as your hub, setting it to never sleep is probably the best.

  10. rjjacobson macrumors 6502a


    Sep 12, 2014
    Thanks for this guide there is so little out there I can find for someone just starting with homekit enabled smartdevices. This info is very helpful. So far I am using iPad pro as home server I have not liked the two factor authentication required to use Apple Tv. And also (with latest Tvos 10) setting my 4th gen Apple TV to never turn off does not work. It still turns off after 24-36 hours so then if that were my home hub there is an issue. I have found that given nature of connection for my iPhone I can turn lock on this Schlage sense... and it works many times like it would remotely if I used Apple TV. Seems there still is a learning curve ;-) Your info has been saved again thanks.
  11. 32828870 thread starter Suspended

    Jun 23, 2016
    New York and Berlin
    Glad I was able to help some. I hesitated posting such a long thread but there are so many crucial initial steps that if one is missed or out of order it could require resetting your "Home" and starting over.

    I haven't had issue with my Apple TV 4 running as the hub. I'm using the latest iOS 10 beta and have been since development began. I have different accounts logged into it for various purposes - two iCloud accounts as one is used for App's, another for the iTunes Store (I believe), another for "Home Sharing", and the iCloud account used for "Home". I never knew about the Apple TV disconnecting when set to stay on; I'll check into it as I'm certain if you're experiencing this issue others must be as well.

    One tip: I have a current gen iPod Touch that is mounted in the kitchen to act as a handsfree control center, similar to Amazon Echo (which is also in the kitchen, but iOS 10 handles home automation better). Just train Siri with your voice and you won't have to worry about someone shouting "Hey Siri, unlock the doors!" ;)
    --- Post Merged, Sep 30, 2016 ---
    That should no longer be working or will no longer fully work. None of the 3rd generation Apple TV's support HomeKit at all due to security reasons as smart lock HomeKit support was added to Siri which isn't supported on the previous gen. If you are experiencing issues I would log out of your Apple TV and either get a 4th gen (they're on sale almost everywhere, I saw the base model listed for less than $100 at BestBuy and other retailers) or use your iPad if you have one.
  12. rjjacobson macrumors 6502a


    Sep 12, 2014
    Cool idea

    I found out after further research on the sleep issue with apple TV that even though the option to control TV system via the Apple TV off the same CES settup on the LG TV is somehow turning my Apple TV off. So I turned that off on TV now maybe my apple TV will stay on we shall see.
  13. Abqpete macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2010
    Atherton, CA
    That is not correct. According to Apple:

    Get started
    • Set up your HomeKit accessories in the Home app on your iOS device.
    • To control your accessories remotely, you need one of the following devices:
      • Apple TV (3rd generation)*
      • Apple TV (4th generation) with tvOS 9.0 or later
    • To set up automations and user permissions, you need one of the following devices:
    *Apple TV (3rd generation) doesn't support remote access to HomeKit-enabled cameras.


    Also, I have the 3rd Generation Apple TV in my weekend home for just this purpose and it works just fine for remote access. In the Home app each location shows the respective Apple TV as connected under the Home Hubs section.
  14. 32828870, Oct 1, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016

    32828870 thread starter Suspended

    Jun 23, 2016
    New York and Berlin
    As I work in marketing for a specific company whose name is synonymous with a fruit, that *side-note is misleading and will also change with future releases of iOS 10 as SmartHome security devices will be supported with the Apple TV. The 3rd generation does not support those measures.

    For future reference, try not to make declarative statements such as "That is not correct"; it reads very smugly and condescendingly especially when you aren't fully informed. :)

    Attached Files:

  15. OCDMacGeek macrumors 6502a


    Jul 19, 2007
    I just customized the background image for my home and several rooms in the Home app. However, those didn't sync to any other devices accessing the same HomeKit data. Anyone else seeing anything different?
  16. 32828870 thread starter Suspended

    Jun 23, 2016
    New York and Berlin
    They don't, not supposed to so others can use their own images.
  17. DemonMF777 macrumors member


    Feb 27, 2014
    S. Florida
    Why can't my Mac (which lives at home, is always powered on & connected to my wi-fi) act as a home hub? Annoyed I have to purchase an aTV or new iPad to make the automation work?!
  18. daniel_rodrigues macrumors newbie


    Dec 23, 2016
    Hi, does anyone have a problem with their accessories showing up in the status on the first page of the apple home app?
    I have like 10 accessories and all of them have been activated to be included in the status. Only 3 of them show up as a description. This has happened after iOS 10.2
    anyone else have the same bug?
  19. chuyn macrumors 6502

    Nov 13, 2015
    Do you mean at the top, like "the thermostat is set to 22, and the living room lights are on"? I haven't had any issues with that yet (on 10.2.1 beta)
  20. daniel_rodrigues macrumors newbie


    Dec 23, 2016
    Yeah exactly. I have about 10 accessories, a mix of hue lights and elgato eve accessories and only 3 show up in status. Like temperature, humidity from eve room and temp from eve thermo. Curiously, the air quality from eve room does not show up in status. Maybe I need to set up everything again from 0...
  21. Paco II macrumors 65816

    Sep 13, 2009
    I am sure I am just missing the obvious, but in the Automations tab, how are those sorted?
  22. chuyn macrumors 6502

    Nov 13, 2015
    I don't really go into the home app often, but I did notice mine only ever shows things that are on or need attention. For example, my locks will only be mentioned if they're unlocked.. "Front entry door unlocked. Living room lights on." type of deal. If the doors are locked, or if the lights are off, they're not shown in that description. Was this the same behaviour in pre-10.2?
  23. daniel_rodrigues macrumors newbie


    Dec 23, 2016

    Ahh yes!! Thx for feedback
    Of course. If they are on they show up... wasn't thinking right here. I thought before 10.2 it used to say "all lights off". But maybe not
    Only weird thing is the legato eve room accessory. Only the humidity and temperature readings show up in the status. Not the air quality.
    Will try and remove and add accessory again.
  24. chuyn macrumors 6502

    Nov 13, 2015
    Air quality may not be a parameter that HomeKit reports yet. Most material I've seen of the eve only mention that you can ask Siri to check the humidity or temperature.

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