Home Kit A Let Down?

parseckadet

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 13, 2010
1,128
646
Denver, CO
Anyone else kind of disappointed by the capabilities of Home Kit? On the surface it seems great, but everything I've read from Apple indicates all actions have to be triggered by the phone. A device can't be the trigger point. It seems like IFTTT will still have more capabilities than Home Kit will.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,212
14,759
Anyone else kind of disappointed by the capabilities of Home Kit? On the surface it seems great, but everything I've read from Apple indicates all actions have to be triggered by the phone. A device can't be the trigger point. It seems like IFTTT will still have more capabilities than Home Kit will.
IFTTT is for nerds that want complete control (I like the concept myself, but there is far too much for me to do personally for me to consider using it for home automation). Homekit is for product manufacturers to incorporate so that users themselves have little to nothing that they need to do other than set their preferences.

Two entirely different use cases.
 

afsnyder

macrumors 65816
Jan 7, 2014
1,270
33
Anyone else kind of disappointed by the capabilities of Home Kit? On the surface it seems great, but everything I've read from Apple indicates all actions have to be triggered by the phone. A device can't be the trigger point. It seems like IFTTT will still have more capabilities than Home Kit will.
I think it's amazing that I can tell Siri to turn on the lights in the bedroom or close the garage.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,212
14,759
I think it's amazing that I can tell Siri to turn on the lights in the bedroom or close the garage.
Even better, "sessions" allows you to say "Siri, it's time for bed" and your lights will dim, your locks will close, your thermostat will turn down, etc.

Basically they've come up with a way to tie it all together for events based on lifestyle, essentially making the moment the driver of the situation instead of the connected objects having to be triggered one by one.

This is going to make things very simple for end users, verses previous methods which required a lot of work to set up.
 

HarryAinslie

macrumors regular
Feb 2, 2011
163
0
Doncaster, England, UK
I think to have this working at it's best;

Whole house kitted with correct WiFi Light bulbs
Whole house kitted with correct WiFi plugs
etc


This would cost the user a fortune, Philips are selling the light bulbs for something like £50 per bulb.
Most lighting units in folks homes are those fancy things which have at least 3 bulbs. Work this out in your home and see how much it would cost. If the manufacturers of those products reduced their cost i'd be all over this like a rash
 

Jessica Lares

macrumors G3
Oct 31, 2009
9,259
768
Near Dallas, Texas, USA
How would you automate locking all your doors and turning off all your lights with just a device other than just having it setup to do so at 10PM?

The problem with those kind of setups is that you'll most likely forget about it, and find yourself having to sleep on the porch because you happened to want to sit outside at 9:40PM and enjoy the cool breeze for a hour before heading to bed. I don't take my phone everywhere with me, nor do I take keys. Could easily be in the bathroom and find yourself in the dark because the settings - "IF my device is nearby home wifi at 10PM" would still apply.

Same issue in a place of business. You'll probably set the alarm on someone who's trying to finish a report that's due early tomorrow morning.

Some security systems won't even let you set an alarm if a door is a little open, which is the biggest issue for automating them. My dad and I have been up at school at 2AM many times to fix them.

We don't always follow a schedule, nor do most of us live/work alone. The fact that you would have to go in and change stuff every time plans change, is the biggest issue with the scheduled way of doing things.

That's why using Siri works better. It's easier to say things like, "It's cold in here", "I'm going to run a few errands", and "goodnight", than have to force yourself into a whole new routine.
 

parseckadet

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 13, 2010
1,128
646
Denver, CO
What I'm talking about is a fairly simple situation. You have a WeMo motion detector in the hall. When it detects motion, you want to turn on the Hue lights in the kitchen. Seems fairly straight forward to me, and entirely reasonable. IFTTT is capable of this. Home Kit is not.

----------

It is. I've tried it on the beta but it doesn't work yet so Siri says, "Sorry, I tried but the request failed."
Considering devices will need a firmware update to support Home Kit, that's not going to work for quite some time.
 

HarryAinslie

macrumors regular
Feb 2, 2011
163
0
Doncaster, England, UK
I think the 'Performing actions on a time stamp' would suit if you were on holiday or a weekend vacation.

However a voice activation would be better for most of the time. For example, saying "Hey Siri, It's bedtime", This then performs the action of:

Close garage & Lock
Lock all Exterior Doors
Switch off TV
Switch off downstairs lights
Switch on upstairs landing light, bathroom light and master room light
etc


Bearing in mind this can all be personalised to each user depending on how they group the rooms / lights / commands.
 

Goldfrapp

macrumors 601
Jul 31, 2005
4,910
5,768
It is. I've tried it on the beta but it doesn't work yet so Siri says, "Sorry, I tried but the request failed."
Really? I don't have to buy any additional equipment or call an electrician to fiddle with wires and cables? Is it really as simple as plug-and-play? I'm genuinely curious.
 

parseckadet

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 13, 2010
1,128
646
Denver, CO
IFTTT is for nerds that want complete control (I like the concept myself, but there is far too much for me to do personally for me to consider using it for home automation). Homekit is for product manufacturers to incorporate so that users themselves have little to nothing that they need to do other than set their preferences.

Two entirely different use cases.
if IFTTT is for nerds, then they've completely failed in their approach. It's intended to be simplistic. For example, you can tie one trigger to one action. You can't tie one trigger to two or more actions. Setting it up to do things like "At 5:00 turn on my hall lights AND my kitchen lights" requires multiple rules.
 
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Night Spring

macrumors G5
Jul 17, 2008
13,073
5,173
What I'm talking about is a fairly simple situation. You have a WeMo motion detector in the hall. When it detects motion, you want to turn on the Hue lights in the kitchen. Seems fairly straight forward to me, and entirely reasonable. IFTTT is capable of this. Home Kit is not.
Not all that straightforward. In the example you give, you are talking about getting a device made by Belkin to send a command to a device made by Philips. IFTTT works around this by acting as an intermediary between two different device manufacturers' internet services. It's a totally different programming mindset from HomeKit.

Now, if Philips were to make a motion sensor to control its light bulbs, I'm sure HomeKit could handle that.
 

parseckadet

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 13, 2010
1,128
646
Denver, CO
Not all that straightforward. In the example you give, you are talking about getting a device made by Belkin to send a command to a device made by Philips. IFTTT works around this by acting as an intermediary between two different device manufacturers' internet services. It's a totally different programming mindset from HomeKit.
How so? Home Kit will have the ability to control multiple devices. Apple's own example illustrates this. You tell Siri "Time for bed" and it turns off the lights, locks the doors, turns down the thermostat, and closes the garage door. You seem to be implying that Home Kit will only be able to do that if the devices that accomplish these things are all made by the same manufacturer. I personally know of none that make remote controlled lights/switches, locks, thermostats, and garage door openers.

No, Home Kit will be able to bridge the gap between different devices. The short coming I'm talking about is the fact that the iDevice always initiates the actions. Home Kit will not accept events broadcast by devices that have registered with it, and then trigger actions on other devices as a result. The only way to trigger Home Kit actions is either via Siri, an app running in the foreground (background apps can't do anything), or through a scheduled event (think cron job type event).
 

Night Spring

macrumors G5
Jul 17, 2008
13,073
5,173
How so? Home Kit will have the ability to control multiple devices. Apple's own example illustrates this. You tell Siri "Time for bed" and it turns off the lights, locks the doors, turns down the thermostat, and closes the garage door. You seem to be implying that Home Kit will only be able to do that if the devices that accomplish these things are all made by the same manufacturer.

No, Home Kit will be able to bridge the gap between different devices. The short coming I'm talking about is the fact that the iDevice always initiates the actions. Home Kit will not accept events broadcast by devices that have registered with it, and then trigger actions on other devices as a result. The only way to trigger Home Kit actions is either via Siri, an app running in the foreground (background apps can't do anything), or through a scheduled event (think cron job type event).
Ah. Okay. Then it's a function that Apple's engineers haven't thought of, or haven't had time to implement yet. Sounds like the kind of thing you should request through their feedback page.
 

Bob Sanders

macrumors member
Mar 12, 2011
82
25
No, Home Kit will be able to bridge the gap between different devices. The short coming I'm talking about is the fact that the iDevice always initiates the actions. Home Kit will not accept events broadcast by devices that have registered with it, and then trigger actions on other devices as a result. The only way to trigger Home Kit actions is either via Siri, an app running in the foreground (background apps can't do anything), or through a scheduled event (think cron job type event).
You really don't know what functionality Home Kit will have a year from now after the platform starts to mature a bit. Hell, IFTT might be able to tie right into Home Kit by then.
 

parseckadet

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 13, 2010
1,128
646
Denver, CO
You really don't know what functionality Home Kit will have a year from now after the platform starts to mature a bit. Hell, IFTT might be able to tie right into Home Kit by then.
True, we don't know what it will do in the future. But Apple has made it clear that only apps running in the foreground can make Home Kit API calls due to "security concerns." So it doesn't sound like that aspect of the situation will be changing anytime soon.
 

tdar

macrumors 65816
Jun 23, 2003
1,074
536
Alpharetta GA.
You really don't know what functionality Home Kit will have a year from now after the platform starts to mature a bit. Hell, IFTT might be able to tie right into Home Kit by then.
I'm not sure it can't right now. You can run it in the foreground. There has also been talk of Hardware hubs that are homekit compatible.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,212
14,759
if IFTTT is for nerds, then they've completely failed in their approach. It's intended to be simplistic. For example, you can tie one trigger to one action. You can't tie one trigger to two or more actions. Setting it up to do things like "At 5:00 turn on my hall lights AND my kitchen lights" requires multiple rules.
The fact that you have to trigger anything, or configure through a web browser is FAR beyond the scope for 90%+ of regular consumers. Going step by step through the process means very few will ever use it.

Think of Apple's own Airport utility on iOS, now apply that ease of use to devices that automatically recognize that they can be configured throughout the home. It pops up, you move a few sliders or click a few preferences, and boom the only interaction from that point forward is talking to Siri. THATS how you bring something to consumers, because they aren't the brightest bulbs to begin with (that's not meant to be disrespectful, there is no reason a consumer should have to put more effort into a service than that if it's going to go mainstream).
 

parseckadet

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 13, 2010
1,128
646
Denver, CO
The fact that you have to trigger anything, or configure through a web browser is FAR beyond the scope for 90%+ of regular consumers. Going step by step through the process means very few will ever use it.

Think of Apple's own Airport utility on iOS, now apply that ease of use to devices that automatically recognize that they can be configured throughout the home. It pops up, you move a few sliders or click a few preferences, and boom the only interaction from that point forward is talking to Siri. THATS how you bring something to consumers, because they aren't the brightest bulbs to begin with (that's not meant to be disrespectful, there is no reason a consumer should have to put more effort into a service than that if it's going to go mainstream).
And yet with Home Kit the user has to take a specific action to do anything. They have to get their phone out of their pocket and say "Hey Siri, turn on the lights." What I just want my lights to come on by themselves when I walk in the door? Home Kit can't do that.
 

twintin

macrumors 6502a
Aug 10, 2012
598
104
Sweden
True, we don't know what it will do in the future. But Apple has made it clear that only apps running in the foreground can make Home Kit API calls due to "security concerns." So it doesn't sound like that aspect of the situation will be changing anytime soon.
A year ago Touch ID could not be used by third party apps for security reasons either. Now with IOS 8, they can. All this means is Apple just needs some times to figure the security aspects out. Nothing more, nothing less. By this time next year, god knows how far Apple may take the Hime Kit.
 

alonsofedz

macrumors newbie
Jun 8, 2014
3
0
And yet with Home Kit the user has to take a specific action to do anything. They have to get their phone out of their pocket and say "Hey Siri, turn on the lights." What I just want my lights to come on by themselves when I walk in the door? Home Kit can't do that.
Doesn't that just reduce to geofencing?
:: When I get home, turn on the X lights. When I leave, turn off the X lights.
And that's that. You tell it once and Siri "remembers" this.

In every other scenario you would need motion detectors for such actions I believe. But that would also be the case with any other solution.

In any case, probably this ties up nicely with iBeacon technology, and possibly the future iWatch, where you don't need to have your phone with you when walking around your house, but you do have your nifty iWatch strapped around you to let HomeKit deal with the situation.

Or have I gotten everything wrong?
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,212
14,759
And yet with Home Kit the user has to take a specific action to do anything. They have to get their phone out of their pocket and say "Hey Siri, turn on the lights." What I just want my lights to come on by themselves when I walk in the door? Home Kit can't do that.
I truly don't believe that Apple has overlooked the lowest hanging fruit of use-cases.
 

parseckadet

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 13, 2010
1,128
646
Denver, CO
Doesn't that just reduce to geofencing?
:: When I get home, turn on the X lights. When I leave, turn off the X lights.
And that's that. You tell it once and Siri "remembers" this.

In every other scenario you would need motion detectors for such actions I believe. But that would also be the case with any other solution.

In any case, probably this ties up nicely with iBeacon technology, and possibly the future iWatch, where you don't need to have your phone with you when walking around your house, but you do have your nifty iWatch strapped around you to let HomeKit deal with the situation.

Or have I gotten everything wrong?
Yes, we're on the same wave length here. Right now HomeKit doesn't support geofencing or anything of the sort.

I truly don't believe that Apple has overlooked the lowest hanging fruit of use-cases.
They may not have overlooked it, but they won't support it in iOS 8.
 
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