HomeKit HomeKit + Google Home: Can they coexist?

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by ipedro, Jul 16, 2018.

  1. ipedro macrumors 68040

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #1
    I’m a longtime smart home enthusiast having started with Philips Hue lights when they launched 5 years ago and an August lock when it was still a startup.

    I’ve since equipped my condo with 18 Philips Hue lights and light strips, a Honeywell Lyric thermostat, Nest Protect and Nestcams, August locks, Eve energy and windows & door sensors, Withings health products that interface with my home (red kitchen counter lights if I’m not meeting my weight goals), a Petnet to feed my dog and Click & Grows to feed me. Most recently, I added a HomePod to interface everything.

    I’ve gone all in with HomeKit and see the market completely exploding once iOS 12 is launched with Shortcuts that’ll make any smart home device with an app, technically HomeKit compatible.

    But yesterday, something disrupted that harmony and forced me to think differently. I won a Google Home in a raffle. I could have tried to trade it in and buy something else but now my curiosity has sparked. I wonder if HomeKit and Google Home can coexist.

    Google Assistant is well known to be better with information search. I’m thinking of keeping the Google Home by my bedside to ask it information about my day or random questions that I’d usually manually search Google for.

    I’ve performed some early compatibility tests and so far, it looks like they can coexist. I changed my home temperature with HomePod then asked Google for the current temperature and it correctly reported that it was cooling to 20°C. I turned on a light with Google Home and the HomeKit Home app on my iPhone showed the correct status.

    I’m beginning to explore what I can achieve with this setup and take advantage of each of HomeKit and Google Home’s strengths. Would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Follow this thread for updates.
     
  2. Bazooka-joe macrumors 68020

    Bazooka-joe

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    Location:
    Swindon, England
    #2
    In my home, HomeKit and Alexa co-exist and compliment each other very well. They both operate my lights and Alexa controls my smart plugs and both control my driveway camera view.
    If I am out at night, I use my Apple Watch ask Siri to switch in the drive way light so that it is switched on for when I get home. I tend to use Alexa for information and the news more than Siri but if Alexa can’t answer a question for me then I ask Siri,
    I am interested about your comment “iOS 12 is launched with Shortcuts that’ll make any smart home device with an app, technically HomeKit compatible.”....are you saying that we can use Shortcuts to activate Alexa only devices by building in to a Shortcut, a command to open the Alexa App and run a skill?
     
  3. Coffee50 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2015
    #3
    Whoa! That's a pretty sweet HomeKit lineup! Are there any products that you currently have that you'd think you'd pass on if you were to do it again? (Like Ecobee over the Honeywell?) Also how do you get your Hue lights to respond to Withings gear?
     
  4. ipedro, Jul 17, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018

    ipedro thread starter macrumors 68040

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #4
    I had a Nest and prefer that to all other thermostats but it doesn’t work with HomeKit so I got the Lyric. Was supposed to be temporary but it works well. I never use the Lyric app and rarely touch the thermostat. I run everything from my iPhone/Watch/HomePod or an iPad on the wall so the thermostat itself doesn’t really matter.

    I have a Wink Relay that I regret getting. Terrible piece of crap. It spent years acting like a beta product. Eventually it started working reliably but by then, the iPod Touch sized screen felt cramped in comparison to the iPad Air I put on the wall. So the Wink is still on my wall but is never used.

    I also regret spending so much money on Nanoleaf panels. They’re cool and I like how they look on my bedroom wall but there’s no way that’s worth $600.

    Favourite kit: Philips Hue lightstrips. My place looks straight out of TRON.

    26E3A2FF-DDFD-400C-82B8-AAB420BE24D5.jpeg

    I use IFTTT. I created a recipe that says if I fall below a certain weight, to turn the kitchen counter light red. My Withings scale is next to my bed so I step on it in the morning. By the time I get to the kitchen, I’ll get a reminder to work on my nutrition to meet my goals.

    I have a Withings Aura but unfortunately, Nokia made it abondonware and never connected it to IFTTT. Otherwise, my home would set a good morning scene once I woke up. I could get a Nokia Sleep but out of principle, I’m not giving them any more of my money. I’m not buying another sleep product to get the feature they promised for the Aura.

    I also used IFTTT to look at my schedule and set scenes. If I have a work appointment at home, my office lights go white, if there’s nothing on my schedule and it’s after dark, my lights go blues and reds to relax. If it’s time to leave to go a work appointment on my schedule, my office lights flash red.

    Shortcuts work by executing commands available in apps. So, a non HomeKit device like Nest thermostat could plug in to Shortcuts and merge it with a HomeKit scene.

    “Hey Siri, I’m almost home”

    Shortcut: Tell Nest app to turn on Nest thermostat + Set Arriving Home HomeKit scene.

    That Shortcut activates both a non-HomeKit device’s commands via its app and HomeKit devices via a HomeKit scene.

    This won’t give us every feature of a native HomeKit thermostat, but it gets pretty close, depending on how much the Nest app exposes to Shortcuts.

    I don’t have an Amazon Echo so I can’t speak specifically to Alexa but if it runs via an app, then any smart device, HomeKit or not, can run via Shortcuts since they don’t have to connect to the hardware, they simply activitate commands in an app, which itself interfaces with the hardware. So technically, Shortcuts will be able to activate an Alexa skill.
     
  5. Bazooka-joe macrumors 68020

    Bazooka-joe

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    Location:
    Swindon, England
    #5
    Yeah I think that’s what I am getting at. If for example non-HomeKit compliant hardware such 99% of smart plugs that are Alexa compatible can have the native app for those plugs activated within a shortcut script to switch the plugs on and off the it’s going to open up the market for HomeKit integration with hardware that doesn’t meet Apples strict criteria
     
  6. DNichter macrumors 604

    DNichter

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2015
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #6
    I don't know. I started with Echo's in my house, but have replaced them all with 2 HomePod's instead, which I find to be much much better. I am the type of person who likes consistency and would prefer not to use multiple platforms for this stuff so I simply just moved on Echo's, although I have a Nest thermostat and 2 protects. I ended up adding those to HomeBridge pretty easily so I just roll with that for now, but anything new I purchase will need to support HomeKit. Unless you have a specific needs for the Google home, I'd probably just give it away or trash it.
     
  7. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Hue works well with my HomePod in lounge and google mini in bedroom.

    Although I plan to get a white HomePod in the bedroom and mini moved to kitchen
     
  8. ipedro thread starter macrumors 68040

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #8
    A few weeks in, I think I’m ready to get rid of the Google Home. The app activities novelty has warn off. All I use it for is storm sounds to help me fall asleep but Apple Music has albums of just that sort of audio.

    It’s also gotten a little confusing asking Ok Google and Hey Siri whereas I address the wrong device with mixed prompt phrases.

    More importantly, Google Assistant is way too complicated for its own good. I still haven’t figured out how to build home scenes.

    What’s the best way to sell a Google Home? I’m getting another HomePod to put in the bedroom instead.
     

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