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iOS 15 didn't focus heavily on improvements to HomeKit and the Home app, but there are some notable features like expanded HomeKit Secure Video support and new Siri functionality.

iOS-15-HomeKit-Guide.jpg

This guide highlights all of the features that are new to HomeKit in the iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 updates.

HomeKit Secure Video

iOS 15 introduces a new iCloud+ service that offers privacy-based features like iCloud Private Relay and Hide My Email, but the feature also comes with HomeKit Secure Video improvements.

homekit_secure_video.jpg

With iCloud+, Apple is increasing the number of HomeKit Secure Video cameras supported with each iCloud plan. There have been no changes to iCloud plans and all iCloud plans are now iCloud+ plans, but more camera footage can be stored.

The $0.99 per month 50GB iCloud+ storage plan offers support for one HomeKit Secure Video Camera, which is a major improvement because previously, the 200GB plan was required to use HomeKit Secure Video.

With the $2.99 per month 200GB iCloud+ plan that previously offered support for one camera, you can now record with five HomeKit Secure Video cameras at one time. The $9.99 per month 2TB iCloud+ storage plan supports unlimited HomeKit Secure Video cameras, up from five.

All HomeKit Secure Video footage that's stored in iCloud is secure and end-to-end encrypted, and no camera footage counts against the total iCloud storage that you have available. To use HomeKit Secure Video, you need the 50GB plan at a minimum, along with a HomePod, HomePod mini, Apple TV, or iPad that serves as a home hub for your HomeKit devices.

Package Detection

HomeKit Secure Video already supports people detection to narrow down motion alerts, but in iOS 15, security cameras and video doorbells that support HomeKit Secure Video can detect a package delivery and let you know when the package you're waiting for arrives on your doorstep.

Home Keys

HomeKit-enabled door locks that support iOS 15's new Home Keys feature can store a digital key in the Wallet app.

ios-15-wallet-app-home-key.jpg

The digital key can be used to tap to unlock a compatible lock, so you don't need a manufacturer's app to use digital unlocking features.

Home Keys can be accessed on the iPhone or on the Apple Watch using the Wallet app.

Time-Based Siri Commands

Siri in iOS 15 can be used to control a HomeKit device at a specific time. So if you want your bedroom lights to turn off at 9:00 p.m., you can say "Hey Siri, turn the bedroom lights off at 9:00 p.m., and the voice assistant complies.

siri-homekit-automations.jpg

This feature uses the Automation option in the Home app, so every time you ask Siri control a HomeKit device at a specific time, it creates an automation. You can view and delete automations in the Automation section of the Home app.

Siri-Enabled Third-Party Accessories

Third-party HomeKit accessory makers can integrate Siri functionality into their devices in iOS 15, but the person using the device needs to own a HomePod that can be used to route requests. This functionality needs to be implemented by manufacturers and so it won't be available right when iOS 15 launches.

HomePodandMini-feature-orange.jpg

With Siri integration, you can ask any compatible product in your home to send messages, set reminders, contact family members, control devices, and more.

Guide Feedback

Have questions about the new HomeKit changes in iOS 15, know of a feature we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

Article Link: What's New With HomeKit in iOS 15
 

aesc80

macrumors 65816
Mar 24, 2015
1,047
2,332
In all honesty, I gave up on HomeKit enabled devices. In all honesty, it would have been dope if Apple would have bought Arlo and then have a sure shot HomeKit native system (granted they would still be pricey, since Arlo's cameras + month packages (especially with 24/7 recording) is $$$). Then again, HomeKit is still quirky AF. I'll probably get ratio'd to heck, but that's just my opinion.
 
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Think|Different

macrumors regular
Apr 2, 2021
125
1,032
In all honesty, I gave up on HomeKit enabled devices. In all honesty, it would have been dope if Apple would have bought Arlo and then have a sure shot HomeKit native system (granted they would still be pricey, since Arlo's cameras + month packages (especially with 24/7 recording) is $$$). Then again, HomeKit is still quirky AF. I'll probably get ratio'd to heck, but that's just my opinion.
I'm a huge believer (and inve$tor, ha) in HomeKit accessories in every room but even I'd say "quirky AF" is pretty apt. It's the comments, not yours, that claim "it's trash" or simply "doesn't work" or something else dramatic. Legit, solid HK accessories – no, not Hoobs/Homebridge hacks – work solid depending on your home network. But very diverse wireless networks and issues at home, from boxes to mesh to ISPs to microwaves, really seem to create most 'IOT' issues, HomeKit or otherwise. This article highlights how much more Apple could do, personally. I'd have to hope further development on API or UX with Home app/HK was paused a bit this year while the 'more important' Matter alliance stuff is being worked out.
 
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PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68040
Jul 6, 2007
3,659
3,392
In all honesty, I gave up on HomeKit enabled devices. In all honesty, it would have been dope if Apple would have bought Arlo and then have a sure shot HomeKit native system (granted they would still be pricey, since Arlo's cameras + month packages (especially with 24/7 recording) is $$$). Then again, HomeKit is still quirky AF. I'll probably get ratio'd to heck, but that's just my opinion.
I have one word for you, “Updating…”
 
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siddavis

macrumors regular
Feb 23, 2009
247
640
So if I understand the Siri Third Party Accessory integration, you need a HomePod to act as a sort of hub? WTF? What is going to be the motivation for companies to integrate Siri if their customers are just going to get bent when their new device "doesn't work" when they try to talk to it because they don't have a $99+ hub? HomeKit is such a disjointed mess.
 
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mapsdotapp

macrumors newbie
Aug 19, 2021
19
19
Home key doesn’t add much value. It’s just as easy to open the smart lock app as it is to pull up a pass in your Wallet. Now if the smart lock hardware could prompt your phone to automatically display the home key when you approach it the feature would be worth bragging about.
 
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noel18

macrumors newbie
Mar 25, 2021
17
29
Legit, solid HK accessories – no, not Hoobs/Homebridge hacks – work solid depending on your home network.
Interesting I’ve had WAY better luck with homebridge than any of my native HomeKit enabled hardware. Not to say there aren’t some buggy homebridge plugins. I’ve developed several of my own plugins, outdoor shower, snapcast remote, irrigation system and garage door. But I’ve managed to work out all those bugs too and it’s rock solid now. Native hardware that is buggy is basically buggy forever because so many companies don’t provide firmware updates.
 
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odHbo

macrumors regular
Jun 5, 2007
143
184
I want to know what existing smart locks will be compatible with Home Keys. I am wanting to buy a new smart lock but I want to make sure it will be compatible when this feature comes out.
Agreed. I’d also like to see what tech is required for it to understand what might just need a software update for compatibility. Is it just NFC or a combo of Bluetooth and NFC. I work with a lot of 2N systems and hope to offer my clients Home Key compatibility someday. The only better solution available today is providing RF cards.
 
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Moonlight

macrumors 6502a
Jul 9, 2002
732
1,091
Los Angeles
In all honesty, I gave up on HomeKit enabled devices. In all honesty, it would have been dope if Apple would have bought Arlo and then have a sure shot HomeKit native system (granted they would still be pricey, since Arlo's cameras + month packages (especially with 24/7 recording) is $$$). Then again, HomeKit is still quirky AF. I'll probably get ratio'd to heck, but that's just my opinion.
Do you have issues with people assuming you are not being honest? But, I agree. Homekit is a strange hodgepodge ATM.
 
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odHbo

macrumors regular
Jun 5, 2007
143
184
Lutron Caseta works nearly flawlessly. I only say nearly because I can’t say anything is flawless.

Aqara has been almost as rock solid but the devices rely more on wireless communications than Lutron so there will without doubt be hiccups.

Generally my Homekit home is above 90% in reliability and I have dozens of devices. I’m very happy with it.

I work daily with Crestron/Savant/Josh A.I./Alexa/Google so I’m very aware of what reliability in home automation systems really looks like.
 
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nitramluap

macrumors 6502
Apr 26, 2015
383
873
"This feature uses the Automation option in the Home app, so every time you ask ‌Siri‌ control a ‌HomeKit‌ device at a specific time, it creates an automation."

Yes, this makes me not want to use it. It creates unnecessary clutter. It's like the alarm issue when created with Siri - you end up with dozens of alarms which you need to manually delete.

It needs to be smarter. Siri should ask "Do you want to repeat this every day?". If it's a single request it shouldn't store it as an automation, or if it does, delete it immediately after running.

EDIT: better grammar
 
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mapsdotapp

macrumors newbie
Aug 19, 2021
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19
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aesc80

macrumors 65816
Mar 24, 2015
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2,332
Do you have issues with people assuming you are not being honest? But, I agree. Homekit is a strange hodgepodge ATM.
It's Macrumors - if you're not in love with Apple, then you're trash (unless it's something seriously bad, like CSAM). It's important to remember that while Apple tends to make features to be absolutely great (can't tell you how much I use AirDrop in my job, and I love it!), they'll swing and a miss on certain other ones. HomeKit is definitely in that list.

Homepods were grossly overpriced, Siri just wasn't exactly built like Google / Alexa to drive that kind of at-home interaction, and HomeKit overall is arranged in a way that feels like it belongs on Ubuntu rather than an smooth iOS device. It's a pain because, for my personal life, I'm so invested in the Apple ecosystem. It's just a shame that Apple invested so much into things like Smart Car that may never see the day (unless it gets released as an OS system for some other auto manufacturer), and nothing like IoT and Smart Home, where iOS and tvOS would totally shine.
 
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bluespark

macrumors 68020
Jul 11, 2009
2,439
2,820
Chicago
Lutron Caseta works nearly flawlessly. I only say nearly because I can’t say anything is flawless.

Aqara has been almost as rock solid but the devices rely more on wireless communications than Lutron so there will without doubt be hiccups.

Generally my Homekit home is above 90% in reliability and I have dozens of devices. I’m very happy with it.

I work daily with Crestron/Savant/Josh A.I./Alexa/Google so I’m very aware of what reliability in home automation systems really looks like.
Same experience with Lutron Caseta. In fact, it has been absolutely flawless in the few years I've been using it -- not a single issue, ever, across nearly forty devices. My counterexample is WeMo, which works more often than not, but that's about it. My takeaway from all that is that one's relative satisfaction with HomeKit seems to depend in very large part on the devices themselves. Some present no issues or nearly no issues, others have issues all the time.
 
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Wesd1234

macrumors 6502
Jul 4, 2019
449
1,483
Montreal, Canada
I want to know what existing smart locks will be compatible with Home Keys. I am wanting to buy a new smart lock but I want to make sure it will be compatible when this feature comes out.
I bet that we hear nothing regarding future support of home keys because the launch of the first Matter enabled devices is delayed and that smart lock companies want to sell a Homekit-focused smart lock that uses both the home key (probably NFC) and the Matter protocol. The timing would have been perfect if the first devices with Matter would have been released this fall as planned
 
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mapsdotapp

macrumors newbie
Aug 19, 2021
19
19
I bet that we hear nothing regarding future support of home keys because the launch of the first Matter enabled devices is delayed and that smart lock companies want to sell a Homekit-focused smart lock that uses both the home key (probably NFC) and the Matter protocol. The timing would have been perfect if the first devices with Matter would have been released this fall as planned
What does Matter have to do with smart locks?
 
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Salomon100

macrumors newbie
Jul 4, 2021
3
2
It is possible in HOMEKIT to only give guests access to the devices I want. For example, I want my guests to have access to homekit devices in their bedroom and common areas but not to have access to video cameras or my office. Or is it mandatory if I give a guest access to my homekit, will he have access to all the devices?
 
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