Digital Trends: Exploring the Features of Apple HomeKit

Cupertino, August 21, 2023

Apple HomeKit, also known as Apple Home, is a smart home platform that allows you to control all your smart home gadgets in one place. Its main competitors are Amazon Alexa and Google Home, both of which offer similar functionality and support for a wide variety of products. There's a lot of nuance to Apple Home, and it's seen continued growth in recent years, making it an attractive choice for powering your smart home. Want to take a look before applying the technology? Here's everything you need to know about Apple HomeKit.

What is Apple HomeKit? Apple HomeKit is a platform that allows different smart home gadgets to communicate with each other and gives you access to all these gadgets through a single app. In addition to using the Home app on iOS, you can also pass voice commands to supported smart speakers, such as HomePod or HomePod mini. From checking security cameras to raising the temperature on your thermostat, Home makes it easy to control your gadgets. You'll want to set up a HomeKit hub to serve as the brains of the operation, but once that's taken care of, you'll have unprecedented control over all of your smart home devices.

What can Apple Home control? While Apple Home can't control as many products as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, its catalog of supported smart home products is enough to keep most people happy. The number of supported products is constantly increasing and HomeKit currently supports many items in the following categories:

  • Air Conditioners
  • Purifiers
  • Bridges
  • Cameras
  • Doorbells
  • Fans
  • Faucets
  • Garage Doors
  • Humidifiers
  • Lighting
  • Locks
  • Electrical Outlets
  • Receivers
  • Routers
  • Security Sensors
  • Speakers
  • Sprinklers
  • Switches
  • Thermostats
  • TVs
  • Windows

Apple Home Supports Matter One of the biggest innovations in the world of smart homes is Matter. This new connectivity standard allows products to communicate with smart home platforms that they would not normally support. For example, a smart bulb may not have native support for Apple Home, but if it's updated to support Matter, it will work with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple Home. The main caveat here, of course, is that manufacturers must ensure their products are built to support Matter. But if you see a product labeled on the box for Apple Home or Matter, you can rest easy knowing it will work with your setup.

Want to use HomeKit in your smart home? While HomeKit doesn't support as many products as Alexa or Google Home, it's a great option for iOS enthusiasts. Not only does it have a similar user interface to all the other products in the Apple range (making it easy to learn the ropes), but Apple TV and HomePod are great hubs for the action. Be sure to check out the full list of supported gadgets before jumping on board, but using HomeKit in your smart home is the perfect way to connect all your disparate equipment.

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