Eve Cam review: a simple and small HomeKit camera

Cupertino, January 16, 2022

The Eve Cam is a simple indoor camera for HomeKit and HomeKit Secure Video. By relying solely on HomeKit, you don't have to pay an extra subscription and you don't have to maintain complicated third-party service. It (almost) all just works, all using Eve's device and Apple's apps and OS integrations. Read on for my full review. Hardware The Eve Cam is small and slim, about the height of a human palm. The bulbous head contains the main camera hardware, with the stem serving as a simple stand. The base is magnetic and the camera itself can be tilted back and forth 180 degrees, making it suitable for most living situations. You can even mount it on the wall if you want. By default, the Eve Cam will shine a blue or red LED as a status indicator. Fortunately, for those who want to tuck something discreet in a corner of a room, this light can be turned off in the accessory's settings. The quality of the Eve Cam is quite good, with a wide 150-degree field of view that can easily cover a large room if you angle the camera. It also has a night vision mode that turns on automatically when the camera detects it's dark. As an added bonus, the Eve Cam doubles as a HomeKit motion sensor, which you can use as a trigger for smart home automation. Easy to set up, easy to use HomeKit cameras are great because they are so simple. You can set them up with just a few taps in the Home app, and you don't need an account or subscription to any third-party service. As long as you have a connected HomeKit hub like an Apple TV, the camera will only communicate with it. The HomeKit Secure Video protocol means the camera records events to iCloud and you can tune in to the live stream when you're away from home, with all recordings stored end-to-end encrypted. In the Home app on iPhone or iPad, you can see a recent snapshot of the camera in the room overview tab. Tapping on that snapshot will open the live camera stream (which may also appear in a Picture-in-Picture window). While watching, Eve Cam includes a speaker and microphone, so you can both hear and see what's happening in the room, as well as talk back. Your speech will come out a little creaky and distorted from the Eve Cam's speaker, but it gets the job done in no time. On Apple TV, live feeds from cameras can be viewed manually from Control Center, and motion events trigger notifications that appear in the corner of the Apple TV UI, complete with the live feed visible. HomeKit Secure Video On the basic package of 50 GB iCloud, Apple allows you to record one active HomeKit Secure Video camera. The 200 GB plan offers space for up to five cameras. And the 2TB plan means you can use unlimited HomeKit cameras at no extra cost. HomeKit Secure Video stores events from the last ten days, so if you don't see something right, check the tapes for peace of mind. In all cases, the file size of the recordings itself doesn't cut into your available iCloud storage; Apple only uses the iCloud tiers to categorize the number of concurrent cameras supported. The free iCloud plan doesn't allow recording, but you can still use the camera to stream live video and get real-time motion alerts. You can be notified when a camera detects motion in the viewport, or when only certain types of motion are recognized. HomeKit Secure Video can use machine learning AI to detect people, animals, vehicles and packages (the latter feature is more suitable for porch or outdoor cameras). You can even use facial recognition to let your home automatically recognize familiar people, such as family members, and zoom in with even more granular notification options based on the people detected. HomeKit Missing Features Unfortunately, the simplicity of the HomeKit system is also the downside of HomeKit cameras like the Eve Cam. Much of the advanced functionality that you may find in a dedicated security system is not available. For example, you can't set a HomeKit camera to record continuously. It will only be recorded when an event is triggered. Another limitation is that only one device can actively watch a camera stream at a time. For these reasons, I wouldn't necessarily rely on HomeKit Secure Video as my only outdoor security camera system. But for indoor cameras, the functionality of standard HomeKit is generally all you need — and there's no extra cost after you buy the hardware, assuming you're already paying for iCloud storage. Conclusion If you're looking to upgrade your HomeKit ecosystem and have already outfitted your home with smart switches and lights, a camera might be the next best upgrade. And the HomeKit Eve Cam indoor camera does what it promises, very well. FTC: We use auto affiliate links that generate revenue. Lake. Check out Homekit.Blog on YouTube for more Apple news:

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