All the best new features and changes coming

Cupertino, September 13, 2019

iOS 13 is just days away from the release, resulting in an update to the Apple Home app and changes in the operation of HomeKit.

90% of the new changes are quite minor, but they eliminate some of our biggest nonsense with the application, refining the application and the overall experience. It also incorporates other accessories such as AirPlay 2 speakers in HomeKit.

Read it: The best Apple HomeKit devices

We played with the iOS 13 beta, which is still pretty buggy and lacks a few items (at this point, we certainly recommend waiting for the full launch). Here's what has changed, what we love so far and what's next (index: mainly the features of HomePod).

More HomePod-friendly

iOS 13 brings the HomePod further into HomeKit with the Playback widget, which is usually found in the Control Center, now appearing in the Home app (though it's a little buggy in the beta).

In addition, all AirPlay 2 speakers can be integrated with Scenes and Automations in iOS 13 so that music starts playing when you come home or stops when you leave the house. This involves defining a custom volume.

Unfortunately, despite the promise of a multi-user support for HomePod with iOS 13, the feature has been postponed to "later this fall." The transfer function, which will allow you to transfer music from your phone to the HomePod, is also delayed.

All the best new features of HomeKit in iOS 13

New looks, better animations

The iOS 13 Home app offers several backgrounds from which to choose - defocused colorful clouds instead of older gradients - but you'll still be able to use your own photos.

Better yet, there are now more specific icons for some devices such as moisture sensors, leak alarms and smoke detectors. This includes our Netatmo indoor air monitor, which has a new icon to indicate air quality.

All the best new features of HomeKit in iOS 13

More sensitive accessory layout

Here is an example of a small change that already gives us great joy: the unification of peripherals. For example, while before the smart iDevices socket, which included two plugs, appeared as two separate accessories in the Home application, it was more than one. But tap on it and we can see and switch both taken in the same window. It's much more sensible.

All the best new features of HomeKit in iOS 13

Another example is lighting. Now, when you select a light in HomeKit, you get a brightness adjuster and a shortcut panel to your favorite colors. The thermostats have also been redesigned, bringing all controls (humidity, mode, etc.) to a single screen.

Speaking of unification, when you watch a stream of cameras in Home, you can now quickly access any other camera in the same room, using a new icon that appears at the bottom of the screen. ;screen.

One last thing we like: Third-party bridges, such as the Philips Hue Bridge, are no longer displayed as separate devices in the rooms where they are located. Instead, you'll find them now by heading to the settings, where all bridges are listed together.

All the best new features of HomeKit in iOS 13

Apple TV multi-user support

We have not yet been able to try this one because it also requires tvOS 13, which is not available in public beta. But at launch, a multi-user support will be available, allowing different household menus to have their own interface, recommendations and playlists.

Read it: How to set up an Apple HomeKit hub

And like the HomePod, the Apple TV can be added to Scenes and Automations in iOS 13, but only to play music or to play / pause a video being played. However, you can use a Siri shortcut to turn on the Apple TV and, for example, open the Hulu application.

All the best new features of HomeKit in iOS 13

Siri automations and shortcuts

The list of automations in iOS 13 is cleaner and more orderly, but it is also functionally better. This is largely thanks to the Siri shortcuts, which allow you to integrate other applications and devices into HomeKit in an interesting way. For example, an automation can be triggered by an alarm or when the weather app indicates that it has fallen between a set temperature.

Siri shortcuts do not work well with HomeKit at the time of writing this article, but we will give a more detailed discussion of their use when iOS 13 goes online for the most people.

All the best new features of HomeKit in iOS 13

HomeKit secure video

We've already explained how it will work, but in summary, Secure Video will give users the ability to store camera sequences in Apple's iCloud. The footage is encrypted locally on your HomeKit hub before it is sent to Apple servers.

Secure Video will not count towards the limit of your iCloud package, but you will need more than the free 5GB plan to use this feature. The 200 GB level only supports one camera, while the 2 TB plan will support up to five.

These are just a few of the new changes in iOS 13 that we love so far. There will be others, and as iOS 13 will arrive in full, we will dig and explain everything that is new.

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