Can I use Siri to control non-HomeKit devices?

Cupertino, October 9, 2021

Source: Luke Filipowicz / iMore

Best answer: It depends on your device. Some smart home devices support Siri shortcuts, even if they don't work with HomeKit. Others can be added to the HomeKit that allows Siri, through firmware updates or with software such as Homebridge. Without the HomeKit, shortcuts, or software like Homebridge, though, you won't be able to use Siri with your devices.

Siri without HomeKit: Your smart home device is the key

While HomeKit has certainly come a long way over the years, there are still a ton of devices on the market that do not support the Apple platform. If you don't pay special attention while shopping or impulsively buying a device for sale, you may lose Siri voice control if it doesn't work with HomeKit.

However, all hope is not lost. You might be able to get your device working with Siri if you don't mind working a little. First, check the device application to see if an update is available. Some devices - such as the Abode iota Security Kit and Brilliant Home Control - have gained HomeKit support through free firmware updates after release. If your device still doesn't work with HomeKit, you may be able to add Siri via shortcuts or Homebridge.

Siri without HomeKit: shortcuts for saving

Siri control of the basic Malouf application

Source: Christopher Close / iMore

Siri shortcuts - the personal automation app built into your iOS devices is not just to speed up your workflow. The best Siri smart home gadgets, supported by shortcuts, work outside of the Home app, allowing voice controls and opening doors to types of devices, such as coffee machines that are outside the HomeKit world.

Check the device box for any references to Siri or the "Works with Siri" logo. Otherwise, search the accompanying application to see if there is an option for "Add to shortcuts" or "Add to Siri". This option is usually in menus, such as device settings, automation, or voice assistant controls.

In most cases, adding the device to Siri will only take a few touches. During the setup process, you'll be able to assign a custom phrase to your device, such as Hey Siri - turn on the lights, and once added, you'll be able to shout commands to your iOS or HomePod devices.

Siri with HomeKit: Homebridge and more

Hoobs Starter Kit and packaging

Source: Christopher Close / iMore

If all else fails - and if you have a little patience, you may be able to get your device to work with HomeKit through software solutions like Homebridge. As the name suggests, Homebridge bridges the gap between your device and HomeKit by acting as a server, allowing it to function through the Home application as an "uncertified accessory."

The best part about Homebridge is that it's completely free - if you want to run it on your own hardware. You can run Homebridge on your Mac or devices like the Raspberry Pi, but to keep everything running, your device will always need to be turned on.

Because this process can be a bit complicated, we recommend using a device such as the HOOBS starter kit - a simple plug and play box that comes with a custom version of Homebride pre-installed. With HOOBS, you can search for plugins from vendors such as Nest, Ring, SmartThings, Wyze, and more, all with just a few clicks and minimal setup.

For more details on Homebridge or other software alternatives such as Home Assistant, see our guide: How to connect incompatible accessories to HomeKit.

Convenient orders

Homepod Mini White Cropped

HomePod mini - Smart speaker

Hey Siri - do the job!

Apple's HomePod mini offers convenient voice commands for hundreds of smart devices at home - including some that don't work with HomeKit via Siri shortcuts.

Connect and use

Hoobs starting set

HOOBS All In One Box

Homebridge for the rest of us

HOOBS All In One Box allows you to connect many non-HomeKit compatible accessories to your home with a simple plug-and-play design and an easy-to-use web interface.

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