My experience with HomeKit, SmartThings and Alexa ... and Why I chose Homekit

Cupertino, June 4, 2021

** Multi-platform devices **: A bunch of Philips Hue bulbs, Meross and Wemo smart sockets and Aqara buttons and buttons. Since someone who likes to jump between iPhone / Android and smart platforms at home, has sworn to always buy accessories with multiple platforms. I tried the nano leaf bulbs and I didn't think it was too much of an upgrade compared to the Philips shade bulbs, so I was left with the more cross-platform brand ** Homekit specific devices **: 2 mini HomePods, connected to Apple TV 4K Ethernet (thread is not activated), iPhone ** Smartthings specific devices **: WiFi Smartthings with built-in hub ** Alexa specific devices **: Echo hub and 2 echo points ** General ** - I played with several smart platforms home in the last 6 months, and the ones I focused on were homekit, smartthings and Amazon Alexa. In general, I don't stress my smart home as much as other people here, but I like the automation that all these services offer. I will divide the post into different categories and you will see why I chose homekit in the end, even if it is far from perfect. * I want to let go of the fact that I'm not very concerned about the privacy of Alexa devices, so keep this in mind as I compare and contrast the two devices. ** Voice Assistant **: Basically it was Siri vs. Alexa, because I just used the smartthings ability to port my devices to the Alexa app. And yes, Alexa SIRS SIR out of the water in terms of general questions and with the skills that Alexa has pretty crazy what she is able to do. For example, I was able to connect my ATT account and whenever my IPHONE called to notify me of calls on my echo hub, this feature is not available with HomePod and iPhone, even though both are first-party products !! !! It's a small thing, but I really liked this feature and at least let me know if anyone is calling and I'm not next to my phone. Alexa routines are just as powerful, if not more powerful, than Siri shortcuts when it comes to echo and HomePod devices. I think routines work more consistently and have many more options than HomePod. For example, in addition to controlling my smart home, I can ask Alexa to "ask X to play white noise" just by introducing it into the routine. At first I thought that integration with other applications would be wrong, but it turned out again and again that it is something worthwhile. Plus, I don't have an echo show, but it's a neat concept. It makes too much sense for Apple to do it with FaceTime and anything else, and I would welcome that product, because I predict that a home dashboard would be useful. ** Reliability: ** Man, here's my homekit. I mean it should be more reliable because it works on an iPhone, but damn once I updated my homekit wifi it was solid ROCK. I have location-based automation that runs when I leave / get home and ALWAYS works. ALWAYS. In the meantime, with Alexa and smarttthings, I've had so many problems with location automation that it doesn't trigger, and this is annoying because I really think the smart home is shining here. For example, in homekit I have an automation that runs 50 seconds after I get home (to take into account the car -> door time) to unlock the door, turn on the lights and listen to music. And this needs no confirmation, as I have an additional smart socket that runs as a "virtual switch" that triggers when I get home. In this case, it is very useful here to convert homekit to shortcuts. Even if I get a notification every time my lock unlocks or locks to make sure it doesn't unlock randomly, I'm VERY confident in this automation and it runs 100% of the time without false positives. On the other hand, man's intelligent things were disappointing. Their automation conditions are strong, but location-based automations are so insecure that they could not be used. Alexa was fine and quite reliable, but she wasn't as reliable as a homekit. Also, the speed of the homekit when I asked for something HomePod mini was unmatched compared to Alexa. Almost instantly honest, it was surprising. ** Other **: The homekit of the control center is wonderful. I know that Android phones have similar things to smartthings, but on the iPhone, the availability of the homekit control center is unbeatable. Similarly, being able to use Siri on the Apple Watch to unlock my door when I go for a run without my phone is one of the things I literally couldn't live with. For Alexa, the app is awful. Just so bad and it takes 5-6 clicks to start a fan. The Smartthings app is decent and I like the Samsung interface, but the other downfalls were what killed me with smartthings. ** Things that can be improved with homekit: ** In a special order, here are some things that can be improved in homekit (most are very little hanging fruits) & # x200B; * why doesn't the home application display all the automation conditions ??? WHY I NEED TO DOWNLOAD A THIRD PARTY APPLICATION FOR ALL TERMS TO BE AVAILABLE * This is less about homekit, but WHY I can't set HomePod mini as the "default" Apple TV player, as HomePod can. This makes no sense and is just one of those things that Apple does for no good reason. * ** The error in which personal requests for another significant person do not work **. This has been happening for over a year and is almost enough to get me off the platform. Fortunately, my OS doesn't use Siri on the HomePod other than "turn on / off the lights", but my god is so frustrating. * IDK if this is already possible, but I want to know when it ran an automation, why can't it send me a notification saying "Automation X ran" with a cancel option or something. Similarly, I would like to see the device history when the devices are turned on / off. * Even with an excellent Wi-Fi connection, when I open the app at home, I still see the "update" on all my devices for 1-2 seconds, which just seems inappropriate. It should always load in the background so that when I open the app it is ready to work with the updated status of my devices. * Homekit MUST have several product categories, such as vaccines, kitchen appliances, etc. This is a smart HOME and you need to open it up a little more. ** TL: DR **: Homekit is much more reliable than Alexa and smartthings, which follows now. In iOS 15, Apple needs to break down long-term bugs and ideally add more product categories and, in the future, launch an echo-type device that can be used for FaceTime, intercom and control at home. With the iPhone's excellent location-based automation, I can confidently run unconfirmed automations that prepare my home for me as I enter.

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