Need third-party applications to update your HomeKit firmware? - Stacey on IoT

Cupertino, November 7, 2021

On our latest IoT podcast, Sean called the home phone line with a HomeKit question. He appreciates the ability to add HomeKit devices to his smart home directly through the Apple Home app. He wants to know if the device manufacturer's applications are needed to update the firmware on those devices.

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. At least for today.

It's true that you don't have to install new apps to add a HomeKit device to your home. The provisioning functionality is essentially built into the Apple Home app in iOS. And the Home app will tell you when there's a firmware update for any of your connected devices.

However, that's where the HomeKit worlds end. If one of your devices needs a firmware update, you must have the device manufacturer's mobile app installed for that device. And it is from that application that you initiate the update.

I saw this on my own HomeKit devices. The Apple Home app told me that an Eve update is available. I had to enter the Eve app to actually update the device.

So I still have most, if not all, third-party mobile software on my iPhone, mainly for this reason. However, I have hidden them so that they are not on the home screen of my phone. They are available when I need them and I don't see when I don't have them.

I double-checked the Apple HomeKit Developer site just to see if there were any native firmware update APIs or features available, but I found it empty. So for now, you'll need to keep those smart third-party apps installed.

To hear Sean's question in its entirety, as well as our discussion on this topic, sign up for the IoT Podcast below:

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