How to Access Your iPhone's Thread Network

Cupertino, August 12, 2023

Thread Network Viewing on iOS

Thread simplifies our smart homes with reliable mesh networking technology without a vendor-specific hub. However, Thread works in the background, so to see what's going on when problems arise, you'll need to know how to view your Thread network. We'll show you how with three popular iOS apps.

What you need to view your Thread network

Before you can view your Thread network, you need a few things in addition to a compatible accessory. To get started, you'll need a Thread Border Router at home, such as an Apple TV or HomePod. You'll also need to download a third-party app on your iPhone, as Apple's Home app doesn't provide Thread details. The Eve for Matter & HomeKit app offers the most insight into your Thread network for free with no additional in-app purchases. Image Credit: Eve

Other options include Controller for HomeKit and the Home+ 6 app. However, the amount of data and terminology varies between apps, and some require payment to download, so the Eve for Matter & HomeKit app is a great place to start.

One last thing to note is that some details may only be available if you add a smart home product to Apple HomeKit from a specific vendor. In the case of Eve, you need an Eve Energy Smart Plug to view Routes and other additional information.

Thread network management and limitations

Although you can view your Thread network through an app, you cannot make any changes or adjustments at this time. However, knowing some Thread basics, as well as device details such as transport status, roles, and routes, can go a long way in troubleshooting connectivity issues. For example, looking at your device's transport status will tell you if it's currently using Thread or Bluetooth. If you're experiencing slow response times or reliability issues with your device, it could mean it's connecting via Bluetooth. If Thread performance is inconsistent when a specific device is assigned the leader or router role, you can temporarily remove it to allow for a reassignment. The same goes for Routes, as a single device can interrupt traffic in your mesh network.

Use the Eve app to view your Thread network

Launch the Eve for Matter & HomeKit app and tap OK when it asks permission to access your HomeKit data. Then tap Settings at the bottom of your screen. Now tap on Thread Network followed by Allow when it asks permission to connect to your local network. You should now see a list of all your compatible Thread devices. Tap on a device to view Thread details. Details include role, transport, thread status, capabilities, sleep interval, and routes, but some require an Eve Energy Smart Plug to view.

View discussion details via Controller for HomeKit

Launch the Controller for HomeKit app, tap Grant HomeKit access when it asks permission to see your HomeKit accessories, then tap OK to confirm. Then tap Accessories. Scroll to a room with a Thread device and tap the device name to access the settings. Now scroll down to view Thread details. Details include sleep interval, heart rate, current transport, thread node capabilities, thread OpenThread version, and thread status.

View your Thread network with Home+ 6

Launch the $14.99 Home+6 app, then tap OK when prompted to view your HomeKit home. Then tap the name of a room with a Thread device. Now tap the More... button in the top right corner of your screen and scroll down to access the device settings. Tap "Advanced Features" and scroll down to view Thread details. These include Sleep Interval, Ping, Heartbeat, Current Transport, Thread Node Capabilities, Thread OpenThread Version, and Thread Status.

Peek into Thread

With the right gear and apps, you can finally peek into your Thread network. While management is limited to read-only, just knowing the status of your Thread accessories can give you a starting point when it comes to troubleshooting your devices.

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