The Home app in iOS 10

It’s taken a while, but iOS 10 gives HomeKit a much needed boost, in part thanks to a brand new app

Mac Format - - APPLE HOME -

We’ve seen some amaz­ing gad­gets and de­vices in Ap­ple Home in re­cent months, from colour-chang­ing light­ing and mu­si­cal fridges to more prac­ti­cal heat­ing and health­care prod­ucts. All of them can be con­trolled from an iOS app, but things start to get com­pli­cated as you add more and more de­vices to your home. When you leave for work each morn­ing, you might want to turn off your lights and heat­ing and turn on your se­cu­rity cam­era. Switch­ing be­tween apps to do all that could take so long that it’d be quicker to do things the old-fash­ioned way: by hand.

Ap­ple de­signed HomeKit to solve that prob­lem by al­low­ing de­vices from dif­fer­ent man­u­fac­tur­ers to work to­gether. So in­stead of us­ing three dif­fer­ent apps to con­trol your lights, heat­ing and se­cu­rity cam­era, you can use HomeKit to link your de­vices to­gether and con­trol them all with a sin­gle com­mand.

That’s a great idea, but when HomeKit launched back in 2014 it was buried in the depths of iOS, and was sim­ply ig­nored by most mak­ers of home au­to­ma­tion de­vices. Thank­fully, iOS 10 raises HomeKit’s pro­file, and pro­vides ma­jor new fea­tures to help get the ball rolling for your smart home. Com­ing home Im­por­tant tech­ni­cal changes to HomeKit in iOS 10 al­low it to work with a wider range of de­vices. We were sur­prised to find HomeKit didn’t orig­i­nally work with se­cu­rity cam­eras, so the ad­di­tion of this in iOS 10 will help open up the large and im­por­tant home se­cu­rity mar­ket for Ap­ple. Withings and Ca­nary have told us they plan to add HomeKit sup­port to their ex­ist­ing cam­eras, while D-Link is

plan­ning a new one for later this year.

Home is avail­able on iPad as well as iPhone, so you can eas­ily check on and con­trol things around your above as you work or re­lax.

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