Recently overhauled Apple Home app makes these devices smarter than ever – WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com

Apple HomeKit is now more convenient than ever

Apple hangs its hat on a streamlined, user-friendly experience. To that end, it offers periodic updates to its software, including operating systems such as macOS and iOS. At Apple’s latest Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced a sophisticated Apple Home app that smart home management significantly easier. This is great news for users who have already invested in Apple’s smart home ecosystem, as well as for potential buyers weighing the pros and cons of getting into it for the first time.

What is Apple HomeKit?

You need an Apple HomePod or the acclaimed Apple TV streaming device to break into the ecosystem. While there is a relatively high upfront cost, you can almost bet that HomeKit devices are worth it, in terms of user experience. Like most devices from Apple and their surrounding ecosystem, HomeKit is a bit of a walled garden, as developers go the extra mile to ensure compatibility and a streamlined experience.

Cost aside, the only downside to the HomeKit ecosystem is that fewer devices support it compared to Alexa and Google Assistant. However, that is changing as more consumers use it and developers put more resources into compatible devices.

How does the updated Apple Home app work?

The basic organization of the app marks the first noticeable change. Where previously there were separate tabs for categories such as ‘Rooms’ and ‘Automation’, things are now more logically arranged. Instead of the somewhat vague navigation options of the past, you can now go directly to “Climate”, “Lighting”, “Security” and other clearly labeled categories.

But convenience isn’t the only thing the updated app brings. A new multi-camera feature lets you view up to four camera images simultaneously. This allows you to quickly scan your entire security system at a glance, rather than waiting for an app to load individual feeds at a time when seconds can make a difference.

In addition to HomeKit-specific upgrades, iPhone lock screen updates in iOS 16 make HomeKit investments more attractive than ever. Proud iPhone owners can now customize the lock screen by adding widgets and preset configurations based on time of day, location, and other variables. It’s another way Apple is working hard to make its smart devices as easy to use as possible.

Apple HomeKit now supports the Matter ecosystem

Google’s newly developed Matter ecosystem, formerly known as Connected Home over IP or CHIP, aims to bring broad compatibility to the previously fragmented smart home space. A collective effort of smart home giants such as Google, Samsung SmartThings and Zigbee, Matter is poised to significantly improve interoperability between smart devices. It will also greatly expand the selection of smart devices in almost every category.

In addition to announcing the updated Home app, the 2022 WWDC revealed that Apple HomeKit will, in fact, be part of this new all-encompassing standard. That’s great news for current and future HomeKit buyers, as it minimizes the ecosystem’s biggest flaw.

Best Apple HomeKit smart devices

August 4th Gen Smart Lock

August 4th Gen Smart Lock

No matter which smart home ecosystem you use, August’s most sophisticated smart lock is one of the best picks. The reliable geofencing, integrated Wi-Fi radio and comprehensive feature set leave almost nothing to be desired in terms of security and convenience.

Sold by Amazon and DIY store

Ecobee Premium Smart Thermostat

Ecobee Premium Smart Thermostat

Few smart thermostats can keep you comfortable and save you money like Ecobee’s flagship. One of the best things about this thermostat is its support for multiple temperature and humidity sensing room sensors.

Sold by Amazon and DIY store

Arlo Pro 4 Security Camera

Arlo Pro 4 Security Camera

For indoor or outdoor use, it’s hard to beat this powerful security camera with high resolution and impressive HDR performance, plus highly effective color night vision. It connects directly to your Wi-Fi network and works best with the company’s cloud storage plan, which costs only about $3 per month.

Sold by Amazon

Eufy Solo IndoorCam P24

Eufy Solo IndoorCam P24

One look at the resolution, motion detection, and pan and tilt features of this wired indoor camera and you’d think it costs a fortune. In reality, it’s surprisingly affordable and has one of the best values ​​on a home security camera.

Sold by Amazon

Philips Hue starter pack

Philips Hue starter pack

If you’re a fan of premium smart home devices, you’ve probably heard of the Philips Hue smart lighting family. It consistently gets rave reviews from owners and experts alike for its powerful connectivity, advanced feature set, and easy-to-use device management.

Sold by Amazon and DIY store

Logitech Circle View Video Doorbell

Logitech Circle View Video Doorbell

As an exclusive Apple HomeKit device, it’s no surprise that the Circle View doorbell is compact and effective, with clean lines, no-nonsense operation and top-notch video quality. Its wide field of view, two-way audio, and color HD night vision make it a great choice for safety-conscious users.

Sold by Amazon

Sonos One smart speaker

Sonos One smart speaker

HomeKit users gravitate towards high-end devices, and the flagship Sonos One smart speaker fits the bill perfectly. It delivers surprisingly good sound for its size, along with an integrated microphone for voice control and reliable wireless connectivity.

Sold by Sonos and Amazon

Meross Smart Plug Mini

Meross Smart Plug Mini

Just because some electronics don’t have smarts built in doesn’t mean they can’t be part of an effective smart home. These smart plugs are reliable, programmable and support Apple HomeKit integration.

Sold by Amazon

Apple TV 4K

Apple TV 4K

Perfect for killing two birds with one stone, the high-end Apple TV delivers crisp 4K resolution and one of the most acclaimed streaming interfaces. The integrated HomeKit hub makes it the ideal centerpiece for a connected Apple smart home.

Sold by Amazon

Apple AirTag

Apple AirTag

Whether you’re constantly using your keys or want to track your bike in the event of theft, Apple’s revolutionary Bluetooth locator can help you keep tags on what’s important to you. They last about a year before the battery needs to be replaced, which is not difficult.

Sold by Amazon

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Chris Thomas writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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