Preview: The Home App for Apple HomeKit

Apple is hosting the 2016 World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) this week in San Francisco. During the keynote speech on Monday, Apple announced a lot of exciting information regarding iOS10, Apple HomeKit, and the new Home app. This was the first time HomeKit was covered at WWDC since it was released two years ago. ConnectSense was able to get the developers copy of iOS10 and explore the exciting Home app.

The home screen of the Home app shows the user what is currently going on with their devices as well as any of their favorite scenes or devices. Any accessories added to HomeKit will have the option of being added to the favorites section. All of the favorites can be controlled with the touch of a button from the home screen. It is also incredibly easy to change the home in which devices are being controlled if the user has multiple homes. Editing the settings and layout of the home screen are very manageable and simple. In the top right corner of the screen there is a “+” that allows for the creation of scenes and accessories. When creating a scene, there are often suggestions for appropriate applications of scenes, but the user also has the option to name the scene themselves. The user has the ability to add whatever accessories they want to the scene; then they can alter the states of the accessories. An example would be a scene that locks the front door, closes the garage door, turns off the lights, and sets the thermostat. Before the scene is finalized, there is an option to test the scene as well as add it to the favorites menu.

The rooms screen allows the user to break down their devices a little bit more. There are still scenes as there was on the home screen, but this time there is an option to select different rooms instead of homes (e.g., garage, living room, bedroom). Various accessories and scenes can be added within a room environment, giving the user more power over devices.

The last aspect of the Home app is the automation screen. There isn’t much in this portion of the app mostly because this is beta one, but it is safe to assume more will be in this section down the line. Even though there isn’t a lot of functionality to the automation tab, there is an interesting fact included. It states that Apple TV is essentially a gateway when the user is away from home. In addition to this, it says that an iPad that is left at home can be used as a gateway as well.

The iOS10 software provides a lot of power for Apple HomeKit. Besides the Home app, the user is also able to control their favorite accessories and scenes from the Control Panel. Simply swipe up from the bottom of the screen for an easy way to control devices. Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting software.

Apple just announced the Home app at WWDC 2016. In this episode, Adam Justice of ConnectSense gives you a tour of the beta version of the Home app and shows you some of it's coolest features. Questions? Comment below or tweet Adam at @adamjustice ConnectSense on Amazon:

What You Missed About Apple HomeKit During WWDC 2016

Apple HomeKit is continuing to become a more powerful smart home automation tool. Apple announced today at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) that they have developed a “Home” app for Apple HomeKit-enabled smart home products. The Home app will be used to aggregate home automation devices, such as the ConnectSense Smart Outlet, getting them to work together in an easy and secure fashion. The HomeKit update that comes with iOS10 will include more categories of smart devices to help user’s organize their devices more efficiently. The Home app is perfectly integrated into iOS10, making it accessible from the home screen and the control panel. The Apple Home app is supported on the iPad and Apple Watch as well.

The app itself is a central point of organization for a connected home that allows the user to create a personalized screen. The various smart devices the user owns can be separated into scenes. For example, a “goodnight” scene would turn off all of the lights upstairs and set the thermostat to 70 degrees. These scenes and any accessories can be controlled with the touch of a button within the app itself or by using the control panel. The scenes also interact with Siri voice controls, making it extremely simple to control devices. The app also has geo-fences that allow scenes or devices to be activated based off of location. An example of this would be the garage door opening when the user pulls into the driveway.

The Home app also creates very sleek and detailed notifications that can appear on the lock screen. An example of a notification would be if someone was at the user’s home. A notification would alert the user if someone is at the door. Then they can use 3D touch to access a live feed of the person standing at the door and display it on the lock screen.

This app will also give the user secure, remote-access through their AppleTV. The AppleTV is always on and connected to the network in a user’s home. This makes it a secure point for remote access and automation when away from home. The communication between the app and HomeKit devices can contain very sensitive information, which is why Apple uses end-to-end encryption to protect the privacy of all users.

ConnectSense was featured on the Apple HomeKit slide, demonstrated that ConnectSense is a key partner, creating great devices for HomeKit. The Siri voice control options with the Smart Outlet will allow for easy integration with the Home app. This new app will allow the Smart Outlet and other devices to be controlled in one place, allowing for much greater control over a home environment.