Well, Apple sure seems to have finally brought us into the future! Okay, well, at least from a sci-fi movie’s point of view. If you’re an Apple-head, you’ve doubtlessly noticed a home icon on your iPhone’s (also available on iPad and iPod touch) desktop upon installing the September-13-released iOS 10. Not sure what this app is about yet? Well, read on!
In order to fully explore the Home App, let’s brush up on the HomeKit, the very foundation of the subject matter. For those who aren’t already familiar with HomeKit, it is a software platform that relies on Siri (doubtlessly, you know about Siri) to control lights, locks and other smart home devices. Basically, HomeKit is something that you’d expect to see in a vast number of futuristic movies. Without the HomeKit software package, the Home App bears no use. However, the app in question plays a vital role in bringing the HomeKit tools together, into a clean and user-friendly interface.
What is the Home App?
Well, according to Apple, the Home app lets you control any “Works with Apple HomeKit” accessory, as well as organize your accessories by room, use Siri to control your home (wow, the future really is here!) and manage multiple accessories at the same time. Before this app was released, you had to use third-party software in order to configure and make sense of the HomeKit-compatible smart home products.
So, how does the Home app work? Well, as mentioned, like the majority of Apple products, it is very user-friendly. Upon launching it, a quick tutorial is displayed, which runs you through the basics of the app. Once the tutorial is complete, it will display a list of HomeKit devices within range that are set-up and running. After you’ve decided which devices you want to label as “Favorites”, you will be prompted to name your Home (you can do this even if you haven’t set-up any smart devices yet). Organize devices into “Rooms” and then, the best part kicks in – setting automation rules. If you don’t feel like you are in a futuristic movie by now, this will get the juices flowing.
The Home app offers three main tabs, in order to provide easier control of the smart gadgets:
- The Home tab
- The Rooms tab
- The Automation tab
The Home Tab
The first tab offers controlling the smart-home gear that is most frequently used – all your “favorites” are displayed here. Turning a light on or off, or activating a scene is as simple as a screen touch or two. Using a long press allows you access to in-detail options such as brightness and color for your TV. In fact, using the Home app has turned out quite useful when I bought my brand new smart television set– the professionals in charge with my TV installation were introduced with the technology and configured my freshly bought device in a matter of minutes!
The Rooms Tab
Organizing your devices and grouping the voice commands is another great benefit of the Home app. The Rooms tab offers the view of all scenes and devices. Unlike the main tab, this one displays all scenes involving a device in a room, as well as all assigned accessories.
The Automation Tab
This one is perhaps the most fun part of the Home app experience; or at least it was so for me. Here, you can set up rules that help your smart home anticipate your needs. I’m going to let you explore this tab on your own, seeing as how I had a blast setting it up.
I am very happy that Apple has finally provided us with a native app to bring all the useful HomeKit tools into one user-friendly family. The whole experience is great and, although I might have some ideas for improvement, I am sure that the company is already working on these as we speak.