Apple HomeKit is booming. Thanks to iOS 11, it's easier than ever for smart home companies to get their products working HomeKit – and the list of compatible devices is growing fast.
That's a great thing, as Apple HomeKit wants to unify your smart home, putting your iPhone, iPad and Siri in control of everything from smart thermostats to connected lightbulbs and more.
It's the tech in the background that lets all of your gadgets talk to each other and everything is controlled from one place: Home, a dedicated app that arrived with iOS 10, making it easier than ever to get started.
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If you're an existing Apple user who wants to be part of the HomeKit smart home revolution, you'll need to know what works and what doesn't. HomeKit accessories and devices are sold with a 'Works with Apple HomeKit' badge. Some older devices that rely on Apple's old hardware-based HomeKit capability also use 'HomeKit edition' as an identifier, while newer products are getting software updates and, as such, might not even mention HomeKit on the box.
All of this can make jumping into HomeKit a bit of work. For some help with getting started, check out our list below of the best Apple HomeKit devices – and we'll keep things updated as time goes on…
HomeKit compatible lighting
Lighting is a good place to start in any smart home and Apple HomeKit works with the main two smart bulb systems: Philips Hue and Lifx, as well as some smaller names.
Why would you want purple lighting in the bedroom and fuschia in the living room? Because you can, of course. Colours and brightness can now be controlled within the Apple ecosystem through Siri and, if you're an existing Hue user, it's simple to port all the info needed from your old bridge.
If you're already got Hue'll you need to pick up the new HomeKit Upgrade bridge, otherwise go for the HomeKit compatible starter kit. Then you can also add a Lightstrip Plus, Downlight or Hue Go or to the mix.
If you've wanted to jump into smart lights but didn't want to deal with hubs or pay for Philips Hue, until now you were pretty much out of luck. Thankfully, Lifx has finally updated its bulbs with HomeKit support, so you can control them from Siri or the dedicated Home app.
You won't have to buy any of the new bulbs either, as this is all done via software update. You can check out Lifx's complete lineup of compatible bulbs at its website.
Nanoleaf Aurora is a modular smart lighting system that you can stick to your walls and windows to make beautiful designs. It comes as a set of triangles which will glow and/or flash whatever colours you wish and, just to top it all off, it's entirely voice controlled. Buy a starter kit and add panels as you go. Beaut.
Here's where the HomeKit bit comes in: you can use Siri (or Alexa) to control your lights with your voice, plus its mad new dodecahedron Remote can be used with Nanoleaf lighting and other HomeKit gadgets. And the new Rhythm module, which senses music playing in the room and then puts on a show to match, is HomeKit friendly too.
This HomeKit-enabled Dimmer Kit lets you chat to Siri to control your smart bulbs or lamps with the plug-in dimmers.
It's not the most aesthetically pleasing set up, but there are lots of features – from automatic scenes and schedules to geofencing when you leave and enter the house – and the Caséta line works with just about everything: HomeKit, Google Assistant, Nest, Logitech remotes and Honeywell thermostats, so you don't need to worry about locking yourself in with a smart home system.
HomeKit compatible heating
With Ecobee, Honeywell and Tado thermostats on board with HomeKit, the big omission here is Nest and unfortunately that's not likely to change soon, as Nest and Google smart home kit get closer in order to rival Amazon and Apple.
The latest Ecobee4 has Alexa controls but don't worry, the 3 Lite is HomeKit compatible. It's a stylish, minimalist design for the touchscreen thermostat itself so it'll look good on your walls. Features wise, you can control it from your iPhone or iPad, set up IFTTT recipes with other smart home kit and you can set up as many as 32 sensors around the house in hot or cold spots.
Honeywell Lyric Round
Honeywell announced the latest version of its smart thermostat in 2016. The new Lyric is identical to previous models but adds HomeKit support – you can set the temperature from your iPhone, get alerts when it needs maintenance and there's also geofencing so the Lyric will know when you enter and leave your house. The cheaper Lyric T5 and T6 also work with HomeKit.
These can be integrated with other HomeKit devices, such as Honeywell's Lyric smart cameras and security systems, plus the smart thermostat is compatible with Samsung's SmartThings and Alexa too. This is your answer if you like the look of Nest but you're sure you want a HomeKit home.
Tado's Smart Thermostat, its wireless receiver and its Smart Radiator Thermostats all work with Apple HomeKit. The additional radiator valves mean you can set up zones around your house and Tado puts a big emphasis on geo-location so that as you get closer to home, its system starts to warm your home up so it's ready. This works well but is a problem if you're staying local.
The app is clean and easy, the set-up can also control your hot water and Tado is ecosystem agnostic so pretty futureproof too.
Netatmo has a HomeKit edition of its smart thermostat so look out for that label specifically. This allows for remote control of your heating via iPhone/iPad both at home and away.
The Auto Adapt program is designed to learn your habits by predicting when you'll turn the heating on – we haven't tested this yet but look out for a review soon. The design is quite funky (thanks Starck), you get an Energy Savings report and it's on the cheaper end of connected HomeKit thermostats. HomeKit friendly radiator valves are on their way.
HomeKit compatible smart cameras
Still a fair few gaps in the HomeKit list when it comes to smart security cameras – Netatmo, D-Link and Logitech are all present and correct but Nest, Canary and Somfy are missing.
Logitech Circle 2
HomeKit is still starving for smart security cameras, so it's good news that the Circle 2 is now available with HomeKit support. Logitech's versatile, weatherproof camera can work indoors and out, with wired and wireless options, and can stick on all manner of walls and surfaces. However, only the wired version is HomeKit compatible for now.
You'll be able to use its motion sensing powers to trigger home automation, tell Siri what to show you and even control it from your Apple Watch. There's also a $99.99-per-month subscription that gives you person detection and activity zones. The Circle 2 works seamlessly though the accessories do jack up the price.
Netatmo Presence Outdoor
There's no denying that Netatmo's outdoor security cam looks the part. And by that we mean it looks ugly as sin but should deter any wrong'uns about the place. The biggest plus here is that there are no costly subscriptions to pay for – you can record to an SD card, Dropbox or a server. The Full HD camera also has a built-in floodlight which you can remotely control via the app or set up to come on if it detects motion.
Netatmo's other trick comes via its person detection algorithms which can distinguish between a person, animal and car and ping an alert to your phone to keep you informed.
D-Link Omna 180
One of the first HomeKit friendly gadgets, the D-Link Omna isn't as fully featured as some smart home cameras but it is on the affordable side. It records in 1080p and has a 180-degree lens, as the name suggests, with extras like night vision, two-way talk as well as a microSD slot.
HomeKit support means you can view your D-Link feed and control the camera away from home via the Apple Home app on your iPhone or iPad (once you've set up an iPad or Apple TV as a home hub that is).
There are plenty of single purpose smart home devices that are compatible with Apple HomeKit, plus some wider systems of sensors and physical controllers too. Here's the best of the rest.
Logitech Pop Home Switch
Smart home control buttons are becoming ever more prevalent. The Logitech Pop Home Switch went live back in August 2017, but it's only more recently that HomeKit compatibility was added.
The Pop jumps onboard your smart home's Wi-Fi and scans for compatible devices it can control. You then just configure the scenes you want it to perform – turning down the lights to get ready for bed, opening your smart blinds in the morning and so on. There's a starter kit which comes with two Pop Home Switches and a hub and you can add on extra Pop buttons too.
First Alert Onelink Wi-Fi
Nest kind of has the smart smoke and CO detecting market tapped up, but don't discard First Alert if you're looking for some automated HomeKit compatibility.
The alarm, which replaces your current wired device (a battery powered version is also available), will alert you with notifications in the event of a smoke or carbon monoxide emergency and the HomeKit integration means you can run tests and alter mood lighting directly from your iPhone.
August Smart Lock Pro
August's famous smart lock has become even more clever. The Smart Lock Pro still uses a Bluetooth connection to your device to open up as you approach, but now it comes with a bridge that let's you control your lock from anywhere. It's also got a new feature called DoorSense that checks if your door is actually closed before auto-locking.
Smarter alerts will tell you if your door has been opened for a longer time, too. And of course, it also works with a key, if your phone runs out of battery. iPhone owners can use Siri to lock and unlock doors using voice commands.
Hunter Symphony and Signal
Hunter's Wi-Fi enabled Symphony and Signal ceiling fans work with Apple HomeKit too. That means Siri control, as ever, and integration with other HomeKit products including creating scenes for fans and smart bulbs as you move from room to room in your house or get ready for bed.
Knowing your home isn't just about how to get that dodgy toilet flush to work every time. Nothing escapes the attention of the Elgato Eve range, which consists of four separate sensors (room, weather, energy, door and window) that will grant you immediate access to your house's humidity levels, air quality, and temperature – and even the air pressure outside.
Elgato's smart, energy monitoring plug and light switch are also be HomeKit compatible, though its smart bulbs haven't showed up on the list of devices yet.
iDevices Outdoor Switch
Your friends might be on top of home automation behind closed doors but what about outside? This is the first rain-tight smart plug to give options for those who want to have Siri-controlled lights, or maybe get the outdoor party started while still plating up in the kitchen. The rest of the iDevices HomeKit line-up is rounded out by a smart bulb socket and a regular smart plug.
Apple, obviously, has a lot of pull in the tech world. There are millions upon millions of people with iOS devices who want to jump into the world of smart home technology and, by extension, need HomeKit support.
iOS 11 is out, and that means a boom in HomeKit-compatible devices is underway. The difference lies in the way Apple now authenticates devices for its platform. Previously, Apple required a special chip inserted into products, making it difficult for manufacturers. That's been changed to a much simpler software authentication, which means all kinds of products are just a software update away from the HomeKit ecosystem.
At CES, we got word of upcoming HomeKit compatible tech including: the FirstAlert OneLink Safe and Sound; a new version of the Belkin WeMo Bridge; the Netgear Arlo baby monitor/camera; Kohler's smart bathroom tech; Elgato's Eve Button controller; iDevices Smart Switch and Moen's U By Moen Smart Shower.
Not as much as Alexa or Google Assistant had at the show but still plenty to look forward to. Keep your eyes peeled. Especially for this bad boy…
If you're looking for a HomeKit compatible smart speaker, there really is no alternative but Apple's own HomePod. It's not actually out yet but it's up for pre-order and goes on sale on 9 February, so not long to wait.
Siri will host the proceedings in this device, allowing you to control your other HomeKit devices. She'll of course also be able to answer your queries, and Apple will leverage Apple Music to turn her into a DJ of sorts, spitting out tunes based on your requests, like what the number one song in 1973 was. The big thing, according to Apple, is that the HomePod will use spatial awareness to specifically design room-filling sound to your environment.