Apple offers a number of ways to control HomeKit. That can be by iPhone or iPad, or by barking orders at your HomePod. But the Apple Watch offers another way of commanding all those connected accessories - and it’s super easy.
The Watch has its own conveniences, the biggest being that it’s on you at all times. It can also make the process of turning up thermostat or closing the garage door super fast if you set it up right, and if you want to go totally hands-free (well, one hand in the air), Siri on the Apple Watch can also talk to your devices.
Here’s how to get HomeKit working efficiently on your Apple Watch. If you want some general guidance on how to get more out of HomeKit, check out our guide on that too.
Before anything else, sort your favorites
HomeKit support came to the Apple Watch very early on, so unless you've had one collecting dust in a cupboard for a few years, you’re probably going to have the Home app ready and raring to go. Needless to say you’ll need it downloaded on your paired iPhone first.
The Watch isn’t quite the HomeKit mainframe it is on the iPhone and iPad, but you can still do a lot from the wrist. The key to making it all work is organization. Open the Watch app and you’ll see it lists all of your scenes up the top with all of your favorited accessories in a list below, in the order they’re set in the iPhone or iPad app. That means you have to scroll down to get to the one you want, which becomes more tricky when you have a lot of paired HomeKit devices.
So if you plan on using your Apple Watch to control HomeKit, the first thing you need to do is make sure you vet your favorites so they really are your favs. Also be sure to order them .- you can do that by hitting the 'Edit' button at the top right hand of the iPhone app.
Another thing: the Apple Watch lets you add complications to the watch face, which don't just give you at-a-glance data but let you open apps much faster. Adding the Home complication will give you easier access to your smart home control panel, so we'd advise it.
Controlling from the Watch screen
Once you've done that, you'll be able to see all of your favorites devices and scenes listed as soon as you open up the Watch app. The options are more limited than they are on the iPhone app as the Watch counterpart is more pared down, but there's still plenty you can do.
For example, you can change the brightness of a Philips Hue bulb by tapping on the ‘more options’ icon on the desired lamp and then rolling the Digital Crown (or sliding a finger). You can even swipe across and change the color to one of the pre-set options while you’re at it. You just can't make specific color edits here on the Watch like you can on the iPhone. If you have a HomeKit-compatible security camera like the D-Link Omna set up, the Watch will even let you see the live feed on the wrist, one of its most impressive offerings.
Top tip: If you have multiple homes set, you can change the home you're controlling with a Force Touch on the Apple Watch screen. Once you've hit 'Change Home' you'll be shown a list of your homes to choose from.
Call on Siri
When it comes to using Siri on the Watch to control HomeKit, it’s as nimble as you get on the iPhone. So you can ask the obvious basics like “turn off the livingroom lights” but also more specific commands, like “Turn the livingroom lights down 50%”.
We've got a full list of the best Siri commands for HomeKit, but here are a few others to try from the Watch. Note that the scenes will obviously be called whatever you named them.
“Hey Siri, set my goodnight scene”
"Hey Siri, set the temperature to 60 degrees"
"Hey Siri, close the garage door"
"Hey Siri, make the livingroom light red"
"Hey Siri, what's the humidity in my bedroom?" (Obviously, you'll need a connected air quality monitor like the Netatmo Healthy Home Coach for this).
HomeKit and HomePod guides
46 essential Siri commands for controlling HomeKit and the Apple HomePod
How to control your Apple HomePod using your iPhone
How to stream and control Spotify on your Apple HomePod
The best Apple HomeKit compatible devices: Lights, plugs, thermostats and more
Apple TV and Siri guide: How it works and essential commands revealed