In 2015, the first HomeKit products with Apple’s MFi (“Made for iPhone”) certification went on sale or up for pre-order. The certification ensured that these smart-home devices came with an authentication chip and had undergone rigorous testing to get Apple’s official seal of approval. At the Worldwide Developers Conference in June 2016, the company announced its Home app, which rolled out during the latter half of last year. Home lets you control all your HomeKit-compatible devices through the app, or via your iPhone’s Control Center.
Now that Apple’s HomePod speaker is available, it will function as a hub with Siri built in. Previously, an Apple TV was needed to control devices remotely and interactions took place through an iPhone or iPad. Many HomeKit devices are also compatible with Amazon speakers and Google Home devices, so you can use voice control with a variety of speakers.
Apple’s first big partners for its smart-home platform included Philips, Haier, and Honeywell. Devices from these manufacturers have slowly trickled out since then. Apple’s strict certification process was blamed for the slow rollout of devices, especially when compared to the number of devices Amazon’s Alexa can control. In June 2017, Apple announced device makers would be able to authenticate their devices through software alone, no chip required. In the ensuing months, the release of HomeKit-compatible products has picked up.
During a quarterly earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared how he uses HomeKit in his own house: “When I leave the house, a simple tap on my iPhone turns the lights off, adjusts the thermostat down and locks the doors. When I return to my house in the evening as I near my home, the house prepares itself for my arrival automatically by using a simple geofence. This level of home automation was unimaginable just a few years ago, and it’s here today with iOS and HomeKit.”
Now that Siri is in a speaker, that interaction will probably change dramatically. Voice commands are far more convenient than pulling out and unlocking a phone. Still, after numerous delays, the HomePod is playing catch up against a variety of Amazon and Google offerings.
Below is a list of all the HomeKit-compatible devices — we’ll update it as more debut.
August: The smart lock company offers a HomeKit-ready lock, which lets you replace your thumb turn but keep your existing outer lock. Product:August Smart Lock ($190)
Carrier: Remote accessibility gives Carrier Cor owners complete control over their home, allowing them adjust the temperature, see detailed energy reports, and more. Product:Carrier Cor 7 (request quote)
Netatmo: The United Kingdom has a HomeKit thermostat option from Netatmo. Product:Thermostat (£150)
Nu-Heat: Fancy heated floors can now be controlled with Siri. Product:neoHub+ (request quote)
Sensi: Sensi makes a no-frills, connected thermostat that’s HomeKit compatible. Product:Wi-Fi Thermostat ($120)
Tado: Version 3 of Tado’s smart thermostat works with HomeKit and is available for rental in European markets. Product:Smart Thermostat Starter Kit (V3) (£4/month)
Elgato: A variety of Elgato’s Eve sensors will give you all kinds of information about what’s going on inside your home. Products:Door & Window ($40), Energy ($50), Weather ($50), Room ($80), Motion ($50) Thermo (£59, not available in the U.S.)