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    HomeKit News & Reviews

    Proprietary 'Tone' Pairing System Confirmed for Apple's HomePod

    Proprietary 'Tone' Pairing System Confirmed for Apple's HomePod

    Yesterday iHelp BR broke the news that the 7th beta of iOS11 contains the code that will be used to pair the Apple HomePod to your device.

    As you can see from the image below the configuration is a lot like pairing the AirPods, however with a twist, the HomePod will emit a proprietary tone that your device will pick up and pair automatically.

    One thing that Apple have done particularly well with the development of the W1 chip in the AirPods is make the pairing process super simple and the connection super stable. Although the HomePod is not reported to have the W1 chip on board it is boasting an impressive array of processing power so you can bet your life the pairing and connection will be super smooth and super stable.

    Other discoveries in the code confirm that the launch of the HomePod will initially focus on the US, UK and Australia. That updates will happen automatically, there will be VoiceOver and touch sensitive buttons.

    I believe that Apple are going all in on the HomePod to bolster and become the kings of home automation. What are your thoughts?

    Who is HomeKit for?

    Who is HomeKit for?

    Home is an Apple built core app for controlling your smart house. Naturally given it's Apple it requires you to have an iOS device and you’ll need to seek out home automation devices with ‘HomeKit Enabled’ certification to use its functionality (a full list can be found here).

    HomeKit has some privacy advantages over some other systems due to Apple’s secure encryption requirements. It’s now in it’s third generation of development so is very secure and stable as a platform. Since the release of iOS10 it has also have Siri control, so you can literally talk to your devices to control them.

    Home’ the app at the centre of HomeKit is getting a big feature set upgrade in iOS11 (you can read more about that here). It’s simple and intuitive to set up your devices, simply scan the code or enter it manually and you are ready to add the device to an array of functions, automation recipes, time or proximity based events or to be controlled manually.

    If you have a 4th Generation Apple TV or plan on getting a HomePod for Christmas this year you can set either of them as a central hub and also control you home from afar.

    So who is HomeKit for?

    Anyone with an iPhone or iPad that is looking to enhance their living space and wanting to enter the magical world of home automation.

    For ongoing tips, planning and set up strategies, feature improvements, new device releases and special offers, follow me on these social channels:
    Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pintrest, Blog

    Is HomePod and Siri the future JARVIS of home automation?

    Is HomePod and Siri the future JARVIS of home automation?

    At WWDC 2017 Apple made a pretty big announcement about the future direction of music in your home with the unveiling of 'HomePod' a high end speaker with an array of smart technology to fill your house with the best sound possible, based on your room specs and room dynamics.

    The big focus here was how amazing the music and sound will be coming from this fairly unobtrusive speaker, it can be linked to more of itself to up the anti on sound and be utilised in different rooms of the house to ensure that the space that you are currently occupying is filled with your favourite sounds (yes it can play different things in different rooms too, so the kids will be well catered for too).

    What was far less of a focus was it's ability to be the central hub of your smart home, I expect that will be left for after the initial launch in December. My opinion on this is not that Apple have overlooked this in what was a very full WWDC announcement schedule, but rather that Apple has always had at it's core it's music and iTunes heritage. Smart home control has only occupied the space for Apple over the past 3 years since it released its limited function HomeKit in iOS8. In a way the last 3 years has been paving the way for the release of HomePod which I see as not just a great quality speaker (although I very much welcome that) but what is the centre of your truly smart home.

    iOS11 sees the relaxing of the rules and regulations for manufacturers of smart home devices, so expect to see a flood of devices hitting the shelves in 2018 with the coveted 'HomeKit enabled' emblem emblazoned on the product. To find out all of the massive HomKit changes in iOS11 click here.

    My bet is that by mid 2018 once the Apple juganaught roles it's HomePod out to it's faithful followers they will turn their attention to what this little 'magic' device can actually do for you with improved Siri capabilities and with developers getting creative with the smart home apps that are flooding into the App Store. 

    As usual Apple have let Google Home and Amazon Echo push their products out whilst they sit back and watch the market and decide what their own killer version HomePod can actually do to truly enhance your life within your home.

    If you are an Ironman fan then I'm sure JARVIS is coming in the form of HomePod or HomePod 2. Will you be purchasing a HomePod at release? 

    Complete list of current Apple HomeKit approved devices

    Complete list of current Apple HomeKit approved devices

    Here is the latest list of devices available with the Apple HomeKit big green tick of approval.
    FLEDA Smart lightbulb socket
    Koogeek Light Strip LS1 (Coming soon)
    LIFX (Coming soon)
    LIFX + (Coming soon)
    Philips Hue White Ambiance Bulb with Hue bridge
    Philips Hue White Ambiance and Color Bulb with Hue bridge
    SYLVANIAComing soon
    Incipio CommandKit Wireless Smart Wall SwitchComing soon
    Koogeek Dimmer CN (Coming soon)
    Koogeek Dimmer Switch (Coming soon)
    APISMOON Smart Wall Outlet with MeterAnnounced
    Incipio CommandKit Wireless Smart Outlet with Metering China and Australia versionComing soon
    Incipio CommandKit Wireless Smart Power Strip
    Keenetic Smart Outlet (Coming soon)
    Koogeek Smart Plug P2 (Coming soon)
    Parce Plus (Announced)
    Windows and Coverings
    艾美特 Airmate Smart Stand Fan
    Air Conditioners and Heaters
    Birdi Smart Detector (Announced)
    ConnectSense Temperature & Humidity Sensor (Announced)
    ConnectSense Water SensorAnnounced
    Kidde RemoteLync Monitor with RemoteLync bridge (Announced)
    Security Systems
    Honeywell Lyric™ Controller (Announced)
    OPSO Smart LockAnnounced
    Yale Assure Lock Home (Coming soon)
    Kidde RemoteLync Camera with Remote Lync bridge (Announced)
    Logitech Circle 2 (Announced)
    August Doorbell Cam (Announced)
    Garage Door Openers
    Chamberlain MyQ Home Bridge (Coming soon)
    Chamberlain Smart Garage Hub (Coming soon)
    C by GE C-Reach (Announced)
    Kidde RemoteLync (Announced)
    VELUX ACTIVE (Announced)
    Wemo Bridge (Announced)

    The Latest HomeKit Advances Set to Hit in iOS11

    The Latest HomeKit Advances Set to Hit in iOS11

    Apple’s HomeKit home automation app which was introduced 3 yeas ago in iOS8 has undergone some major upgrades and is getting some cool new features in the coming release of iOS11, Watch OS4 and TV OS11.

    HomeKit now supports new types devices, even easier set-up and even opens up further to developers.

    Some of the new device types include tapware, sprinklers and speakers.

    Some of the new features besides a redesigned UI include QR pairing, NFC pairing, time based event triggers, HomeKit rules, timers, location as well as time based notifications, sunset/sunrise (before and after sunset by x minutes), auto off timers, location triggers by more than one person, build your own accessories and huge improvements in Bluetooth latency.

    All of these new features require iOS11, Siri and the Home App for watch OS4, however HomeKit is still unsupported on macOS.

    I love the new device setup where all you do is scan a small QR code on the back of the device and with the new use of NFC tags tap and pair is also super simple.

    Lag times have on controlling devices has dropped from a few seconds to under a second, so you feel so much more in control of everything.

    Date based events are really smooth and you now have far more customisation between events and thresholds ie when temperatures rise or fall above or beyond the threshold.

    Thanks to multi person support and presence information you can trigger scenes when you are the first home or the last to leave.

    Air play 2 also allows for multi room playback so if you plan on moving room to room you’ll love this feature. 

    Last but not least, all of this gets ramped up when you add in a Home Pod in December and you introduce Siri speaker to your world.