Smart Home devices are only getting more and more popular; luckily Apple has given Siri the capability to control these devices hands free. However, there are a couple of things you will need to do in order to properly set up your devices and be able to use them with Siri.
The Home App
Make sure you are running iOS 10 or newer on your device, then tap on the Home app from your home screen. Tap “add accessory” to get started pairing a new smart home device. If the device requires a companion app, you may wish to download that, too, for more advanced settings. In most cases Siri capabilities will automatically be set up – but, again, it is best to check the product’s companion app to be sure.
Automation While Away
Siri is great for performing tasks while you are home, but what about when you are out of the house? That is where setting up a home hub comes in handy. Apple TV 4th Generation or newer can act as your base as it is always at home, as can an iPad that is running iOS 10. These settings can be adjusted on iPad or Apple TV through the Home Settings.
What Can Be Controlled?
Once various smart home devices have been added in the Home app, you can then:
- Lock the door
- Turn on the lights
- Adjust light color and hue
- Adjust the thermostat
- Raise or close the blinds
- Make coffee (via a Smart Outlet)
The smart home range of products are truly in their infancy, and a lot of new products with added features will be introduced in the years to come.
How Do I Find HomeKit Compatible Devices?
Always look for the “Works with Apple HomeKit” label on smart home products before purchasing. All smart home devices that have been approved by Apple will have such a label.
At this point you are likely curious as to what devices you may wish to add to your home. I have listed a few of my personal recommendations below, although this is not an “end-all-be-all” list. The types of devices you wish to implement in your home will vary heavily based on personal or family needs and what you think you will truly get use out of. After all, these devices can get expensive – quick. I would also recommend finding the return window for the store where you wish to purchase such devices so that you can come to a conclusion on the device’s worth after a few days of testing and return if need be.
Schlage BE469NX Deadbolt
This deadbolt runs for $174.00 USD at the time of writing and is a fantastic option for those who frequently forget to lock the door on the way out. Siri has you covered.
Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Generation
The Nest is on its third iteration, now with added learning algorithms to better produce a comfortable living environment and conserve energy while you are away. At the time of writing it is listed at $239.99 USD for the stainless steel finish. Just like previous generations, Siri is more than capable. “Hey Siri, adjust the temperature to 68 degrees.” It is that easy. If you do not need or care for the self-learning capabilities, the second generation will save you a few bucks and still be capable of basic smart-thermostat operations.
Koogeek Smart Plug
This smart plug allows you to plug in regular devices such as a coffee maker or lamp. You can turn them off and on remotely from your smartphone. Siri control is supported; however, one downfall is that some seemingly obvious information is missing from the manual. If you can get it to work, though, it is very good at what it does.
As the world of smart home devices continues to grow and become more elaborate, what devices are you looking forward to seeing hit the market? What are these devices falling short of, and how could they improve?