While Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa get all the glory, Apple’s HomeKit has been playing the slow game. Amazon and Google want to blanket your home in smart products. On the other hand, Apple wants to make sure the products it supports and releases are reliable and, most importantly, secure. Powered by Siri, Apple has plenty of support for smart cameras, bulbs, switches and more. Can you reasonably give up Amazon and Google for Apple HomeKit? Let’s take a look at some of the best Apple Homekit gadgets in the market.
1. Apple TV
Step aside Fire TV, Roku and Chromecast, Apple TV is here to stay. Apple’s TV base station is arguably its most integrated streaming device for anyone using HomeKit. The gateway to Apple’s variety of streaming services, Apple TV also incorporates all of your other favorites like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and more.
Ultimately, it is the central bridge (don’t call it a hub) of your HomeKit connected products. Acting as the Internet gateway, you can control or monitor devices remotely using apps available on both iPhone and Apple Watch. The 4K model adds Gigabit Ethernet for the fastest networking possible in the HomeKit community. Without the Apple TV, you are limited to controlling your devices only within a range of your home, making it a must-own.
2. Apple HomePod
Similar to the Apple TV, HomePod acts like a bridge to help control all of your HomeKit smart home products. Want to lock the front door with the August Smart Lock Pro? Just ask Siri to do that. Of course, the HomePod is first and foremost a great speaker with excellent bass and a beautiful design. That makes it one of the rare smart home bridges that deserve to be placed in a central location in a home. HomeKit buyers only need a HomePod or an Apple TV to act as a bridge to HomeKit. Having both works, but you don’t need both to enable smart home connectivity.
3. Philips Hue Smart Bulbs
Everyone’s favorite smart home bulbs, the Philips Hue white starter kit is a great product that syncs flawlessly with Apple HomeKit. As a white starter kit, you will not be able to change to a variety of colors, but you can adjust the brightness. Being able to tweak the settings up to 800 lumens allows you to set the proper mood for any time of day. That you can add up to 50 total smart bulbs to a single HomeKit bridge means you are likely able to cover your entire house. Installation is a breeze. Just remove your old “dumb” lightbulbs and screw in the new Philips model. Then connect them to the downloadable app on iOS and the rest is up to you.
4. Koogeek Smart Light Strip
Speaking of smart light strips, that may be all you want. If you’re looking for a simple light strip to accent a room or provide a bias light for your TV, a kit may be overkill. If you don’t want a kit or anything that requires a hub, try the Koogeek Smart Light Strip.
This is a simple product that does one thing well. You get an LED light strip that you can set to any color you like, and you can fully automate it with HomeKit. Sometimes simple is better.
5. Ecobee Smart Thermostat
Another popular option for smart home product fans, the Ecobee SmartThermostat works incredibly well with HomeKit. Coming with a room sensor, you can easily monitor both hot and cold spots in your home. Pair that with scheduling and geofencing, and you can quickly and easily manage the temperature in your home. Adding one of these promises to reduce heating or cooling costs up to 23 percent annually. Installation takes less than hour, and Ecobee offers plenty of video guides on its website to assist you step by step. As an added bonus, the SmartThermostat is also compatible with Alexa. That makes it an ideal choice for anyone with a Alexa/HomeKit hybrid smart home.
6. August Smart Lock Pro
Yet another popular smart home product, the August Smart Lock Pro is out-of-the-box compatible with Apple HomeKit. Your purchase includes both the smart lock as well as the plug-in Wi-Fi hub that syncs directly with any HomeKit bridge-like product like HomePod or Apple TV. With the August, you can easily control and monitor your door from anywhere in the world. Lock and unlock wherever you are with just a tap of a button in the downloadable iOS app. A 24/7 activity feed lets you know who is coming and going so you feel safe and secure. With your smartphone in hand or in your pocket, the lock will automatically lock or unlock as you approach. That’s true hands-free freedom.
7. WeMo Mini
Unquestionably the leader in the “best smart plug” category, the WeMo Mini syncs right up to Apple HomeKit. Small enough to place two into any standard outlet, the Mini is a must-own for anyone wishing to make a dumb product smart. Plug your “dumb” fan into your WeMo Mini and activate it on your way home to keep things cool. Want to sync your bedside lamp to sunrise or sunset? Plug it into the WeMo Mini.
8. Logitech Circle 2
If you’re looking for a smart security camera, the Logitech Circle 2 is a great HomeKit-enabled option. This model can work indoors or outdoors, plus it uses Wi-Fi, so there’s no need for lengthy cable runs. It even has support for two-way talk so you can talk to visitors at the door if you can’t make it there yourself.
This model also has 180-degree vision so you can keep track of everything. This is even true at nighttime, thanks to the night vision.
These products are just the tip of the iceberg of compatible Apple HomeKit-ready smart home products. Maybe you’d rather look at the various products available and make your choice from that, rather than what you want to use to tie them together. If that’s the case, we can help. Just take a look at our list of the best smart home hubs for an idea of where to start.