HomeKit

August’s new Access lock works, but trust may take longer

August’s new Access lock works, but trust may take longer

The smart home can't just be clever, it needs to be impeccably designed, but while August's expanded range satisfies both criteria it may be user trust that really needs an upgrade. I spent some time with the Smart Keypad, Doorbell Cam, and the HomeKit version of the Smart Lock today, as well as talking with August's exec team about whether even committed automation fans are ready to hand over the digital keys to the cable guy.

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August Doorbell Cam, Keypad, and HomeKit lock launch Access platform

August Doorbell Cam, Keypad, and HomeKit lock launch Access platform

August may have started with a single smart lock, but the company won't be happy until it has upgraded your entire front door experience. The new August Access platform, and three new or updated products that arrive under its umbrella, will not only allow you to lock and unlock your door from your phone, but hand out PIN code access, speak to delivery people while you're away from home, and integrate with services like Postmates and Shyp.

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Elgato debuts Eve Room, Eve Weather with HomeKit support

Elgato debuts Eve Room, Eve Weather with HomeKit support

Elgato has announced the latest connected home devices in its Eve line, the Eve Room and Eve Weather. The two sensors are compatible with Apple's HomeKit ecosystem, and are used to monitor and gather data about the home, including things like air quality, temperature, humidity, and air pressure. Elgato notes that these are the first battery-powered accessories for HomeKit, and they can connect directly with iOS devices, without the need of a central hub or bridge.

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Philips Hue 2.0 supports HomeKit plus new 800 lumen bulbs

Philips Hue 2.0 supports HomeKit plus new 800 lumen bulbs

Philips' Hue smart lighting system is getting onboard with Apple HomeKit, with Hub 2.0 embracing third-party IoT protocols alongside a bevy of brighter bulbs. Compared to the original Hub, the second-gen model - along with being square now - has 500x more space and runs a full Linux OS. It's that which allows it to handle HomeKit interactions, using Siri to control the ZigBee-connected bulbs.

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iHome iSP5 Smartplug is here, works with HomeKit and Android

iHome iSP5 Smartplug is here, works with HomeKit and Android

Apple's HomeKit hasn't been its fastest adopted products and it is only recently that we are seeing appliances and connectors in the market that support it. Announced in early June, iHome's new iSP5 Smartplug is finally ready to go live. Not a smart appliance itself, the Smartplug gives some brains to any electronic device that plugs into a power outlet. But while iHome is naturally advertising the plug's compatibility with HomeKit, the iSP5 also works with Android smartphones to turn your home into a smart one.

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New Apple TV release tipped for iPhone 6s event

New Apple TV release tipped for iPhone 6s event

The next Apple TV device has been tipped for reveal this September 2015, set to be revealed alongside the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. The single event - normally reserved for iPhone devices only - will also demonstrate how the Apple TV will interact with the iPhone collection, bringing the whole Apple Smart Home into focus with an Apple TV-centered HomeKit collection of devices. The reveal of this new Apple TV was contentiously planned - read: rumored - to take place at this year's WWDC 2015, Apple's developer conference, but was then said to be pushed back by the same sources that spoke rumors in the first place.

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Apple Stores begin selling first HomeKit compatible thermostat

Apple Stores begin selling first HomeKit compatible thermostat

Apple's physical retail stores will begin selling the first thermostat to be compatible with the iOS HomeKit system this week. As a smart home device, the Ecobee3 is an internet-connected thermostat that, when connected to Apple's HomeKit platform, will allow users to control it with their iPhones via apps and even voice commands to Siri. The Ecobee3 is priced at $250, and should be appearing in Apple Stores in North America on Tuesday.

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LG Smart Lighting joins the Apple HomeKit party to battle Hue

LG Smart Lighting joins the Apple HomeKit party to battle Hue

In the very near future, LG will release a number of smart lights and a hub which will be compatible with Apple HomeKit. This LG Smart Lighting solution is not LG's first - they also released a Bluetooth-friendly bulb called LG SmartLamp, allowing you to connect - one at a time - to each bulb within range. This new line of bulbs will all connect to a single device called a Scene Gateway, a hub that requires only power and a connection to your internet router.

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How HomeKit embraces Siri, Apple Watch and iCloud

How HomeKit embraces Siri, Apple Watch and iCloud

Apple is bolstering HomeKit, bringing more smart home kit under the automation umbrella and adding Apple Watch, Siri, and iCloud integration to boost usability both when at home and away. The new functionality, based on iOS 9, will see HomeKit potentially take on a more serious role thanks to integration with security systems, while improvements to the setup process should make home automation installation less of a headache. However, there’s good news for those with existing gadgets they don’t want to replace.

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Apple’s plugging HomeKit’s biggest shortcoming

Apple’s plugging HomeKit’s biggest shortcoming

Apple’s HomeKit in 2014 was a promising start but lacked depth; it’s only with the arrival of iOS 9 that the smart home platform will begin to seem truly useful rather than a gimmick. What will arguably make the biggest difference to actual users is the new support for Event Triggers and Conditions. That will allow for conditional macros: strings of not only actions, like lights turning on and doors unlocking, but the rules and exceptions that govern them.

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Apple HomeKit’s newest Hue addition is retrofit

Apple HomeKit’s newest Hue addition is retrofit

The Philips Hue ecosystem will be fit with Apple HomeKit capabilities this Autumn, including both systems old and new. Philips Hue has suggested that they "will help existing users to upgrade their system" and will be updating "all existing Hue light sources" to be "made compatible with HomeKit." If that's not good news for those Hue users looking to work with HomeKit in the future, I don't know what is. Come this September, this system will be sent up in full detail. For now, Philips is preparing their system for full compatibility.

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