Apple Home Reviewed

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Mr. Easy
Staff member
Is Apple Home really "one easy way" to control HomeKit smart home devices?

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Part of the Furniture
mixed feelings here...

I get what Apple is trying to do - the challenge here is the amount of work to get it done - and this is a gate for many vendors...


Senior Member
I don't have many "Smart Home" devices, all I've got is Philips Hue. I went ahead and switched out the Hue-app with the Apple Home-app.

First of I have to admit that in my case, the "ease of setup" was rather horrendous. I had a really, really hard time getting the Home-app to actually recognise the fact that I had a Apple TV (Gen.4) on my network. At first I did not have access to the automation tab without dedicating my iPad Pro as "Home Hub" which I didn't want to as I actually have a Apple TV....

I tried everything. Clearing Home Kit, resetting Hue Bridge, completely restoring my Apple TV etc.. I just wouldn't work. I even tried to change my Apple TV to my girlfriends Apple TV and configure it on her iPhone, but still nothing.. It was not until I manually removed my Apple ID (iCloud) on my iPhone and iPad and logged back in it suddenly showed up. Talk about non-intuitive..

Once I finally got it added though it was really easy to use. I do find the whole Home-app nice to use and the sharing with my girlfriends Apple-ID so we both have access etc is working flawlessly. But I do find everything to feel very basic compared to the Hue-app. It feels like you can do more, go more advanced and whatnot with the Hue-app itself. But as one who don't really care for all the advanced capabilities the Home-app works really well and I love the fact that it actually have a feature to control the colour temperature according to the actual day and night cycle instead of relaying on specific hours like the Hue-app.

We are also able to control the lights over WAN, something that we never got to work with the Hue-app. The one thing that really bothers me is the fact that all Bridge firmware upgrades need to be done through the Hue-app..

One thing that does not work with neither the Hue-app or the Home-app is relaying on geofencing for turning off the lights. That functionality is so primitive and stupid that it's pretty much useless to anyone not living alone. The geofencing does not taking into account whether there might be users still at home so it will turn of the lights regardless. Even when you share you Hue access, or HomeKit with other accounts it still completely ignores if any users are still at home so it will turn of the lights as soon as one of the users go outside the configured geographical area. Pretty much useless.


Part of the Furniture


New Around Here
At the WWDC two years ago, Apple announced some big partners for its smart-home platform, including Philips, Haier, and Honeywell. Devices from these manufacturers have slowly trickled out since then. Now, you can ask Siri to turn on your Philips Hue lights or check to see if your August door lock is secure. However, if you want to control these remotely, you’ll need an Apple TV to act as a bridge.

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