Wish List: 14 new HomeKit features we want to see from Apple

Posted:
in iOS edited April 13
Compared to where it was only a couple years ago, HomeKit has progressed immensely. The number of supported accessories is growing exponentially, third-party apps are increasingly powerful, and Apple continues to add additional features and functionality. Now that WWDC is approaching, we wanted to think about how HomeKit could most improve.




WWDC 18, which is set for June 4 through June 8, is where Apple is widely expected to introduce iOS 12, watchOS 5, tvOS 12, and macOS 10.14. HomeKit, which is currently supported on three of those four platforms, will hopefully receive some major updates.

Here is our wishlist for what we would love to see this June.



Video recording

Cameras have a clear place within HomeKit. Thus far, Apple has done a decent job of implementing them. Letting you get rich notifications when motion is detected, view them in the Home app, and use two-way communication. Really though, there is a lot more work that needs to be done.

Such as motion zones to crop out windows or other high-traffic areas. Individual manufacturer apps support this, but HomeKit does not.

One of the biggest absent features though, has to be support for recording.

When motion is detected, you receive a rich alert with an image of what set off the motion and the ability to tap into a live video stream. Unfortunately, that leaves you unable to go back and view the action that set off the motion.




Currently, the only workaround is to use the screen recording feature built into iOS. Apple really needs to add the ability to record whatever is happening in your home natively.

This would pair perfectly with iCloud. One could use their iCloud storage plan as a digital locker for all of the motion recordings, giving users another reason to subscribe to a higher capacity plan.

Additionally, since it is just in iCloud, there could be a lot of great third-party apps to help manage these recordings.

Video privacy mode

Another glaring omission to cameras is privacy mode.

Currently, if there is a HomeKit camera, anyone who was given access to the home in the Home app can see what is happening on the camera at any given time.

This concern is something we've heard so frequently that we made it the subject of the first installment in our HomeKit series.

HomeKit needs a way to disable the camera whenever you are home, or optionally just during the day.

The way we see it, the camera could "arm" itself whenever no one is home. When someone arrives, the camera could disable. During the night, the ones in common areas could once again optionally arm in "night mode" to keep an eye on unoccupied rooms of the home.

Third-party cameras like the Canary, Netatmo Welcome and Logitech Circle 2 already offer this functionality, but it proves a big issue within HomeKit.

Car control




We mentioned this in our CarPlay wish list piece. It would be ideal to be able to control your car via HomeKit. Many cars are already controllable via native iOS apps and Amazon Alexa. Making the leap to HomeKit support would not be needlessly difficult.

There is theoretically a lot that could be done with vehicles. Aside from solely being able to turn them on/off, HomeKit could tie into the temperature sensors as well. An automation could be created for weekday mornings that starts the car and turns on the heat if the outdoor temperature is below 32. Siri could also be queried to lock or unlock the doors.

It goes without saying security would be a concern here, but it doesn't seem insurmountable as other security-crucial items like cameras and locks are already a part of HomeKit.

Appliances

Among the accessory types we'd like to see added to HomeKit, appliances are high on the list.

We want to be able to receive notifications when the laundry or washer is done. The ability to pre-heat the oven for dinner. Even countertop appliances like toaster ovens or sous vide machines would be handy.




Use Siri to set the temperature on your oven machine, then be notified when it is at temperature. (While we are dreaming, how about a Bluetooth HomeKit temperature probe to see when your food has reached medium-rare?)

Competing smart home platforms have similar functionality, it should just be a matter of time before Apple is on-board.

Pet feeders




We don't put this in 100 percent the same category as appliances, but the effect is the same.

There have been many smart pet feeders that have come to market, and it could be great to have Siri and HomeKit support built in. Can't make it home in time? Feed remotely. Schedule feedings and food amount through scenes and schedules.

PetNet.io has been one of the best ones out there, and they are able to do all these activities through Alexa.

Music

Amazon has just added music support to scenes for Alexa, and we expect Apple to do the same.

We may receive this sooner than we expect when AirPlay 2 launches. In its current beta form, AirPlay 2 adds speakers to HomeKit and the Home app, but you can't integrate them into scenes.

We could see this with the final version of iOS 11.4, or maybe later with iOS 12.

If implemented, Siri could trigger a morning scene with some upbeat music to start the day while turning on your lights at the same time (maybe even starting the car).

Timers

For timers, we aren't referring to the fact HomePod is only capable of setting one timer at a time, which Apple also needs to correct.

In iOS 11, Apple added the ability to set a timer on a scene. When a scene is triggered, it can revert itself within a specific time period.

We want to be able to do something similar but through Siri.

"Siri, turn on the patio lights for 10 minutes" would be handy. Maybe at night when you go to bed; "Siri, turn the ceiling fan on for an hour".

Mac Support




Even though Siri has made her way to the Mac, HomeKit support has not. It seems like such an odd omission and another way Siri has become fragmented between platforms.

Any HomeKit accessory should be able to be controlled from your Mac, the same way it can be controlled from your phone, tablet, speaker, or TV.

Rumor has it, Apple is getting close to releasing this functionality.

Quicker accessory support

Accessory manufacturers have been steadily adding HomeKit support and releasing new products. That doesn't mean there isn't plenty of work to do.

Many manufacturers that once pledged support have taken a significant amount of time to add support. Belkin took years before releasing the WeMo bridge.




Canary and Ring both announced support years ago, and while they still pledge support is forthcoming, nothing has come to fruition. Both manufacturers and Apple need to work together to make these things happen quicker.

Intercom

Implementing an intercom system would be a very intriguing ability, especially if built into HomeKit speakers or cameras. Cameras already have two-way audio capabilities, why not tap into that as an intercom system? Siri could be a great way to access the capability. "Siri, turn on the intercom in the kitchen".

Remote support would also be available. We've actually used cameras like this in our own lives. Just last week, my significant other sent me out to the store for a few supplies. While I was out, I needed some clarification. I called her, and she didn't answer. Luckily, we have a few HomeKit cameras. I was able to open the camera in the kitchen, start the two-way audio, and ask her via my makeshift intercom. If this was a real feature, I wouldn't have had to open the video at the same time, but could use it solely as an intercom.

HomePod would be a natural home for this feature as well, especially if a lower cost option was made available.

IR Blaster

Making an IR blaster work within HomeKit would require a bit more effort than others on the list. It could be quite a bit tedious to make happen.

This is something that can already be done through HomeBridge (the same software we used to create our own affordable HomeKit camera) and has a variety of uses.

Anything that works via IR (or even RF) could be controlled from the Home app. Ceiling fans, TVs, even stereo systems and speakers.

If Apple were to opt to do something along these lines, most of the setup work would probably be relegated to third-party apps for setup. Such as the Logitech Harmony remote. The remote could be configured in the Harmony app, then certain commands could be available in the Home app and through Siri. Such as turning on the TV or turning off the ceiling fan.

More notifications

Notifications are extremely important, and thus far they don't seem to have gotten their fair shake in HomeKit. If HomeKit one day wants to be able to act as a sort of security system, notifications need to be more flushed out.

Notifications should be able to be configured if a door isn't closed, or perhaps the temperature in the nursery is too high/low. There are many situations that notifications could be enabled for.

Granular home sharing

Currently in HomeKit, when you share access to your home with another user, they have carte blanche access to everything.

We could very much see the benefit of having different levels of home access. Perhaps limiting it based on time of day (for nannies), or just allowing certain controls like the lights, but not cameras or the AC (perhaps for a cleaning service).

This could also be useful when renting/leasing a home. Guests could have temporary access that gets disabled after the set period.

Usage logs




To go along with more granular home sharing, usage logs.

The ability to see who unlocked a door is something seen in third-party apps but is lacking in HomeKit.

Wrap up

If you couldn't infer from our very specific list of HomeKit requests, we are very frequent users of HomeKit. It has shown great promise as the platform has matured, but Apple needs to keep pushing to make it the best platform out there.

It already has its work cut out for it with such stringent requirements required to produce HomeKit hardware, especially when compared to more open platforms such as SmartThings.




The new, more accessible, software authentication policy has shown that Apple is willing to make some concessions to help the platform grow.

Now that our suggestions are out of the way, what do you want to see from HomeKit this year at WWDC? Let us know in the comments.

Be sure to also check out our other wish lists for Siri and CarPlay.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    I'm a geek who adores the way a myriad of Apple products has changed my life. I keep thinking I should delve into the joys of HomeKit (The Kit for Your Home!) but have yet to see how it tops old-timey hardware light switches, locks, and thermostats. I'm starting to think I'm too old (48 this year and surely nearer the grave!), too set in my ways, or/and that my house is just too small.
    edited April 13
  • Reply 2 of 41
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 165member, editor
    I'm a geek who adores the way a myriad of Apple products has changed my life. I keep thinking I should delve into the joys of HomeKit (The Kit for Your Home!) but have yet to see how it tops old-timey hardware light switches, locks, and thermostats. I'm starting to think I'm too old (48 this year and surely nearer the grave!), too set in my ways, or/and that my house is just too small.
    I think you'd be interested in an upcoming installment of our HomeKit series. It primarily focuses on how to make HomeKit more accessible for other members of the family, but going into ways to make HomeKit actually more useful than without. We've done a few things in our home that my family really enjoys, even if they get annoyed with some of the other inconveniences.
    king editor the grate
  • Reply 3 of 41
    My list looks different, does that matter?
  • Reply 4 of 41
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 165member, editor
    Francules said:
    My list looks different, does that matter?
    What's on your list?!
  • Reply 5 of 41
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 610member
    How about compatibility with existing z-wave devices? That ranks far higher than a smart dog food bowl in my opinion. There’s already a huge installed base of Zwave devices, and right now, you essentially have to rip them all out and replace them with home kit devices. That’s a non-starter for me and many others. The other problem is the relative dearth of HomeKit compatible devices. 


    entropys
  • Reply 6 of 41
    dlorddlord Posts: 3member
    I would love to see new features but I would also like to see some fixes: I would like to see Apple add the ability to establish a specific device as the Master of your HomeKit configuration. I find that once you have a very large setup with multiple users synchronizing the accessories, scenes, and schedules either takes forever or revert. For example, if I add an accessory with my iPad my iPhone may take days or sometimes never see the new accessory. Additional, it has taken days for the new accessories to show up on my wife's devices. My wife's current Home App is not up to date with what I see. On some rare occasions the newly added accessory disappears and does not return. Secondly, also add the ability to explicitly specify which Apple TV is the primary for remote sharing and bluetooth. I have multiple Apple TVs that are scattered throughout my house. I recently installed the Yale bluetooth lock at my front door. I have found that HomeKit will randomly select the Apple TV to act as a bluetooth bridge. On occasion, HomeKit will select an Apple TV that is more than 30ft from my front door or between several walls and my lock becomes unreachable. The only way to fix the problem it to go to the selected Apple TV and disconnect from HomeKit and reconnect, then go to the Apple TV that I wish to use as a bluetooth extender, disconnect and reconnect. After a few minutes HomeKit uses that newly select Apple TV for remote access and bluetooth communications. I find that I have to go through this exercise every few days or after I have to restarted my wifi. Lastly, there is something that does not work properly with HomeKit setups with more than 150+ devices. I think some of my sync problems may also be related to the number of devices. After, I got past 100 I noticed it takes longer and longer to add new accessories, scenes, and schedules. I notices that it affects the timeliness of the notifications and randomly causes devices to become unresponsive. The devices are not truly unresponsive and if I press and hold the device (force touch) it is like it reaches out and updates the status immediately or if I swipe between rooms it updates the status of unresponsive devices. It behave as thought the database/config file that hold the HomeKit setting has reached some sort of size limit and only the most recent update make it into the settings. If I remove devices and scale back the number of registered accessories the behavior returns to normal. If they fixed these things I would be so so happy.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 41
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,329member
    I think automated control of kitchen appliances is overkill and not worth the added security risks.   Any oven that could potentially be remotely controlled also has timers that can turn the oven on at a chosen time (any oven that has a Kosher mode can also do this) and even if it couldn't, how long does it take to heat an oven - 15 minutes tops?  And I can't think of a single instance in which one would need to control a toaster or microwave by a device.    Just because we can do something, doesn't mean we should.   

    Turning on a car in order to heat it means running the engine.   So now we're going to substantially increase the use of gasoline.   According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average car commute time is 25.4 minutes.   So now we're going to turn the car on say 10 minutes in advance, potentially increasing fuel consumption by up to 39% on cold days.  Even if the car uses half the amount of fuel when idling, that's still 20%.    Suck it up.  

    And using a device to turn lights on and off reminds me of the characters in WALL-E, who have become obese and feeble, in part due to automation.   

    If one lives in a really large house, some automation might be desirable.   But for the majority of Americans who live in urban environments and largely in relatively small apartments or small homes, IMO automation is overkill and only going to make us even fatter.    For the year 2013-2014: 
    • More than 1 in 3 adults were considered to be overweight.
    • More than 2 in 3 adults were considered to be overweight or have obesity.
    • More than 1 in 3 adults were considered to have obesity.
    • About 1 in 13 adults were considered to have extreme obesity.
    • About 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 were considered to have obesity
    So yes, let's give people even more tools to stay on the couch.  
  • Reply 8 of 41
    dlord said:
    I would love to see new features but I would also like to see some fixes: I would like to see Apple add the ability to establish a specific device as the Master of your HomeKit configuration. I find that once you have a very large setup with multiple users synchronizing the accessories, scenes, and schedules either takes forever or revert. For example, if I add an accessory with my iPad my iPhone may take days or sometimes never see the new accessory. Additional, it has taken days for the new accessories to show up on my wife's devices. My wife's current Home App is not up to date with what I see. On some rare occasions the newly added accessory disappears and does not return. Secondly, also add the ability to explicitly specify which Apple TV is the primary for remote sharing and bluetooth. I have multiple Apple TVs that are scattered throughout my house. I recently installed the Yale bluetooth lock at my front door. I have found that HomeKit will randomly select the Apple TV to act as a bluetooth bridge. On occasion, HomeKit will select an Apple TV that is more than 30ft from my front door or between several walls and my lock becomes unreachable. The only way to fix the problem it to go to the selected Apple TV and disconnect from HomeKit and reconnect, then go to the Apple TV that I wish to use as a bluetooth extender, disconnect and reconnect. After a few minutes HomeKit uses that newly select Apple TV for remote access and bluetooth communications. I find that I have to go through this exercise every few days or after I have to restarted my wifi. Lastly, there is something that does not work properly with HomeKit setups with more than 150+ devices. I think some of my sync problems may also be related to the number of devices. After, I got past 100 I noticed it takes longer and longer to add new accessories, scenes, and schedules. I notices that it affects the timeliness of the notifications and randomly causes devices to become unresponsive. The devices are not truly unresponsive and if I press and hold the device (force touch) it is like it reaches out and updates the status immediately or if I swipe between rooms it updates the status of unresponsive devices. It behave as thought the database/config file that hold the HomeKit setting has reached some sort of size limit and only the most recent update make it into the settings. If I remove devices and scale back the number of registered accessories the behavior returns to normal. If they fixed these things I would be so so happy.
    I have never had the problem of HomeKit accessories not showing up across my devices. Shows up within seconds. 

    You have 150+ accessories? That sounds both impressive and expensive :)
    bonobobwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 41
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 165member, editor
    MplsP said:
    How about compatibility with existing z-wave devices? That ranks far higher than a smart dog food bowl in my opinion. There’s already a huge installed base of Zwave devices, and right now, you essentially have to rip them all out and replace them with home kit devices. That’s a non-starter for me and many others. The other problem is the relative dearth of HomeKit compatible devices. 


    So with Zwave, you still need a bridge. Sounds like the Iota from Abode will be filling that void when it launches this summer. From what we've seen, it could bring those devices to HomeKit.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 41
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 165member, editor
    zoetmb said:
    I think automated control of kitchen appliances is overkill and not worth the added security risks.   Any oven that could potentially be remotely controlled also has timers that can turn the oven on at a chosen time (any oven that has a Kosher mode can also do this) and even if it couldn't, how long does it take to heat an oven - 15 minutes tops?  And I can't think of a single instance in which one would need to control a toaster or microwave by a device.    Just because we can do something, doesn't mean we should.   

    Turning on a car in order to heat it means running the engine.   So now we're going to substantially increase the use of gasoline.   According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average car commute time is 25.4 minutes.   So now we're going to turn the car on say 10 minutes in advance, potentially increasing fuel consumption by up to 39% on cold days.  Even if the car uses half the amount of fuel when idling, that's still 20%.    Suck it up.  

    And using a device to turn lights on and off reminds me of the characters in WALL-E, who have become obese and feeble, in part due to automation.   

    If one lives in a really large house, some automation might be desirable.   But for the majority of Americans who live in urban environments and largely in relatively small apartments or small homes, IMO automation is overkill and only going to make us even fatter.    For the year 2013-2014: 
    • More than 1 in 3 adults were considered to be overweight.
    • More than 2 in 3 adults were considered to be overweight or have obesity.
    • More than 1 in 3 adults were considered to have obesity.
    • About 1 in 13 adults were considered to have extreme obesity.
    • About 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 were considered to have obesity
    So yes, let's give people even more tools to stay on the couch.  
    I find your outlook unnecessarily glib... 

    For appliances, you never start preheating your oven, walk into another room, and wonder if it reached temp or not? You could get alerts on your phone when it reaches its temperature. That is why the oven beeps when it preheats, so you know. It would be handy to get that on your phone if you aren't in the kitchen. As someone who cooks every night, I would really appreciate this.

    When it comes to turning on a car, we aren't saying that Apple needs to make auto-start cars or make manufacturers make them. They are already doing that. Most people already pre-start their cars manually so that they warm up and start to defrost. You can already do this from Alexa, and from the iPhone with the manufacturer's app. I can do this on my Ford with the FordPass app. I can actually schedule it too. I just would rather use Siri than Alexa. Your math also doesn't add up on fuel consumption. You burn far more fuel driving than idling. 

    Lastly, when it comes to automation making us fatter, that isn't true in the slightest. You burn a negligible amount of energy turn hit a switch, vs picking up your phone. That isn't even what platforms like HomeKit is about. It is about making your home more enjoyable, energy saving, and safe.

    Before HomeKit: Someone could come into your driveway and get in your vehicle.
    After HomeKit: The motion sensor on your camera causes your porch lights to turn on and causes would-be thieves to scurry.

    Before HomeKit: You go into the kitchen at night, you have to turn the lights on with the switch, which is either 100% brightness or pitch black.
    After HomeKit: Based on the time of day, the motion sensor automatically turns the lights on to different levels of brightness. Dim during the evening, bright during the day.

    Before HomeKit: You go into the bathroom at night and either have no lights, or 100% bright lights.
    After HomeKit: You hit the switch and at night they come on at 10%, or have a motion sensor that triggers a light strip by your baseboards. Also useful for stairs and hallways.

    Before HomeKit: You have to turn lights on and off with each room. when you enter or leave.
    After HomeKit: Motion sensors turn the lights on only when you are actively in the room, saving energy and money.

    Before HomeKit: You would come home to a dark house, need a key for the door, and a remote for the garage.
    After HomeKit: Patio and door lights come on as you approach the home, as the door unlocks and the garage opens.

    These are all scenarios I use in my home. HomeKit has saved money (which you cite as being important) and made my home more enjoyable to live in. My home is also quite small.
    mike1StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 41
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 165member, editor
    clarker99 said:
    dlord said:
    I would love to see new features but I would also like to see some fixes: I would like to see Apple add the ability to establish a specific device as the Master of your HomeKit configuration. I find that once you have a very large setup with multiple users synchronizing the accessories, scenes, and schedules either takes forever or revert. For example, if I add an accessory with my iPad my iPhone may take days or sometimes never see the new accessory. Additional, it has taken days for the new accessories to show up on my wife's devices. My wife's current Home App is not up to date with what I see. On some rare occasions the newly added accessory disappears and does not return. Secondly, also add the ability to explicitly specify which Apple TV is the primary for remote sharing and bluetooth. I have multiple Apple TVs that are scattered throughout my house. I recently installed the Yale bluetooth lock at my front door. I have found that HomeKit will randomly select the Apple TV to act as a bluetooth bridge. On occasion, HomeKit will select an Apple TV that is more than 30ft from my front door or between several walls and my lock becomes unreachable. The only way to fix the problem it to go to the selected Apple TV and disconnect from HomeKit and reconnect, then go to the Apple TV that I wish to use as a bluetooth extender, disconnect and reconnect. After a few minutes HomeKit uses that newly select Apple TV for remote access and bluetooth communications. I find that I have to go through this exercise every few days or after I have to restarted my wifi. Lastly, there is something that does not work properly with HomeKit setups with more than 150+ devices. I think some of my sync problems may also be related to the number of devices. After, I got past 100 I noticed it takes longer and longer to add new accessories, scenes, and schedules. I notices that it affects the timeliness of the notifications and randomly causes devices to become unresponsive. The devices are not truly unresponsive and if I press and hold the device (force touch) it is like it reaches out and updates the status immediately or if I swipe between rooms it updates the status of unresponsive devices. It behave as thought the database/config file that hold the HomeKit setting has reached some sort of size limit and only the most recent update make it into the settings. If I remove devices and scale back the number of registered accessories the behavior returns to normal. If they fixed these things I would be so so happy.
    I have never had the problem of HomeKit accessories not showing up across my devices. Shows up within seconds. 

    You have 150+ accessories? That sounds both impressive and expensive :)
    I agree, I have around 100 accessories and those issues have yet to plague me. Sounds like they need more stability for large homes. (Just like need more stability for large iTunes libraries!)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 41
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 5,587member
    I'm a geek who adores the way a myriad of Apple products has changed my life. I keep thinking I should delve into the joys of HomeKit (The Kit for Your Home!) but have yet to see how it tops old-timey hardware light switches, locks, and thermostats. I'm starting to think I'm too old (48 this year and surely nearer the grave!), too set in my ways, or/and that my house is just too small.
    Simple example: a HK-enabled outdoor patio outlet plug is the easiest way to program patio lights. They come on at Sunset and turn off at my desired time. I've tried the old school dial-timers and they were a PITA because they often needed adjustment or fiddling throughout the year, especially during DST events. With this HK-enabled plug I need never worry about it ever again.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 41
    dkhaleydkhaley Posts: 24member
    Here are some of my additional suggestions:

    1) Fix Geofencing for secure devices
    I understand why HomeKit doesn't allow you to unlock a door when you come into range. But I think I should be able to have it lock my doors, turn on the alarm etc, if I leave home.

    2) Better Lighting Transitions
    Right now I can turn lights on or off at certain times. What I want it to be able to do is tell a light to fade in from its current setting to its new setting over 15 minutes. Similar functionality would also work with sound, such as fading in a playlist when my morning alarm sounds.

    3) Use the alarm as a trigger
    If I wake up at the same time, I can set a scene to start at the time. However, it would be useful to be able to program in "turn on the switch to my coffee maker 5 minutes before I wake up"

    4) Make it easier to group devices
    One of my light fixtures has four Hue bulbs. I was able to group these in Homekit using the iDevices app. Why can't I do this easily in the Home app?

    5) Choose which devices trigger the "first person arrives", "last person leaves" automations.
    I have a school-age child that doesn't take his phone to school. I want the kid to be able to control things at home. However, I find that when I leave home, the "last person leaves" automation doesn't trigger, because the child's phone is still there.

    6) Randomness
    I like turning on my lights at sunset or 8:00pm. However, it would be even better (when I'm way) if I could have home kit do something at 7:00 +/- 10 minutes.


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 41
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 5,587member

    zoetmb said:
    I think automated control of kitchen appliances is overkill and not worth the added security risks.   Any oven that could potentially be remotely controlled also has timers that can turn the oven on at a chosen time (any oven that has a Kosher mode can also do this) and even if it couldn't, how long does it take to heat an oven - 15 minutes tops?  And I can't think of a single instance in which one would need to control a toaster or microwave by a device.    Just because we can do something, doesn't mean we should.   

    Turning on a car in order to heat it means running the engine.   So now we're going to substantially increase the use of gasoline.   According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average car commute time is 25.4 minutes.   So now we're going to turn the car on say 10 minutes in advance, potentially increasing fuel consumption by up to 39% on cold days.  Even if the car uses half the amount of fuel when idling, that's still 20%.    Suck it up.  

    And using a device to turn lights on and off reminds me of the characters in WALL-E, who have become obese and feeble, in part due to automation.   

    If one lives in a really large house, some automation might be desirable.   But for the majority of Americans who live in urban environments and largely in relatively small apartments or small homes, IMO automation is overkill and only going to make us even fatter.    For the year 2013-2014: 
    • More than 1 in 3 adults were considered to be overweight.
    • More than 2 in 3 adults were considered to be overweight or have obesity.
    • More than 1 in 3 adults were considered to have obesity.
    • About 1 in 13 adults were considered to have extreme obesity.
    • About 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 were considered to have obesity
    So yes, let's give people even more tools to stay on the couch.  
    I live in an 1800sf house, not really large. I have many HK devices (mostly lighting and outlets) and find much value in them, as they turn on & off various lights and set various color temperatures during the day or evening, as well as versatile specialty scenes for parties, movies, etc. 

    If you think walking a few steps to turn on the light is going to keep you in shape you're in for a rude awakening. Get a gym membership and get your barbell squat to 350+. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 41
    tonkinitetonkinite Posts: 6unconfirmed, member
    Until Bluetooth can form mesh networks like some of the other protocols, I can’t see HomeKit making a lot of headway against Z-Wave or Zigbee devices. SmartThings, Wink, Vera all support these, but not Apple. Surely it can’t cost much to add transceivers for these to TV, HomePod, etc (which are defacto hubs, folks).

    I have several dozen devices connected, most of which are Z-Wave. Based on my shopping, it looks like Z-Wave will be the dominant standard going forward, unless or until something better comes along.
  • Reply 16 of 41
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,730member

    Turning on a car in order to heat it means running the engine.   So now we're going to substantially increase the use of gasoline.   According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average car commute time is 25.4 minutes.   So now we're going to turn the car on say 10 minutes in advance, potentially increasing fuel consumption by up to 39% on cold days.  Even if the car uses half the amount of fuel when idling, that's still 20%.    Suck it up. 

    And using a device to turn lights on and off reminds me of the characters in WALL-E, who have become obese and feeble, in part due to automation.  
    Aftermarket remote starters have been in use for at least 30 years and are huge sellers. The car manufacturers also include/offer this feature in virtually every vehicle sold today. All we are looking for is the ability to control via Homekit and not a separate app. Not having to scrape ice or freeze your ass off in winter is pretty convenient and time saving.

    It seems that light control falls into two major categories. Setting lighting for different activities, such as watching a movie. Second, they are used for security and safety when people aren't home or arriving. Personally, I have settings that control my lights when I'm away. I also have it turn on my outdoor lights at dusk so nobody comes home to a dark house and walkway.

    Your preaching and inability to imagine other folk's use cases is just annoying.

    edited April 13 StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 41
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 5,587member
    MplsP said:
    How about compatibility with existing z-wave devices? That ranks far higher than a smart dog food bowl in my opinion. There’s already a huge installed base of Zwave devices, and right now, you essentially have to rip them all out and replace them with home kit devices. That’s a non-starter for me and many others. 
    HK is wifi, Z-wave isn’t. Z-Wave is a low-power protocol for lighter-weight communications. ZW requires a bridge to route instructions from a wifi controller to the ZW endpoints. There is likely no getting around this...I doubt Apple wants to build native controller support for every one of the competing low power protocols like ZW. 

    This is not Apple’s problem to fix. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 41
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 165member, editor
    dkhaley said:
    Here are some of my additional suggestions:

    1) Fix Geofencing for secure devices
    I understand why HomeKit doesn't allow you to unlock a door when you come into range. But I think I should be able to have it lock my doors, turn on the alarm etc, if I leave home.

    2) Better Lighting Transitions
    Right now I can turn lights on or off at certain times. What I want it to be able to do is tell a light to fade in from its current setting to its new setting over 15 minutes. Similar functionality would also work with sound, such as fading in a playlist when my morning alarm sounds.

    3) Use the alarm as a trigger
    If I wake up at the same time, I can set a scene to start at the time. However, it would be useful to be able to program in "turn on the switch to my coffee maker 5 minutes before I wake up"

    4) Make it easier to group devices
    One of my light fixtures has four Hue bulbs. I was able to group these in Homekit using the iDevices app. Why can't I do this easily in the Home app?

    5) Choose which devices trigger the "first person arrives", "last person leaves" automations.
    I have a school-age child that doesn't take his phone to school. I want the kid to be able to control things at home. However, I find that when I leave home, the "last person leaves" automation doesn't trigger, because the child's phone is still there.

    6) Randomness
    I like turning on my lights at sunset or 8:00pm. However, it would be even better (when I'm way) if I could have home kit do something at 7:00 +/- 10 minutes.


    Great ideas! You can actually do number 4 in the Home app. Just select the accessory, hit details, and hit group with other accessories. Works perfectly!
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 41
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 165member, editor
    tonkinite said:
    Until Bluetooth can form mesh networks like some of the other protocols, I can’t see HomeKit making a lot of headway against Z-Wave or Zigbee devices. SmartThings, Wink, Vera all support these, but not Apple. Surely it can’t cost much to add transceivers for these to TV, HomePod, etc (which are defacto hubs, folks).

    I have several dozen devices connected, most of which are Z-Wave. Based on my shopping, it looks like Z-Wave will be the dominant standard going forward, unless or until something better comes along.
    Upcoming Bluetooth protocol does support mesh. This was announced almost a year ago.

    Also, forthcoming hubs will allow Zwave devices to work with HomeKit. Similar to how the Hue bridge allows Zigbee bulbs to work within HomeKit.
    tonkinitewatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 41
    Fix HomeKit on the Apple Watch. When you open the Home app, it seems responsive for a second or so... and then becomes unresponsive for several seconds while it loads device statuses, etc. When this happens, sometimes it queues up taps, sometimes it doesn't. And using Siri to turn devices on and off from the Apple Watch has gotten painfully laggy in recent iterations of watchOS.

    Add real programming to HomeKit. Right now you can define a trigger... but what you can't do is use simple logic: If it's after sunset and this motion sensor is activated...  The obvious way to do this is to (a) bring HomeKit to macOS and (b) integrate it with Automator. This one thing is what keeps HomeKit from being true home automation: You can't truly link things together because you can't use boolean logic (this AND that, this OR that...)
    watto_cobra
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