Apple HomeKit guide details setup and use, remote access via Apple TV

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited June 2015
A new support page published to Apple's website details how to setup and use HomeKit, and explains how the Apple TV is used as a hub for remotely controlling HomeKit accessories while on the go.




The guide notes that HomeKit works with any iOS 8.1 device, and certified accessories. To pair an accessory, users must find its seven-digit setup code and enter it into the gear maker's custom iOS app. Some apps should allow accessories to be grouped together into homes, rooms, or scenes.

From that point on a person can use both apps and Siri commands to control individual accessories or assigned groups. Saying "turn off the lights in the living room," for instance, might be used to shut off several HomeKit-ready lamps at once. Significantly, Siri cannot be used to unlock a door.

Remote access to a HomeKit network requires a third-generation Apple TV with v7.0 firmware. As long both the Apple TV and the iOS device are signed into the same Apple ID, Siri commands will work anywhere with Internet access.

HomeKit support has been present in the Apple TV firmware since v7.0, even though Apple has not publicized it until now. On Tuesday, Elgato announced it in the requirements for its new Eve series of environmental sensors.

The guide also addresses tasks such as resetting accessories, troubleshooting, and what to do if an iOS device is lost or stolen.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    davendaven Posts: 529member
    I'm looking forward to it. I'd like to see more generic intermediary products for HomeKit that go between the wall plug and appliance to lower the price. That way we can add automation to existing appliances without breaking the bank.

    I'm guessing that if the ATV hardware specs increase with lots more RAM, etc. that the price will also increase. I hope they can keep it at a reasonable price.
  • Reply 2 of 16
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,876member
    Ugh to be able to tell Siri to turn of my coffee maker from work, would be a godsend! I don't know how many times I've forgotten if I turned the damned thing off or not.
  • Reply 3 of 16
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,162member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DaveN View Post



    I'm guessing that if the ATV hardware specs increase with lots more RAM, etc. that the price will also increase. I hope they can keep it at a reasonable price.

     

    Well the article does say HomeKit works with the ATV3 so no need to buy the new one. I also share your concern that an ATV4 might be more expensive. I hope they can keep it around $100.

  • Reply 4 of 16
    felix01felix01 Posts: 245member

    I wonder if there's any chance this setup can be used to control my Philips Hue Connected Bulbs? The software and bridge that comes with the starter kit sold in Apple Retail Stores has proven to be unreliable at best. I wouldn't even call it a descent beta.

  • Reply 5 of 16
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,968member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post



    Ugh to be able to tell Siri to turn of my coffee maker from work, would be a godsend! I don't know how many times I've forgotten if I turned the damned thing off or not.



    And you could also check status(ON/OFF) of coffeemaker if not ON than no action require, piece of mind. Same applies to many home thingys.

  • Reply 6 of 16
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,603member
    lkrupp wrote: »
    Well the article does say HomeKit works with the ATV3 so no need to buy the new one. I also share your concern that an ATV4 might be more expensive. I hope they can keep it around $100.
    I imagine they will work very hard to keep the price of ?tv down. If they are lining the device up to become the 'hub' it will absolutely be in Apple's interest to keep the cost of entry super low. People will want to buy it because it serves a double duty and from Apple's perspective once the device in in the home it will generate further sales of iPhones, routers, macs etc (not to mention Beats / iTunes), and thus deepen people's investment in the eco system. It will be interesting to see where ?tv goes.
  • Reply 7 of 16
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,520member
    felix01 wrote: »
    I wonder if there's any chance this setup can be used to control my Philips Hue Connected Bulbs? The software and bridge that comes with the starter kit sold in Apple Retail Stores has proven to be unreliable at best. I wouldn't even call it a descent beta.

    Mmm ... we have Phillips Hue -- purchased on-line when first available. We have had zero problems, except for an occasional power failure. We use the Hue app every day to control downstairs reading lights, night lights;  and upstairs bedroom lights/nite lights.

    We have more problems with the ATT Uverse Modem and cable box bridge. About once a week, the modem hiccoughs and all the WiFi devices get switched to the ATT WiFi (which doesn't work) from the Apple WiFi. And the cable box bridge resets, frequently, making the upstairs TVs unusable ... They must be setup again by coordinating settings on the downstairs bridge box and the upstairs cable boxes ... a real PITA as it takes 2 people yelling at each other across the house.
  • Reply 8 of 16
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,271member
    My Hue works great as well so long as Comcast isn't screw up my webs.
  • Reply 9 of 16
    djames4242djames4242 Posts: 540member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post



    We have more problems with the ATT Uverse Modem and cable box bridge. About once a week, the modem hiccoughs and all the WiFi devices get switched to the ATT WiFi (which doesn't work) from the Apple WiFi. And the cable box bridge resets, frequently, making the upstairs TVs unusable ... They must be setup again by coordinating settings on the downstairs bridge box and the upstairs cable boxes ... a real PITA as it takes 2 people yelling at each other across the house.

     

    Seems to be a common theme with these things. When I had phone service through Comcast (and had to use their equipment), their stupid router/bridge combo thingie required restarts nearly every week. Once I switched my home phone to a Skype/FreeTalk setup I dropped their router and bought my own bridge and connected it to an Airport Extreme. It's been rock solid and never requires a restart (well, aside from needing to be restarted with every.single.configuration.change.no.matter.how.minor, but that's another story).

  • Reply 10 of 16
    pscooter63pscooter63 Posts: 929member

    Since we've veered a little off topic, I'll chime in with my Charter experience.  Instead of going with their $5/month modem-router-wifi box, I asked for their "free" modem, and added the Airport Extreme.  It's been near-perfect over the past 18 months, I think I had to reboot the modem only once, over a year ago.  Updates appear to be transparent, and occur in the wee hours.

     

    Even as little as three years ago, I was looking for any alternative to Charter's cable service; but they've really cleaned up their act of late, at least in terms of service quality and stability.

  • Reply 11 of 16
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,828member
    daven wrote: »
    I'm looking forward to it. I'd like to see more generic intermediary products for HomeKit that go between the wall plug and appliance to lower the price. That way we can add automation to existing appliances without breaking the bank.

    I'm guessing that if the ATV hardware specs increase with lots more RAM, etc. that the price will also increase. I hope they can keep it at a reasonable price.

    I could easily see Apple expanding the Apple TV product line. They would lower the price on the current machine and introduce a more advanced machine. Effectively two tiers of performance.
  • Reply 12 of 16
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,976member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post



    Ugh to be able to tell Siri to turn of my coffee maker from work, would be a godsend! I don't know how many times I've forgotten if I turned the damned thing off or not.

    Buy a better coffee machine which turns off itself after a period of time.

  • Reply 13 of 16
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Has anyone read that Apple support page? Absolutely disappointing.

     

    1. Each accessory needs it's own app

     

    2. To remotely access through ?TV you have to be signed on with the same Apple ID which means only one person in the household can use that feature.

     

    3. You need some third party app to arrange scenes

     

    Why does Apple not make a HomeKit app that incorporates everything together? The single ?TV user is deal killer in my opinion.

  • Reply 14 of 16
    davendaven Posts: 529member
    lkrupp wrote: »
    Well the article does say HomeKit works with the ATV3 so no need to buy the new one. I also share your concern that an ATV4 might be more expensive. I hope they can keep it around $100.

    Yes the ATV3 will be ok for basic home kit and TV viewing but I believe the new processor should be capable of becoming the core of a gaming console. Add in a Game Center App Store and you will need a beefier system. How beefy and where to draw the line between mini Mac and ATV becomes a tough call for Apple.
  • Reply 15 of 16
    toukaletoukale Posts: 37member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     

    Has anyone read that Apple support page? Absolutely disappointing.

     

    1. Each accessory needs it's own app

     

    2. To remotely access through ?TV you have to be signed on with the same Apple ID which means only one person in the household can use that feature.

     

    3. You need some third party app to arrange scenes

     

    Why does Apple not make a HomeKit app that incorporates everything together? The single ?TV user is deal killer in my opinion.


     

    You did not fully understand what you read. 

    1. Only for the initial setup, after that siri takes over and there will be no need go into that app again, unless you want to add more          

        custimizations like different scenes and things of that nature.

    2. You can add additional apple id's to homekit control to solve multiple people household, not sure if there is a limit on how many though. 

    3. Again to set it up, once it setup that is it.  You can set multiple scenes from the get go for different occasions.

  • Reply 16 of 16
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by toukale View Post

     

     

    You did not fully understand what you read. 


    I'm pretty sure I understood what was written on that page.

     

    As I said, the remote log in with only one user could be deal breaker.

    Quote:

     Sign in with the same Apple ID on your iOS device and Apple TV, and you'll be able to use Siri commands to remotely control your accessories.




     

    Each accessory needs its own app

    Quote:

     On your iOS device, go to the App Store and download the app for your HomeKit-enabled accessory. 


     

     

    Creating scenes is done in a third party apps

    Quote:

     Depending on the app you use for your HomeKit-enabled accessories, you might be able to group accessories together in homes, rooms, or scenes.


     

    Plus I don't always want to use Siri, mostly because I don't trust her, she is horrible at understanding me or figuring out what I want and secondly I may not want to speak at all when people are watching TV, on the phone or the baby is sleeping, etc. What I wanted was an integrated HomeKit app from Apple where all the accessories, scenes and controls are located together, not spread around the home screen with different scenes in different places.

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