Apple's Home app may be our favorite way of interacting with our HomeKit accessories, but it certainly has its limitations. For those with lots of devices, things can get cluttered in a hurry, and it is missing some no-brainer automations like ones for temperature. Thankfully though, there are apps for that! Here are some of our favorites that help elevate our HomeKit game.
- Home+ 4
- HomeCam for HomeKit
- Controller for HomeKit
- Wallflower for HomeKit
- HomePass for HomeKit
- Wake Up Light
- Home Flash for HomeKit
- HomeScan for HomeKit
- Neon for HomeKit
Apple's Home app on iOS provides the basics of accessory control and automations, but it lacks customization and power-user features. Thankfully, there is an app that can help fill the gaps if you need a little more from your accessories. Home+ 4 allows you to choose from a variety of icons that can offer better matches for your accessories, and it lets you to create your own custom home screen within the app comprised of your favorites.
A handy group view is also available, which can give you an overview of similar accessories, such as door and window sensors with just a tap, without having to switch rooms. Finally, Home+ 4 gives you the power to create automations that are missing from the stock Home app, including temperature based ones that can flip on a fan if the temperature gets a little on the high side.
HomeCam for HomeKit
HomeCam for HomeKit strips away all of the clutter and delivers quick and easy access to your HomeKit camera feeds. This clean and focused app presents your cameras in a grid view upon launch, and it also includes an auto-cycling mode that gives you a fullscreen view that rotates to the next camera after a designated period of time.
HomeCam also includes options for putting your live camera feeds directly in the widgets portion of your iPhone and iPad. If that weren't enough, you can even create Siri Shortcuts that can pull up a camera feed using just your voice, and the purchase prices includes apps for your Apple TV and Apple Watch as well.
Controller for HomeKit
While setting up HomeKit accessories isn't the most time-consuming task in the world, things can add up quickly if you ever need to add them all back at once. This is where Controller for HomeKit comes in. This fantastic app is the only one around that can backup (via in-app-purchase) your HomeKit home, ready to restore things in case disaster should strike.
Controller for HomeKit also is the only HomeKit app that supports logging of the action that goes on behind the scenes. This feature, while limited to when it is running in the foreground on your iOS device, will display in plain text each and every little thing that your HomeKit accessories do. This means you can see the moment when an accessory turned on, and it continuously scrolls with updates as they happen.
Wallflower for HomeKit
Wallflower for HomeKit is a beautifully designed HomeKit dashboard that is tailored to wall-mounted iPads. A slick, minimal interface only displays the controls for the room that it is running in, along with an auto-updating graph of passive sensor data.
Even though it was designed with the iPad in mind, running it on an iPhone still gives you the same glanceable view of your HomeKit home, making it perfect for a desk-side companion. There are several themes included, and bonus features include displaying a large clock, Wi-Fi guest access information, and auto-dimming using the camera on your device.
Pushcut is a smart app that combines the power of push notifications and Siri Shortcuts with HomeKit to enable some truly unique ways of controlling your home. We have all been there at some point, one of those fancy automations that turns off the lights at a specific time of day leaves you in the dark when you are not on your regular schedule.
With Pushcut, instead of an automation that runs automatically, you can set your iOS device to send you a push notification at a set time instead. So if you are working late in the office, your lights won't go out with you still in it. Alternatively, you can ignore the notification and keep on doing your thing without interruption.
HomePass for HomeKit
HomeKit pairing codes, those little stickers with the QR code and the eight digits included with every accessory, seem to have a knack for getting thrown away or just getting lost somewhere around the home. Unfortunately, these codes are crucial to the pairing process, and if you can't track it down, you won't be able to add it back to the Home app.
HomePass for HomeKit aims to solve this problem by offering a place to store all of your codes in one convenient app. Once you enter one of your codes, it is accessible from any iOS device, as well as your Apple Watch. Now you can pull up the code any time, and the Apple Watch can even show the QR code, allowing you to scan it with your phone.
The Home Dash app takes the HomeKit experience to the next level through customizable "dashboards" that you can use to replace the vanilla Home app. Slick sliders and convenient controls look stunning on a wall-mounted iPad, and they give you the data you care about the most, at a glance.
HomeDash's widgets can include various accessory types, such as camera live views, door locks, light controls, and more. Widgets can also display things like the battery status of all of your accessories, right from one screen.
Wake Up Light
As its name suggests, the Wake Up Light app is a unique HomeKit app that creates a simulated sunrise with your accessories. This simple app allows you to set your desired wake up time for each day of the week, along with the speed of which your lights ramp up their brightness.
Once your times are set, Wake Up Light adds several scenes and automations to your Home app with your new morning routine. This app works for all types of lighting, lamps, lightbulbs, switches; you name it.
Home Flash for HomeKit
Home Flash for HomeKit solves the age-old problem of getting the attention of everyone in your home, without having to yell or travel from room to room. This simple app takes your existing HomeKit lighting accessories and combines them with a quick toggle that can flash them on or off.
Needless to say, Home Flash is an excellent way of summoning your kids to the dinner table or letting someone know that they are taking a little too much time in the shower. Lights around the home can also be set to different colors, making it even more useful.
HomeScan for HomeKit
The HomeScan for HomeKit app is one of those utilities that you may not use every day, but it will come in handy at some point over your smart home journey. This clever app scans for Bluetooth signals in your home and displays their signal strength based on your current location.
Simply choose an accessory that you want to monitor on the iPhone version of the app, and walk around your home while wearing your Apple Watch. The Watch app will display real-time signal strength of an accessory you are tracking, which is excellent for diagnosing a problematic connection, or for determining the best spot for your latest gear.
Neon for HomeKit
Just like with Wake Up Light and Home Flash, Neon for HomeKit is another app that keeps the focus on your lights. This excellent app can make your light strips and light bulbs come alive through various color cycling patterns, flashing, and pulses.
Neon can also use the microphones in your iPhone and iPad to listen to your tunes, syncing your lights to the beat. This feature is especially handy if you have an always-on iOS device dedicated to HomeKit.
Streamie is another HomeKit camera focused app that helps you to keep an eye on everything in and around your home. Using a classic grid camera view, this app can display up to 16 cameras at once, including those that are outside of the HomeKit world which use the RTSP protocol.
This app doesn't just show you cameras though, it can actually pan, tilt, and zoom into your feeds, and snapshots can be saved directly to an iCloud Shared Photo Album. The app is free to try, limiting you to just one camera, but if that is all you have, then this is a great way to see just how useful having quicker access to your feed can be.
What are you using?
Which HomeKit apps are you using for your iOS devices? Know of an awesome one that we missed? Let us know in the comments!
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