HomeKit Home app shown on Apple product lineSource: Apple

The Home app is a centralized control app for all of your HomeKit-enabled smart home accessories, from light bulbs to the smart lock on your door. From this app, you can control individual accessories, scenes with multiple appliances, and more. If you have a HomePod or two, you'll even use the Home app to download and install software updates for the wireless speakers.

Controls

Haptic touch control in Home app demonstration for a lightSource: iMore

Controlling your accessories in the Home app is as simple as a tap. Accessories, such as lights, can toggle on and off at will just by tapping on its icon within the Home app. Additional, finer controls can also be accessed by pressing and holding.

Tip: Press and hold (Haptic Touch) the Home app on your Home screen to change between Scenes.

Press and hold (Haptic Touch) your accessories and Scenes within the Home app and from Control Center to make quick adjustments to things like temperature, color, brightness, etc., depending on the accessory. This control screen also gives you access to the accessory settings, which includes options like setting it as a favorite or adjusting notifications.

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Favorites

Home app in iOS 13 depicting favorite accessoriesSource: iMore

When you launch the Home app, you're presented with a page of curated Scenes and accessories called Home. These are your Favorite Scenes and Favorite Accessories.

In contrast, the Rooms page shows you all of your HomeKit-enabled accessories, not just your Favorites.

How to set your favorite Scenes and Accessories

Rooms

iOS 13 Home app depicting several rooms in a homeSource: iMore

Rooms are bound to be familiar to anyone who's used HomeKit-enabled accessories in the past. Rooms contain your various HomeKit-enabled accessories — you're encouraged to organize your accessories according to which room they're physically in.

This living room, for example, has three Philips Hue lights and an Ecobee Smart Thermostat. The Home app will also display the Scenes that include the Accessories in your specific room.

Status and Notifications

Home app status area in iOS 13Source: iMore

When you launch the Home app and find yourself on the Home page, you'll see your home's name in big and bold lettering near the top of the screen. The text below your Home's name is your Home's status.

The status provides an overview of what your HomeKit-enabled accessories are currently up to. With a quick glance, you can see how many lights are on, the temperature, and more. You will also see critical status messages, such as low battery warnings, and accessory update availability.

You can also enable notifications for certain HomeKit-enabled accessories. In iOS and macOS, you can adjust the notifications that you receive for individual accessories.

How to adjust notifications and status for your HomeKit accessories

Additional users

iOS Home app invitation settings displayed on an iPhoneSource: iMore

If you share a home with others, you can grant them access to your HomeKit accessories. Invites can be sent through the Home settings area, and once your invite is accepted, they're able to view and control your accessories through the Home app on their devices.

Limitations can be set for additional users, such as restricting access to adding or deleting accessories, as well as disabling their ability to see your home while they are not connected to your home Wi-Fi network. Finally, additional settings are available to limit access to HomeKit Secure Video camera settings, such as viewing recordings or your live feeds.

How to add users to your HomeKit home

HomeKit Secure Video

HomeKit Secure Video featured displayed on an iPhone and iPad next to a Logitech Circle 2 CameraSource: Apple

HomeKit Secure Video, introduced in iOS 13, brings camera feeds, controls, and recordings into the Home app. Users with supported cameras, such as the Logitech Circle 2, and a paid iCloud storage account have access to a rolling 10 day period of recordings for free.

A timeline of events will appear when tapping on a compatible camera in the Home app, where you can review, save, and share recordings. Motion events are also analyzed instantly, providing you with timely notifications, though you can filter out cars and animals if desired.

How to manage HomeKit Secure Video cameras in the Home app

Wallpapers

Available wallpapers for the Home app in iOS 13Source: iMore

The Home app lets you personalize the app with custom wallpapers for your Home and your Rooms. If you have multiple houses with HomeKit-enabled accessories, custom wallpapers can help you quickly differentiate between homes. It's also an easy way to differentiate between Rooms within a home.

How to add custom wallpapers in the Home app

Home Notes

Home app notes area in iOS 13Source: iMore

Home Notes are a little like the dry-erase board on the fridge, or the guest book in an Airbnb location.

If you input notes in the Home Notes section of the app, everyone who's a member of your shared home will be able to see the notes. You can set ground rules (hello, Airbnb hosts), let your kids know you popped out to get groceries, or troll your significant other — the choice is yours.

How to add Home Notes to your Home

Automation

iOS 13 Home app automation screensSource: iMore

"When I leave the house, turn off my bedroom lights and turn up the thermostat."

"If my smoke detector senses smoke, turn on all my lights and set them to red."

Those are just two examples of the tasks you can create with Automation. Ultimately, it's exactly what it sounds like: A way to automate your smart home, based on various triggers and corresponding outcomes.

How to automate your HomeKit Accessories in the Home app

HomeKit Hubs

HomePod and iPhoneSource: iMore

Many HomeKit-enabled accessories already offer some form of remote access, but if you'd rather control your lights, thermostat, switches, etc. from one app (the Home app), Home Hubs make that task easier.

Your Apple TV (4th generation or later), iPad, and HomePod can act as a Home Hub, allowing you to set up automations, access your Accessories from remote locations, and more.

How to make your Apple TV or iPad a Home Hub

macOS

Home app displayed on a Macbook running macOS MojaveSource: Apple

Beginning with macOS Mojave, the Home app is also available on the Mac. Part of Apple's initiative to make it easier to bring iOS apps over to macOS, the Home app for Mac features most of the same functionality that you'll find in its iOS counterpart, from control over individual accessories to managing rooms and scenes. However, you cannot add accessories to your Home from macOS at this time.

How to set up and start using the Home app on Mac

watchOS

Home app displayed on an Apple Watch that is worn on a wristSource: iMore

The Apple Watch is a great way to control your HomeKit accessories via Siri, but Apple also provides a scaled down version of the Home app for your wrist. In the watchOS version of the Home app, you can view and interact with your favorite accessories using taps to quickly toggle things, such as your lights, on and off. You can also firmly press (3D Touch) on an accessory to gain access to finer controls, like dimming the lights down using a swipe, or even with the digital crown.

Live camera feeds also are available directly on your Apple Watch, complete with 2-way audio control that allows you to communicate with those in your camera's view. Plus, notifications from the Home app on your watch also display a thumbnail image of motion events as soon as they happen, giving you the ability to keep an eye on the situation if necessary.

How to use the Home app on Apple Watch

Updated December 2019: Updated for iOS and iPadOS 13.

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