I got a doorbell for HomeKit, and now I can't live without it
Like my own personal doorkeeper.
For years, I’ve been happy with my doorbell. When someone presses the little button by my front door, it goes BING BONG and I can jump and run for the door and collect my Deliveroo Burger King order. I’ve never really wanted anything more than that – and neither have I particularly needed it either.
I thought this until very recently when I received a HomeKit-enabled video doorbell in the post. To say it has changed the way I think about my front door would be an understatement – now that I’ve got one, I don’t think I could live without it.
Brightening my world, one small video at a time
I get a lot of parcels. Like, a lot. From the stuff that I buy myself, like clothes and action figures, to the parcels I receive for work and products for review. That adds up to, on occasion, multiple packages in one day. The trouble is that modern life and a traditional doorbell don’t align particularly well.
I work from home, upstairs, and clear of the doorbell. I type away at my MacBook Pro with a pair of headphones strapped to my head, the only sounds I can hear beyond Tim McGraw’s crooning are those that come from within the small office in which I toil.
With my old traditional doorbell, I couldn’t hear it when it rang, leaving me in a spot of trouble when it came to collecting parcels from delivery people at the front door. It was not, you might say, ideal.
In stepped the eloquently named Aqara Video Doorbell G4, a new smart video doorbell that supports HomeKit secure video. It’s a simple, grey box with a camera and a massive button (it’s super satisfying) that gets drilled into the wall by the front door, and connects to HomeKit through the Aqara Home setup app. It was easy to fix into place and, thankfully, even easier to set up to work seamlessly with the rest of my HomeKit stuff.
It works like this; there is a bridging unit that not only connects the doorbell and the camera to the WiFi network but also acts as a traditional ringer in case the internet goes down. It works immediately, with no delay upon the press of the doorbell. Once these pair are connected to the Apple Home app through the Aqara Home app, a ding is also sent through all connected HomePods, as well as a notification sent to my phone.
I’ve not missed a parcel since.
And now, I can’t go without it
I love being able to use the camera to check who’s at the door as I scramble down the stairs to answer, the microphone that lets me talk to the person waiting while I’m out, and the massive, tactile button that's impossible to miss. I like how I can access the camera at all times on my iPhone 14 Pro, almost making it like a security camera for my front door.
It’s become such an important part of my daily life now that to say goodbye to it would be, in my eyes, impossible. Did I need a doorbell that notifies me on my phone when someone is at the door? No. But now that I’ve got it, there is no way in all the nine realms that I’d give it up.
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As the Buying Guides and Deals writer for iMore, Tammy puts over a decade of experience in finding the best prices of Apple products to work, helping you save money on the equipment that you want. An audiophile at heart, she loves all things audio and visual, but you’ll also find her drooling over the latest Macs and MacBooks. With a Masters in screenwriting, Tammy likes to spend her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays or driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.