12 September 2016
HomeKit gets some love in iOS 10. Apple introduces a dedicated app called Home, which lets you control and manage HomeKit accessories. HomeKit also supports new accessories like IP cameras and doorbells. My Home app also get a new version for iOS 10 to make it a good alternative to Apple’s Home app.
The new version supports the new accessory types. You can access a video stream of your HomeKit IP camera in the iOS and watchOS app.
The iOS Today widgets are redesigned to better fit into iOS 10. The watchOS app matches the style of the Today widgets now too.
Outlets and light bulbs can now be control using swipe actions. You can toggle the power state by swiping to the left. Swiping to the right lets you quickly change the brightness of lights.
Also new are the predefined colours for light bulbs. You can choose from six different colours to match your current mood.
Overall the improvements in HomeKit are nice. But some important features are still missing. It would be nice to trigger actions on sunrise and sunset and to restrict triggers to fire only on specific weekdays (e.g. on weekends). Even though the pre-installed Home app can do that, it still not possible with the HomeKit SDK in iOS 10. I’m already looking forward to the next major HomeKit update, where these features are made publicely available in the SDK. Otherwise we all have to use the pre-installed Home app. (It’s a nice app but not perfect.)