What is the Home app in iOS 10, and what can I do with it? Here’s everything you need to check out in the Home app!
Confession: That headline was a trick question. Everything’s new in the Home app, because the app‘s brand new to iOS! After familiarizing myself with the app, here are a few things I think you should check out to get started!
3D Touch all the things!
Press (3D Touch) your accessories and Scenes within the Home app and from Control Center to make quick adjustments to temperature, color, brightness, etc., depending on the accessory.
Tip: Press (3D Touch) the Home app on your Home screen to change between Scenes.
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 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.
My 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
When you launch the Home app (to the Home page), you’ll see your home’s name big and bold 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 up to. With a quick glance, you can see how many lights are on, the temperature, and more.
You can also enable notifications for certain HomeKit-enabled accessories.
How to add and remove Accessories from your Home’s status and notifications
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 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
“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
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), iOS 10 makes it that much easier with Home Hubs.
Now — along with the fourth-generation Apple TV — your iPad can act as a Home Hub, allowing you to set up automations, access your Accessories from remote locations, and more.
Note: Apple offered similar support for remote access through the third- and fourth-generation Apple TVs, but it never was as reliable as it’s been for me in iOS 10.
How to make your Apple TV or iPad a Home Hub
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