Our homes are growing ever smarter, and Apple has been trying to make life simpler with HomeKit, a framework that developers can use to enable their smart products to be controlled via an iOS app, either from inside or outside of a user's home. HomeKit was first introduced during WWDC in June 2014, and during WWDC 2016 Apple unveiled its new Home app, which has now arrived to iOS 10, following the unveiling of the Home app which unfies the various HomeKit products into one simple-to-use app.
Home is a centralised Apple app that lets you control all of your HomeKit products. With Home, you'll be able manage each of your smart products from one app, and even create Scenes and Room presets. Scenes can include "Leaving home," for example, which would turn off the lights, lock your doors and lower the temperature in the home. Home works with Siri, too, so you could say "Good night" to set the Bed Time scene, or "Lock the front door" if you're already in the car or in bed.
Not every smart gadget works with HomeKit and the Home app. It's important to look for HomeKit compatible products with the little yellow house symbol. Here, we've gathered some of the best HomeKit compatible devices to get you started.
Updated 16 September 2016 to include the new Home app.
Philips Hue Starter Kit
- RRP: £149.99
If lighting is what you're looking to control remotely, the Philips Hue range is a good option. There are plenty of options including a White Ambiance Lighting Starter Kit or a White and Colour Ambiance Starter Kit if you're looking for to add a splash of colour. There are also Lightstrips and other options for adding more dramatic or mood-setting lighting your home too.
Honeywell Lyric Thermostat
- RRP: £150
- Buy from Honeywell
Honeywell's Lyric Thermostat offers HomeKit support for controlling your heating with ease, as well as control via the Apple Watch should you happen to have Apple's wearable, too.
Apple Watch users can see a snapshot of their home system in Glances, plus, thanks to the Apple Watch's geofencing feature, your thermostat will automatically engage Out of Town mode when you leave range of your home.
Elgato Eve Thermo
- RRP: £59.99 inc VAT
The Elgato Eve home-monitoring system includes a wide range of electronic sensors for tracking air quality, temperature, humidity, air pressure, energy and water consumption and more.
The Eve range includes Eve Room, Eve Weather, Eve Energy, Eve Door & Window and Eve Thermo, and each is HomeKit compatible. That means, when the Home app comes out later this year, you'll be well on your way to a smart home that's controllable through one central app with this lot.
August Smart Lock
- RRP: £150
- Buy from August
The HomeKit connected Smart Lock from August lets you use your smartphone as a key, even if you're away from home. You can create virtual keys for family and friends and limit their access to just one week, a specific date or an hour or two, for example. You can also delete guests at any time. You'll be able to see who has been in and out of your house at any time with the key tracker.
If you want it to, the Smart Lock can auto lock behind you as you leave your home, and unlock when you approach to save you fumbling in your bag for your keys. Plus, it's easy to install too.
- RRP: £150
- Buy from Friday Lock
Friday Labs is working with architects at the Bjarke Ingels Group, to create the Friday Smart Lock, a locking system that is designed to let you open your front door key-free via your smartphone.
You will even be able to let friends and family into your house remotely. There's also a tamper alert, so you will be notified immediately if someone is trying to break-into your home.
The lock is available in a range of natural materials, including woods, metals and porcelain, the design team says it's a: "Stylish smart lock that homeowners can individually select to complement their décor."
The Friday Smart Lock is available to pre-order now for $199 from the Friday Lock website, but has been delayed from its original shipping estimate of Q1 2016.
iDevices Outdoor Switch
- RRP: £65
- Buy from iDevices
We've talked about how you can make your home's interior smart, but what about your garden? The iDevices Outdoor Switch works with HomeKit to enable you to control gadgets outside of your home. This can include lights, speakers, fans and more – handy.