Apple has always kept close control over its smart home ecosystem - named HomeKit - but with the upcoming release of the Siri-enabled HomePod speaker, it's opened things up to allow more companies to connect their products to the new smart speaker - not to mention iPhones, iPads, and Apple TV.
With that in mind, we've gathered together our pick of the best HomeKit devices around - all of which will be compatible with the HomePod when it launches in November. That way if you're planning to pick up the new speaker, you'll be able to use it to lock your doors, turn on your lights, and adjust your heating - all without lifting a finger.
Oh, and if you know you want fancy lights in particular, you might want to check out our dedicated guide to the best smart lights for Apple Home.
What is HomeKit?
HomeKit was first introduced during WWDC in June 2014, and during WWDC 2016 Apple unveiled its new Home app, which arrived in iOS 10. The Home app on your iPhone places the controls for any HomeKit products you own into one simple-to-use app.
HomeKit is Apple's own smart home framework. Built for manufacturers and developers, it can turn the iPhone (or other Apple devices) into a smart home remote. With HomeKit functionality, you're able to control smart home products through iOS apps and Siri voice commands.
What is the Home app on the iPhone?
Home is an Apple app, available for your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, 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 Bedtime scene, or 'Lock the front door' if you're already in the car or in bed.
What is the HomePod?
The HomePod is the Siri-enabled smart speaker that Apple unveiled at WWDC 2017, intended to serve as a rival to the Amazon Echo and Google Home, which use Alexa and the Google Assistant respectively to operate as smart home hubs.
It's not clear yet if the HomePod will offer any smart home or Siri functionality that your iPhone or iPad doesn't already, but what it does offer is convenience when you're at home, as it can just sit in your living room, kitchen, bedroom, or wherever, ready to accept voice commands at any time.
The HomePod won't be out until December 2017, and at $349 (UK pricing yet to be confirmed) it costs a good deal more than its rivals, but Apple promises significantly superior sound quality should make up for the price gap.
What are the best smart home devices for Apple Home?
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. This indicates that a product can be controlled with the Apple Home app.
We have a selection of some of the best accessories that work with HomeKit below, but you can also take a look on Apple's store to see some of the other HomeKit products that are available to buy in the UK right now. Apple also maintains a full list of HomeKit devices, but bear in mind that some of these are only listed as 'coming soon', and even among the rest of them, some are only out in the US, not the UK.
August Smart Lock
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. It's easy to install, too.
Netatmo Smart Thermostat
The Netatmo Thermostat is one of the most popular connected gadgets you can get for your dream smart home. Compatible with both the iPhone and iPad, you're able to monitor your past energy consumption and record your boiler activity. This information is accessible through a free companion app.
That's not all the thermostat can do, though. You can also get monthly reports to help you manage your heating effectively and save money on bills. It can even make adjustments to your heating based on your living habits and the amount of insulation you have in your house. The device itself comes in five interchangeable colours.
Philips Hue Starter Kit
Smart light bulbs are popular option for modern homes, too. If lighting is what you're looking to control remotely, the Philips Hue range is a good option. They're WiFi-enabled and come with a smartphone app. Using it, you can turn them on/off and alter their brightness, tone, or colour.
In terms of design and functionality, the Hue lightbulbs are on the simple side. Once you've got them up and running, they'll provide your home with a dimmable light. That's handy if you don't want to make your house look tacky.
What's also great about the lightbulbs is that they last for around 25,000 hours and are compatible with ES light fittings. The bulbs don't just act as lights, however. You can get them to wake you up in the morning and tell you once your food has finished cooking.