Recently released on the Mac App Store, Harmony Bridge by developer Guy Brooker, provides a quick and easy way for Logitech Harmony Hub owners to add their devices already set up to HomeKit. The developer claims that the Mac App involves no configuration required, and in our testing, we can confirm that this indeed is the case. Once installed, the App will scan for Harmony Hubs that are already on your home network, and will display a HomeKit code that a user can scan to add it to the Home App on iOS. If a user has a TV set up with their Logitech Hub, it will be displayed just like the TV functionality that is set to be released on TV’s from select manufacturers later this year.
Before we dive into our impressions, as mentioned in our previous write-up about one of the developer’s other Apps, TPL Bridge, there are some limitations that users will need to be aware of. Adding a Harmony Hub to HomeKit via the App will generate a prompt that the device is “Uncertified”, and that reliability is not guaranteed. Also, the App on the Mac must be running to control any of the devices that are added. This means that your mac must be on, and not sleeping for the App to work its magic. Finally, even though the App is available on the Mac App Store, their is always the potential for risks to be involved, although the developer states that “No person information is stored or transmitted”.
In testing, we found that the App indeed works pretty much as advertised. The TV that we had set up with our Harmony Hub was instantly added to the Home App, and included the inputs that had been assigned. The device “tile” for our newly added TV functioned as a quick way to toggle power to it, and provided input settings when a 3D/Haptic/Right Click was used. In our case, I only use an Apple TV hooked up to this particular television so having the inputs is not of use to me, but I can see this being extremely handy for those that have game consoles or other boxes hooked up. The input options are also added for any activity that you set in the Logitech Harmony App, meaning that if you just have an antenna hooked up to your TV for over the air channels, you could set up an activity to jump straight to a particular channel, such as NBC or CBS. The developer of the App has provided some YouTube videos that show this in action, and it apparently even works with Siri, making it possible to shout to your iOS device or HomePod to “change the channel to PBS, or any other channel that is set up.
Another handy feature that having a TV added to the Home App is that it also will become available in the Control Center Remote App, meaning even more functionality was added, such as a quick way to navigate any TV menus. In our case, we were even able to adjust the volume of our TV using the side volume controls on our iPhone. Even though our TV supported HDMI-CEC for other functions, this feature never worked previously, which is worth the cost of admission for the App. Another nice feature of having your TV in the Home App is that it is available for scenes and automations, which makes for some interesting possibilities.
During our time spent with the HomeKit integration, we did see some issues that will hopefuly be addressed soon. One such issue is the Home App only “sees” one device per hub, meaning if you have other devices, such as in our case with a IR based fireplace, it will show up as an input device under the TV. This limits the ability to toggle these other devices, but it can be accomplished, via scenes. The other issue is that the device in HomeKit that is added will use the name of the Harmony Hub that is set up in Logitech’s App. This is not a big deal, as it can be changed, but it may be confusing to some at first.
So when it is all said and done, the App works as promised. We were able to add our TV to HomeKit within a matter of seconds, and I have not seen any issues with connectivity or reliability as of yet.
Yes, this App is essentially a “wrapper” of sorts for HomeBridge, which is a free project available for those willing to get their hands dirty to get their unsupported devices into HomeKit. Update 06/04/19: The developer has stated that Harmony Bridge is an App written specifically for the intended purpose, and is not an implementation of HomeBridge. Harmony Bridge is available on the Mac App Store for $5.99, and is simply the easiest way to get a Logitech Harmony connected into HomeKit. The developer also provides a similar App for TPL-Link Kasa Devices & Ambi Climate Devices, which are also available on the App Store for the same price.