Welcome to HomeKit 101, our guide to navigating the Home App, Creating Automations and More within the HomeKit Universe.
Last summer, a few of HomeKit’s first irrigation based devices hit the scene, and we were definitely excited to get our hands on one. During our review, we found the Eve Aqua to be a handy way to keep up with our watering needs. However, we quickly found out the limitations when it comes to HomeKit, and more specifically with the native iOS Home App. The biggest omission that we found was the fact there was no built in scheduling solution in place, and we had to rely on the Eve for HomeKit App to create one. While we certainly enjoy using the Eve App, we always prefer to use the Home App first, for consistency and ease of use, so we of course started looking at creating a make shift schedule of sorts using automations. We are happy to report that it can indeed be done, albeit with some caveats. Let’s dive in.
What You Will Need:
– A Scene To Turn on Your Irrigation Device
– Default Run Time for Irrigation Device Already Set to Desired Time
– A Scene to Turn off Your Irrigation Device (Optional, for Added Peace of Mind)
– Open the Home App
– Tap on “Automation” on the Bottom Navigation Bar
– Tap on the “+” Icon
– Tap on “A Time of Day Occurs”
– Tap on “Time of Day” and Select Desired Time
– Tap on the Desired Days for the Schedule
– Tap on “Next”
– Select Your Scene that Turns on Your Irrigation Device
– Tap on “Next”
– Confirm the Automation, then Click “Done”
That’s it! You now have a schedule set up for your irrigation device. With a schedule set, there are some things to keep in mind as there can be some wildcards. Due to limitations in the Home App, this automation will run every day that you set it for, regardless of if it rains or not, so you will have to toggle the automation on and off to avoid watering on these days. The automation itself will run for whatever the default run time is set for. This setting can be adjusted by 3D/Haptic Touching on the Irrigation device tile. If you want a little extra peace of mind as far as making sure it stops watering after the default run time, you can create another automation and scene to turn off the device. Aside for having a schedule for your irrigation device, you can also use the scene that you set up to turn it on via Siri, and in our case, our scene is named “Water the Flowers” which we can summon at any time with our HomePod. Hopefully, iOS 13 will bring some improvements for irrigation devices, but until then, enjoy a somewhat simpler way to keep up on your watering.