Site Update: Changes & More

As you may have noticed, there have been quite a few changes made to the site over the last week or so, which has left everyone wondering, just what the heck is going on. To keep things rather brief, I have made the decision to pull back on the scope of the site, which will allow me to focus more on analysis and commentary rather than trying to report on all of the HomeKit releases and news. This will of course lead to less posts with no set frequency, but when I do write posts, they will hopefully add something to the conversation.

These changes will also allow me to inject more personality into things, something that I felt was lacking with the site. To further push the personal approach that I want to incorporate, I am dropping the HomeKit Hero branding, and going forward as just myself. I originally envisioned the site as having multiple contributors, which led to the magazine style of name, but it doesn’t quite fit with the latest changes. The new layout of the site will resemble a traditional blog format, so expect to see some odd visuals and things while I get everything converted over.

I understand that this may disappointment some readers looking for every bit of HomeKit they can find, but I hope that what little personality that I sprinkled in is enough to keep you around. HomeKit Hero has performed far beyond my wildest expectations in such a short amount of time, hitting readership milestones, and opening the doors to new avenues, but the greatest takeaway from it all is the wonderful people that I have met within the community.

I am sincerely thankful for all of your support on this journey, and I look forward to sharing with everyone a better, and more focused, site in the future.

Christopher

How to Rename Rooms in the Home App

Is your HomeKit accessory collection growing in size and spanning multiple rooms within your home? Then it is time to move away from the “Default Room” name, and give each room in your home their proper names. There are two ways to rename your rooms, both of which start directly from a room page, and they’re both super easy. Here’s how to start customizing your home using names.

>Continue reading at iMore

How to Change Your Home Wallpaper in the Home App

If you have lots of HomeKit accessories in your home, then you know how tracking one down can be a little difficult with the default backgrounds for each room all looking the same. However, there is a simple way to make things a little easier to find, just change the wallpaper! Whether it is using a custom photo of the rooms in your home, or by using a different default option, changing things up is a breeze. Here’s how!

>Continue reading at iMore

How to Create Scenes in the Home App

Ever wish that you can control multiple HomeKit accessories at once with just a single tap or shout to Siri? Well you’re in luck, as you can do just that using custom scenes that you create in the Home app. With just a few simple steps, you can set the stage for your next big movie night that dims your lights, closes your blinds, and fires up your TV. Here’s how to get started with scenes.

>Continue reading at iMore

How to Rename Your Home in the Home App

If you set up HomeKit using the default house name, then your home will have the default “My Home” name assigned to it automatically. Changing your home’s name can make things a little more familiar, not just for visuals in the Home app, but also with Siri’s responses to your queries. There are two ways that you can get the job done, both of which require just a few taps, so change that name today!

>Continue reading on iMore

Just get a HomeKit accessory for Christmas? Here's how to set it up!

Wrapping up the holiday themed posts for iMore is my intro guide to HomeKit for newcomers to the smart home platform. I wrote this one in a question and answer format that covers HomeKit in general, how to set up accessories, troubleshooting, and a brief overview of the more advanced stuff such as automations.

Did you just unwrap a HomeKit accessory for the holidays, but don’t quite know where to start? Don’t worry, we are here to answer some of your burning questions, and to help with some potential issues that may arise when setting it up. Here’s our guide to everything that you need to know about that shiny new smart home accessory.

>Continue reading at iMore

Home App: The Ultimate Guide

If you are giving the gift of HomeKit this year to someone who is not familiar with the Home App, then start them off right by sending them to this ultimate guide. I recently gave it a refresh for iOS 13, and to include links to all of iMore’s guides to navigating and controlling accessories in the Home app across iOS, watchOS, and macOS.

Topics include:

  • Controls
  • Favorites
  • Rooms
  • Status & Notifications
  • Additional Users
  • HomeKit Secure Video
  • Wallpapers
  • Home Notes
  • Automation
  • HomeKit Hubs
  • macOS
  • watchOS

Also, make sure to check back on the 25th for another guide that gives a brief overview of HomeKit in a questions and answer format that can help answer some of those burning questions that you gift recipient may have.

>Continue to Home App: The Ultimate Guide on iMore

How to Add Home Notes in the Home App

To go along with my previous guide on preparing your smart home for guests, I wrote a basic how to post for iMore that covers using the Home Notes feature in the Home App. I often overlook this feature, opting to use a shared note in the notes App for most things, but can certainly see the value in just having a place for home related stuff, and it could be really useful for those that rent out their space.

Sharing access to your HomeKit accessories is quick and easy thanks to the Home app. However, your friends, family, renters, or airbnb guests may not quite know how you refer to your rooms or accessories within the app. Don’t leave everyone guessing, just use the notes section in the Home app! This handy feature allows you to use the Home app as a household whiteboard, allowing you to provide some tips, or the rules of the road.

>Continue reading at iMore

eufyCam 2 Review: No wires, no subscription

Been testing out the eufyCam 2 for around two weeks now for iMore, and have really enjoyed the wireless freedom that they offer. I was pleasantly surprised by their image quality (especially night vision) for running strictly on a battery as well. Getting them into HomeKit was frustrating at first, but I did like seeing that you can add them directly to the Home app without having to use the eufy Security app. Spoiler alert: they are great.

While it certainly isn’t the first all-wireless camera system around, the eufyCam 2 comes with a refreshing way to manage recordings, doing so without the need for a subscription. This, coupled with a low entry cost, makes it one of the most affordable, and feature packed accessories around. I recently had the chance to test out a two camera starter kit from eufy, and I have found to be a fantastic option for those in the camera market, especially for those that value privacy as it works with Apple’s HomeKit.

>Continue reading at iMore

How to Prepare Your Smart Home for Guests

This is the second of a series of guides that I wrote for iMore this month that covers some of the basics for the coming holiday. Sometimes it helps to take a step back from our own smart home worlds to recognize that others may not be as savvy when it comes to automations and accessories, so I wanted to provide some general tips to help accommodate guests that you may have.

Of course, this guide also aims to prevent some of the damages that guests can cause to your smart home routines as well!

Outside of power and internet outages, there is nothing more disrupting to a smart home than having guests that don’t play by the rules. With just a flick of a switch or a pull of a plug, a guest that is unfamiliar with your smart home can make your convenient controls and automations disappear an instant. Here’s how to keep your home smart, and your guests happy and comfortable.

>Continue reading at iMore