HomeKit Lets You Control Devices From Your iPhone

by Lily Feinn

I depend on my iPhone to run my life — to tell me where to be, and when, and how many steps I walked to get there. With the iOS 10 update Apple announced on Sept. 7, due on Sept. 13, my beloved iPhone can also now control my home. After updating to the new operating system, you may notice a new default app sitting on your the screen, and wonder, "What is HomeKit in iOS 10?" Well, you know those sci-fi movies where in the future people can turn on the lights, play music, and make an omelette with a single touch of a button? That's basically what Apple is gifting us with in their latest operating system overhaul.

This little app is about to simplify everything by make your home an iPhone controlled device. The Home app is a central location that groups all the smart devices in your living space and control them. If you have HomeKit enabled devices already set up, they will automatically appear in the Home app. From turning on and off lights, changing temperature on the thermostats, doorbells and locks, and controlling any video recorders or surveillance — it's so easy!

The Home app is divided into three sections: Home, Rooms, and Automation. On the Home screen you will find a list of the items you use most, for quick and easy access (your favorite lamp, light switch, and so on). You can set these items from the Home section, regardless of what room they are located in. The Rooms section allows you to divide your living space by room, and group the smart items by their location. Say you want to dim all the lights in your living room by 50 percent and change the light bulb hues to pink — you can do this easily via this section.

In the Automation tab, you can set up an iPad or AppleTV to act as a Home hub, so that you can control the HomeKit-enabled devices remotely. You can also set the accessories to perform certain actions automatically depending on your location of the time of day, or a preset trigger. Hate walking into a hot house during the summer after a hard day of work? With the Home app you can set the air conditioners to full blast when your iPhone detects you leaving the office! Want to wake up slowly without an alarm clock? Set your light dimmers to gradually turn on at a pre-set time each morning.

And what's more, you don't even need to open up the app to turn on a light. Simply swipe up on your locked phone screen to access the "control center" and it will bring up your favorite devices. You can even tell the Home app to boil water for your tea. Now if I could get this awesome app to water my plants and walk my dog, my life would be perfect.

Image: Pexels, MacRumors/YouTube, Apple