Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Hands on with Home App, HomeKit, Siri on macOS Mojave

Home App, HomeKit and Siri control on macOS

HomeKit has been on iOS for years and now HomeKit and the Home app along with Siri control have made their way to the macOS. In macOS Mojave, you can finally control your smart home right from your Mac using HomeKit, Siri and the built-in Home App

As I started to build my smart home using Smart home using HomeKit, one of the missing features was HomeKit support on Mac and when it was announced I was super excited to try it out.

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So read on for the low down on my hands on with Home app, HomeKit and Siri on macOS and my first thoughts on how the smart home is controlled on a Mac

Enabling HomeKit on MacOSiCloud HomeKit settings on macOS

Before you can get started you need to first enable HomeKit via iClouds settings in the system preferences app on your Mac. This process is very simply todo and is achieved by going to;

  • System preferences
  • iCloud
  • Then ticking the HomeKit box to enable

Once you have HomeKit enabled on your mac, you are then ready to start using the Home App and Siri control.

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Home App on the Mac

The Home app on macOS is a straight port of the app from iOS that you would find on your iPhone, iPad and iPod. Home app on Macos

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So following the same layout as iOS, the Home app on the Mac as along the top three sections: HomeRooms, and Automation. You will also be able to view your scenes on the Home and Rooms tabs for easy access

  • Home is where all your favourite smart devices live, including your favourite scenes. This just looks the exact same as Home app on iOS
  • Rooms are all the individual rooms in your home and can be swiped between. You can also edit and create new rooms to be used in HomeKit
  • Automation is a list of all current automation rules and triggers that have been configured.
  • + also exists to create automation and scenes, but you cant add HomeKit accessories like you can on iPhone and iPad.

Whilst the Home app on macOS looks identical to the app on iOS, it does behave differently when interacting with it.

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The first being, when you would 3D Touch in iOS app to access controls, you have to right-click on macOS to access controls. If you try to use the force touch on a MacBook Pro trackpad the boxes start behaving oddly. But you have to remember this is MacOS 10.14 Beta 1, so things will get better.

AutomationHome app automation on macOS

The 2nd thing I noticed when creating a new automation, Home App on macOS prevents you from choosing any location-based trigger, which does seem odd thing as when you create location-based triggers it will also enable them for anyone that is identified in HomeKit in your home with a compatible device.

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Siri controlHomeKit Siri macOS

Siri support for HomeKit on the mac has been a long time coming, but at long last, you can now use Siri on your Mac to control HomeKit accessories and I am pleased to report it works really well and very responsive.

If you have one of the latest MacBook Pro’s with a Siri button, then asking Siri to turn on the lights on the Mac is easy. Since I have been using the Home app on macOS its really changed how I use HomeKit in the Home, especially when I am working in the office and wanting to control the lights.

Home app, HomeKit and siri control on macOS first impressions

macOS 10.14 Mojave is still in Beta 1 and I have been using it for 48 hours now and using the Home App on the Mac heavily to put it through its paces and despite it being the first beta, HomeKit on the Mac works really well. HomeKit macOS Home app

During my use, I have found that the Home App is responsive and accessories respond quickly to commands, setting us scenes is easy and straightforward and using Siri control via your Mac with for HomeKitaccessories is slick.

Yes HomeKit on the Mac does have a few niggles and some odd things that need iorning out before the final version of macOS 10.14 is shipped in October, but the Home app on the Mac is a great start.



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Jon Ratcliffe
I am Jon R and the editor of Active JR that covers wearables, fitness tech and smart home. I have a huge passion for technology having worked in the sector for over 18 years in a variety of roles and I like combining this with fitness.My reviews and information will talk about how the product works in reality and not just what the marketing departments want you to think.You can contact Jon on Twitter @ActiveJR1

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