I entered the Apple HomeKit ecosystem with a very simple item: a smart electric drive from Koogeek. Before I used the ecosystem of Xiaomi smarthome already, I used Google Home already, so I want to try and see what Apple does in the smart home and whether it is easy to use like Google or Xiaomi. Here are some basic information I find out, do you intend to play Apple HomeKit smarthome, then consult.
What items does Apple HomeKit have?
HomeKit is also very diverse, with doorbells, security cameras, smart switches, light bulbs, LED lights, smart speakers, even recently integrated into TV … About multi-level The format is not inferior to products that support Google Home or Amazon Alexa. Regarding the number of models, there are fewer and few firms participate in HomeKit furniture because Apple promotes this ecosystem after Amazon and after Google for a long time.
In Vietnam, HomeKit items are hard to find, not as good as brothers in the US and Europe can quickly buy from Amazon. Not knowing later when demand increased, it was easier, but currently there are not many smarthome sites that support HomeKit. Like my Koogeek drive, I bought it at Insitu.vn, and I had to search a lot to find it.
Experience how to pair HomeKit map with phone / tablet?
Before using smarthome items, you have to connect them to the network (local network, or Internet) in a way, not only Apple or Google or Xiaomi is all that.
The difference of Apple HomeKit is that each device sold will have a code printed on paper or box. You just need to plug in the device, use the Home app on iPhone, iPad to scan this code. Other settings are automatically set up, you almost don't have to do anything to connect smarthome to Wi-Fi! The Wi-Fi password also doesn't need to be entered, because of your iPhone, your iPad will share that password with the smarthome device, just like other growers, intervene deeply. You will see the video above.
Meanwhile, with Xiaomi or Google ecosystem, you have to enter the Wi-Fi password manually, and sometimes you have to do a few other steps so that your smart device can connect to the network. The reason is that the app Google or Xiaomi cannot get into the system to get the Wi-Fi password.
After you have added the device to the network, you can use the Home app to control almost all of the device's functions, and you don't need to install the manufacturer's own app too (if you want to install it, you can still stop star). Only with some special devices with specific features, you need to install the app of the manufacturer, As for simple items like light bulbs and smart sockets, Apple's Home app is enough.
How does HomeKit work principle?
Look at the diagram below:
This is how HomeKit works when you control from home (phone, Mac computer, Apple speaker connected to Wi-Fi network at home). Then HomeKit works completely "local", ie data is only sent around within your home network, not going to an Apple server or any third party. When you press the "on" button on the Home app on the iPhone, the command will go to the Wi-Fi router, then send it directly to your socket, light bulb … without having to go to the Internet.
This is the biggest difference of Apple HomeKit ecosystem compared to Google Home or Xiaomi. With Google or Xiaomi, data when you order from the phone will go to the Internet to Google server processing, then sent via the Internet to smart devices (eg light bulbs). This has 2 limitations:
- If the Internet is lost, you can't control Xiaomi or Google smarthome items
- Under normal circumstances, it is much slower to send data to the Internet than to wait for a response to the data, compared to the data that only runs on the internal network in the home.
Of course, it is also wrong to say that Apple HomeKit does not need to use the Internet. There are functions like voice command Siri still need Internet because your voice data must be sent to the Apple server to analyze what the command is. Also, if you want to control the smarthome device while you're on the road, you also need the Internet (this is a bit more complicated, I will say later).
Can I control Apple HomeKit when I leave the house?
The answer is yes, but you must have some Apple device in the house. At that time the operation principle will be like this:
You see the interior of the house, basically the same as I explained above, but the part outside the house must have more iCloud. iCloud now becomes your command center for a "home hub" located inside your home. That Home Hub could be an iPad, an Apple TV or an Apple HomePod speaker. Recently, companies like Sony, Samsung, and LG have also launched a series of TVs that support HomeKit, which can also become home hubs. To see the instructions for iPad, Apple TV, HomePod device as a hub, refer to this Apple link.
In other words, if you want to control your home from outside, you have to have an Apple device. For example, I have an iPhone and an iPad. This is possible, but if you have only one iPhone, it looks like a bunch of hands.
This is the limitation of device control in the internal network. As Google, Xiaomi, the order is always taken to the company's server to handle so whether you are indoors or on the road, whether you use Wi-Fi or 4G, you can control the smarthome. As for Apple, there must be an in-house bureau as an "intermediary" when smarthome receives orders.
Summary: to maximize the effect of Apple HomeKit ecosystem, you will need to use Apple devices, iPhone, iPad or Apple TV, HomePod. If you are an Android user, HomeKit is not for you Unlike other Google Home or Xiaomi items, they are designed to work well with both iOS and Android.