HomeKit makes Philips Hue smartbulbs even cooler


The new Philips Hue starter set might be the first must-have gear for people interested in HomeKit.
Photo: Evan Killham

If you’re even slightly interested in having smart lighting for your house, the new Philips Hue bridge, which supports Apple’s HomeKit automated-home framework, should be in your shopping cart right now.

Controlling your lights from your phone is one level of crazy future-stuff, but doing it with your voice drops you into an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. And you definitely want your home to feel like an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

How to get past Philips Hue’s ‘iCloud Sync’ roadblock


Philips hue lighting
Sure, the lights are all pretty now. But at what cost, Philips?
Photo: Philips

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugYou should be excited to get Siri up and running with your new Philips Hue bridge and control your lights with the power of your voice, but one annoying error might stop you. It definitely had me scouring the Internet for answers when I was setting up my smartbulb system this afternoon, and I’d love to save you that time.

Because if you’ve spent $200 on fancy lightbulbs, you probably want to start using them right away, damn it.

Apple welcomes new batch of HomeKit-compatible devices


Apple HomeKit
HomeKit is getting closer to helping you live in the future.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s list of HomeKit-compatible devices is finally starting to look impressive.

The company’s smarthome framework has been off to a bit of a slow start since Apple first unveiled it at its Worldwide Developers Conference last year, but this fall might be when it actually hits its stride. The list of available compatible devices is growing, according to an update on Apple’s website.

Logitech’s new universal remote commands your whole home


Logitech's Harmony Elite remote controls almost anything you point it at.
Logitech's Harmony Elite remote controls almost anything you point it at.
Photo: Logitech

The last universal remote we bought cost $20 from Walgreens. It was a big, ugly hunk of plastic, but it controlled the TV and VCR just fine.

These days, things have gotten a little more complicated. Now we have an HDTV, three set-top boxes, two game consoles and Sonos, as well a Nest thermostat and a bunch of Bluetooth-connected lightbulbs.

Logitech’s new Harmony Elite is a universal remote that controls all these devices and more. It’s price is listed at an eye-popping $350, but this is much more than a TV remote. It’s a smarthome hub for just about every connected device in your house, designed to give HomeKit and Siri a run for their money.

Fancy new smart lock can see who’s at your door


nucli smart lock by westinghouse
The Nucli smart lock by Westinghouse.
Photo: Westinghouse

Electrics giant Westinghouse is getting into the connected-home game, and its first offering is a smart lock that looks like it should be seeing if it can’t lock down a stabilizer in a Star Wars X-Wing.

The Nucli (which is pronounced “new-klee” and not “nuck-lee,” regardless of how your brain sees it) will offer a wealth of features to help you secure your domain.