| Cult of Mac

Customize your space with Lutron’s updated smart shades for HomeKit

By

Some of Lutron's HomeKit-enabled Serena shades can really block a lot of light.
Some of Lutron's HomeKit-enabled Serena shades can really block a lot of light.
Photo: Lutron

Whether you’re looking to redesign your space with a fresh look or you just want to block out more light on a sunny morning, Lutron’s updates to its smart shades and blinds might help do the trick.

Lutron rolled out its HomeKit-enabled Serena Smart Architectural Honeycomb Shades on Monday with more than 40 fabric choices and some new refinements to block more light.

Wemo’s latest HomeKit smart plug uses Thread for fast, reliable connections

By

Wemo’s latest HomeKit smart plug uses Thread for fast, reliable connections
The Wemo Smart Plug with Thread offers simple and inexpensive home automation.
Photo: Wemo/Belkin

The Wemo Smart Plug with Thread simplifies controlling lamps, fans, and other appliances with an iPhone or Siri. Anything that plugs into a standard wall outlet can be turned on or off.

Rather than Wi-Fi, the HomeKit accessory communicates with other accessories over Thread, a mesh networking standard.

Avoid costly water damage with Eve’s new HomeKit-enabled sensor

By

Now with Thread support, Eve Water Guard sends leak alerts to the Home app.
Now with Thread support, Eve Water Guard sends leak alerts to the Home app.
Photo: Eve Systems

If you’ve ever suffered major water damage from a leak, you probably wish you could’ve found the problem before it was too late. Now you can — if you have the right smart home automation.

The second generation of the Bluetooth-enabled Eve Water Guard adds Thread networking technology that works with HomeKit. That lets it automatically join your Thread network and provide water leak notifications in Apple’s Home app before the damage is done.

Make your house a little smarter with updated Home Widget for HomeKit

By

Home Widget for HomeKit updates just made your house a little smarter.
Home Widget for HomeKit updates just made your house a little smarter.
Photo: Home Widget for HomeKit

If you’d like to improve your experience using HomeKit-enabled accessories on iOS, it might be time to try Home Widget for HomeKit. It already provides quick access to the Home app from your Home Screen, and it got a refresh on Wednesday, adding sensor support, different panel sizes and more.

HomeKit shakes things up at CES 2022

By

HomeKit was a stand-out star at CES 2022
CES 2022 brought daily announcements of new devices with Apple’s HomeKit home-automation system.
Photo: Cult of Mac

There is a lot to get HomeKit fans excited at this year’s CES tech showcase in Las Vegas. Quite a few companies announced products that will support Apple’s home-automation system, including lights, door cameras and more.

Glitzy projects like concept cars get more attention, but HomeKit accessories are more likely to make people’s lives better.

Manage your smart home with Aqara’s affordable Hub E1 for HomeKit

By

The Aqara E1 Hub is an inexpensive controller for your smart home.
The Aqara E1 Hub is an inexpensive controller for your smart home.
Photo: Aqara

Aqara’s affordable new USB-powered controller, the Smart Hub E1, makes it easy to control devices and sensors through Apple’s HomeKit and other smart-home systems. The company’s Zigbee-based devices, such as smart sensors, connect to the cloud through a central smart hub.

Because Aqara bridges all its devices to HomeKit, you can mix and match automations using different vendors. What’s more, you can power the Aqara Smart Hub E1 with any USB port you have, whether it’s a wall plug or a powered USB port on a console, computer or smart TV.

High-end Zorachka Homam camera ups your HomeKit video quality

By

Mount this space-helmet-looking cam in your house and the burglars will know you mean business.
Mount this space-helmet-looking cam in your house and the burglars will know you mean business.
Photo: Zorachka

Not too long ago you didn’t have a whole lot of choices for high-quality cameras to run with Apple’s HomeKit system, but that’s changing all the time. For example, Zorachka has released its new, high-end Homam 64GB camera. It joins recent offerings from the likes of Aquara, Eufy, Eve and others.

Updates to Controller for HomeKit app enhance your home automation

By

Controller for HomeKit 5.4 lets you back up your database, store codes and more.
Controller for HomeKit 5.4 lets you back up your database, store codes and more.
Photo: Controller for HomeKit

The third-party Controller for HomeKit app’s new version 5.4 update adds something users have wanted for a while. It’s a full backup and restore process that includes the HomeKit codes identifying the devices and accessories you include in your home automation.

Add dumb appliances to your smart home setup with SwitchBot

By

SwitchBot Hub Mini simplifies and enhances your home automation.
SwitchBot Hub Mini simplifies and enhances your home automation.
Photo: SwitchBot

This home automation post is brought to you by SwitchBot.

These days, people control more and more aspects of their lives remotely through apps. And it’s no longer just “smart” devices like wired doorbells, thermostats and lights. Even your not-so-smart devices can join the party.

Now, with SwitchBot products, you can control many of your ordinary, old-fashioned appliances and use them with home-automation systems like Siri, Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

Join the One Dollar Club

And even better, right now you can try SwitchBot for just a buck by joining the One Dollar Club.

SwitchBot makes about a dozen products. Today we’ll focus on two, the SwitchBot Bot smart switch and the SwitchBot Hub Mini smart remote. They can be used separately or together.

Take push-button control of HomeKit accessories with Belkin remote [Review]

By

Belkin Wemo Stage Scene Controller review
Press any of the three buttons on Belkin’s Wemo Stage Scene Controller to activate HomeKit accessories.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

You can activate up to six preprogrammed HomeKit scenes or accessories with the push of a button on Belkin’s Wemo Stage Scene Controller. The palm-size remote sits on a table or hangs on a wall, and lets you easily control HomeKit accessories all over your home. No wiring involved.

I’m fully committed to Apple’s home-automation system, and Belkin’s latest HomeKit gadget fit neatly into my setup. Here’s why.