Easily control Abode’s DIY security system with iPhone and HomeKit [Review]

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Abode Iota review
Abode Iota includes a camera, motion sensor and supports HomeKit home automation.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Abode Iota is a do-it-yourself security system that’s one of the very few with support for Apple’s HomeKit home-automation platform. That means it’s a breeze to control from your iPhone. It includes a camera, motion detector and windows/door sensor. Additional sensors can be added.

I installed the Iota Starter Kit and have extensively tested it. Read on to see whether it’s the right solution to secure your home or business.

Meross smart plug makes HomeKit home automation easy and cheap [Review]

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Meross Smart WiFi Plug Mini review
Insert the Meross Smart WiFi Plug Mini into a wall socket and you can control it from anywhere in the world.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Meross Smart WiFi Plug Mini is an inexpensive and easy-to-install way to get started in home automation. This smart plug lets you control a lamp, fan or other appliance without needing to touch it. Support for Apple’s HomeKit and Amazon Alexa means voice commands, or automated schedules, are all that’s necessary.

I tested a pair of these accessories for a week, and can report on how they perform in daily use.

Meross HomeKit-compatible smart plug adds home automation on the cheap

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Meross Smart WiFi Plug Mini comes in 2-packs
The Meross Smart WiFi Plug Mini can be controlled or scheduled through Apple’s Home app.
Photo: Meross

A HomeKit-compatible smart plug is an easy way to try home automation. And the Meross Smart WiFi Plug Mini is an especially inexpensive option. It enables a lamp or other simple electrical device to be remotely controlled from an iPhone using Siri voice commands.

Robin ProLine video doorbell is first with HomeKit Secure Video

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The industrial finish on the ProLine HomeKit video doorbell looks gorgeous.
The Robin ProLine Video Doorbell now securely stores and transmits its video recordings.
Photo: Robin Telecom Development

Support for Apple’s new HomeKit Secure Video system has been added to the Robin ProLine Video Doorbell. With this combination, users can see who is at their door while staying assured that this information is kept private.

Wemo WiFi Smart Plug with HomeKit is Belkin’s smallest yet

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The Wemo WiFi Smart Plug both support HomeKit
The Wemo WiFi Smart Plug and Wemo Stage were both unveiled at CES 2020.
Photo: Belkin

CES 2020Belkin’s latest version of its Wemo smart plug with HomeKit support is significantly smaller than its predecessor, making it less obtrusive on wall sockets.

The company also unveiled at CES 2020 the Wemo Stage, a remote than can be used to launch HomeKit scenes with the punch of a button.

Sengled smart bulbs get even smarter with Apple’s HomeKit automation system

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Sengled Smart Hub now has HomeKit support
With HomeKit support, give Siri commands to the Sengled Smart Hub to pass on to smart bulbs.
Photo: Sengled

CES 2020Accessory maker Sengled added support for Apple’s HomeKit to its smart home hub. This enables iPhone users to control Sengled’s smart bulbs through Siri commands.

The company also added to its lineup of smart home products with new lights and a smart plug.

How to get started with HomeKit home automation

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Wemo WiFi Smart Plug is a nice start to home automation
A Wemo WiFi Smart Plug is a simple way to learn more about home automation with Apple’s HomeKit.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Controlling the lights and other gadgets in your home from your iPhone is convenient and fun, too. There are plenty of HomeKit and Alexa accessories that make home automation a snap.

I’ll go over some of the best options I’ve found that will get you started with as little trouble as possible.