Apple added support for HomeKit cameras with iOS 10, yet to date, only two cameras have hit the market with the feature. The first camera to bring support, was the D-Link Omna, and while it had a rocky start, iOS 11 brings several welcome enhancements.
Check out the hands-on video review to see the camera for yourself, as well as some day/night sample footage.
Home security is a big concern for many people out there. We’ve seen a big resurgence in simple home security systems, as well as home cameras. The D-Link Omna is an indoor camera that can you can use to keep an eye on your home, your pets, or your loved ones.
The camera itself is a cylindrical aluminum tube, that clearly looks like a camera. It doesn’t blend in to your home as easily as others (like the Canary) do.
The bottom has a series of vents, there is a status LED on the front, a micro USB port on the back, and a micro SD card slot on the bottom.
It is quite important to not cover the ventilation along the bottom as the camera tends to run on the hot side.
The camera is quite capable. offering 180º field of view. It also has built in IR that makes seeing at night easy peasy.
You can see some examples of this night vision in the accompanying video.
It can stream and record video at 1080P, which is about as good as you can hope for in an affordable home security camera.
While you can easily stream footage in your home, or remotely, there is no cloud storage option. This is a big bummer for me, because if someone ever came into your home, they could just take the camera, and all your footage would be gone.
Since launch, D-Link has added new features to the camera and to the app. One of the big ones was adopting Android support, which is now available.
Compared to many other HomeKit accessories where you can basically ignore them, you really need the D-Link app if you want to get the most out of the Omna.
In the D-Link app you are able to view your recorded video, at home or away.
Just choose your date, and a list of recordings will show up.
You also have finer control over the motion settings as well. If you rely on HomeKit for motion alerts, you have more control on when you receive them (based on time of day, and occupancy). If you utilize the Omna app, you have control over the sensitivity, as well as the motion area it monitors. You can use both, or you can choose one.
What most people care about, and what I care about, is HomeKit control.
HomeKit and automation
Both the camera, and the motion sensor show up independently inside of the Home HomeKit app.
The camera will show at the bottom of whichever room you’ve chosen to place it in with a still frame, and a time stamp of when it was taken. Simply tap into it to see it live, as well as to communicate with anyone who happens to be on the other end. You could talk to your child, to your pet, or tell the burglar to please put back your priceless art.
The motion sensor allows you many new options in iOS 11. For instance, you can receive alerts at very specific times.
You can have alerts only show during the day while you are at work, or perhaps at night when you want to keep an eye on your home, or maybe you just want alerts any time that the home is supposed to be unoccupied.
These modular alerts make a big difference. When I was first testing the camera, I would receive alerts constantly while I was at home, and it was so frustrating I had to turn them off.
The motion sensor, as a HomeKit accessory, can be used for any number of other automation tasks. As a few examples, you can have the lights turn on at night when the camera detects motion, and turns off when it stops.
The wrap up show
Many things have changed since D-link launched the Omna. It now includes Android support, more features in the app, the HomeKit ecosystem has grown, and iOS 11 brought significant enhancements to HomeKit. The price has even dropped to a more reasonable $149, from the original $200.
If you have a HomeKit-equipped home, it is easy to recommend the Omna as a suitable solution for your home monitoring.
The biggest downsides are the lack of mounting options, as well as the lack of cloud storage, but for many, these are easily overcome. When companies offer cloud storage, it usually comes with a monthly fee right alongside, and I know that is something people would like to avoid.
If you’d like to pick up the D-Link Omna for yourself, you can do so on Amazon for the new price of $149.