CES 2018 has brought many new goodies for Apple fans, but one of the most prolific categories has been HomeKit. We saw more than a dozen new HomeKit products debut here, and we rounded them all up into one place.
The LaMetric Time takes many of the benefits of a smart watch, and brings them to the big clock in your home or office. Listen to music, control your smart home, get analytics, or even build your own app.
Ever since Philips released version two of their Hue app with a complete redesign, one of the most prominent complaints I’ve heard is that custom scenes can’t be transferred from the original Hue app to the new one, which has prevented many users from deleting the version one app.
Fortunately, Netherlands-based blog appletips has published a solution for users of Apple’s Home app in iOS 10. It’s worth noting that this method still doesn’t enable importing scenes into Philips Hue’s second generation app, but rather, the scenes from the old Hue app can be saved in iOS 10’s Home app. While this may not be ideal for everyone, it’s a solid workaround that allows users to easily retrieve custom scenes from the first generation Hue app.
I’m a huge fan of Philips Hue lights, as the smart technology behind them often proves itself to be an immense convenience. Perhaps I’m better off walking across the room to flip a light switch, but I’m perfectly fine with telling Siri to do it or swiping up Control Center in iOS 10 and tapping a light in the HomeKit pane. Dimming the lights down to a warm glow in the evenings while browsing Twitter with my phone on NightShift is one scenario that, for me, makes Philips Hue an incredible experience.
The underlying issue with smart lightbulbs in general and Philips Hue in particular that has kept many people from fully adopting them is the price. Philips’ colored bulbs come in around $50 apiece, with the Starter Kit providing three bulbs and the connecting hub for $180. At first glance, those seem like fairly hefty prices for lightbulbs, of all things. However, a cheaper option is available for those who love home automation but don’t need the RGB colors of Philips Hue’s white and color ambiance bulbs, as the company is now selling a white ambience-only variant of their Hue line.
For decades it was a thing of science fiction. Books and movies have long depicted their protagonists speaking commands to inanimate objects and having orders carried out instantly. I think it’s safe to say that most everyone, including myself, used to daydream of being able to control lights simply by giving a voice command from anywhere in the room, no longer having to get up and walk over to flip a light switch on or off.
Then Philips introduced their Hue lightbulbs and companion API, moving traditional light switches a step closer to obsoleteness by introducing the ability to turn lights on and off with a smartphone app, bringing us one step closer to making voice controlled lights a reality. When the second generation Hue bridge was introduced with HomeKit support, Siri gained the ability to control Hue peripherals, creating the ultimate ease-of-use scenario.
There’s almost a magical property surrounding Philips Hue lights. A room can be lit or darkened by a spoken word, its walls repainted in an instant, or the atmosphere changed to anything from a tropical sunset to an Arctic aurora. There’s really no limit to what one can do with a few Hue lights and some creative inspiration.