Smart Home

homeOS remains elusive, but appears again in a brand new Apple job listing

It's been a bit of a busy years (going on a busy two years, honestly), so no one would blame you if you didn't remember that, at one point, it was rumored that Apple could be launching a brand new operating system in 2021. Or just rebranding an existing framework. Either way, "homeOS" was all the rage for a very short period of time, and now it's back to help stoke the rumor flame.

HomePod mini vs Amazon Echo: Which should you buy?

HomePod mini vs Amazon Echo

Apple introduced a tinier version of its popular HomePod called HomePod mini. This smart speaker is not only smaller in size, but also in price as compared to its parent. Both of these features put the HomePod mini more in the running as a direct competitor to the Amazon Echo.

Whether for yourself or a gift for a loved one, you might be trying to decide between the two (or three including the Amazon Echo Dot). To help, we have a comparison of HomePod mini versus Amazon Echo. Hopefully this will help you pick the best smart speaker for your home or someone else’s.

How to set up HomeKit notifications for your accessories

iPhone Door Unlocked Notification

There are certain smart home accessories that do more than turn off or change color. Devices like door locks and motion sensors are used to keep you safe and in control of your home. So it’s with good reason that accessories like these come with notifications.

If you’d like to receive an alert when your door locks or motion is detected, as examples, here’s how to set up notifications for your HomeKit devices.

How to use the Home app visual status for accessories

Home App Visual Status iPad

Controlling your smart home from your iPhone and iPad is simple with the Home app. And with iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and macOS  Big Sur, you have a clearer way to see and manage your HomeKit accessories.

What used to be written summary section at the top of the Home app is now a visual summary of your connected devices. This allows you to quickly take action or more easily control your accessories. Here’s the scoop on using the visual status section for devices in the Home app.