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Get started with HomeKit

This guides goes through setting up a home and adding your first accessories. You will learn how to configure your homes, rooms, zones and accessories.

Create Home

After your bought your first HomeKit accessories and downloaded Home from the App Store, you can start creating a home. Inside a home you have your accessories, rooms, scenes, zones and triggers.

So before adding new accessories, create a new home.

Rooms and Zones

Rooms and zones are used to group accessories. This is useful to get a better overview over your accessories. It also makes it easier for Siri to understand your accessory configuration. Siri knows your rooms and zones, which means that you can access your devices using voice commands. For example, Siri will tell you the current temperature if you ask her the following – “Hey Siri, what’s the temperature in the kitchen?”

Accessories

Now it’s time to add the first accessory to your home. When adding a new accessory you will be asked to enter a 8-digit pin, which you will find on the product packaging or the accessory itself. You can use the iOS device camera to scan the pin, or enter it manually. New in iOS 11 is the possibility to enter the pin using RFC. (But this requires that the accessory supports that.)

After successfully adding the accessory, you can control it. Under the Services tab you will find all services of your accessories. Each service contains characteristics like the current power state or brightness.

Scenes

You can change the state of your accessory manually or automatically. For this HomeKit offers scenes and triggers. A scene contains a list of actions which can be executed all at once. An action can be setting the brightness to 50%. By default there are 4 predefined scenes: Good Morning, I’m leaving, I’m arriving, Good night. (These scenes can’t be edited or deleted.)

You can execute the actions of a scene manually by using the Set Scene button in the scene details view. If you want to execute the actions automatically, you can use triggers. Learn more about triggers in the automation guide.

Groups

Home supports groups, which allow you to control multiple devices at once. For example, you can change the brightness of all light bulbs in your home. You can create new groups or use one of the smart groups, which are automatically created for you based on your home configuration.

Home Hub

At home your iOS device uses the local Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to communicate with HomeKit accessories. If you want to access your accessories while not being at home, you’ll need a home hub. This can be an Apple TV (3rd generation or later) or iPad (running iOS 10 or later). Remote communication then goes from your iOS device through Apple servers to your home hub. The home hub then communication directly with the accessories. Keep in mind that the data is always encrypted – Apple doesn’t see the content of the communication.

A home hub is also used to execute your automations. Therefore some event triggers on iOS 11 require a compatible home hub. A compatible home hub is an Apple TV on tvOS 11 or iPad on iOS 11.

Follow these instructions to set up a home hub.

No compatible home hub

When you get the error “No compatible home hub”, make sure that your home hub is running the latest operating system. Check the version of → Apple ID → Select your Home Hub from the list of devices → Version. If the device version is not up to date there, sign out from iCloud on your home hub and then sign in again.

Data Storage

All HomeKit data are managed by iOS and stored locally on your device. This means that all HomeKit apps have access to the same data. You are not restricted to use a particular app. Furthermore all data is kept up-to-date on all your iOS devices using iCloud.

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