Home+ 5

Home+ version 5 is now available. It took much longer than I initially anticipated. It was a complete rewrite of the app – new UI, new features and a lot of improvements.

In Home+ 5 the usability and appearance of the app is very similar to Apple’s Home app. Why? Because most people already use the Home app. They should “feel at home” when switching to Home+.

One thing I really like about the Home app is the user interface to control accessories. You can seamlessly turn on devices, dim lights and close blinds. Apple did an awesome job designing those user interfaces. I’m really happy that Home+ now features the same controls.

Light bulbs can be dimmed by dragging the slider up and down.

All accessory icons were redesigned to better match the style of iOS 14. Overall Home+ now offers 99 accessory icons.

HomeKit components

Old But New Features

All features, which make Home+ unique, are still there.

  • Advanced Automations – you can create advanced automations by using all the characteristics of an accessory. Configuring your automations with the new user interface is now easier than ever.

  • Today Widgets – you can control accessories, scenes and view cameras and sensors in the Today widgets. This is very handy on the iPad where the Today View can be always visible. (Do not confuse Today Widgets with the new iOS 14 Widgets. At that time iOS 14 Widgets for HomeKit are not possible because of technical limitations. FB8434919)

  • Accessory Icons – you can customise the appearance of accessories by choosing from a wide range of icons.

Really New Features

Home+ 5 also includes new features, which were often requested by users.

  • Automation Folders – you can group automations in folders to get a better overview. If you are an advanced user of HomeKit and you have a lot of automations, you know that the automations screen gets confusing very quickly.

  • Backups – you can store your home configuration in a backup. A backup includes information about accessories, groups, rooms, zones, scenes and automations. A backup is useful because HomeKit can be buggy. If you have to reset your HomeKit configuration, you know how painful it is to manually restore your accessories, rooms and automations. A backup can help you with that.

  • Smart Groups – Home+ 5 automatically groups similar accessories together in a Smart Group and shows them at the top of the screen. With Smart Groups you can dim all lights in a specific room, close all blinds in a zone or turn off all lights in your home.

  • Favorites – you can finally see all your favorite accessories, scenes, cameras and sensors in one screen. This makes for a great dashboard.

  • And More – this update includes a lot more improvements like the new, and faster watchOS app, icons for rooms and Settings Sharing.

How To Update

The good news is that Home+ 5 is a free update for all existing users. The new version requires iOS 13 and watchOS 7.

If you enjoy this update, please consider donating via the app (Settings → Tip Developer). Your donation helps me to provide more features for free in the upcoming years. Thanks.

That’s all. Stay healthy!

Last updated 2021-02-01

© Matthias Hochgatterer – MastodonGithubRésumé