Home → Home+

My HomeKit app is now called Home+. Here is why.

Maybe you remember the times where my HomeKit app was the only Home app on the App Store. Here is a quick recap.

Apple released the first version of the HomeKit framework with iOS 8 in 2014. At that time I started developing the Home app. The app was released in July 2015 as the first HomeKit app on the App Store.

I updated the app regurarly and added feature after feature. I released version 2 in 2016 and version 3 in 2017.

In 2017, Apple started to pre-install a very similar HomeKit app, called Home, on all iOS devices in iOS 10. So we ended up with two apps with similar features and the same name. The only difference is that Apple’s Home app is free and pre-installed on all iOS devices. My Home app is a paid app and only available on the App Store.

Since then I try hard to differentiate my Home app from Apple’s Home app by providing more features and customisability. That’s not an easy task because some HomeKit features are just not available to third-party developers. This means that for certain things you have to use Apple’s Home app.

Nevertheless I kept working on the app. For iOS 13 I totally redesigned user interface and added new features. The app should still be called Home on the home screen, as the years before. But out of the blue Apple rejected the update with the reason that it can’t be called Home anymore. Somebody from the App Review team called me and made it clear that the app can’t have the same name as the Apple Home app.

So here I am, having to rename my app because Apple made the same app years later. I think that’s unfair.

I’m not very happy that I have to rename the app to Home+, but it’s their platform and their rules. 😕

Last updated 2019-09-25

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