Apple’s HomeKit is a user-friendly platform for anyone who owns an iOS device and is interested in a simple, reliable DIY smart-home system. With a couple of HomeKit-compatible devices and a recent iPhone or iPad, it’s realistic to start from scratch and have an integrated system up and running in a few minutes. You can control your HomeKit system via the Siri voice assistant built into Apple phones, tablets, computers, and watches; or through smartphone and tablet apps; or, beginning February 2018, through Apple’s HomePod smart speaker.
HomeKit-compatible devices come from many different brands, but all HomeKit devices automatically “see” one another without requiring any setup. And setting up automations—preset actions that involve one or more devices—is satisfyingly straightforward, requiring only a few taps in Apple’s Home app, which comes preinstalled on iOS devices. If you’re ready to explore what Apple HomeKit has to offer, we’ve selected our top picks from the most popular and useful categories of smart-home devices. For a closer look at HomeKit’s capabilities, we’ve put together a complete guide, “Building a Smart Home With Apple’s HomeKit,” where we go deep on its pros and cons, as well as how it fares against the voice-controlled competition, Amazon’s Alexa and Echo and the Google Home system.