HomeKit is a software framework by Apple that lets users configure, communicate with, and control smart-home appliances using Apple devices. By designing rooms, items, and actions in the HomeKit service, users can enable automatic actions in the house through a simple voice command to Siri or through the Home app.


HomeKit uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi protocols.[2] Manufacturers of HomeKit-enabled devices are required to enroll in an MFi Program,[3] and initially all HomeKit-based products were required to include an encryption co-processor.[4] The latter requirement was later changed in iOS 11, which added support for software-based authentication.[5] Equipment manufactured without HomeKit support can be enabled for use through a "gateway" product, a bridge that connects those devices to the HomeKit service.[6]

HomeKit primarily competes with smart home standards from Amazon and Google. As of October 2019, Apple lists 450 devices compatible with HomeKit, compared to 10,000 for Google and 85,000 for Amazon.[7]

Device categories

HomeKit currently supports 22 device categories:[8]

  • Air conditioners

  • Air purifiers

  • Cameras

  • Doorbells

  • Fans

  • Faucets

  • Garage doors

  • Humidifiers

  • Lights

  • Locks

  • Outlets

  • Audio/video receivers

  • Security systems

  • Speakers

  • Sprinklers

  • Thermostats

  • Televisions

  • Windows

Garage doors, locks, security systems, and windows are categorized as secure appliances, and requires a device with authentication such as an iPhone or iPad to control.

Home hub

iPads, HomePods, and fourth-generation and newer Apple TVs can be used as a home hub to control HomeKit appliances remotely, grant guest access, and set up automations.[9] The third-generation Apple TV supports limited features.[10]

Home app

iOS version

HomeKit was first released with iOS 8 in September 2014. The framework allowed third-party apps to interface with HomeKit devices using Siri and allow remote access through home hubs.[11]

The Home app was first released with iOS 10 in September 2016 to unify all devices into one app.[12] It added support for automations using a home hub, and preprogrammed "Scenes", which can set multiple devices using a single command.[13]

macOS version

The Home app was added to Macs with macOS 10.14 Mojave in September 2018.

HomePod and Apple TV

The HomePod and fourth-generation and newer Apple TV lack a graphical user interface to control HomeKit devices, and instead use Siri voice commands. They cannot control secure devices.[14]

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