Apple introduced HomeKit. This added the ability to control accessories such as smart lights, locks and switches from your iOS device.
Apple added the Home app to iOS. This allows users to instantly see, organise and control your home with a simple app. Organised into rooms and toggles to switch devices on or off. This was a needed addition as you previously had to rely on Siri for HomeKit monitoring.
iOS 11 is expanding on HomeKit and the Home app with improved and powerful automation to give you more control of your accessories. Building upon timed triggers and conditions available in iOS 10, users can now use a combination of these. New conditions involving individual arrivals or departures to automate your home with more flexibility and complexity than previously possible.
Users can now automatically set an automation to shut off all accessories if all members of their family leave. This could only work on your individual location in previous versions. So if you left the home but your partner was still watching TV, everything would turn off and they would have to turn everything back on. Not very practical! This new method should improve on this.
iOS 11 boasts improved response times from Bluetooth enabled HomeKit devices. This will be a welcome improvement and possible advantage when Apple release their HomePod later in the year.
Running automation for a limited time – Using a combination of sensors and lights you can now set a light to switch on as a door opens but only between certain hours of the day (7pm-10pm).
Overall this is a smart way of improving on HomeKit. HomeKit is already one of the most secure methods of automating the home without worrying about 3rd party hacking as it always requires authentication through an AppleID. This can be accessed and controlled from outside of the home with an Apple TV (4th Gen or later) or a configured iPad.
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