Podcast

Shortcut door status notification, new Aqara switch, & more on HomeKit Insider

article thumbnail

In this week's episode of HomeKit Insider, we talk through some new product launches before turning to a shortcut that can alert us to any door getting opened in the house.

In the news this week, smart home manufacturer Aqara announced a series of new wall switches destined for the European market. There are multiple configurations and types of switches, many that do not require a neutral wire. This is a common question we get asked on the show, so now those listeners will finally have a few more options to consider.

Ecobee also had an update roll out to its Smart Thermostat with Voice Control that allowed the AC or heat to turn off after detecting a door open for a set period of time. This does require a Haven subscription from Ecobee as well as Ecobee's contact sensors, but otherwise is an ingenious use of its capabilities.

We're big fans of Ecobee's sensors as-is because not only do they act as contact sensors for doors and windows, but they also act as room sensors for temperature and occupancy.

After the news, we turned to address a question we had on last week's episode with a more full-featured answer. A listener had written in asking for help with a notification that would run whenever he leaves his house and give him the status of all his doors and windows. Whether he was leaving with a door or window open. We agreed it was possible, but Stephen spent quite a bit of time researching it this past week.

Stephen posited one example on how to achieve such a notification and Andrew provided guidance on an advanced version. This is such a useful notification we are surprised Apple doesn't have its own template built in here.

From the audience

This week's episode brought us a few more listener questions as well. Dennis was having issues with HomeKit and his MyQ garage door opener. He says he can control it in the MyQ app but it doesn't show in the Home app. Our best guess so far is that Dennis may not have the added MyQ hub that enables the HomeKit functionality on top of the regular "smart" functionality.

Max asked us if there was a way to record HomeKit Secure Video cameras at specific times of the day. This is a feature we've asked for for quite a while now. As it stands, HSV cameras can only be set to record based on location. So when you arrive or leave.

We'd love to see more granular control here so that perhaps when we set our "goodnight" scene aside from closing the shades, locking the door, and turning off the light we also had our cameras switch to record mode. That way if someone would break in while we're asleep, the cameras would still be triggered. Alas, this isn't an option at this time.

Those interested in sponsoring the show can reach out to us at: [email protected]

Keep up with everything Apple in the weekly AppleInsider Podcast — and get a fast news update from AppleInsider Daily. Just say, "Hey, Siri," to your HomePod mini and ask for these podcasts, and our latest HomeKit Insider episode too.

If you want an ad-free main AppleInsider Podcast experience, you can support the AppleInsider podcast by subscribing for $5 per month through Apple's Podcasts app, or via Patreon if you prefer any other podcast player.

AppleInsider is also bringing you the best Apple-related deals for Amazon Prime Day 2021. There are bargains before, during, and even after Prime Day on June 21 and 22 — with every deal at your fingertips throughout the event.