Of the three major smart home ecosystem, Apple’s HomeKit has the smallest adoption rate. However, this does not in any way reflect on its abilities as a smart home ecosystem. Apple’s HomeKit is one of the best smart home systems to build a smart home.
If it’s your first time setting up a smart home ecosystem, or you’re planning to migrate from your current smart home setup, we’ve put together a number of reasons why Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem is an excellent option for you.
1. HomePod mini Sounds Great
There’s a good chance your smart speaker is going to be talking and playing music for most of its lifespan. If that’s going to be the case, it might as well sound as good as possible. Apple’s HomeKit can be anchored by the HomePod or the HomePod Mini smart speaker.
Although the original HomePod speaker has been discontinued, you can still find them in select stores. When weighed against other competitors, the HomePod still sounds better than a lot of recently released smart speakers.
The difference is clearer when comparing entry-level speakers like the HomePod mini against Amazon’s Echo Dot and Google’s Nest Mini. The Echo Dot started out with a not-so-good sound, but thanks to several upgrades, it is now fairly loud.
However, it doesn’t quite offer the HomePod mini kind of sound. Google’s Nest Mini is loud, you’d be surprised how loud it can get for a small speaker. But loud doesn’t necessarily mean best-sounding. For that title, look no further than the HomePod mini.
Without doubt, the HomePod mini will appeal to a lot of audiophiles. It is loud and sounds great. It is perhaps the best way to enjoy Apple Music at home. The HomePod Mini offers 360-degree sound and thanks to the S5 chipset it uses, it offers computational audio as well. This means the HomePod Mini will be able to analyze the song that’s playing and alter the sound to make the best of the song.
That’s not all. The HomePod also comes fitted with a room-sensing tech that analyzes the environment it is placed and optimizes the soundscape to match. These slew of additional features all add up to make the HomePod mini product line the star of the show. You really need to get your hands on one to better experience the tech in action.
Find out more about the HomePod mini and why you need one.
2. HomeKit Prioritizes Security
Smart home systems are all interesting and fun, until malicious individuals exploit a loophole to gain access to your home. Amazon Echo has had several failings in this regard. Most recently, academic research from Royal Holloway University (London) and the University of Catania (Sicily) demonstrated a few seconds routine to breach Amazon Echo’s security. With it, hackers could basically commandeer an Echo unit and make it issue commands to itself. Think of the number of things that could go wrong.
HomeKit on the other hand has had fewer security failings. This is why is it often marketed as a more secure alternative to Amazon and Google’s ecosystem. HomeKit enhances security by focusing on data encryption and on-device data processing and storage, reducing its reliance on external servers. Even when data like your home video footage is transmitted to remote servers, it uses end-to-end encryption which is the gold standard for data security on smart devices.
Apple also has a strict MFi certification program that all developers and hardware manufacturers must go through to make their software or gadgets HomeKit-compatible. Under the MFi program, gadget manufacturers must use a special kind of security chip and must meet Apple’s stringent security requirement before being granted the MFi Certified label. This ensures that smart gadgets that are allowed to talk directly with the HomeKit ecosystem meet certain security requirements to ensure that some embarrassing hacks are kept at bay.
3. HomeKit Is Privacy-Conscious
In an era where almost everyone is harvesting and profiting off people’s personal data, it’s important to pay attention to who you give access to your personal data. Google and Amazon have not really been role models in data privacy. Consequently, the ownership of the Google Home and Alexa ecosystem brings concern.
Apple on the other hand has been a glimmer of hope in an industry where data privacy is frequently sacrificed for profit. Apart from Apple’s historical data privacy practices, HomeKit comes with a slew of data privacy features. Your verbal commands are processed in a way that prevents Apple from storing or tying certain information to your identity.
Also, Apple’s emphasis on on-device processing for some types of data ensures only a limited amount of data is sent to Apple servers. For instance, when you ask Siri to read a message from your inbox aloud, Siri doesn’t push that message to the cloud. Everything simply happens as locally between your iPhone and HomePod.
4. HomeKit Is Embracing the Matter Standard
An unfortunate trend in the smart home industry involves manufacturers building products that keep consumers trapped in their ecosystem. Apple, Amazon and Google are all guilty of this.
However, Apple is among few smart home front-runners currently pushing for rapid adoption of the Matter standard. In case you’re not familiar with it, the Matter standard is a new smart home standard that facilitates cross-compatibility and interoperability between gadgets and software from competing smart home ecosystems. If you want to know more about the Matter standard, we’ve previously done an in-depth explanation of the Matter standard.
In practical terms, this means, a Google Nest Hub, for instance, would be able to control an Apple HomeKit Eve smart plug. Conversely, you would be able to stay within the Apple HomeKit ecosystem and talk to apps and gadgets from Google Home or Amazon Alexa ecosystems. Incredible right?
It’s not only Apple that’s embracing the Matter standard, but it presents a unique opportunity for HomeKit users. As a HomeKit user, you will be able to enjoy the premium, privacy- and security-conscious ambiance of the HomeKit while enjoying the best gadgets from other competing ecosystems.
5. Close-Knit Integration Into the Larger Apple Ecosystem
Once you’ve set up HomeKit at home, you’re not just getting a bunch of smart speakers that can turn up your light bulbs. You’re getting an entire ecosystem that extends beyond the borders of your home. If you’re already invested in the Apple ecosystem, your iPhone, iPads, MacBook, Apple Watch all have a role to play within HomeKit.
And no, it’s not about the feeling of having everything Apple. It’s about the smooth functioning and interoperability that comes with it. Apart from the core Apple products, HomeKit-compatible products are also easily integrated into the larger Apple ecosystem as well.
It doesn’t matter whether the manufacturer that makes your floodlight has a door contact sensor. Or whether the manufacturer that makes your door contact sensor makes compatible floodlights. As long as both products are HomeKit compatible, the HomeKit ecosystem is promise of making them work together.
Give HomeKit A Try
If you’ve been skeptical about HomeKit because of the setup cost, or maybe because of the perceived complexity sometimes associated with Apple products, you’re missing out.
Sure, HomeKit has its flaws. Critics believe innovation in the HomeKit ecosystem is a bit slower than its competition. However, once you look past some its flaws, the bulk of which aren’t necessarily unique to the HomeKit, you’ll come to love the Apple HomeKit for what it is—a smart home ecosystem you can trust.
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