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HomeKit Weekly: The Must-Have HomeKit Gift Guide for Apple Fans

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If you are looking for gift ideas for the Apple fans in your life, HomeKit accessories are one of the best options because of how they work natively with your products, low cost, and multiple use options. As you shop for the Apple fans in your life, here’s my roundup of the best HomeKit accessories for Christmas.

HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything related to Apple’s smart home framework.


August lock

 August Wi-Fi Smart Lock

The one HomeKit accessory that I use more than any other is my August lockdown with Wi-Fi. I have some automations set to unlock as we go along as it connects via bluetooth. It is convenient to use when you are out of town if you also need to leave someone in the house remotely. One of the things I like is that it doesn’t require you to change the exterior part of your deadbolt – it only replaces the interior look.

For someone new to HomeKit, a smart home door lock is a great place to start.

The Aqara Starter Kit is a great item to grab for someone in your life for whom you can’t find quite the right gift for. It includes the hub, door sensor and motion sensor. It is also incredibly inexpensive to add a water leak sensor – which I highly recommend. I have one under each of our sinks and in front of our large appliances that use water. The devices are not native to HomeKit but communicate via Zigbee with the Aqara hub, which can bridge to HomeKit.

Eve outlet adapter with thread

A simple Christmas stocking for an Apple fan is the Eve outlet adapter with thread holder. The output adapter allows you to convert a traditional powered lamp or other device into a smart device. Eve is a leading HomeKit provider, and her introduction of Thread support makes it even better. I firmly believe that Thread is an essential part of a stable, smart home over the next decade.

HomePod mini

The HomePod mini is a great addition to HomeKit for two reasons.

  1. It acts as a Homehub to allow remote access to HomeKit and automations
  2. It adds a Thread Network point to increase the strength of your Thread Network.

HomeKit home alarm

 Abode Iota HomeKit Security System Review

The home alarm has been in my house for almost two years now, and it’s a fantastic addition. All devices are exposed in HomeKit for use with automations. We have motion detectors, door detectors, glass break detectors and smoke detectors.

If you are looking to install a DYI security system, you’d be hard pressed to find one that’s easier to use than remains. Monthly monitoring includes internet-based and LTE-based communication for the base station.

Onvis motion detector

 Onvis motion sensor

A HomeKit motion detector is a practical Christmas stocking for someone who owns all the known Apple accessories on the market. For example, we use them to set off lights around our house early in the morning when people start to wake up. As HomeKit unifies devices from different manufacturers, you can use one Onvis motion detector to turn on a Hue LED bulb, for example.

Homam Premium HomeKit Camera with Local Storage

There are several great HomeKit cameras out there. On the low end, I love the Aqara choice, Day before, Onvis, etc. – but for the high-end HomeKit camera, check out the Homam Camera. This is my last HomeKit product, and I have a full review coming up in a few weeks, but it’s the best premium HomeKit camera on the market.

Cameras that use HomeKit Secure Video use end-to-end encryption; you can be sure that no one other than you can access the images or the feed. HomeKit also lets you adjust streaming and recording based on whether people are not at home, so if you want to turn off the camera when you’re at home, you can do that automatically.

The Homam Camera Also includes local recording if you want to avoid cloud storage on your cameras. In addition to recording, HomeKit cameras can be used as motion detectors to automatically turn lights on and off.

HOOBS Homebridge in a box

 Hoobs 4

If you have someone in your life who loves to DIY, the HOOBS hub would be a great product to get them. It’s a Homebridge server in a box, so you can start adding devices to HomeKit that aren’t usually compatible. For example, you can connect a Ring camera, eufy doorbell, or even a Neato vacuum cleaner to HomeKit even if they don’t natively support it.

A recent software update to version 4 added new features that make it an even better buy. I’ve had one for over a year, and it’s been a lot of fun tinkering with devices in my house that don’t natively support HomeKit – my favorite is my eufy doorbell.

Starling Home Hub

 Starling Home Hub

For the technical person in your life who lives in both the Apple and Google lifestyles, the Starling Home Hub is a Great addition. For just $ 89, you can connect all Nest devices (thermostat, doorbell, cameras, and doorbells) and Google Home speakers to HomeKit. The Nest Display is a fun device to have as a desk accessory, and since my photos are saved to Google Photos, I like to watch them scroll through my day. When Starling added AirPlay support to this device, it became even more useful. If you have the Google Home mini speakers, you can pair them into stereo pairs and use them as AirPlay targets.

Summary

This list includes some of my favorite HomeKit accessories. HomeKit is the best smart home platform for Apple fans, given its tight integration and emphasis on security. You can start small with just one plug adapter and work up to a full ecosystem of products, making this a great gift idea for Apple fans.

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