The iOS 16 Home App: Ahands-On with the HomeKit Experience [Video]

The iOS 16 Home App: Ahands-On with the HomeKit Experience [Video] ...

With a completely revamped design, the Home app gets a lot of attention on iOS 16. Additions and changes in the revamped experience include a new UI and iconography, customizable sections, fresh wallpapers, and more.

The Home app has been ripe for improvements for a while, and this year, with iOS 16, Apple is releasing a major update for the HomeKit experience.

What''s new in the iOS 16 home app, and how does it work?

Table of contents

This is a more detailed peek at the iOS 16 Home app.

The iOS 16 Home app''s default layout now has:

  • New top category buttons
  • HomeKit cameras are at the top of the app, below are Scenes and Favorites
  • Then youll see your other devices organized by Room
  • Most of the HomeKit device icons have been either totally updated or given a slight refresh

My Ecobee smart thermostat, our HomeKit-enabled ceiling fans, and temperature and humidity are among the highlights featured in this video.

One of the most notable improvements in the Home app is a significant shift in how the buttons work in order to control HomeKit devices.

In iOS 15 and earlier, you would tap a device tile to turn it on or off and long-press to get the more detailed control UI with things like colors, sliders, and fine-grain control.

The buttons in the iOS 16 Home app have a different structure:

  • Tap on the far left (circle icon) to turn devices on and off
  • Tap on the middle or right side of a button to see the detailed control UI
  • Long-press to see edit/customizability options and device details

Another interesting feature is the option to resize device buttons, although it''s a bit hidden, but here''s how it works:

In iOS 15, the option to access the Home apps settings was somewhat encased. Apple has now moved the whole set of settings and other customization buttons to the top.

The + icon in the top right corner has the option to add an Accessory, Scene, Automation, Room, People, or a New Home.

The ability to reorder sections is a nice feature with the iOS 16 Home app. As shown in the image above, Reorder Sections lets you customize the entire organization. And choosing Edit Home View lets you reorder devices in a specific category (previously available in iOS 15).

A third form of addition is totally new wallpapers. The one shown off in the screenshots above is one of those with ten spectacular gradient options, but you can still use a custom photo. All of the built-in wallpapers are considered unique.

  • Tap the three-dot circle in the top left corner of the Home app
  • Choose Home Settings
  • Swipe to the bottom
  • Tap Choose from Existing under Home Wallpaper, then the built-in options are at the top

More information is available here:

  • Automation tab and experience are mostly the same
  • Rooms are now found under the three-dot icon in the top right corner
  • The Discover tab remains at the bottom of the Home app to get new ideas
  • iPads will work as downgraded Home hubs
    • Apple says iPad can still be a home hub in iOS 16, as long as the new HomeKit features dont Matter to you
  • Matter integration coming later this year
  • Apple says iPad can still be a home hub in iOS 16, as long as the new HomeKit features dont Matter to you
  • Apple says iPad can still be a home hub in iOS 16, as long as the new HomeKit features dont Matter to you

What are you most excited about using the iOS 16 Home app? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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