Home Stories March 16, 2021

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Apple’s Friday night move to suddenly pull the plug on HomePod after three years has created a messaging problem. Is everything OK at home, Apple? That’s the question being asked by customers who have invested in Apple’s smart home pitch.

You can trust that Apple will continue to make new iPhones and Macs for the foreseeable future, but Apple’s home products resemble Google’s betting strategy more than Apple’s usual commitment to focus and delivery.

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Home Stories February 4, 2021

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Matthias Hochgatterer has been developing the best HomeKit app for power users since before Apple ever shipped their own Home app. The latest version of the third-party HomeKit management app called Home+ 5 brings a redesign and new ways to customize and organize complex smart home configurations.

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Home Stories January 2, 2020

Home app concept
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A Home app concept posted on Behance pulls off a difficult trick: combining power and flexibility with ease of use.

Apple has done its best to walk that line, devices appearing as simple on/off buttons while a long-press reveals more powerful controls. For lights, for example, you can tap a button to toggle it on or off, and long-press to control the brightness or color – as well as to do things like assigning it to a different room…

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Home Stories August 2, 2019

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iOS 13 introduces a fresh set of built-in background options for customizing Apple’s Home app, replacing three color gradients with a half dozen atmospheric color splashes. Check out all six new wallpapers below.

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Home Stories February 17, 2019

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Apple has hired a former corporate VP at Microsoft and the founder of defunct smart lock brand Otto to lead its smart home efforts. Sam Jadallah updated his LinkedIn page modestly over the weekend shortly after CNBC reported the move, merely listing his role as “Working on Home” at Apple.

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Home Stories March 1, 2017

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Though not yet shared on the company’s YouTube channel, Apple this evening updated the HomeKit page on its website with a new 45-second ad showcasing what the Home app in iOS 10 is capable of. Apple has also made some general updates to that Home-focused website.

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Home Stories February 9, 2017

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Elgato Eve Motion is a standalone motion detection sensor that’s compatible with Apple’s HomeKit feature. Eve Motion can be used as a sensor in iOS 10’s Home app to trigger scenes and control accessories.

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Home Stories February 7, 2017

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If you’re assembling a HomeKit home, First Alert’s Onelink Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm is currently the best smoke detector to purchase. As a smart smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, Onelink sends you alerts when triggered while you’re away and HomeKit support turns Onelink into a trigger for automation. Check out our hands-on review below:

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Home Stories February 3, 2017

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During Apple’s Q1 earnings call this week, Tim Cook used HomeKit as an example of how the iPhone is expanding Apple’s ecosystem into new areas where it can innovate:

Our ecosystem is broadening to more and more of the areas where people spend their time. At the gym, on the go, in the home, and on the job. […]

And we are leading the industry by being the first to integrate home automation into a major platform with iOS 10.

As our resident HomeKit enthusiast, Cook discussing the feature during Apple’s earnings call caught my attention. Cook even describes how he’s personally using HomeKit. Below I’ll unpack exactly what Cook said about HomeKit, a bit about how I’m using it as well, and some helpful HomeKit resources.

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Home Stories September 12, 2016

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Home 2.0

Before Apple built its Home app for HomeKit in iOS 10, Matthias Hochgatterer created the best HomeKit app around with the original Home app. Apple’s Home app on iOS 10 is built-in, free, and has its own panel on Control, but the third-party Home app is still the best solution if you’re in deep with HomeKit like me. The iOS 10 version includes updated widgets, a new design, a refreshed Apple Watch app, and a temporarily discounted price to mark the launch.

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Home Stories July 11, 2016

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iOS 10 Home HomeKit app

We’ve already shared the new default wallpapers currently in iOS 10 and macOS Sierra, but there are also two additional new wallpapers that ship with iOS 10. Apple’s new HomeKit app called Home includes two house-themed images that you can set as wallpapers inside the app. 9to5Mac reader Mark Malstrom has extracted and shared both Home app wallpapers from iOS 10 for iPhone and iPad so you can use them as your Home screen and Lock screen wallpaper too.

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Home Stories June 15, 2016

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iOS 10 Home HomeKit app

HomeKit, Apple’s smart home accessory framework, is gaining some much needed attention in iOS 10 and watchOS 3 thanks to a new built-in Home app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Apple previously relied on third-party apps from accessory makers to control the HomeKit experience, using Siri as the only first-party controller, and various apps like the third-party Home app and Hesperus filled in the void.

Apple’s new Home app comes with a modern look, relatively easy-to-use controls, and access to accessories and scenes from anywhere on iOS 10. Check out our hands-on below to see Apple’s Home app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch in action.

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Home Stories May 7, 2016

Report: Apple’s standalone HomeKit app could finally arrive in iOS 10

A standalone iOS app for Apple’s HomeKit platform could finally arrive in iOS 10 as a new report claims an Apple employee on the company’s marketing team revealed plans for the launch in an online review. MacRumors found the mention (pasted below) within a product review related to HomeKit and says it confirmed the person that left the comment was indeed an Apple employee.

As I work in marketing for Apple, we test many Smart Home devices, especially for iOS HomeKit integration. […]

Some advice, there are many third party applications, most free, that offer more control and customization(s) with many Smart Home devices. “Yonomi” is a free app that I often use, “Home” is another which cost $14.99. Both offer support for many devices with more added daily (including Amazon “Echo”). The next version of iOS due this fall will have a standalone “HomeKit” app as well.

Apple has had plans for a HomeKit app on your iPhone’s home screen for quite a while as it’s developed the platform that currently only allows control of supported home automation accessories through Siri or third-party apps. We were first to detail some of the planned features for the platform and app back before the release of iOS 9, some which like the app have yet to be released.

The idea is that rather than using various apps each accessory maker builds, you could just open one “Home” app on your iPhone to manage everything. These apps already exist in the form of third-party solutions like the Hesperus app we reviewed a couple weeks back, but a solution direct from Apple would hopefully mean one of the best implementations yet and maybe some new features that third-party developers don’t have access to in the current crop of apps.

If the report is true, we could finally get our first look at the Home app at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference in June where the company is expected to preview iOS 10 alongside its other upcoming products and developer tools.

Home Stories April 25, 2016

Home

Apple doesn’t include a Home app for HomeKit like it does a Health app for HealthKit, but Matthias Hochgatterer’s Home app is a worthy solution for anyone diving into Apple’s Siri-controlled home automation platform. In testing various HomeKit-compatible smart accessories, Home for iOS has been a critical piece of the puzzle in making everything work correctly and reliably.

Siri controls HomeKit, but third-party apps from various accessory makers are needed for creating scenes and triggers that really make home automation come to life. Eve does the best job of making one app for all HomeKit accessories, but a dedicated HomeKit app with excellent support for all accessories is ideal. Home, which costs $14.99 but is available for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, is a rather essential purchase for having a good experience with Apple’s HomeKit.

Last week we shared the latest HomeKit app on the market, Hesperus, which features an approachable design and customization options at no cost but lacks iPad and Apple Watch apps and Notification Center widgets for now. I mentioned Home for iOS, which is obviously pricier up front, and noted how its Settings-like design can feel cold in comparison. Over the weekend, however, Home for iOS reached version 1.6, which includes tweaks to how accessories are organized plus some nice iconography that I think really enhances the overall design.

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Home Stories September 28, 2015

9to5Toys Last Call: iTunes Gift Cards 20% off, APC 8-Outlet UPS $42, Anker 15,600mAh Power Bank $24, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

Last Call Updates:

SanDisk Connect Wi-Fi Flash Drive for iOS/Android: 64GB $50 (Reg. $60), 32GB $30 (Reg. $40)

iTunes gift cards 20% off: $100 for $80, $50 for $40, $25 for $20 shipped

Gift Cards w/ email delivery: Staples $100 for $85, Applebee’s $50 for $40, other restaurants, more

Daily Deals: APC Back-UPS 550VA 8-outlet UPS $42, BenQ 1080p DLP Projector $630more

Keep your Wi-Fi running during a power outage – APC Network Backup UPS w/ dual USB: $40 shipped (Reg. $65)

USB Power: Anker 15,600mAh Battery Pack $24 (Reg. $30), Lumsing Wall Charger + 3-ft. MFi Lightning Cable $10more

GoPro introduces a new cost-effective action camera with Wi-Fi capabilities

Review: JBL’s new Xtreme Bluetooth speaker goes big on sound and design

More new gear from today:

Games/Apps: Dishonored Definitive $30, Disney Infinity 3.0 Star Wars Starter Pack $50, iOS freebiesmore

More deals still alive:

App Store Free App of the Week: Doodle Jump SpongeBob SquarePants ($2 value)

GoPro HERO4 Session + $40 Amazon Gift Card: $299 ($440 value)

New products & more:

You can make the new J-Force electric surfboard go 0-35MPH with the bend of your finger

Apple’s new Beats Active Collection brings sporty colors to familiar headphones

Home Stories July 30, 2015

9to5Toys Last Call: ecobee3 Smart Thermostat $180, LEGO iOS sale, Drive Genius 4 Mac download $50, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

Last Call Updates:

App Store Free App of the Week: Worms3 ($5 value)

 

Home: ecobee3 Smart Thermostat (not HomeKit) $180 (Orig. $250), KRUPS Espresso Machine (Prime only) $30 (Orig. $60)

LEGO iOS sale: Movie Video Game hits lowest price ever, Lord of the Rings & Harry Potter $1 ea. (Reg. $5), more

Drive Genius 4 the award-winning app for maintaining & repairing your Mac: $50 (Orig. $99)

Logitech $20 off $49: MX Master Wireless Mouse $80 shipped (Reg. $100), gaming accessoriesmore

Amazon’s Dash Replenishment Service is here and Prime members can order today

Amazon’s new Launchpad store offers the latest gadgets from crowdfunding campaigns and startups

More new gear from today:

Daily Deals: AOC 16-inch USB-Powered Portable LED Monitor $82, Jabra STEALTH Bluetooth Headset $66, more

LEGO and Star Wars come together once again in this gorgeous new photography book

More deals still alive:

Free PS Plus Games for August: Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, Limbo, more

Free Xbox Live Gold Games for August: Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes, more

New products & more:

Livescribe announces new Echo Smartpen Pro Edition with 8GB of storage

The LEGO Architect shows you how to build exact replicas of famous buildings and homes

Home Stories June 2, 2015

Insteon-Homekit

Insteon, Lutron, iHome, Elgato and Ecobee have all just announced that their HomeKit products are now officially available and/or shipping to customers.

The announcements come on the heels of our report that Apple partners planned this week to launch the first products using the company’s new Siri-controlled HomeKit home automation platform, first introduced alongside iOS 8 last year.  expand full story

Home Stories May 29, 2015

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The first home automation products using Apple’s new Siri-controlled HomeKit platform will arrive next week, according to sources briefed on Apple’s plans. expand full story

Home Stories May 27, 2015

Over the past six months, I’ve published quite a few tutorials to help Mac users improve the performance of older computers, as well as some great guides to the best Mac accessories across a variety of categories. Today, I’m tying them all together in this handy, one-stop roundup of the best Mac accessories and upgrades.

This guide walks you through everything: in one place, you can learn about the best Mac hard drives, RAM upgrades, docks, keyboards, trackpads, stands, bags, and travel accessories out there. And you can also get free apps to improve your Mac’s storage and responsiveness, find plain English explanations of your Mac’s technical specs, and learn about the little security screws Apple uses to tamper-proof its machines. There’s a lot inside, so you may want to bookmark this piece for future reference!…

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Home Stories September 4, 2014

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Withings, a company well-known for its line of iPhone-connected health and fitness tracking accessories, today announced a new video monitoring device with environmental sensors called  Home. While Home is a video monitoring solution that can be used for security, the company is also including some pretty unique features that it hopes will make your home both a healthier and safer environment. expand full story

Home Stories May 26, 2014

According to a report from The Financial Times, Apple is working on a new software platform that would “turn the iPhone into a remote control for lights, security systems and other household appliances.” Apple’s iOS ecosystem is of course already home to an increasing number of connected products for the home like the Philips Hue WiFi connected light bulbs, the Nest thermostat and a number of iPhone controlled appliances, but the report claims that Apple will soon unveil a new central platform that will make for a more seamless experience: expand full story

Home Stories October 28, 2013

NBA Game Time apps updated for 2013-14 season w/ iOS 7 redesign, new free content, and much more

The NBA Game Time apps for both iPhone and iPad have been updated today with a redesign for iOS 7 alongside full support for the 2013-2014 regular season and new content for both free and paid subscribers.

On top of the redesign pictured in the screenshots above, the apps add home and away broadcasts for every game and archives for each nationally broadcast game for those that have an NBA League Pass. It also adds new content for free users, however, including the Game Recaps, Team Video, Player Statistics, Team Rosters, and Team Statistics features previously only available to paid users.

Version 5.1 of NBA Game Time also includes alerts for live streaming videos and push notifications for League Pass subscribers.

NBA Game Time is available for free from the App Store now as separate downloads for iPhone and iPad.

What’s New in Version 5.1

Redesigned and Optimized for iOS7

Full support for the 2013-2014 NBA regular season

NBA League Pass subscribers will now be able to enjoy both the home and away TV broadcasts from every game.

NBA League Pass subscribers will now be able to enjoy archives from each nationally broadcast game.

Game Recaps from every game now free.

Team Video from every team now free.

Player Statistics, Team Rosters, and Team Statistics now free.

Live Video alerts let you know when we’re streaming press conferences and events live.

League Pass Push Notifications now let NBA League Pass users know when games they can watch get exciting.

Many performance improvements.

Home Stories October 11, 2013

Yelp iOS app replaces Home tab w/ new toolbar for quick access to reviews, photos, and check-ins

Yelp updated its iOS app today with a slightly tweaked UI that makes it easier for users to quickly post reviews, photos and check-in at locations. The app is getting rid of its old Home tab and now by default loads up the “Nearby” tab. In addition, the the tab in the middle along the bottom of the app now launches quick access to Check In, Review, and Photo buttons (as pictured above).

The updated app also includes “larger notification photos, better scrolling performance, updated icons and animations.”

What’s New in Version 7.2.0

New in v7.2 – We said goodbye to our homepage and hello to a beautiful new navigation that makes it even easier for you to discover great places nearby, add photos and reviews, and check in to your favorite businesses. – We also added tons of polish to our app, including larger notification photos, better scrolling performance, updated icons and animations, and a whole lot more!

Home Stories June 25, 2013

Facebook phone experiment over as AT&T clears stock and nobody else steps forward

The final nail in the coffin of the Facebook phone seems to have been hammered into place as AT&T has sold the last of it’s HTC First handsets and has no plans to purchase any more, reports CNET.

AT&T had earlier denied that any plans had been made to discontinue the handset, but there had seemed little doubt about the handset’s future after the carrier dropped the price from $99 to 99 cents. Even Facebook itself went as far as telling users that the  front-end could be switched off …

Home Stories April 17, 2013

Time Warner Cable iOS app updated with ability to stream live TV away from home

As announced yesterday, Time Warner Cable has updated its iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch application with the ability to access and stream select OnDemand content and TV channels while away from home. Previously, the application could only stream TV while you were in your home with Time Warner Cable TV service. Additionally, the app update has improved filtering and sorting for categories and shows. Bug fixes and various performance enhancements are also included in the 3.2.0 update.

Home Stories April 16, 2013

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According to Bloomberg‘s Adam Satariano, Richard Williamson has joined Facebook. We’ve independently heard the same. Williamson is a former iOS executive from Apple who was reportedly terminated over Apple Maps. Williamson ran Apple’s iOS 6 Maps team and also worked on Siri features.

Williamson joined Facebook in the past couple of weeks to be a manager within its expanding mobile-software group, said two of the people, who declined to be identified because the information isn’t public.

Facebook’s hire of Williamson is notable as the social network reportedly has hired several former Apple engineers to work on various projects, including the Facebook Home software and various other mobile applications. Williamson’s hire marks one of the more high-profile hires of former Apple employees.

Following up on this morning’s news that Loren Brichter is working with Facebook some capacity, Bloomberg also notes that the company has actually hired the Letterpress developer and former Apple employee as a consultant.

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Here’s how to enable Chat Heads and Stickers in the new Facebook app right now

When Facebook released their brand-new iOS application today, some were disappointed to find that the highlight features of Chat Heads (from Facebook Home) and Stickers were not present. Facebook says that the two features, like many other of Facebook’s recently released products, will be released via a staggered rollout.

For those who truly want to enable Chat Heads and Stickers before Facebook wants it on your iOS device, iMore‘s Nick Arnott has put together a thorough tutorial on how to enable the features. Follow the steps, grab an app called PhoneView (no jailbreak required), and a Plist editor (like the one included in Xcode), and you should be good to go. We’ve tested the Chat Heads trick, and it works well.

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Facebook has released an updated version of its Facebook application for iOS today, bringing the iPad application more in line with the website’s recently announced redesign and adding some features from the Android-based Facebook Home software. The Verge took a hands-on look at the updated app.

The iPad application now has a more streamlined, simplified user-interface that focuses more on content such as photos…

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Home Stories June 1, 2012

Netflix took top spot from Apple in US online movie revenue last year

Looking at data just released by IHS iSuppli, Netflix was able to take the top spot from Apple for online movie marketshare during 2011. With Apple experiencing a huge decline from 60.8-percent of the market the year before to 32.3-percent during 2011, Netflix came out on top for United States marketshare by revenue with 44 percent of the market last year. That is an incredible nearly 44 percent increase for Netflix, which had just 0.5-percent of the market in 2010.

What Netflix and iTunes have in common is that both services are focused on the hardware side of the business… Netflix is available on a very wide range of connected devices, while iTunes can take advantage of Apple’s soaring device sales growth… Nevertheless, comparisons between the two services have their limits… “Effectively the market has split,” Cryan said. “Netflix and Apple are competing for some of the same consumer time and money. However, the core value proposition of the two services is actually very different.”

While Netflix rules the SVOD market, its closest competitor—Hulu—is less than 10 percent of its size. Apple’s iTunes continues to dominate the transactional segment, accounting for 63.0 percent of revenue in this area, which was only down slightly from 64.6 percent in 2010. At the same time, the big growth story of 2011 was Walmart’s Vudu, which captured 8.2 percent of the growing transactional market, up from 2.8 percent last year. Most of this growth has been achieved by using a Netflix-like device strategy and has come at the expense of other providers, not Apple.

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