The Apple HomeKit’s test score has improved following our retest after a compatible camera became available.
With the advent of connected, or ‘internet of things’ (IoT), technology, we’re seeing that consumer products are significantly changing within months, weeks or even days of being launched.
This challenging new trend was brought into sharp focus recently by the Apple HomeKit. As soon as we published our review, the first HomeKit-compatible camera was released. We quickly moved to retest the device with the newly supported camera, which resulted in an impressive increase in its score.
Find out more about how the smart-home app performed in our retest with our Apple HomeKit review.
Apple HomeKit – a smart hub in an app
If you’ve got a relatively new iPhone or iPad running the latest version of Apple’s iOS 10 operating system, then you’ve already got HomeKit. The app is designed to make it easier to control and coordinate smart gadgets, such as thermostats and smart lights, to semi-automate your home.
When we test smart hubs, being able to monitor a wireless camera from the app is an important factor, particularly for home security. So we felt it was a big disadvantage that Apple’s HomeKit had no supported camera when we originally tested it.
Alongside HomeKit, we’ve also tested the Amazon Echo, Samsung SmartThings, Hive hub and more. Visit our smart home hub reviews to see how they compare.
Internet of things brings new testing challenges
Although a rather ill-defined term, IoT really means consumer products that can connect to a network, just like your smartphone or laptop. This ‘smart’ functionality is now starting to pop up on more traditional household products, including TVs, kettles, cookers, light bulbs and more.
Getting connected can bring great benefits, but it also leaves our products open to the vagaries of software updates, bringing the good (as in the case of Apple HomeKit), but also the bad (see our recent Windows 10 investigation).
However, our experience with Apple HomeKit also shows that in this new connected consumer world, our testing must move as quickly as the products we’re reviewing.