Apple’s CarPlay has made driving more fun than it ever was.
But there’s more: integration with HomeKit has even brought CarPlay’s magic to your home!
With CarPlay, you can open and close your garage door, turn the lights on and off and control HomeKit-enabled devices in your home by using commands to Siri. This combination also promises more integration in the future.
If you’re new to the party, this article brings you everything you need to know about HomeKit and CarPlay.
You’ll learn how HomeKit works and how to control HomeKit devices in your home via CarPlay.
HomeKit Is Apple’s Smart Home Solution
HomeKit is Apple’s platform for managing smart home devices, otherwise known as the internet of things (IoT).
HomeKit is essentially Apple’s answer to Amazon’s Alexa or Samsung’s SmartThings.
With HomeKit, you can control internet-connected devices such as doors, light bulbs, window blinds, and even home appliances like your refrigerator using your Apple device.
HomeKit works perfectly with Siri to provide an enriched experience.
HomeKit has been around since 2014 and is compatible with iOS 8 and above Apple devices.
HomeKit & CarPlay
CarPlay was introduced in 2012, two years earlier than HomeKit.
With external head units available for cars without stock support of CarPlay, Apple’s infotainment solution has continued to be relevant in the market.
Since HomeKit and CarPlay are receptive to Siri and you can control both products from your Apple devices, integration was only a matter of time.
But now that it’s possible, how do you join the fun?
How To Use HomeKit CarPlay
The introduction of iOS 13 made HomeKit integration with CarPlay possible.
You can now stay in your car and seamlessly control some HomeKit-linked smart devices in your home. Only if compatible, though!
One example is your garage door. With HomeKit and CarPlay integration, you can open your garage door and turn on the lights using CarPlay on your phone.
Here’s how to use HomeKit and CarPlay.
Set Up HomeKit
The first step to using HomeKit and CarPlay is to link your smart device to HomeKit. HomeKit-enabled devices are available on Apple online stores.
You’ll also find them on e-commerce sites like Amazon and AliExpress.
You can connect smart devices to HomeKit via WiFi or Bluetooth. Less popular options include Thread or WiFi-enabled home hubs. Here’s how to link your smart device to HomeKit.
- Open the Home App on your iOS device. All iOS devices have a Home App. On the main screen of the Home App, select “Add Accessory.“
- Scan the QR code on the HomeKit device with your camera. All HomeKit devices come with an eight-digit QR code. Scanning will add your device to the HomeKit framework. Assign a name to your device after adding it to HomeKit.
- Add your device to a room. Rooms are sub-environments in the Home App that help you organize your connected smart devices. You can also create sub-rooms called zones.
You can use Siri to control connected smart devices. However, you can only use devices that support the Siri command without requiring plugging into a power source. Some devices can only support Siri when plugged into a power source.
Use Siri To Control HomeKit Connected Devices via CarPlay
Your smart device is now connected to HomeKit on your iOS device. The next step would be to control the device via CarPlay.
This is where many people get stuck. Many users would try to look for a HomeKit app on CarPlay.
There’s no HomeKit app on CarPlay. However, you can use Siri to control HomeKit-connected smart devices via CarPlay.
For instance, on your CarPlay dashboard, you can ask Siri to open your garage door or turn on the lights in your garage if they’re already connected to HomeKit on your iOS device.
HomeKit Comes With Several Innovative Features
Beyond linking smart devices and issuing Siri CarPlay commands, HomeKit includes several features that make it exciting to use.
Here are some of them:
- Grouping: This feature allows you to put devices with similar roles in one environment for easy control. For instance, if you group all the lights in your living room, you can turn them off at once by saying, “turn off all lights in the living room.”
- Automation: With this feature, you can automate some functions using certain triggers you can set up. For instance, you can turn the lights in your living room off at a particular time.
- Scenes: You can set your devices to perform coordinated actions based on certain triggers. For instance, you can create a leaving scene to turn off all the bedroom lights when you’re leaving the room.
You can use Siri with CarPlay to double-check check your automatic features are working. For example, you can ask Siri if you left your garage door open. Or you can use the CarPlay dashboard to turn on lights that you’ve set to automatically turn off.
HomeKit is Apple’s platform for managing iOS-supported IoT devices in your home.
Siri is integrated with HomeKit, so you can issue Siri commands from CarPlay to control smart devices connected to HomeKit on your iOS device.