iOS Today Episode 598 Transcript

Please be advised this transcript is AI-generated and may not be word for word. Time codes refer to the approximate times in the ad-supported version of the show. 

Mikah Sargent (00:00:00):
Coming up on iOS today, Rosemary Orchard, and I take a look at some HomeKit stuff. Yes, it is time to talk HomeKit, home automation and making your iOS smart home stay tuned.

Speaker 2 (00:00:16):
Podcasts you love from people you trust. This is TWiT.

Mikah Sargent (00:00:23):
This episode of iOS today is brought to you by Wealthfront to start building your wealth and get your first $5,000 managed for free for life. Go to today. And by eight sleep good sleep is the ultimate game changer and nature's best medicine. Go to To check out the pod pro cover and save $150 at checkout eight. Sleep currently ships within the USA, Canada, and the UK.

Mikah Sargent (00:01:06):
Hello and welcome to iOS today where I have a soundboard built into my mouth rubber brown. No this is the show where we talk all things, iOS home pot OS TV OS watch OS look it's OS is that Apple has on offer. We love to talk about them here on iOS today, and make sure that you can make the most of all of those Apple devices or maybe the couple of Apple devices, or maybe just one Apple device that you have. I don't care how many you have. You're here to learn about how to make the most of them. I am one of your hosts, Mikah Sargent,

Rosemary Orchard (00:01:43):
And I am the very HomeKit friendly Rosemary Orchardchard. Hi.

Mikah Sargent (00:01:48):
Hello, Rosemary Orchardchard. Yes. Rosemary is of course an automations ex excuse me, an automations expert, a developer. And I consider a HomeKit fanatic. Absolutely. And so today we have a really fun episode planned and frankly, it's all thanks to Keith. So Keith wrote in before asking if we could do a, an episode talking about HomeKits and we said you know, that that's, that would be an interesting idea. And Keith also mentioned that Keith listens with other dog whenever we are doing the show live. And so we said, oh my goodness, we've gotta see the dog. We've gotta see the dog Keith sent in the dog tax Rosie. Aw, look at Rosie, hanging out at listening to iOS today. Hello, Rosie. I don't know if you can hear be right now, but if you can, I think you're adorable.

Mikah Sargent (00:02:48):
And I'm so excited to have you listening in to be talking about HomeKit here on iOS today. So let's get into it. Rosemary things start with getting these devices and then figuring out how to set them up. Now, Apple when it introduced HomeKit, it put forth a set of kind of rules and regulations that over time have, have changed a little bit. But these rules and regulations make it so that folks can make the most of the smart home to devices that they buy HomeKit is this it's, it's called a framework and its job is to kind of be the go between for you and the devices that you install. So I, for example, may install a smart plug. I plug that into the wall and I wanna be able to communicate with it and tell it to do things, or maybe I wanna set up automatic operations for it, where it does things at a specific time.

Mikah Sargent (00:03:43):
All of that is possible with the use of HomeKit, where you set up the device in HomeKit. And then from there, you're able to take advantage of the features that HomeKit has to offer. Yeah, Apple has some regulations as well that say, Hey, look, it's it's it's that you've got this device, but you need to make sure this is to the, the manufacturers that this device can be set up completely using the home app. That's one of the requirements, if you wanna have that works with HomeKit badge, and there are some requirements for security and privacy as well that make it a a great framework to kind of all of your your smart home build on. So let's talk about setup. Let's talk about some ways that we can even go past the built-in home app for iOS et cetera.

Rosemary Orchard (00:04:32):
Well, I did just wanna start with a little terminology rundown because there's a lot of big keywords that get thrown into this stuff, and it gets a bit confusing at times. And fortunately my parents have recently decided to dive into the smart home world a bit more. And so I've been working on explaining things to them and they've asked sorts of questions. So hopefully I'm gonna be able to explain it better here on air, but essentially there's a couple of different, important things to know with HomeKit. And one of them are, is HomeKit hubs. So you might be thinking HomeKit, hubs, hubs. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know what this is. And so if you've got, for example, say Phillips hu, then Phillips hu has a hu hub, which the light bulbs are paired with or the smart plugs are paired with.

Rosemary Orchard (00:05:11):
And then that allows it to talk to HomeKit and so on. But a HomeKit hub is an Apple TV, a home pod, or a home pop mini. I've got a home pod out here today on display as part of the show. Because that is what allows your automations to run entirely in the background, whether you're at home or not at home. And it also means that you know, things run really well. Now I should know Apple do say on their website that you can use an iPad as a home hub providing it, doesn't leave the house and it stays powered on this is fine. If you've got a about four devices, if you are just trying it out and playing with things by all means, set up with an iPad or something to start with. But after that, I would really highly recommend getting a home pub mini or an Apple TV depending on your media consumption.

Rosemary Orchard (00:05:58):
One of the OS who as a home kid hub, because an iPad, I found severely slows down the whole HomeKit setup and experience, which means that you have an automation for your lights to turn on its sunset. And if you're using an iPad as your home hub, or if you have an iPad as one of your home kid home hub, you might find that some of your lights turn on at sunset and some of them turn on five minutes after, or none of your lights turn on at sunset. And it just ends up. I don't, I don't know, Mike, I dunno if you've encountered this with friends and relatives before, but I found it can really slow things down and make things bug or which is just really unfortunate.

Mikah Sargent (00:06:35):
Yeah, I agree. I, we, we want things to work cause it be quick because that's how they need to be working. That's, that's what we need whenever it comes to having a smart home set up, you want to make sure that it is rock solid and also that it is responsive. That's everything in a smart home.

Rosemary Orchard (00:06:54):
Yeah. Yes, absolutely. And one of the other things that you wanna be able to do is get an overview of what kind of stuff you've got and where it is and so on and so forth. And for this, there's a couple of different apps. Obviously you can use the home app. If you're just using something like Q you could fire up the hu app or similar. But there's some other really good options out there as well to look at things. And one of them that I really like is the home plus app. This is home close version five it's 1499 in the app store, but it can do an awful lot of things what the home app can do. And also that the home app can't do, because there's a lot of things that you can do with HomeKit that Apple don't necessarily show you.

Rosemary Orchard (00:07:31):
And one of them right here is the ability to like group things by type. So for example, if I wanna see all of my window coverings, I can see all my window coverings right here, whether or not they're in the room that I'm currently looking at. So this just gives me a great way to, you know, see all of that. And I can see, for example, that my living room my virtual rotating blinds is 85% open from here. And if I were to tap on that, then it will close it as well, which is just great. So this does just work in a similar way, but where this gets better is when you go into the automations tab, because of course there's automation things. And so I'll create a new automation and I'll give it a name. It had naming automations before the home app.

Rosemary Orchard (00:08:13):
So you can nowadays name automations there. So I'll call this test for iOS today. So that I don't have, I had a few weeks ago, which is where something random, it keeps happening in my home and I'm not sure what's triggering it. And then I remember I set up a test. And so you've got all of your different, your different triggers. So you've got location, which is your, your location or one of your family members' locations, if you're sharing your home, which actually you don't have to use an Apple family to share your home. You can just add people to the home, which is quite nice presence of people time of day and accessory state. So I'm gonna use my accessory state. And I'm gonna say if the smoke detected from my 3d printer gets any value.

Rosemary Orchard (00:08:54):
Okay. So I can, I can say to yes or no. So I'm gonna spec specify. Yes, actually, because when the smoke a lot for my 3d printer goes off, this is what I'm gonna do. I am going to turn off my 3d printer and I can search again, something you can't do in the home app. And I'm gonna set that down to you off. Okay. Because if my 3d printer is on fire, I would really like to not add fuel or power as the case may be, but I can also specify under a certain condition. And so this is something that you just can't do in the home app, unless you do the converter shortcut trick. And so I'm going to actually know, I don't want an accessory. I'm going to say presence of people if I'm not at home. So if I'm not at home and my 3d printer smoke alarm goes off I want to, to turn it off because I, I don't want to be dependent on my reaction times or anything.

Rosemary Orchard (00:09:48):
You know, whether or not I log in and so on. I just want to try and turn it off and that's it done, but this is a great way of adding a condition to your auto automation that you can do in more complex ways than the way that I've just demonstrated, because you can do presence conditions in the home app. You can say if I'm not at home, for example. But we, I could also do is I could do my accessory state. So if the 3d printer smoke alarm goes off and my 3d printers aren't, so let's look for my 3d printer. And I'll say 3d printer oh, that's the camera, sorry. That is the 3d printer itself. If the outlet is in use, so it's, it's on, then turn it off. Okay. So I have to be at home and the outlet's in use, and this is where you can get very nerdy and complex, but it's still nice and simple. And the UI of this app is really great. I are like, there are folders for automations, Mica. I love folders for automations, so good.

Mikah Sargent (00:10:42):
I mean, of course, folders for renovations.

Rosemary Orchard (00:10:45):
I know, I know I do. Of course I'm a weirdo like that, but I have to say if you've been struggling with the home app, because you're trying to set up automations and stuff and finding it a bit tricky, check out home, plus it is for, but in my opinion, it's well worth it. If you're really getting nerdy with HomeKit.

Mikah Sargent (00:11:02):
Yes. I I, I look, I have had home plus from the get go from as long as it's been around. And I remember even before there was a built an app for this, that this, this technology or this app rather had the features that I wanted. And what I love is that you can always say, Hey I see this setting, but there's nothing that I can do with it. Can you please make it so that I can make use of this feature by sending the developer that information? So that's even more, I think a great way to get something out of it. And I'm glad that the developer was able to keep using that home plus name that we didn't have to see a change for that. That's good. Yes. All right. I

Rosemary Orchard (00:11:50):
Should note that from the same developer, there's another great app called home configurator, which allows you to organize your HomeKit, home accessories and zones in a much easier fashion. So again, it's that one's free to download, so I'd highly recommend checking it out, but it's it's, it's worth taking a look at if you just need to organize things better and get nerd you

Mikah Sargent (00:12:11):
Yes. Get nerd year. What is next on the list?

Rosemary Orchard (00:12:16):
Well, next on the list is kind of an alternative to home plus and that is the Eve for HomeKit app. Now you might be thinking the, I don't have Eve devices. Why would I download this app? Well, as well as working with Eve devices. So for example, if you've got Eve smart plugs or the Eve energy G strip and their things are using thread nowadays, by the way then, you know, you can obviously configure those, but as well as that, you can also use it to just access your home and organize your home things. Which if you've got a thread network, then this is a great way to look at your thread network status. I don't actually have any threat devices, Mikah, so I can't really demo that. But just like you can in home, plus you could configure automations if an automation exists.

Rosemary Orchard (00:13:03):
You'll see that I can't create an automation here, but if one exists. So for example, movie time, I can that's sorry, there's one, my scenes there's my rules. Ah, I can add rules now then I can add a condition to it which is quite nice to be able to do so I can say, you know, if the bathroom is occupied or there, the 3d printer room has got something going on and so on this doesn't look as nice, but it's free. Which is pretty great. So, you know, it's worth taking a look at, and I have to say if you've got a threat network I've used this with friends and family members to help try and debug their, their threat set up when things weren't working, it's always that somebody's unplugged a home called mini Mica. I dunno what it is about people just unplugging things and expecting everything to keep working. But if your threat border out here is unplugged, then surprisingly enough, your threat network goes

Speaker 7 (00:13:55):

Mikah Sargent (00:13:58):
Yeah. I actually, I've been on, I, I accidentally kept my beta profile installed on some devices. So they ended up getting updated to the beta, which did cause some issues for me with thread. So I had to unplug my home pod mini and plug it back in problem was I unplugged it with the plan, you know, count to 10 and then plug it back in. And then one of the dogs made a sound. And so I went to go see what was going on and forgot to plug it back in. So later I came in and I pushed the button on my little Waymo switch here, and none of the lights were turning on. None of the lights were turning on. None of the lights were turning on and I was like, oh great. We're returning to this back. When the Waymo stage controller used Bluetooth, this is ridiculous. Why is this not working thread? I love you thread. Why are you not working? And then I realized it was because so many was unplugged. I felt like a fool.

Rosemary Orchard (00:14:54):
Well, this wasn't somebody unplugging things to try and debug it. No, they just unplugged it because they didn't wanna plug it in, I guess general rule of HomeKit folks. If something's got a plug on the end and you want your things to work, just leave it plugged in, just leave it plugged in. It's a much easier way to, I feel like

Mikah Sargent (00:15:12):
You're speak to someone in particular, but it, no,

Rosemary Orchard (00:15:15):
I don't think so knowledge it's one of those things everybody's got that person in their family who just goes and unplugs stuff. Right. Because it like, oh, you're not needing it. So I'm gonna like, turn it off with the wall or something. That's something

Mikah Sargent (00:15:27):
Where they, they're still sort of exactly you're thinking years ago when devices were not as power friendly as they are today. And so it's like, oh yeah, we gotta make sure that stays unplugged or else it's sipping too much battery or sipping too much power out of the, yeah. Okay. That makes sense.

Rosemary Orchard (00:15:44):
Yeah, exactly. All

Mikah Sargent (00:15:45):
Right. What else do you have for us before we take a quick break?

Rosemary Orchard (00:15:49):
Well, the, the last one I wanna to mention sort of the, the setup and configuration area is the home pass app and the home pass app is great. If you're setting devices up, you use the app I'm just looking with face ID. And I have featured this one on the show before, so I'm not gonna spend too long on it, but basically it's a way to store all of those HomeKit codes so that, you know, those, those things that you, you scan on a device to connect it to your HomeKit home, storing those in, in one app. And the great thing about these app is it syncs between your devices as well, which means that if something goes wrong, you don't have to like crawl behind a really heavy cabinet to try and unplug it and, and find the code on it or something note, you can just pull this up on your iPad, tap on the, the it's a particular item in question.

Rosemary Orchard (00:16:34):
And then you can, if you tap on the code and then show QR code this is a device that I actually it's it's been decommissioned. Let's go with decommissioned. I, I replaced it with something better. But this QR code you can then scan from, say your iPad onto your phone to reconfigure thing. If you remove things and you're tidying up and you got a little over enthusiastic or moving house if you move house and you decide that you wanna blow away your HomeKit set up and start over, then, you know, this is a great way of not actually needing to go to the devices, to be able to pair them and set them up. You can just scan the codes from another device.

Mikah Sargent (00:17:13):
Very good. Good. Very good. Alright, let's take a quick break. Before we come back with more, I want to stop and tell you about well front, who are bringing you this episode of iOS today, stock trading, look, it can be a wild ride but the thrill of risking, it all is best enjoyed in moderation like casino, gambling and well eating questionable food. If you're playing the market, I hope for yours sake that you're stashing some safer money than a place like Wealthfront. You might think that day trading stocks is the secret to investing success, but Wealthfront has a ton of data to show that time in the market, almost always beats timing. The market they're globally, diversified portfolios, automatically optimized to hit the goals you set and the risk level you choose, and also to get you automatic tax breaks that can boost your returns.

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Rosemary Orchard (00:19:24):
Well, there's a couple of different things that you can do. And there's some great apps that you can use to help you keep an eye on things, for example. And one of them, if you've got HomeKit cameras is home cam for HomeKit. Now, if you've got all of your cameras from the same brand, for example, UFI, then you could open up the UFI app to try and get an overview. But if you've got cameras from different brands or perhaps you just want a better experience and then take no further look than home cam. Now home cam is an app. Our Pierce, the developer has actually created multiple different, great apps including home pulse for this sort of thing. But home cam exists to show you your HomeKit cameras in one place, that's it? There's a bunch of different options.

Rosemary Orchard (00:20:09):
So I'm gonna tap on the parking cameras. There's nobody outside at the moment. And you can see that I've got, you know, just a camera overview. If I did not have rotation lock enabled, then I would be able to rotate my phone and get a, a closer view. But what I can also do here is I can tap two control, various different accessories, which are related to the room that this particular camera is in. This camera is in doors, can also see scenes from there. Which, you know, is just pretty great. I can see things like the light level, which is coming in from the, the camera there. And I can also control the sound. So, you know, if I wanted to be able to hear a conversation that was going on out there, then I could what is great about home cam though, is that it's also got this auto cycle feature where if you've got lots of cameras and obviously I've gone and turned off a bunch of different cameras here before the episode, then it can sort of cycle through them so that you've got a security type overview.

Rosemary Orchard (00:21:05):
Now this is fine on an iPhone. If you've got an iPad, say even a 12.9 inch iPad, wow, this is pretty great. And even better, this is a universal lab. It works on the Apple TV and your Mac as well, allowing you to just have a, a great, you know, overview of things like that. Especially if you've got like a camera outside where people might be pulling up when you're waiting for people to arrive, but you've gotta get on with some things. It's pretty nice to be able to pop that open on a device and just, you know, keep an eye on things and even monitor the other cameras at the same time, just in case somebody appears in a way that you're not expecting them to.

Mikah Sargent (00:21:39):
Very good. I, yeah, I, I think that the built in HomeKit tools for cameras are fine, but there's something about just, there are just a couple of features that these third party apps provide that make them, it's kind of like, man, I wish that Apple had thought about that, but at the same time, I'm glad that Apple didn't, because I'm glad that a third party gets the ability to do this. You know what I mean? That they have the the, the necessary features to make this happen and that they get to hopefully make some money in the process. And I'm, I, I love all of the home apps that the developer creates home cam home pass. And what's the other one home cam home pass

Rosemary Orchard (00:22:22):
There's home run, which I was also going to mention home run. So if you've ever tried to trigger scenes on an Apple watch, then like from tapping, rather than talking to your or watch, then you'll have gone, oh my God, this is the worst experience ever. Home run basically exists to just give you widgets or complications on your watch, which allow you to run HomeKit teams. Now I'm not gonna try and show everyone my watch there, the website will do a much better job of demoing what that is, but it also gives to an app where you configure your own layout for everything. And so you can, you know, tap into the app and then tap and that yellow one, there that's exactly what I'm looking for. That's what I need to trigger my scene or open the door or whatever it is.

Rosemary Orchard (00:23:04):
And it's really nice to be able to improve your home kid experience in, in such a simple way. And yeah, I'm, I'm really glad that that exists. I'm also really glad that this next hack exists, which I believe I talked about last week on the show actually. And that's sensor kit, which it's entire purpose is just a widget. So it lives on my home screen. I tap it and it opens, it tells me that there are different kinds of sensors that I could show in my widget. But if I step and hold on the widget and then edit widget, then I can change what it shows. So it's currently showing the carbon Mon monoxide level in my bedroom. But instead it could tell me if the bathroom is occupied which, you know, if I was waiting to go to the bathroom and there weren't many bathrooms, and there were lots of people in my home that that might be very important.

Rosemary Orchard (00:23:47):
I can also do things like look at the lock levels or locks to see whether or not they're open and or shut I can have a smoke detector. So it will show me that my hallway smoke detector is surprise, surprise, not detecting any smoke right now. And so on and so forth. It, it's just a nice way to have that information, especially if you've got a stack of different things. So for example, let's pull up my office temperature so I can see the temperature in my office and then tell you what Mikah I'm gonna go on. And just for fun next to it, I'm gonna add another sensor kit widget, and I'm gonna display the thermostat as well, because I could do that. And then I can have two hunky widgets right next to each other, with my information in, for my office so that I can easily see that is relevant to my podcasting focus mode. So there we go. Yes. The thermostat in my office is off it's 18.6 degrees in here. That's pretty good. I think

Mikah Sargent (00:24:44):
I agree. Yes. That's not, not a bad temperature at all. So we've, we've kind of taken a look, I think, at at the, at the basics for getting your smart home set up for then being able to control your smart home control, the different devices that are there and be able to have, have different views for the camera, have different views for the devices that you have. But what if what if somebody's running into trouble with their devices, if they, if they're, you know, pressing a button that's supposed to do to, to run a scene or is, or they set up an automation that's supposed to trigger every time the sunsets, but it's not working. Is there a way for us to be able to kind of take a peek behind the, and see exactly how HomeKit is, or is not working in the background?

Rosemary Orchard (00:25:33):
Yes, yes, there is though. I would suggest if you're having problems start with the good old device, turn it off and turn it on again, reboot various things. If there's a hub involved, reboot the hub. If, you know, if the device that you're, you're looking to like turn on check, it's actually plugged in, unplug it from the wall and plug it all the way back in just to make sure check something else powers on plugged into the outlet, things like that. But there's a couple of great apps that you can use to try and find out what's going on. And one of them is home log for HomeKit. Now this does HomeKit logging, and I should know, it's very important that you read the description to find out how this works because the app needs to actually be running to be logging.

Rosemary Orchard (00:26:15):
So if you're looking for, for example, my scene is not triggering at sunset. You will need to open this app before sunset and leave it running, and then you'll be able to get the logs so that you can actually see what's going on. But once you've done that, then this is one great way to to figure out what's going on there, because it can tell you all sorts of things. So it, for me, it's only just started logging cuz I, I uninstalled it and removed it cuz I've been playing with my HomeKit setup over the weekend. But you can also choose to hide certain items and then see them see them later and so on, which is just really useful. So for example, I can see all of these different light levels are appearing, which is pretty useful.

Rosemary Orchard (00:26:57):
I have to say. So, you know, if I've got the problem, is the sensor a living room, not triggering because it's actually too bright. Then I could have a look in here and I would actually be able to see what was the light level when my automation didn't run or when the automation did run. That's the other thing, if you've got something that's running and you're not expecting it to be running, then pop opens something like a home log for HomeKit, which is also available as a separate Mac application believe. So that you can take a look at that. It is on the Mac, it's actually universal application. And that one can, can run obviously more easily in the background than an iOS app. But it, it's a pretty great way to try and figure out what's actually happening around that time. Now I should note if you've got a lot of sensors, you're gonna get a lot of data. That's where hiding items comes in. But if you're looking to try and track down, what's going on, then this is an excellent way to get started.

Mikah Sargent (00:27:53):
I agree. I, again, home log is fantastic and it's also just kind of fun to be able to, to, to look at all of these things go, oh, that is, I didn't realize that that was sending out a message every day at this time or about, you know, a, a ping essentially that I've found a lot of fun. You have one more in this section. Yes.

Rosemary Orchard (00:28:16):
So I do actually want to refer back to the Eva, that thread network that I showed before in the app. That's something that you can use to debug as well. But if you've not got the red devices, you've got Bluetooth devices and you're trying to figure out what the heck is wrong with them. Then from the St Villa's home log and home run and home cam AR Pierce there's home scan for HomeKit. And I would love to demo this one, but I actually don't have Bluetooth devices. And my personal recommendation, if you're looking for devices to connect to your network is to avoid Bluetooth for threat is fine. Thread is like a superior version of Bluetooth, but just straight up box standard. Bluetooth is not gonna be a good experience for anybody. Just because it's going to be so slow in comparison. However, if you've got Bluetooth devices already and you don't wanna give up on them just yet have a look at home scam for HomeKit, and it will show you things like how strong signal is for those devices and so on and so forth so that you can try and diagnose issues and improve responsiveness and so on, which just means that hopefully fingers crossed. You can figure out what's wrong there. If there is something wrong or you can, you know, just check in on things and see what's happening.

Mikah Sargent (00:29:22):
Nice. All right. And then this is for the power users out there, or it could be that somebody just has a device that they really, really like, and they're like, come on. Why does this not work with HomeKit? How can I get it to work with HomeKit? What is a way that a person who buys a smart home device, which increasingly this, this category is, is smaller and smaller, a home, I mean a smart home device that does not work with HomeKit that is not HomeKit compatible. You and I both know that we can pretty much make any third party device HomeKit compatible. It just takes a little work. And one of those ways is with the use of home bridge. Now I have talked a lot in the past about home bridge. In fact, I think still there's a guide over on IMO unless it's been for some reason removed at some point that is a, a walkthrough for, for installing home bridge then using HomeBridge to be able to connect devices that you, that did not previously work with HomeKit.

Mikah Sargent (00:30:29):
And this is a for this show I want to, I wanna keep it pretty basic because the, the kind of behind the scenes stuff is not super important, but essentially as you, if you've ever bought a Philips hug a set of Philips hug bulbs, for example, or the Lutron CA line anything that includes a little, you know, rectangle or square or rounded rectangle that you plug into your brow to your browser, to your router you will understand that that is called a bridge. And essentially what happens is that bridge is the communication point for those devices that are communicating with a specific and special frequency. So the Philips hu lights talk to the bridge, which then does what it needs to do. And vice versa you with your phone, talk to the router, which then can send that information to the bridge.

Mikah Sargent (00:31:25):
The bridge can then talk to the bulbs. Home bridge is like a virtual, one of those little rectangles or squares. And it tells HomeKit the framework that created that we've been talking about, Hey, I am a HomeKit certified bridge, and the devices that are connected to me by way of using me as the means of communication are then HomeKit certified. So you can take devices of my one example of this is my garage door opener. It's made by a reputable company, one of the like oldest garage door opening companies that's in existence, but by default, it does not work with HomeKit. And so I use a raspberry pie, which is a small computer that connects directly to your router, and it is running this home bridge software on it. This home bridge software then talks to the garage door opener figures out what's going on there. And then HomeKit talks to that raspberry pie that has home bridge on it and figures out what's going on there. So in my home app, I've got a button that I can press to open and close the garage door, even though the garage door is not HomeKit enabled Rosemary, tell us about your home bridge setup, cuz I think you have some devices set up that way.

Rosemary Orchard (00:32:47):
I, I do. I should note you, you use the word certified there there's two, like there's, there is a HomeKit certification but if you add something through HomeBridge you do get a note that says it's a, an uncertified accessory, which basically means that they can't guarantee that it's gonna work, but they're gonna let you do it anyway. And so I've just removed and Reed my Dyson fan from HomeKit for this purpose. So I'm just gonna add this anyway and it will continue connecting in the background. There we go. So, and now I can put my Dyson fan, which is not HomeKit compatible in my living, which is where it actually is. And it gives it this bridge name and I'll just leave it at that anyway. And there we go, I've added a bridge and now this is an air purifier as well.

Rosemary Orchard (00:33:28):
So that's all inside of HomeKit and I can specify that's also my living room. Yes. Thank you very much. And I'll call this living room air purifier because I have another one that I actually use as an air purifier in my living room and this I just use as a fan. And there we go. Now I have that and I also have a night mode switch on that fan, which is quite nice and it suggests my automation when I leave home. Lovely. but this is just one of the great things that you can add, but what you can also use HomeBridge to add and also home assistant, which I'll talk about a little more in a second are fake things that aren't real. And so I'm going to pop open. I've got a room in my HomeKit home called hubs.

Rosemary Orchard (00:34:11):
And this is the room that I use. And I put all of the hubs location wise in this room. And so inside of the home app if I go to home settings then there's home hubs and bridges. So each of these is set up under the bridges section. Each of these is set to be in the hubs room, which means that when I add something to what hubs, if I'm going looking for it and I go to the room, it's gonna appear here in this room, which is great. But I've got some other things in this room, which aren't actually like devices. These are fake switches, which I've added. I've done this through home assistant with their, their input button. But you can do the same thing with the dummy switch in, in home bridge.

Rosemary Orchard (00:34:55):
And basically what I can do is if I, if I tap on one of these buttons, the lights behind me change colors, that's a button that's actually just telling in this particular case home assistant, what to do, but what you can also do is use these as a weight control, whether or not things should automatically happen. So for the longest time and possibly still in existence right now in logic, there we go. I have a button called asleep and this is a switch. It's a fake switch. It doesn't turn anything on it doesn't turn anything off, but you know what happens? The motion sensors in the room in my bedroom, usually if my bedroom is dark and my motion sensors see motion, they turn the lights on. You know, when you don't want the lights to turn on, when you roll over and you're still dead asleep in the middle of night.

Rosemary Orchard (00:35:40):
So when I go to bed, I hit buttoned by the side of my bed. And this is one of the great things about home care because, and, and smart home stuff. This button by the side of my bed, it turns off things like the dehumidifier in my hallway. Any other things that might be on turns off all the lights in my house so that there's no, that one annoying light. And I can just about see it. This is good driving up the wall, but I don't wanna get out of bed that doesn't happen to me anymore because I've programmed everything so that I can turn it off with one button. So now I compressed that button and as well as doing that, it cools the thermostat in my bedroom and it turns on this fake switch. And then this fake switch stays on until I tell Siri in the morning that I'm getting up.

Rosemary Orchard (00:36:20):
And that runs a scene and that scene turns us off. But if this switch is on, when my motion sensors to detect motion, they don't turn on, they don't turn on the lights because the requirement is that this is off. When the motion sensors in the bedroom to detect motion for them to turn on lights. And that is just one of the great ways that you can use HomeBridge. You can also do things like add a calendar through an integration, which will then create a series of switches or sensors, depending on which plugin it uses so that you can, for example have automations run, but not on days that you're not working or only have it have run on days that you're working, you know, whichever way around you want, because you've got that calendar information there so that you can make better use of it.

Rosemary Orchard (00:37:04):
And this is one of the reasons why home bridge and then home assistant can be even more powerful than just home kid alone, because they can really take the brains and make them even better. The other thing I wanted to mention and I'll start actually by skipping ahead to the Sterling hub, because if some of you have got nest devices, and I know bill in the club tour discord this week, actually last week, just after the show said that he's just switched to an iPhone se, so he's moving away from the Android ecosystem, but it's quite possible that you've already got a bunch of nest stuff lying around, and you'd like to get that into HomeKit, but you don't necessarily want to go to the trouble of setting up something like home bridge or home assistant yourself.

Rosemary Orchard (00:37:45):
You just wanna buy a box and have it work. The Starling home bridge or home hub is a great option for that. It's $99 and its entire point in life is to get your nest or your nest Yale stuff into hun. It, so that for example, your Nestor bell will still work. And honestly I think $99 is going to be a lot cheaper than replacing all of your hardware, especially if you've got lots of cameras and so on. So this is a great way to just keep, keep everything working. And it gives you some more options as well. The other thing I wanted to mention is home assistant. So if you've played with home care and you've gone, Ugh, like it's really annoying that I have to, you know, do this all on my phone. I'd much rather do this on my computer, but the home app kind of sucks.

Rosemary Orchard (00:38:32):
And I, I want more control. I wanna be able to integrate things like for example, you know, the air quality for my local city and things like that, then a good place to look is home a system. And they've got full guides on their website as how you can set this up. But what I would say about this is it's an, it's not just an alternative to HomeKit because what you can do. And what I do to you is I share things from home assistant back to HomeKit. So for example, all of my door locks are actually connected to a, a ZPI stick. Now I bought bought Yale locks, but when I bought them, they didn't have a HomeKit hub here in this country. And so instead I bought a Z Z wave or a ed wave of stick and I plugged it into a, a raspberry pie running assistant.

Rosemary Orchard (00:39:15):
I did in the end, I upgrade to a slightly more powerful computer because it was a very underpowered raspberry pie. But then I used that to connect my locks up and then I shared them to hun it. And what it gives you is it gives you an alternative way to run some automations and so on. And it also allows you to do things a like have smart plugs that monitor energy, but not have them in HomeKit where if you accidentally say, Hey, Apple lady turn everything off. All of those things turn off. And the last thing you want is you're trying to, I don't know, monitor the energy usage of your dishwasher is for your dishwasher to get turned off mid cycle. That's not gonna do it any good. And so because I still collectively choose what I'm going to share from home assistant back into HomeKit.

Rosemary Orchard (00:40:00):
But I still have automations running. Then this really lets me get the best of both worlds. Also I found home assistant has a lot of integrations. The integrations tab is huge so that you can set up our thing and as well as this, if you keep going hubs, I don't like hubs. Like why does everything have so many hubs? Well, if you get a, a Z B stick, same as I got a Z wave stick, I I've got both. Then you can actually set everything up with home assistant and just have the one hub and have home assistant dual to work for you. So there's no need to have an Ikea hub and a hu hub and and a car hub, for example, you can just have the one hub through home system and have it, do everything for you.

Rosemary Orchard (00:40:41):
So that is just one great way to enhance things. If you're ready to take stuff up to the next level, there are a few other things that you can do to improve your home kid experience. One of them is home paper for home Kidd, which allows you to create pretty background wallpaper for your home app and, and show them. And so you just have a nice experience. I should remind people wallpaper for HomeKit and the home app do not sync between people or devices. So I set up a wallpaper on, for example, my iPhone, and it won't sync to my iPad. I set a different wallpaper there for that room or for my home in general. Another app I would like to mention is home control menu for HomeKit. And this is a Mac application, but it is a Mac application that lives in your menu bar to give you access to your HomeKit, accessories scenes, and so on and so forth.

Rosemary Orchard (00:41:32):
And this really makes it a lot easier to manage your devices on the Mac because you don't have to go digging around for the home app and look for things. It also has URL scheme support. So if you want to get nerdy then you can set it up with things like Alfred workflows and so on. Or of course you could use the shortcuts app on the Mac if you are running MES Montey. So those are some great options. Now I am very sure that a lot of people are going to have a lot of questions about home kid things. And specifically, how do I do this? How do I do that? And so on. And I would really love it. If you would write in as Keith, you are welcome to pay the pet tax, but it is not a requirement. Not strictly if you have pets, we prefer to get home pet pictures. I'm just saying I've had my inbox mic gut filled with adorable pictures for the last week,

Mikah Sargent (00:42:23):

Rosemary Orchard (00:42:23):
Great. Absolutely love it. And quite a few of them are gonna be featured on the show today. So yeah.

Mikah Sargent (00:42:30):
All right, folks yes, that brings us to the end of this segment. We hope that you all have found something helpful. And I'm looking forward to hearing what you may write in about iOS today at twit TV. But we're gonna take another quick break before we go into the news. I wanna tell you about eight sleep who, oh man, I am so excited to talk about eight sleep. They're bringing you this episode of Iowa today. So good sleep obviously is the ultimate game changer and its nature's best medicine consistent, good sleep can help reduce the likelihood of serious health issues. It can decrease the risk of heart disease. It can lower blood pressure and it can even reduce the risk of Alzheimer's yet. Still more than 30% of Americans struggle, sleep and temperature is one of the main causes of poor sleep.

Mikah Sargent (00:43:20):
Yes, temperature is one of the main causes of poor sleep. I have talked before about how I am a very, very, very warm sleeper. I have struggled pretty much my whole life with being too warm at night, but other problem is I like to be covered up by covers. You know, some people will say you know, if you're a warm sleeper, then just don't sleep with the covers on top of you or sleep with a part of your body hanging out from underneath the covers. I cannot fall asleep that way. I need to have covers on top of me, but I also want to sleep cool. And I thought there was no possible way to make that happen until eight sleep came along and said, no, I've got it figured out for you. Now I'm falling asleep in record time, faster than I ever have before.

Mikah Sargent (00:44:03):
And that's all thanks to my eight sleep pod pro cover. Yes, there's a pod pro mattress and a pod pro cover. I have the pod pro cover that eight sleep sent my way and bull howdy. Is it amazing? The pod pro cover by eight sleep. It's the most advanced solution on the market for Thermo regulation. It pairs dynamic, cooling and heating with biometric tracking. Yes, it not only will help you regulate your sleep. It also has tools inside to help you track your sleep. You can add the cover to any mattress and start sleeping as cool as 55 degrees Fahrenheit or as warm as 110 degrees Fahrenheit, which personally I do not recommend because the science shows that cool sleep is good. Sleep. The temperature of the cover will adjust each side of the bed based on your sleep stages, your biometrics and your bedroom, temperature reacting intelligently to create the optimal sleeping environment.

Mikah Sargent (00:44:59):
There's this pod that sits next to your bed and it is measuring the temperature of the room and it is measuring all of your biometrics and it combines all that information to cool or warm your sleep based on what stage of sleep you're in and help to keep those stages going as long as they should. And to help you stay asleep after you've fallen asleep. And what's awesome is that there is a feature that will continue to monitor how your body responds. Use that to give you better temperatures based on how your body actually responds to that sleep. It's this thing is the future. It is wild. How amazing this thing is with 30% more deep sleep. I can be confident that my mind and body are moving through the restorative sleep stages that are vital for physical recovery, for hormonal regulation.

Mikah Sargent (00:45:52):
And formental clarity folks. I'm no scientist, but I am a sleep science nerd. I had a subscription to the journal, sleep science, like I love sleep science. And I can tell you all of these things I'm nodding my head along with because they're all so true. Stage three of sleep. Deep sleep is incredibly important because is a truly restorative sleep stage. Your body actually can help restore itself at an optimal level when you are in that deep stage of sleep and the eight sleep can help you get there and stay there as you need to. When I'm powered by eight sleep, I can show up as the best partner, the best parent, yes, to my pets and or the best version of myself. It's so nice to wake up in the morning and not feel like I need to towel off because I was sleeping and sweat so much.

Mikah Sargent (00:46:43):
I can actually start to tackle my day a lot sooner than I would've been able to otherwise go to eight to check out the pod pro cover and folks we've gotta deal for you. You save $150, a checkout eight sleep currently ships within the USA, Canada, and the UK. That's eight And yes, you will find my, my kind of quotes about this because I was very excited when they said, Hey, you know, share some of your thoughts on it. Oh, happy to cuz this thing is basically all the stuff I've learned about sleep science put into a technological Marvel. So thank you, eight sleep for making the pod pro cover. Thank you. Eight sleep for sponsoring this week's episode of iOS today. All right. We've got a couple of news stories for you today. The first one that we wanna talk about is that Apple has updated, improved iterated upon iMovie.

Mikah Sargent (00:47:40):
So there are now some new features, including storyboards and magic movie. I will talk about storyboards and rose area. I'd love it. If you talked about magic movie. So storyboards is a feature for iMovie that essentially helps you to create some sort of, of, of video. You get these different kinds of templates essentially that are kind of drag and drop tutorial and they help you to, instead of, you know, opening up the it's, it's the, it's the age old issue of the artist's blank canvas. You open it up and you're like, I have no idea what I'm going to do. If you're presented with some ideas to help you kind of get a jump on the process, then you can understand or you get rolling a little bit quicker. So what storyboards do does is it lets you pick from different categories, including celebration, DIY cooking, gaming Q and a, and there are some placeholders that are dropped into the timeline.

Mikah Sargent (00:48:46):
And then from there you can start to figure out what you want to create. So a as you can imagine with storyboards, you're able to kind of have an overall theme, an overall feel to your clips and be able to create something magical. They can all be what what's kind of cool about storyboards is that on top of being able to drag a and drop for, from your your photos library or your video library, you can actually shoot the clips right there. In storyboard you can you know, record them. You can add more if you want to and they also have some, some tips to help make for the best looking video that you can create. So all very handy to help you make the perfect little clip or short video for say TikTok or YouTube that will show how to create in this case. Apple is showing off a kite DIY, it shows you how to create a kite fun stuff. And this of course is a more involved process, but Rosemary, tell us about magic movie that one's different.

Rosemary Orchard (00:50:00):
Yeah. So if you've ever had the, the photos app pop up and say like, you know we've made a memory for you of like collecting lots of different photos from different things and gone. Oh, that's pretty cool. I'd love to do the at, you know, for a bunch of different things. If only ahead, the time the magic movie is for you. So magic movie, you just pointed at an album and it will pretty much just walk you through it. You add a title, some transitions, some music, and that's pretty much, it, it then just goes through, it tries to pick out the best parts of the footage for you and so on and so forth so that you get a magic movie at the end without having to go through and create, you know, every single transition and which bits do I put in here and, and so on and so forth, you know, you've, you've, you've picked an album or you know, eat an album, which you can do pretty easily. And then you can just create it and share it. And it's, it's lovely. I have tried this out with, for a few things with my grandmother actually at the weekend. She really liked the the movies that we created for her. So it's, it's worth looking at and checking out, especially if are short on time, but still won't give results.

Mikah Sargent (00:51:10):
There you go. That is magic movie and storyboards and those have been added to iMovie 3.0, so you can just download that in the app store or update if you already have IMO and create things with that maybe we'll have, we should have soon, we should sort of challenge each other to create a project with IMO. That could be kind of fun. That sounds good. So yeah, we'll keep that in mind as something to do in the future. All right. And then the other one that I wanted to mention is Apple sometimes will do different challenges for iPhone photography. And recently Apple did a challenge called the iPhone macro challenge where people used the built-in macro camera for the iPhone, or I should say macro feature for the iPhone camera. And then people were able to take photos of course, and submit them to the challenge.

Mikah Sargent (00:52:10):
And there are some really gorgeous photos. The first one is called sea glass by I believe, Guido Cassin. I, as far as I know, no relation to the CASSE that we know this is a gorgeous photo that would make a really background on something. The photographer said sea glass is eroded by thousands of miles traveling around the oceans to the shores of the world. I was walking on the beach, enjoying a beautiful sunset and decided to collect some of these small pieces of sea glass to give macro photography on iPhone 13 pro max a try. It looks like something strange is happening inside the one place in the center. It looks Amber. I really love that texture. Mm. Just beautiful. Yeah. There's then there's the cave, which is a photo of a hibiscus plant and man, the rich reds.

Mikah Sargent (00:53:04):
The, the detail of the veining of the flower is all very, very pretty. The photographer said the enveloping shape of the pedals accentuated by intense shadows made me think of a deep cave, ready to be explored by keeping the point of view inside the flower. I wanted the hibiscus natural framing to make us feel fully part of its beauty. When I first learned about macro mode, I thought it was one more cool new feature. I was excited to get with my new iPhone 13 pro, but when I started exploring its possibilities, I really started loving it. I discovered it gives me the possibility to turn nearly everything I see into an abstract subject, different from what it is in reality. This feature really did unlock my imagination, man, gorgeous photos. A lot of them are nature based. Go ahead.

Rosemary Orchard (00:53:51):
Yeah. I was gonna say, I think strawberry in soda is one of my favorites. It's just a strawberry landing in soda, but there's all the little bubbles around it that you get when you actually drop a strawberry in soda. And these pictures are just amazing. Obviously they've got a lot of detail in because they're Mac pro photography, but it's truly amazing that, you know, this camera is something that you can carry in your pocket. And that if you've got a pro, then it's, you've got the lens for the macro on there as well. This is actually where the reasons why I have the pro iPhone rather than the mini because I, I, you know, I, I like having all three lenses. I like the wide angle and the I and the regular and the macro as my combination. And it does mean that I take more and be better pictures. I hope I'm certainly not up to this level yet that I'll keep practicing.

Mikah Sargent (00:54:35):
Yeah. I, this makes me want to go around and I mean, you basically transported to another world almost. And that's something that I think is a lot of fun and it makes me want to go around and, and snap some photos, I've got some plants that are propagating right now in the window and some other plants that I've had for a long time. And I'm like, okay, let's get outta light and let's get some really close up shots of all of these plants. Cause there's a lot to, to see here. So yeah, maybe one day I'll submit to the one of these challenges. But for now, definitely go check those out. And folks with that, I can hear the music. It's time for shorts corner. This is shorts corner. The part of the show where write in with your shortcuts requests and Rosemary Orchardchard, your shortcuts expert provides some responses before we get into the shortcuts this week Rosemary, you wanted to share some HomeKit themed apps that folks could use that involve shortcuts. So talk about those first.

Rosemary Orchard (00:55:46):
Yeah. So there's two specific apps I wanted to mention though. I would note that there's a lot of great HomeKit apps that you can use with shortcuts. But the first one is home bot for shortcuts. And this allows you to for example, activate and deactivate all the lights in one room, even if they're not grouped together or in a scene together and so on and so forth you can get your entire home status as an output, which is another great way to debug. As we talked about earlier you can get the specific temperature measurements you can switch primary homes and change light bulb colors specifically to a certain explicit color. So for example, if it was a football match that you were watching and you wanted the lights to turn red, when the red team scores and blue, when the blue team scores, then you could theoretically do that and have it fed that data from somewhere magically.

Rosemary Orchard (00:56:37):
Somehow, I'm not quite sure how exactly you would do that, but if you have that as a question, then feel free to write in and I will solve that problem. But it, it allows you to just do more with home care. The native home action at home actions are pretty good. But this just takes it up a level. And at 1 99, it's certainly a good way to do that. The other one I wanted to mention is signals for HomeKit and Mikah. You were the one that introduced me to this one. And honestly my favorite use of this is this get up scene which I have and I would run it now, but I, it won't actually show up in here. So I'll just quickly create a new signal to, to demo for people because this app is really great for, well, you know, actually it's flashing your lights but not just flashing your lights, but giving you a sort of alert.

Rosemary Orchard (00:57:27):
So I am going to pick and that is the Hugo behind me that is on that. You'll be able to see so I'll pick that one and close that, and then I will change its effect. So instead I'll it doing a quick one, I'm gonna do a longer one. And I will specifically use a color. So currently this light is blue, so I'm going to use red for the color just to make it really obvious. And then when I run this signal, then it's actually it's a little hard to tell but it actually flashes it. There we go for five seconds. So I know that whatever it is that is calls that signal is doing that and that it restores the light to the previous state. And this is something you can run with shortcuts.

Rosemary Orchard (00:58:13):
So what I have Mikah, if I snooze my alarm in the morning then that wake up signal, it flashes the lights at the side of my bed, the absolute brightest they go. And so that I am forced to actually get up because otherwise I will hit snooze and I'll just go back to sleep. So instead I have the world's most evil alarm clock. And the best part of it is if I don't hit snooze, it doesn't happen. But it does work. And it works really well. So I'm very glad that that exists, that one is free to download. And I believe 1 99 for the in app purchase to unlock all of the signals so that you can have as many as you like.

Mikah Sargent (00:58:51):
Nice. I, yeah, I, I think that that one is, is well worth check. I mean, both of them, frankly, well worth checking out, but signals did a thing that I needed that I, you know, had been wanting on with HomeKit for, for, and actually have that feature available is really nice. All right, let us move into the shortcuts corner request this week, which comes from Jamie. Jamie writes in to say, I've installed a tankless water heater in my home. I have installed a smart switch outlet to a recirculating pump when hot water is needed, you can turn on the switch, which starts the recirculating pump and sends hot water through the house. This priming keeps you from having the cold water in front of the hot water and the pipe from going down the drain. It sends that water back down the cold lines.

Mikah Sargent (00:59:37):
I've made a shortcut to turn on the outlet for the pump. You can do this by selecting a button in the HomeKit app, or you can tell Siri two, start the hot water. The automation is set that after one minute and 30 seconds, the switch power will be turned off. This is enough time to prime, the hot water lines. Here's where my question comes in. I would like to add motion sensors in the bathrooms. So if you enter the hot water sequence will run. What needs to happen is a timeout so that you can't run the sequence twice in a certain timeframe. What can happen is if you run the hot water sequence too close together, you can get nothing but hot water from the cold side as well. So if I want to take a shower, I run the hot water sequence.

Mikah Sargent (01:00:17):
And if someone else in the house tries to run the sequence again within say 10 minutes, the will not be energized. I'm close, but would love some advice on how to get the request to check when the sequence was last run before it runs again, I hope this all makes sense. I'm looking forward to your suggestions. Thanks, Jamie. And yes, I, I know where you're going with this and I'm glad because that means that you and I had that same. I, I got it from you the problem solving solution for this. So tell us about what Jamie can do for some timing built in.

Rosemary Orchard (01:00:49):
Yeah, so essentially what you need, Jamie is you're gonna need something that says, no, don't do that thing. This is exactly the same as my dummy switch, which I have for sleep at night so that the motion says here. So my bedroom don't turn on the lights while I'm sleeping. If I move around and to do this, there are a couple of options that you could do. You could actually have something that you turn on. And then you can have the scene automatically turn off after 10 minutes. As a reminder, HomeKit scenes can automatically turn off after a period of time. But if you don't have a spare smart plug hanging around and you don't want to have a, a light that can only be on when you shouldn't be turning the tankless or the reci on, then you're going to need something a little bit smarter.

Rosemary Orchard (01:01:30):
And that's where HomeBridge comes in. And specifically there's a plugin called HomeBridge dummy switches, and you want the timed switch so that you can have it, and you can turn it on when you run the, when you run the, the, to run the water heater and then it will turn off. And then what you'll probably want to actually do. And this is where things get a little perhaps confusing or messy, depending on your point of view, but you'll need actually two, because what you want to train pupil to do is not turn on the switch for the actual water heater itself, or the recirculation pubs, sorry, you only want them to turn on a dummy switch. And then that dummy switch will run an automation, which will check, Hey, is the other switch, the timeout switch, which I guess you'll have like as your reci timeout, let's call it beyond.

Rosemary Orchard (01:02:19):
So you set up your, your dummy switch to be on the reci timeout to be on for 10 minutes. And then the other one you'll just have a standard one which turns on and then it turn and then it will probably automatically resets it, it resets. So it'll be a stateless one where it turns on, and then as soon is done, it turns off, but that turns on will run an ultimate and it will say, Hey, if this thing is on then nothing the end, bye bye. And then if it isn't on, then you know, go ahead and run the rest of this. Now, there are two ways to do this. We talked about home plus earlier on the show, I'm also gonna show you how you could do this in HomeKit with a convert to shortcut action, because course this is shortcuts corner.

Rosemary Orchard (01:03:00):
I've gotta show off shortcuts. So I'm going to add an automation here, and I'm going to say an accessories control because we specifically want this for the dummy switch that you turn on. So I'm just gonna scroll down. You could theoretically let people just turn on the the recirculation pump and then turn it back off of again. But I would suggest that instead of that, it's better to have a, a switch which controls whether or not things work. Just because if something goes wrong, then you're not gonna accidentally run two. So I'm gonna use this this switch actually in my living room for the night mode of the fan. I'm gonna say, when this turns on and then scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. If you have fewer devices in your home, there won't be so much scrolling, convert to shortcut.

Rosemary Orchard (01:03:41):
First thing, we're gonna delete this. We don't want this action here. And then we want an if action. And then what we can do is we can say select a home accessories. So I'm going to choose, and this is in my logic room. So I need to scroll down a little bit for that. If logic asleep, there we go. So this would be the recirculation timeout for you. If this one is on, then I want to stop my shortcut. And then that's it. And then the rest of your logic will go here, which is probably the control a HomeKit device. So I will just control. And I'll just turn on a sprint versus Sy, which is a nano leaf scene that can comes from my nano leaf panels. And that's how you can do that with shortcuts.

Rosemary Orchard (01:04:25):
I probably personally go with home plus instead of converting this to a shortcut just because it's, it'll be a little easier to review later and see what's going on. But you can do it either way, but HomeBridge is gonna be your friend. What I also wanted to mention in this at of the show is that there are a few devices which are HomeKit compatible with official home bridge plugins as their way to that way to make it HomeKit compatible. And I have one of these right here. Mikah, can you tell me what this is? Cuz I don't think I've shown this to you before.

Mikah Sargent (01:05:00):
Oh, I think it some sort of curtain opener and closer.

Rosemary Orchard (01:05:05):
Yes, exactly. Yes. This is the switch bot curtain opener comes in white and black. But this just sits on my rail for the curtain. Then it rolls back and forth using this wheel here to open and close my curtains, but their their way of integrating with HomeKit is that they have an official API and created their very own HomeBridge plugin. So it's worth taking a look. I should also mention that HomeBridge can be a great way to get some more affordable devices where you might not have to pay so much Apple tax on them into your home get home. So it's well worth checking out for all sorts of things.

Mikah Sargent (01:05:41):
I agree wholeheartedly. I, I think HomeBridge is amazing and I'm, I'm glad to to be able to use it and also have supported it by, you know, sharing it with other people and, and letting people know about it. All right. Moving into feedback and questions let's hear first from Edwin Edwin rights. Firstly, thanks for addressing my question on iOS today. Episode 573, the question was about internet connection and, and or yeah. My question on HomeKit integration is can you perhaps outline how, how well devices work without an internet connection and how to get around those limitations? I'd love to completely control my life lights and eventually other things from Siri home HomeKit automations, but on occasion my internet connection will drop out was whilst I can certainly still walk to a physical light switch and hit it to turn it on or off.

Mikah Sargent (01:06:35):
And it's just lights. It's probably the main thing that stops me from making the jump completely automating or IOT and other things also attached an air tag cat, an air tag cat named Oscar sitting on my partner's MacBook for the tax, many things Edwin from Melbourne Australia. And they, oh my God. Look at those beautiful eyes on that cat. Hello a and thank you for paying the tax to have this question answered this Edwin is actually one of my favorite things about HomeKit, because if you have a device that you have set up using the HomeKit app and you have in your home, the necessary component for a HomeKit home which in some cases, if, if the device supports thread, it will be a home pod mini or the latest Apple TV in further or in older versions of HomeKit.

Mikah Sargent (01:07:30):
You just needed an iPad that stayed at home, an Apple TV or a home pod, those serve as home hubs. And while I wanna make it clear home hubs, a lot of people know that home hubs are used so that if you're outside of the home, you can still control the things that are inside of your home. So say you buy some lights that are HomeKit enabled, and while you're outside of the home, you wanna be able to press a button that says, turn off those lights. The home hub is responsible for that, but what people may not know is that home a home hub also makes general automation of your home and general control of your home even better because HomeKit is smart enough to be sort of location aware and use the devices that are closest to a given item to communicate with that item.

Mikah Sargent (01:08:22):
So what I wanna say is that if you are thinking about getting lights that are HomeKit enabled, they say works with Apple HomeKit and you don't have an Apple TV, or you don't have a home Potter or a home pod mini, you will still be able to do that, but I guarantee you that the process and the setup and everything will be much smoother if you do have one of those devices in your home as well. At that point, even if my internet connection cuts out, as long as my local network stays on, then you're good to go. And I also wanna clarify something ear, which makes wifi routers that are, are mesh net networked routers. It used to be that when the internet went down the local area network also went down and that was obviously a problem that was annoying.

Mikah Sargent (01:09:11):
It was bad. It wasn't good design at all and did fix that. So now if my internet ever goes down, I still have complete access to my local area network. I'm able to control my HomeKit stuff using the home app for iOS. So those things are, are going to work just fine. You will be able to control those devices as long as again, got them set up properly using using the home app for iOS, but Rosemary, you point out something with home pod that folks might want to be mindful of.

Rosemary Orchard (01:09:48):
Yeah. If your internet connection goes down, your home pod is probably going to struggle to figure out what you're saying, because it uses the internet to translate what you're saying into the, the magic binary that tells it what to do. So you may struggle a little bit with that though. Things have got better, especially the iPhone in particular is much better at understanding what you're saying without having to send it off to other devices. And I believe some of that's come to the home pod as well. The other thing to keep in mind, if your internet goes down and Edwin's particular case, you know, it's, it's very brief outages. So it's, it's probably not too much of an issue, but then you disconnect your phone from the wifi to use, for example 5g you're not gonna be able to control your HomeKit devices because guess what, you're gonna be outside your network, trying to talk to your network through the internet, which it can currently doesn't have.

Rosemary Orchard (01:10:39):
But there are some great ways around this. And I did wanna give ZPI the protocol in general, a, a shout out for this because ZPI has a concept of binding. So this particular button here, it's a Ikea button for some Ikea lights that I have up there, I press this, it turns the lights off. I press it. It turns the lights on that is a direct to finding this, this remote is bound directly to that light. It doesn't have to go through a hub. It doesn't have to have anything in the middle like HomeKit. Tell it that when I press this button that happens, this knows that, that this button toggles that light and similarly the, the, the up and down will control the brightness and so on and so forth. That is something that you can do with Sibi binding because that's part of its protocol.

Rosemary Orchard (01:11:21):
And that's something that some hubs will enable as well. So for example, hue, remotes will be bound directly to their lights. So even if actually your hu hub goes offline briefly, then guess what it still works. Which is pretty useful just to know in general. And so that is something that is worth looking at. The other thing I would say, Edwin is aim higher, more magic have the magic be that you walk into the room and if it's dark, the lights turn on, not that you need to talk to your home pod or if a pull out your phone and press a button or tap something on your Apple, watch try aim higher with the magic. It's gonna take you a while to get there. But once you've done that, then you'll actually find that you, you, so you sort of, as you go with smart home, you go through a sort of painful period where you're starting out and everything is like, okay, so I have to talk to the home, but further, or pull out my phone to do that. Once you get through that and you get to the point where the magic just happened, and you can use your voice or your, your hands, or through your phone or physical light switches to control things for the out of the ordinary, then your experience will be much better. So keep on working at it. And fingers crossed that it all works out for you.

Mikah Sargent (01:12:29):
Yes. we're wishing you all the best. All right. This next one that comes from Timothy Timothy writes. Hello, Mike and Rosemary. Thank you for giving us so much information on anything. Ios. I have three home pods. Two of them are paired as a speaker. I use with my Apple TV in my living room. The third one is in the dining room on a half wall. That is between the living room and dining room. Sometimes when someone says the key phrase, Hey, you know who one of the paired speakers responds and mutes the TV to reply to the command. Is there a way to prioritize which home pod takes it? Thanks for your help. And here are a couple images of my dog for the puppy tax. The black one is Lilly in a tan one is boomer. Oh my God. Boomer. Hello, boomer. So cute. Look at the ears on Lily. Such good photos too.

Rosemary Orchard (01:13:23):
I know, I know everybody's clearly been showing off their photography abilities. I'm impressed.

Mikah Sargent (01:13:28):
Yeah. I'm very impressed. Submit those to some thing that Apple does. Yeah. So, so tell us because I honestly, with this one, I know that Amazon has some magic that it does. It's actually a very it's a very sort of featured feature. If, if, if you will, that they like to talk about that is context and location aware for responses on your Amazon devices. And what's cool is that Alia X a will actually check in with you. If I ask it something and it responds from this device, it'll actually say, Hey, I wanna make sure that I'm responding from the right device. Was this the one you were trying to talk to? And you can say yes or no, and then it gets better at knowing where you are and which one you meant to speak to. But I don't know about this for Apple's home pod. Is there some sort of spatial awareness with this?

Rosemary Orchard (01:14:23):
I mean, yes and no. So essentially what happens when you say that magic hate Apple lady phrase, which I, I won't say because all of the biases in my house will immediately go to, to respond. Then basically what happens is a race. Okay. All of your devices immediately simultaneously go, wait, where are you where where's this person? And they try and figure out how close they are to the person in question and how likely it is that it's gonna be the kind of thing that you're gonna expect it to respond to. So a home ball will be able to give certain kinds of data where your phone can do other things and so on and so forth. And so they have basically this really, really quick heated debate as to know, you know, you, oh, wait, it's me and figure out who to respond with.

Rosemary Orchard (01:15:07):
And that's done by a number of different things. And Apple, obviously don't disclose precisely how that works and they're constantly tweaking and changing that. And so one of the things that you can do is just try turning your head towards that one, if you want that one to respond, which may improve things. But if you are closer to the home pods that are connected to the television, it's very likely that those are going to continue to reply. But if you don't want those ones to respond because you don't want them muting the TV, then what you can actually do in the home app. So this is a home quality in my living room. As you can see, I've had some excellent tasty of music recently. And if I pop into the settings for it, then I can actually turn off the listening for that trigger.

Rosemary Orchard (01:15:53):
And this would then mean that, that, that speaker will not respond when I, when I talk to things, because it sounds like if you've got them paired as a TV speaker, you probably don't want them to be replying to that phrase. So that is what I would actually recommend for this. Just generally like telling it, no, no, no, this takes there's unfortunately not a lot you can do there. I would note that you are gonna, you will probably have to do this for each of the home pods in the pair. Unfortunately, the stereo pair in this room is not responding, but because I've been rewiring my office and I moved this one for today's episode, but I've just remembered, I've got a pair of home hop minis in my bedroom. So let's just scroll down, tap on the things there, and that is together as a group, I can control them both together so I can turn off the listening for the magic phrase there. So that is probably what I would do to solve that problem, Tim and fingers crossed that you can find a solution and please write in and let us know what you're doing, or if you've got a suggestion for Tim then yeah, by all means, let us know

Mikah Sargent (01:16:54):
Fingers crossed left and right. All right. A couple of quick little suggestions from folks based on the, the feedback that we've received in the past and also our request for some different options. The first one comes from Debbie. Debbie writes in, I'm responding to a question from a viewer about an iPad Mount for tripods. We talk, they talked about a 12.9 inch iPad, and we're looking for a good Mount for it. It says, check out caddy for iPad mounts. They make a variety of Mount and several sizes. I've used a 12.9 inch iPad pro Mount for a Mike stand for my music for several years. It works great. This Mount also fits a tripod. I've enjoyed your show for many years. Keep up the good work. Thanks Debbie. Thank you, Debbie, for writing in and for sharing this tripod Mount for the iPad pro it is from Cady daddy which is a goofy name, but the iPad pro trip tripod of Mount. That's hard to say. I like that it's pretty lightweight and that it, it looks very grippy. It, it looks like, you know, you can sort of slide in whatever size iPad you need to make this work. And also it shows that it can be used as a Lapin, which is kind of nice.

Speaker 8 (01:18:13):
It's actually catty, buddy. I just

Mikah Sargent (01:18:15):
Noticed, oh, catty buddy. Yeah, catty buddy, not catty daddy.

Rosemary Orchard (01:18:21):
Ben has also written in to let us know because he had a suggestion for a useful iPad accessory. He likes the icon tripod tablet, Matt for the iPad which he's provided an Amazon link for because one of the few that he founds that works with the magic keyboard. And that is a very nice trick. So this says it's for the iPad air two. But it actually scales all the way up to the 12.9 inch iPad. And there's a separate link because I, I dug out the image. That's buried somewhere in the reviews for that. But as you can see, it actually works for, with it in the magic keyboard, which is pretty nice. So that is another great option. So thank you, Ben, for, for writing in with that one.

Mikah Sargent (01:19:08):
All right. Up next folks, we've got our app caps app caps are coming up in just a moment

Speaker 9 (01:19:14):
When the first ever 24 7 sports network debuted in 1979, fanatics thought they'd died and gone to sports heaven. ESPN forever changed the TV landscape, but Fox sports saw an opportunity to make the games more entertaining and through big money into stealing ESPN's thunder. Hi, I'm David Brown, the host of Wondery show business wars, and in our latest series, media mobile Rupert Murdock wants to own the lucrative sports TV market. But to do that, he'll have to launch a full court press, listen to ESPN versus Fox sports business wars on Apple podcasts, Amazon music, or the Wondery app join Wondery plus in the Wondery app to listen one week early and a free

Mikah Sargent (01:20:05):
Alrighty folks. It is time for the app cap segment of the show. This is the part of the show where we wear caps a top hour heads to honor our app or gadget picks of the week. These where the apps are gadgets we are using now, or maybe we've been using them for a while, but we want to share with all of you, because we're excited about them in any case, the caps go on our heads, the apps and gadgets get shared with you. Rosemary Orchardchard. Tell us about the cap at top of your head and tell us about your pick

Rosemary Orchard (01:20:37):
The cap at top of my head. Is it, it's amazing Mikah, it's pink added CBRA. It's very amazing. And it's a hat. Yes. it's, it's sort of a cowboy hat style. Now I should know I thought my hat collection was a little lacking. And so I ended up getting a party pack of hats, which is where this has come from. So there may be a few that look a little similar in the future but I'm sure we will all survive. Mostly because this actually decent in the fact that it doesn't overheat my head, which is impressive, cuz a natural cowboy hat I'm pretty certain would do that. My app pick for today is an app called guru maps. Now guru maps is actually a free app that you can download and I've just reinstalled it to to show off the, the, in the setup of it because this is a great app.

Rosemary Orchard (01:21:21):
The, the idea is it's offline maps with Inso search, enter my turn navigation. And the reason why this has come up relatively recently was because my dad wanted to have a map while he was on a plane. So he could see where he was. Because if you're watching a film or something, then you don't have the map on that screen or maybe you don't even have a screen on the plane so that you can't see it. So it's detected I'm in England. So it's offering to download a map and it tells it's gonna be 952 megabytes only for England. Wow. That's, that's a lot of megabytes. I'm actually gonna skip that for now. And there, there is a subscription option if you pay, once it is 45 pounds, I believe it's $49 99. And you can also pay monthly, but you can also just use the, the free version.

Rosemary Orchard (01:22:07):
And what I, I love about this is you do just have the entire world. You can see, you know, how high you are in, in the world or sorry how high the area that you are above is in. And there's some different options for offline and online as well as overlay. So I can specifically, for example, turn off contour lines and the area around here is quite hilly. If I go up, I'll go towards gloss a bit more and just change some of this information which is not showing up right now, but it usually does it's because I reinstalled obviously, but I can turn on and off overlays of Contra lines and hill shades and off get offline maps for cities, cycling, hiking, et cetera. And I can also add online maps. Now, several of these are pro features.

Rosemary Orchard (01:22:52):
Open street map I should know is free and available through this. And you can, you know, specify everything that you might like. You can also add bookmarks sync things and more, and it's just a nice way to download a sort of map of the world so that if you are somewhere and it's you know, you don't have an engineer connection or you maybe you're gonna go on a plane trip and you just wanna be able to follow where you are, then you can do this. And it's certainly solved the problem that my dad had, which was great. Wait, rose, how can I see the map when I'm on a plane, but I don't of an internet connection and I'm not paying $30 to see a map. And guru maps was the answer.

Mikah Sargent (01:23:31):
Nice. definitely well worth checking out. All right, my turn. First I wanna of course tell you my cap this week that I'm wearing is a Dungeons and dragons cap. It's kind of sort of faded denim cap, and then it's got the D and D logo on the front of it. And that's because I am a big D and D player. I wanted to talk about a new product from nomad goods. Nomad of course, makes beautiful cases and accessories for your iPhone iPad, et cetera. But the latest one that I wanted to talk about is the base max, the base one, max is a charger for your iPhone and your Apple watch before there was the base one that just had the charger for your iPhone. This is mag safe charging and did not feature the Apple watch charging puck as well.

Mikah Sargent (01:24:25):
But now they've got that. What I love is that it's one USBC port on the back. So you're not having to worry about plugging in multiple things. You just plug in a 35 wat charger not included. You will need to add that and in doing so then you will be able to get, this is fully MagSafe certified. That means that you get the, I think it's what 15 Watts of, of wireless charging versus the non-ag safe chargers, which just do the lower, I think, seven Watts. So this has, you know, the most recent technology in it. This is a super premium product with aluminum and glass. And also you can't tell because it's not super heavy that I can't lift it, but it is, is very, let's see it is very heavy. And that is so when it's sitting on your desk or on your side table, which is where this is it will not lift as you take off your iPhone from the MagSafe charger, this stays right where it is.

Mikah Sargent (01:25:25):
It doesn't move and it has your phone on it. It's available for 1 49 95. So one 50 and it comes in two colors. There's what do they call that silver and carbide? So carbide is black. Silver is white glass with the aluminum. And as I said nomads known for making very premium products. The, this is very premium very well done. And knowing that you can get that full on fast mag safe charging makes this all the more worth it, the the other devices like this, I think from belken and a few others Bekin is one of the only other ones that has actual MagSafe certified charging. So it's really cool to see another company nomad have a nice mag safe one. It says weighing in at two pounds. So a lot heavier than your typical mag safe puck, you know, that it'll stay on the desk as you schlock and de schlock your iPhone from the cover of it.

Mikah Sargent (01:26:29):
So very cool from nomad and you can head to nomad goods website it's actually back ordered right now. So it can be kind of hard to to, to grab, but you know, once it's back in stock, you should be able to, with that, we've reached the end of this episode of iOS today. Again, if you have feedback questions, cetera, you can send those to iOS today, twit TV to be able to, you know, get your question answered on the show, or send in photos of dogs, cats, and other pets or animals in general, that you've taken photos of. We, we accept them all. Ios today records live every Tuesday at 12:00 PM. Eastern 9:00 AM Pacific 1600 UTC. So you can tune in live to watch the show. We love it. If you do that join us there. It's a lot of fun by going to TWI on TV slash live.

Mikah Sargent (01:27:18):
But we think the best way to get the show is by subscribing, which you do by going to O S when you go there, you'll see a place to click, to subscribe to audio or video. And you can then pick your podcast application of choice or podcast, service of choice, Google podcast, Apple podcast, Spotify, YouTube podcasts, all those places we try to be so you can join us there. And then if you would like to get all of our shows without ads, there is a way for you to do that and support us directly by doing so by checking out club TWI TWI do TV slash club TWI for seven bucks a month. You get every single one of TWI shows with no ads. So it's an ad-free experience of all of the shows. You also get access to the TWI plus bonus feed that has extra on Penn.

Mikah Sargent (01:28:05):
You won't find anywhere else, including AMAs with folks from TWI and elsewhere Stacey Higginbotham's book club, which is really exciting. And you get access to the members only discord server. That's a place where you can go to chat with your fellow club TWI members, but also hosts and producers on TWI. There are channels, all sorts of things and exclusive live stream access to the stuff that ends up on TWI plus in many cases. So TWI to sign up there, very fun. We also heard that some people just wanted to support their favorite shows directly and not worry about all the rest. You can do that. If you use Apple podcasts and Apple podcasts, you just type in iOS today, you find the audio version of the show, and you'll see a button to tap for 2 99 a month. You can subscribe and support the show. And what you will get is an ad free version of the audio feed for iOS today. Rosemary Orchardchard folks, wanna follow you online and check out all the great work you're doing? Where should they go to do so?

Rosemary Orchard (01:29:07):
The best place to go is Rosemary, which has links to all the things I do online. And all the other places you can find me. And you can also find me on Twitter of Rosemary Orchardchard or in the club, TWI chat room with username, Rosemary Orchardchard, Mikah, we about what about you?

Mikah Sargent (01:29:23):
Well, you can find me at Mikah Sargent on many, a social media network, or you can head to Chi That's C I HOA, where I've got links to the places I'm most active online. Of course you can check out tech news weekly later this week, which I host with Jason Howell, a and Saturdays, the tech guy, which I co-host with Leo Laport, where we take your questions on the radio and all from the us and all around the world and help you out with your gadget gizmos and more, oh, and later tonight you can check me out playing Dungeons and dragons for total party kill podcast on the incomparable, which I believe you can watch live later tonight at total party, is the link for that. So if you wanna see some goos play Dungeons and dragons online and if you wanna meet my character Evo, that is a way to do so. Thank you all for tuning in to this sort of iOS today. I hope that you got everything you wanted out of this episode and that you have been inspired to take your HomeKit home to the next level until next time. This has been iOS today, and we'll continue to be iOS today. We'll see you next time. Bye-Bye

Rod Pyle (01:30:42):
Hey, I'm Rod Pyle editor of ad Astra magazine, and each week I'm joined by Tariq Malik the editor in chief over at in our new This Week in Space podcast. Every Friday Tariq and I take a deep dive into the stories that define the new space age what's NASAs up to when will Americans, once again, set foot on the moon. And how about those samples in the perseverance Rover? When do those coming? What the heck is Elon must have done now, in addition to all the latest and greatest and space exploration, we'll take an occasional look at bits of space flight history that you probably never heard of and all with an eye towards having a good time along the way. Check us out in your favorite podcast, catcher.

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