Benefits Of Using Apple HomePod Mini or Apple TV As A Home Hub for HomeKit Smart Devices

For those of us who have iPhones and iPad, We can do home automation with Apple’s HomeKit. HomeKit is Apple’s framework for communication and control of smart home appliances and devices. This framework includes a Home app on iPhone, iPad and Macs allows users to easily discover and configure smart home devices. Once these devices are added to one’s home network, users can use the Home app to setup various actions, automation and using Siri commands to trigger various actions such as “turn on the bedroom lights” or set up time based ambience lighting to our circadian rhythm health. Last but not least, HomeKit allows users to add HomeKit enable devices from different vendors and mix devices from a variety of brands.

A home hub is a central device that controls, maintains the home automation, allows remote access (outside of the home) to allow user to control device when they are away from home, grant guests access privileges and setup automation.

Why do you need a HomeKit home hub? The main reasons are remote access when you are away from home so you can control the home smart devices when you are not home. HomeKit Home hub allows you to grant guests access to your smart devices. The home hub allows you to setup automations, and scenes.

Apple provides several devices for that can be used as home hubs.

*HomePod Mini

*Apple TV

*Apple TV 4K.

While the Apple TV is best known as a video streamer for TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, Netflix, etc, it’s also a HomeKit home hub. Once the Apple TV is install, it works automatically. HomeKit devices can connect to it via WiFi and Bluetooth. The Apple TV is great as a bluetooth extender and HomeKit compatible devices will connect to it automatically and this makes HomeKit bluetooth devices more robust and responsive.
Additional Features of Apple TV:
*Stream video via TV+, Disney+, Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max,

Paramount+, YouTube, Apple Channels (cable TV channels), Peacock, PlutoTV, etc

*Stream music via Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify, etc.
*Integration with Fitness+ showing Apple Watch metrics on screen.
*Apple Arcade.
*Apps ecosystem.
*Buy or Rent movies or TV shows via iTunes.
*Listen to your iTunes library.
*View photos and video in your Photos library (via Home Share (on mac drive) or iCloud Photos Library).
*AirPlay to stream video/audio or screen mirroring of iPhone, iPad or Mac. Doby Vision (4K) and Doby Atmos (audio).

By far the best HomeKit home hub is the HomePod Mini. As a home hub, the HomePod Mini can connect to HomeKit compatible devices by WiFi, Bluetooth and Thread. Thread is new mesh networking protocol that’s low energy like the Bluetooth LE. Every HomeKit compatible full Thread device that is added will extend the Thread mesh network because these devices can connect to other Thread devices. Thread networks are self-healing which means if one of these devices malfunctions, the devices connected to them can connect to other full Thread devices on the network and still be operational.

Like Amazon Echo smart speakers, you can speak command to HomePod Mini to control your smart home. Given Apple stance and policy on privacy, you can have high confidence that it is private and secure. The best part is it has a reasonable price of $99.

Add a HomePod Mini to your network and it automatically appears in your Home app on your iPhone or iPads. It’s pretty easy to use.

In addition to being a home hub, the HomePod Mini has the following functions:

*360 degree of audio using computational audio to create a room full music or podcast, radio stations, pandora, etc.

*AirPlay Audio streaming from iPhone, iPad or Mac. Siri.
*Multi-room audio.
*Intercom.

*Pair 2 HomePod Mini for stereo sound.

*Accept phone calls from iPhone.
*Audio output for Apple TV.
*Can locate your lost iPhone and iPad.

*Send text messages.

*Can recognize up the 6 family members.

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