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The most talked about, trending, and coveted iOS 14 feature is its customizable Home Screen. And while widgets are a great help, the neat trick of customizing app icons takes the cake. But what other icons, and what about the overall aesthetics? Well, why fear when iGeeks is at your side… here are some specially curated, iOS 14 aesthetic app icon packs for your iPhone.
Before we showcase our hand-picked icon sets, it is wise to note two things:
How to set a custom icon: Well, it’s pretty simple, create a shortcut to open the app and add the custom image. For more details, check out our step-by-step tutorial right here.
1. Retro Aesthetic App Icons
Nostalgia is a powerful feeling, and some old-school gadgets or designs could instantly take you back to a happy childhood memory. And every time you look at them, these vintage-inspired icons will do is bring a broad smile to your face.
Plus, they will undoubtedly paint your phone with some beautifully muted and earthy colors. Whether the Clock, Mail, or Instagram icon, there is something super nostalgic about each of them.
2. Travel Aesthetic App Icons
Are you bitten by the travel bug? all you can dream or think about is your next travel? Then this icon set is perfect for you. The chirpy vectors boast a quirky sense that is sure to tickle your funny bones at least once.
While they won’t diminish your traveling blues, they will help you cope with it. And as with all icons set in this post, we have taken special care of the balance. Nothing is too bright or too dull, so you get an eye-pleasing effect whenever you look at your screen.
3. Food Aesthetic App Icons
Made for and by food nerds, this set is inspired by tempting, junk food. The ‘cartoonish’ avatars are intentional so that hunger-pangs do not distract you every time you look at your home screen. And in doing so, we have also accomplished another feat!
The colorful artworks also ensure that the element of fun is omnipresent. If you love food, cute imagery, playful colors, it’s time to wear it on your sleeve (iPhone screen) and flaunt it.
4. Thanksgiving Aesthetic App Icons
Good food, quality time with your loved ones, and gratitude, that’s what Thanksgiving is all about. And this icon set takes a quirky and fun take on the festival. From yummy turkey to spiced pie, we have compiled all the Thanksgiving elements in one pack. Just dress your iPhone Home Screen and keep your holiday spirit high.
5. Christmas Aesthetic App Icons
Christmas is the time for merry-making and to dress your device according to the festivities. From the mistletoe, Santa’s hat, snowman, to snowglobe, we have two unique holiday-themed icon sets.
To make things more jolly and appealing, don’t forget to match them with a suiting winter wallpaper.
6. Black & White Aesthetic App Icons
Don’t underestimate the power of simple, subtle, & minimalistic line drawings. This special set plays with positive & negative space to illustrate all your app icons to perfection. And while it pumps up your device’s overall interface, it’s low on distraction and high on sophistication.
Another benefit of using black & white icons is that you are free to keep vibrant wallpapers that suit your taste. No color clashes due to the different shades of icons strewn around your screen. Do check this collection out if such a scenario interests you.
That’s all for now!
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A self-professed Geek who loves to explore all things Apple. I thoroughly enjoy discovering new hacks, troubleshooting issues, and finding and reviewing the best products and apps currently available. My expertise also includes curating opinionated and honest editorials. If not this, you might find me surfing the web or listening to audiobooks.
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With the release of iOS 14, Apple gave its users more flexibility with their Home Screens. We’ve been telling you all about Home Screen widgets; how to find and add widgets, create custom widgets, and the best apps that offer widgets. So if you’ve gotten a taste of how wonderful Home Screen customization can be and want a bit more, you’ve got it!
Not a new option, but certainly one worth mentioning is creating custom app icons for your Home Screen. Maybe you’re not fond of the icons for specific apps or perhaps you simply want to use images of your own. With the Shortcuts app and the images you want to use, here’s how to personalize your iPhone Home Screen with custom app icons.
Featured Home Screens by @Icon packs and custom widgets
Featured Home Screens by @ rslashAC , @ Sarrafkoo , @ PrettySickly , and @ wholelottajenni
If you want to replicate something like the image above, you’ll probably want to download a nice icons pack. These have existed for years but they’re receiving renewed interest since the launch of iOS 14. Search for iOS icons packs on your favorite search engine or on Twitter, and chances are you’ll find something.
To get you started, here are a few places where you can find icon packs for your Home Screen.
For added pop on your Home Screen, you’ll also want to create custom Home Screen widgets as well.Create custom app icons with Shortcuts
To add new icons to your Home Screen, you can simply change the icon for the app to one of the built-in Shortcuts options or pick your very own image. We’ll show you how to do both! Open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone and follow these steps.
1) Tap the My Shortcuts tab at the bottom and then the + sign at the top.
3) In the box that appears, tap Choose and then select the app you want or use the Search at the top to find it.
4) Tap the three dots on the top right.
5) Give your shortcut a name. You can have the name of the app icon different on your Home Screen using the steps below. This step simply names the shortcut in the Shortcuts app.
From this point, the steps can vary. This depends on whether you want to pick an icon or add your own image.Pick an icon
If you want to select an icon from Shortcuts:
a) Tap the default icon.
b) Choose Glyph and make your pick. Optionally you can select a Color.
c) Tap Add to Home Screen.Add your own image
If you want to use your own image:
a) Go straight to Add to Home Screen.
b) Tap the icon below Home Screen Name and Icon.
c) Select Choose File, Choose Photo, or Take Photo and follow the prompts for the option you pick.
6) Give the shortcut for your Home Screen a name and tap Add.
7) Tap Done and then Done again.
With both of the sets of steps above for the type of app icon you want to use, there is a longer version of steps where you tap Next instead of the three dots to create the shortcut. Then from All Shortcuts, tap the three dots for the shortcut and follow the steps above to add it to the Home Screen. This is just another way to create the shortcut to open the app and a longer one at that.
Since using the Shortcuts app is basically a different way to open an app (but with a different icon), there are bound to be downsides.
Another downside is that you will not see any badge icons you’ve enabled for the app. The shortcut you create is only to open the app and does not include this type of feature.Wrapping it up
Even though it looks like a lot of work to create custom app icons, once you do it the first time, the process will seem simple. And it may just have you creating tons of app icons for your Home Screen!
Want more spacing on your Home Screen too? You can also use Shortcuts to create blank icons!
While iOS 14 brings some much-needed customizability to iOS, iPhones are still missing some key features when it comes to customization. Namely, the ability to use custom icon packs. Custom icon packs help you drastically change the look of your device which can be a huge plus point for some users. Thankfully there is a quick workaround that will help you change app icons on iOS without even jailbreaking your device. So let’s get started.
How to change app icons on iOS 14?
Instead of directly changing icon packs that require root-level file system access, we will use Apple’s Shortcuts app that helps you create shortcuts for particular apps that can then be customized in your way. The only downside to this workaround is the fact that the new icon will open Shortcuts first and then the app that you linked to it. This might be a dealbreaker for some users but it is currently the only way to customize icons on an iOS device.
Related: Best Aesthetic Wallpaper Pictures for iOS 14
Things you will need
An iOS 14 device
Download the Shortcuts app on your iOS device and launch the app.
Now tap on the ‘+’ in the top right corner of your screen.
Tap on ‘Add action’.
Now search for ‘Open app’ in the search bar.
Scroll down and tap on ‘Open App’ under the Actions section.
The action will now be added to your new shortcut. Tap on ‘Choose’ as shown below.
You will now get a list of all the apps installed on your device. Find the app you wish to change the icon for and tap on it to select it. For this example, we will be using Filmic Pro.
Once the app has been added to the shortcut action, tap on the ‘3-dot’ menu icon in the top right corner.
Now add a name for your shortcut. This name will only be used to identify the action in the Shortcuts app so you can customize the name to your liking.
Now tap on ‘Add to Home Screen’.
Enter the name for your home screen icon under ‘Home Screen Name and Icon’. We recommend you use the official app name if you are going for the official look.
Now that you have entered the name, tap on the icon beside the text field.
Tap on ‘Choose Photo’.
Now choose the photo that you wish to use as your app icon from your photo library. Tap on it to choose it.
You will now get the option to crop your icon. Select the desired dimensions based on your preference and once you are done, tap on ‘Choose’ in the bottom right corner of your screen.
Finally, tap on ‘Add’ at the top right corner of your screen.
Once the app is added to your home screen, tap on ‘Done’ in the top right corner again.
Now go to your home screen and you should have the new App icon available on your home screen.
Tap the icon to launch the app and the app you chose should now be open.
What to do with the original app icon on the home screen?
You can remove the app icon from your home screen and move it to the app library. This way it will be hidden away and be only visible alongside the shortcut you created only while using the spotlight search. Let’s take a look at the procedure.
Find the original icon on your home screen. Now tap and hold/ force touch on the icon depending on your device.
Now tap on ‘Remove App’.
Select ‘Move to App Library’.
And that’s it, the app should now be moved to your App library and should no longer be visible on your home screen.
Can you avoid opening Shortcuts app every time you tap on Shortcut?
While you CANNOT ignore the Shortcut app upon tapping on a shortcut, you can, however, speed up the process by follow the method below.
How to fasten opening of an app via Shortcuts
You can fasten the opening of apps via Shortcuts by reducing the app animation and transition effects which Apple neatly allows you to do through the ‘Reduce Motion’ option inside iOS. When you enable ‘Reduce Motion’, all motion effects like animation, parallax effect, and screen transitions will be turned off which will result in faster launching of apps on a regular basis and will also speed up app launches via Shortcuts.
This should make app animations and app launches faster but for best results, we also recommend that you enable the ‘Prefer Cross-Fade Transitions’ option after enabling ‘Reduce Motion’.
How to remove an app shortcut from the home screen
If you don’t wish to keep the shortcut that you made, you can remove it from your home screen by long-pressing on the shortcut icon and then selecting the ‘Delete Bookmark’ option that pops up on the screen. This will remove the shortcut from your home screen but the created shortcut will still show up inside the Shortcuts app on your iPhone.
How to delete a shortcut entirely
Now that you know that removing a shortcut from the home screen doesn’t delete it from the Shortcuts app, there’s still a way to delete it entirely.
To do this, you need to open the Shortcuts app and tap on the ‘Select’ option available at the top right corner of the screen. Now, select the shortcut you wish to delete (in this case, the one labeled Backdrops Shortcut) and then tap on ‘Delete’ at the bottom right. You will need to confirm this action by tapping on the ‘Delete Shortcut’ option from the dialog that appears below.
There you go! The shortcut that you created using the Shortcuts app has been deleted from the app and you can’t access it again.
All of us visit certain websites more frequently than other sites. The best example is local news sites. We all read news on our own language mostly through the apps. Some local sites may not have an app or you don’t like to read content through the app. Generally it is difficult to stuff all content feed in an app and is necessary to visit the website to get relevant details. In such case, every time you need to open Safari and browse the site either by opening the URL or through favorites. Apple offers an easy way to save time by adding the webpage shortcut as an app in home screen to directly access the site. In this article we will explain how to add webpage as app in home screen of iPhone. The same process can be followed on any iOS devices like iPad.Progressive Web Apps or PWA
Before proceeding further, you need to understand Progressive Web Apps or PWA. These are websites combined with mobile app features so that there is no need of a separate app. For example, there are no desktop apps for YouTube to install in Windows or Mac. However, you can install YouTube as an app using PWA feature and use the same way like other apps on your computer. Unfortunately, this PWA feature is not supported in iPhone Safari browser in a way it works in Google Chrome desktop browser. Good part is that you can use similar feature called “Add to Home Screen” which is also considered as PWA since it allows the website to work like an app.
Note that, Google Chrome also will not support installing website as an app in iPhone. It only works on desktop devices like Windows PC or Mac. Follow the below instructions to add website as an app in your iPhone home screen.Step 1 – Open the Site in Safari
Let us take an example of Wikipedia. We love to open the home page of chúng tôi for searching instead of the iOS app. Open the chúng tôi page in Safari and tap on the “Share” icon showing in the bottom of the page.
Tap Share IconStep 2 – Add Webpage to Home Screen
You will see all sharing options like AirDrop, contacts you have recently used and some options. Swipe up to view all options and tap on “Add to Home Screen”.
Add to Home ScreenStep 3 – Enter Name for the App
The default page title will appear as the name for your app. You can leave it as it is or enter any name for the webpage shortcut icon that will appear as an app on your home screen.
Add WebsiteStep 4 – Check the Icon
Website Added as App
If the webpage uses apple touch icon, it will be used as app icon on your iPhone. In certain cases, like WordPress site, the site icon or Favicon which is larger enough in size is used as app icon.
Step 5 – Open the Site as App
Tap the icon to open the webpage as an app. Though it looks the site works as an independent app, it actually opens in Safari browser. You can open multiple tabs and browse other sites in Safari after launching the website shortcut.Why This is Helpful?
You no more need to launch Safari and enter the site address every time.
It is possible to add any webpage shortcut to the home screen of your iPhone and quickly access the page.How to Add Website to Home Screen with Google Chrome?
As mentioned, Apple does not support installing apps through browser and hence Google Chrome does not have this “Add to Home Screen” feature by default. However, you can use the Shortcuts app to create website shortcut and add in your home screen to open with Google Chrome instead of Safari.
Open Shortcuts app and tap on + icon showing on top right corner of the app.
On the next screen, tap on “Add Action” button to create a new shortcut action.
Add New Action
Go to “Apps” tab and tap on Chrome.
Select the first option showing as “Open URLs in Chrome”.
Select Chrome App
Enter the site URL you want to add to home screen as an app.
Tap on the icon showing on top left corner and select new icon for your app from the list of glyph showing in the list.
If you do not want to change the app icon, just tap on the settings.
Enter Site URL and Go to Settings
Then tap on “Add to Home Screen” option showing under “Details” tab.
Tap Add to Home Screen
Enter the name for your app and tap on “Add”.
App Added in Home Screen
Apple has released iOS 15 for iPhone users with a compatible iPhone or iPod touch.
iOS 15 includes various new features and changes for iPhone, including redesigned Safari with new tabs and tab grouping features, a revamped Do Not Disturb feature called Focus, FaceTime improvements like grid view for group chat and FaceTime Portrait mode, Safari Extensions support, Live Text which allows for selecting text within images, improvements and changes to Notifications, Maps, Music, Health, Photos, Spotlight, a redesigned Weather app, and much more. Some other features, like FaceTime screen sharing, are expected to arrive in later iOS 15 releases.
iPhone users must have an iOS 15 compatible device to be able to run iOS 15. Basically if the device can also run iOS 14, it will support iOS 15 as well.
Be sure to backup your iPhone before proceeding with installation.
Installing iOS 15 requires the iPhone to reboot.
Optionally, users can install iOS 15 using a computer (iTunes on a PC, or Finder on a Mac), which requires connecting the device to their computer using a USB cable.
Users who were previously running an iOS 15 beta release can update directly to the final version using any of these methods. Many beta users will want to be remove the beta profile from their device after installing the final release.
Another option is to install iOS 15 by using IPSW firmware files, available to download directly from Apple:
Release notes for iOS 15 cover the various new features and changes:
iOS 15 brings audio and video enhancements to FaceTime, including spatial audio and Portrait mode. Shared with You resurfaces the articles, photos, and other shared content from your Messages conversations in the corresponding app. Focus helps you reduce distractions by filtering out notifications based on what you are currently doing. Notifications have been redesigned and a new notification summary delivers a collection of notifications so you can catch up on your own time. Maps delivers a beautiful redesign with a new three-dimensional city experience and augmented reality walking directions. Live Text uses on-device intelligence to recognize text in photos across the entire system and on the web. New privacy controls in Siri, Mail, and more provide transparency and give you more control over your data.
• FaceTime links allow you to invite your friends into a FaceTime call, even friends on Android or Windows devices can join from their browser
• Over 40 Memoji outfit choices and up to three different colors to customize your Memoji stickers’s clothing and headwear
• Status appears to your contacts in Messages conversations, indicating your notifications are silenced with Focus
• Notifications can be muted from any app or messaging thread for the next hour or for the day
• Redesigned place cards make it easy to learn about and interact with places, and a new home for Guides editorially curates the best recommendations for places you’ll love
• Voice search lets you search the web using your voice
• Live Text is available from the keyboard letting you insert text directly from the camera viewfinder into any text field
• Web image search allows you to search for images of people, animals, monuments, and more
• Visual Look Up recognizes art, landmarks around the world, plants and flowers, books, and dog and cat breeds in your photos so you can learn more about them
• Lab results can now be pinned for quick access and include highlights that show how your labs have changed over time
• New animated backgrounds more accurately represent the sun position, clouds, and precipitation (iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR and later)
• On-device personalization allows Siri speech recognition and understanding to improve privately (iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR and later)
• Safari Intelligent Tracking Prevention now also prevents known trackers from profiling you using your IP address
• Custom email domain personalizes your iCloud Mail address and allows you to invite family members to use the same domain
• Memoji options including a cochlear implant, oxygen tubes, or a soft helmet
• App Store in-app events help you discover timely events within apps and games such as a game competition, a new movie premiere, or a livestreamed experience
Controlling smart home devices with your iPhone or iPad is far from a new concept, but in iOS 10, Apple is lending much more focus to home automation. It’s all thanks to the new built-in Home app that ships with iOS 10 and watchOS 3.
Resident Apple HomeKit enthusiast, Zac Hall, already wrote a thorough walkthrough of the new Home app during the initial iOS 10 beta period, but now that iOS 10 and watchOS 3 are shipping, it’s only right to give it another in-depth visit with a corresponding walkthrough.What is the Home app?
The new Home app is a centralized hub for managing Apple HomeKit-enabled devices. These are devices that have been specifically certified by Apple to work seamlessly. As you’ll learn, the set up process and day-to-day device interaction has much improved with the release of iOS 10.
Previously, users had to rely on third-party HomeKit apps in order to achieve similar functionality. A good example of this is the recently updated Home – Smart Home Automation app from Mattias Hochgatterer.
These apps work, and in some cases do things better than the stock Home app, but it’s difficult to compete with the level of native integration baked into a stock iOS app. There’s also something to be said for an app that appears on your Home screen by default; not to mention that it’s free.
With the new Home app in iOS 10, it’s super-easy to set up and manage HomeKit-enabled devices. The app features integration with Control Center, 3D Touch quick actions, and as you’d expect from anything HomeKit related, support for Siri. Home app settings are synced via iCloud, so any iCloud-enabled iOS device running iOS 10 — an iPod touch, iPhone, or an iPad — can be used to control your Home.iOS 10 Home app video walkthrough
Subscribe to 9to5Mac’s YouTube channel for more iOS 10 videosYou’ll need at least one HomeKit-enabled product
The $69.99 Philips Hue Starter kit is a great first HomeKit accessory
Before you can begin using the Home app, you’ll need at least one HomeKit-certified product. Before today, I didn’t own any HomeKit-enabled products, but I went out and bought a Philips Hue Starter Kit for this tutorial. The Philips Hue Starter Kit costs $69.99, and comes with a Hue bridge and two white bulbs.Other HomeKit-enabled accessories you might want to consider The HomeKit hierarchy
There is a basic hierarchy when it comes to using the Home app. Keeping this hierarchy in mind will make it much easier to understand how the app functions.
Home → Rooms → Accessories → (Groups, Scenes & Automation)
To use the Home app, you must have at least one home, one room, and one accessory. Groups, scenes, and automation are optional, but they allow for broader control over your home.Using the Home app
Once you’ve acquired your first HomeKit device, launch the Home app, and you’ll be greeted with a “Welcome Home” splash screen that explains some of the things that are possible with the Home app. Tap the Get Started button to proceed.
The initial accessory setup process in the Home app is fairly straightforward
By default, you’ll see a new “My Home” screen that allows you to start building your connected home by adding locks, lights, thermostats, etc. You can customize the name of your Home, change its background wallpaper, and much more.
Before you get into customization, however, you should add your first HomeKit-enabled accessory. Tap the Add Accessory button, and the Home app will scan your Home network in an effort to find any HomeKit-enabled devices. Make sure that your iPhone is connected to your local network, and that your HomeKit-enabled device is as well.
Using the 8-digit setup code to get started
In my case, the Philips Hue bridge showed up under the list of available accessories. Once you tap the accessory, you’ll be prompted to enter the 8-digit setup code that appears on the device’s packaging or the accessory itself. The Home app features a handy camera frame that allows you to capture the HomeKit code without needing to manually type it in.
After the HomeKit code is successfully submitted, the Home app will pair with the HomeKit-enabled device. Once the pairing is completed, you’ll be taken to the Add Accessory page to finish up the pairing process.
With some standalone products, there may be a 1:1 relationship between the Home app and the product itself. However, since the Philips Hue includes the Hue bridge along with the lights, there is an extra layer of complexity added to the mix, which we’ll discuss in a bit.
The Add Accessory page allows you to identify the accessory by means of the Identify Accessory button. Tapping this button will cause the Hue bridge’s push-link button to flash as a means of identification. Other HomeKit-enabled products will have different ways to go about identification, but the basic premise remains the same.
You can rename your HomeKit accessories, by tapping in the name box and adding a name of your choice. Along with name customization, you can set a particular location for the accessory. The location (or Room) is designated area of your house. A few location suggestions, such as Bedroom, Dining Room, and Living Room, are provided by default, but users can add their own locations by tapping the Create New button.
You’ll need to rely on Philips’ Hue app to complete the bridge setup
The Include in Favorites option at the bottom of the Add Accessory page lets you designate a device as a preferred accessory. Favorites appear in Control Center and in the Home tab for quick and easy access. Since the Hue bridge isn’t something that we’ll need to interface with on a regular basis, I’m keeping the Include in Favorites switch disabled.Pairing Philips Hue lights inside the Philips Hue app
In some cases, you’ll need to rely on the manufactures app for initial setup, firmware updates, etc. That’s the case with the Philips Hue Starter Pack. After connecting to the bridge, you’ll need to launch the Philips Hue app to pair the lights with the bridge.
When you launch the Hue app for the first time, it’ll search for the new bridge. Once it’s found, tap the Set up button to proceed with setup. You’ll need to press the push-link button on the Hue bridge in order to connect. Once the bridge connects, tap the Accept button to finish the bridge setup with the Hue app.
You’ll need to use the Hue app to finish the bridge setup and connect to your lights
Now it’s time to pair the lights. On the Light setup page, tap the ‘+’ button in the bottom right-hand corner to add a new light. To find new lights, make sure that the lights are connected to a lamp and powered on. Tap the Search button to begin searching for connected lights.Since I already had three Philips Hue color lights from an old Hue setup, the Light setup page showed a total of five lights.
You can always use the device manufacturer’s app to further customize the experience, but since this post is primarily about setting up and using the stock Home app, that’s all we’ll need to use the Hue app for.Back to the Home app
Once the lights are paired with the Hue bridge, you can head back to the Home app, where you’ll see each light listed on the Home tab.
All of my Philips Hue lights recognized by the Home appCustomizing the Home tab
Tap the Compass button in the upper left-hand corner of the Home tab to enter edit mode. Here you can rename your home, see available Home Hubs, invite others to control accessories in your home, change home wallpaper, add notes that all shared users can see, and remove the home.
You can edit all sorts of elements that relate to each Home you have configured
If you frequent more than one home featuring HomeKit-enabled devices, you can additional homes by tapping the Add Home button in the upper left-hand corner. This allows you to control HomeKit devices in multiple locations via the Home app.Adding a new accessory to a home
To add a new accessory to a home, tap the ‘+’ button in the upper right-hand corner while on the Home tab, and then tap Add Accessory. When adding a new accessory, you’ll need to step back through the initial setup process.
You can add a new accessory from the Home tabCustomizing the Rooms tab
Once an accessory is configured, a room is added by default. Like the Home tab, the Rooms tab can be customized, and like homes, multiple rooms can be added. A room should correspond to an actual place in your house or on your property. For example, if I have a Philips Hue light installed in my office, it would be wise for me to create a separate room called Office.
Customizing and creating new rooms is an integral part of the Home app experience
Once on the Rooms tab, tap the List button in the upper left-hand corner to edit the current room. There, you can edit the room name and change room wallpaper. It’s a good idea to take a picture of the room so that it can be quickly identified as you’re swiping through rooms in the Home app.
While most people probably won’t be adding multiple homes, almost everyone will have two or more rooms. To add an additional room, tap the Add Room button in the upper-left hand corner. Once a new room is added, you can swipe between rooms while on the Rooms tab.Adding a new accessory to a room
To add a new accessory to a room, tap the ‘+’ button in the upper right-hand corner, followed by Add Accessory. From there, it’s just a matter of going back through the initial setup process as covered in the beginning of this tutorial.
You can also add a new accessory from the Rooms tabCustomizing accessories
To get the most out of the Home app, it’s important to organize your accessories in a way that makes sense. In most cases, you’ll want to create separate rooms for each physical room or location on your property that contains a HomeKit-enabled device. You’ll also want to make sure to give your accessory a name that makes it easy to identify.
The Home app lets you customize accessory names, icons, and more
To customize an accessory, long-press on an accessory tile and tap the Details button at the bottom of the screen. From the accessory customization screen, you can choose a new icon, rename your accessory, set its location, include in favorites, and include it in the status page on the main Home tab.
The customize accessory page is also where you can go to Group an accessory with other HomeKit-enabled devices. Once an accessory is grouped, it is treated as a singular device.Controlling accessories
While the Home app has lots of depth, its most important feature involves directly controlling the HomeKit-enabled accessories that you configure. The Home app features a lot of rich ways to go about controlling accessories in a very intuitive and fun way.
Accessories can be controlled in one or more of the following ways:
The Home app on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch
The Home section of Control Center on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
3D Touch Quick Actions on the Home app icon for 3D Touch-enabled devices
Siri on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch or Apple TV
Automation via the Home app (requires always-on iPad or Apple TV)…via the Home app
The most basic way to control an accessory is via the Home app itself. For example, if I wanted to toggle a light on or off, a simple tap on an accessory tile will do the job. For more fine-grained control, a long-press on the tile will reveal additional options. In the case of Philips Hue lighting, a long-press will reveal a dimmer interface that allows you to dim or brighten any given light.
Dimming a Philips Hue light
For accessories that support enhanced functionality, you’ll find additional options after long-pressing. For example, with my Hue colored lights, I see a Color button that allows me to customize the color of the Hue lights directly from the Home app interface.
HomeKit accessories can also be controlled via the Apple Watch app on watchOS 3. The Home app comes with an Apple Watch complication, but the complication is just a shortcut to the Home app itself. Still, it might be a good idea to set up a complication or at least add the Home app to the Dock since you’ll experience faster load times by doing so.…via Control Center
A tap on an accessory tile will let users quickly toggle an accessory on or off without launching the Home app. A long-press on an accessory tile within Control Center provides extended functionality, such as the ability to dim a light or change its color.
Along with accessing favorite accessories established in the Home app, the Home section of Control Center lets users selects favorite scenes. You can toggle between favorite accessories and favorite Scenes by tapping the Scenes/Accessories button in the upper right-hand corner of the Home section of Control Center.…via 3D Touch Quick Actions …via Siri
Siri is one of the best ways to control HomeKit-enabled devices, because it can be performed from a variety of devices and from anywhere on the interface. Siri control works on the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch and 4th-generation Apple TV.
Using Siri to turn off a light
Just say something like “Turn on my desk light” to control your devices via Siri. You can even get more specific by asking Siri to turn your office light purple or to turn your porch light brightness down to 50%. Siri is, by far, the most flexible way of going about controlling your HomeKit devices, because it is smart enough to recognize individual HomeKit accessories, rooms, and scenes.
Controlling HomeKit devices using the Apple TV and Siri Remote
You can control many HomeKit devices from a 4th-generation Apple TV as well, except for locks. Locks can only be controlled via an iOS device, presumably due to potential security issues.…via Automation
We’ve yet to touch on Automation in this walkthrough, but this option allows you to automate HomeKit device actions based on specific criteria like location or time. Automation requires a 4th-generation Apple TV, or an iPad running iOS 10 that’s always on and always home. We’ll talk more about Automation near the end of this walkthrough.
Automate your devices by means of specialized criteriaScenes
Scenes are custom actions that generally involve two or more HomeKit-enabled devices in your Home. For example, you can create a scene called “Good Night” that turns off all of the interior lights and turns on the porch light. Scenes are different from groups because each accessory in a scene can still be controlled individually, and you can invoke different actions for each device.How to create a new scene
On the Home or Rooms tab, tap the ‘+’ button in the upper right-hand corner followed by Add Scene. You’ll then be taken to the New Scene page.
Apple includes four suggested scenes to start with:
Users can also create their own custom scenes, with a customized icon and name, by tapping Custom at the bottom of the New Scene page. You can also customize any of the canned suggested scenes.
Scenes are a good way to fire off commands to multiple HomeKit accessories simultaneously
Once you arrive at the New Scene page, you can rename the scene, change its icon, and add or remove accessories from a scene. Accessories added to a scene can be further customized for that particular scene.
Once a scene is set up, shortcuts for it appear in various places, such as in Control Center
Apple includes a handy Test This Scene button near the bottom of the scene details for testing how a scene reacts. If you’re happy with the scene that you create, you can choose to Show in Favorites, which is enabled by default. Scenes added to favorites will appear in Control Center, on the Home tab in the Home app, and in the 3D Touch Quick Action popup.Controlling accessories away from home
You can only interface with HomeKit devices while on your home Wi-Fi network, unless you have a device that acts as an always-on hub. The 4th-generation Apple TV or an iPad running iOS 10 can both work as a hub.
The 4th-generation Apple TV works well as a hub
To use off-network remote access, you’ll need to make sure that your devices are signed in to the same iCloud account. If you desire to use your iPad as a Home Hub, you need to go to Settings → Home on your iPad to ensure that the Home Hub option is enabled. If you’re using an Apple TV as a Home Hub, ensure that you’re signed in with the same iCloud account.
If you don’t own an Apple TV, you can use an iPad as a Home Hub
You can see a list of your Home Hubs by opening the Home app, tapping the Home tab, and tapping the Compass button in the upper left-hand corner. Under the Home Hubs heading, you’ll see a list of available hubs and the current status of each.
Check the status of Home Hubs via the Home appAutomation
My location changes
A time of day occurs
An accessory is controlled
A sensor detects something
To create a new Automated task, tap the Automation tab in the bottom right-hand corner of the Home app, followed by Create new Automation. Select any of the four available automation types on the New Automation page to begin building your automated tasks.
Building an automated task
Once you select your desired automation trigger, you can select the scenes and accessories to automate. You can mix and match scenes with accessories, and further customize those accessories as you build the automated task. Once completed, tap the Done button in the upper right-hand corner, and your automated task will be saved.
Completing the build of an automated task
Using Automation, I made it so that my porch light would turn off at sunrise and on at sunset. I could even change the light’s brightness via the granular brightness controls. Obviously, that’s pretty basic when it comes to automation, but if you have a variety of HomeKit-enabled devices, automation can get significantly more complex.Inviting others to control your Home
If you have a lot of HomeKit-enabled devices, it goes without saying that you’ll probably want to share access with others in your household. Inviting others to control your home can also be useful for guests, house-sitters, etc.
As long as the person has an iOS device running iOS 10 with an iCloud account, they’ll be able to control designated aspects of your Home using their own device. Of course, people can also use the Apple TV’s Siri Remote to control various areas of the home without needing an invite.
To invite people to control your home from an iOS device, tap the Compass button in the upper left-hand corner of the Home app’s Home tab. Under the People heading, tap the Invite button to open the Add People page. Any family members that are found in your contacts will be instantly displayed for quick access. You can also invite people to control your home by using the To: field at the top of the page.
You can invite others to control the HomeKit accessories in your home
Once you have all of the people who you wish to invite added, tap the Send Invite button in the upper right-hand corner to send the invitation. Invited users will receive a push notification alerting them about the invitation.
Invited users will need to accept the invitation
Once an invitation is accepted, the “Invitation Pending” text below the invited user will disappear, and they’ll gain access to accessories in the Home.
By tapping on an invited person’s avatar, you can manage users permissions. User permissions consist of the ability to access the home from a remote location (off network) and to allow editing (adding or removing accessories, scenes, and other people.)
You can easily revoke invites by tapping the Remove Person button at the bottom of the individual people pages.Conclusion
HomeKit has been around for several years now, but I feel like iOS 10 is its first mainstream introduction. Because Apple is placing HomeKit front and center with the new stock Home app, and because there is a nice assortment of HomeKit devices now available, it’s the perfect time to get started with home automation.
The Home app, while not the most intuitive app that Apple has made, is a really good app and handles most of the basic home automation needs. The app has room to grow with regard to it being an end-to-end buck-stops-here solution for HomeKit enabled devices, but it’s a wonderful start. I don’t like the fact that I had to bounce between two apps during the initial setup process of my Philips Hue Starter Kit, but once the initial configuration was finished, the Home app was able to meet nearly all of my needs.
Your experience with the Home app will largely depend on the types of HomeKit devices you use, but it seems as if Apple is serious about making the Home app, and thus HomeKit in general, a significant part of iOS 10.Other iOS 10 how-to guides:
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