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Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app

Good points, but voice control changes all this. Voice is the primary means of light control at our house. We also use the $25 Philips Hue Dimmer Switches as an alternate means of control, the smart switch you suggested. (They don’t change color or color temperature, but they do dim, and one switch controls up to 10 bulbs.) With childproof locks on the old switches to remind people not to turn the current off, it all works well for us. Other households will have other needs, but smart lighting has solved a lot of issues for us.

Posted by JD Roberts on March 11, 2016 at 10:12 AM (CST)

Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app

I suspect Apple is still waiting until the battery-powered sensor problem is solved. Right now these sensors, including Elgato, cannot act as triggers for automatic scenes. So even though Apple examples say a motion sensor can trigger a light to come on, there’s no way to do that with the existing devices. Similarly you can open the app and see if a contact sensor is open, but the sensor opening can’t trigger anything. An Apple HomeKit app would make the missing pieces, which are huge for home automation, just too obvious.

Posted by JD Roberts on March 11, 2016 at 9:57 AM (CST)

Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app

Fair point, although I think for most end user purposes, the BT/Wi-Fi discovery is a key part of the process, and what differentiates HomeKit from most previous proprietary implementations, which also sort of speaks to the point of this article on why Apple needs close the loop in the form of a central app, or at least a common API for the discovery process that something like Eve can tie into.
In other words, I suspect that for most users, installing the vendor’s app to associate their device with HomeKit in the first place probably makes more sense than going through a manual pairing and then using Eve to add them to the home.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on March 11, 2016 at 9:33 AM (CST)

Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app

Hi Jesse, PowerHouz is claiming to take the HomeKit Central App positioning.  It also integrates security and communication functions as add ons to Home Automation

Posted by Denis Zysman on March 11, 2016 at 7:31 AM (CST)

Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app

Thanks for the kudos, Jesse! I’d like to clarify the point you made about the Eve app’s capabilities to set up non-Elgato HomeKit devices.
The Eve app can set up all HomeKit accessories, with two exceptions: first, with bridges that require vendor-specific setup such as the Philips Hue, you need to make the bulbs HomeKit-available in the Hue app before Eve (or any other HomeKit app for that matter) can see them.
Second, for Wi-Fi accessories that use Apple’s Bluetooth/Wi-Fi discovery auto-setup, the Eve app can add them to the home, but can’t do the initial “bring me into my Wi-Fi” part. You can use the iOS Settings app to do this, or of course by using the vendor’s app.

Posted by Adam Steinberg/Elgato on March 11, 2016 at 5:16 AM (CST)

Is there a point to having both iCloud Photo Library and iCloud Photo Stream enabled?

Well, one other possible solution would be to turn OFF “iCloud Photo Library” and perhaps just use “iCloud Photo Stream” or transfer your photos via a USB connection.
Turning iCloud Photo Library OFF on your iPhone will remove any photos that have not been fully downloaded to your device, but will keep them in iCloud. It also basically “unlinks” the two libraries, so you can then delete photos from your iPhone without losing the iCloud copies.
The only challenge then will be getting new photos and videos that you take uploaded to your Mac. iCloud Photo Stream will handle this for photos but sadly doesn’t cover videos, so you may find it’s simpler just to use a traditional USB connection to transfer them to the Photos app on your Mac and then delete them from your iPhone in the process.
Of course, this assumes you want to stay with iPhoto or Photos. There’s certainly no requirement to do so, and as you say it sounds like you’d just prefer to drop them into a folder. In this case, there are a few options. If you only want them on your computer but not in the cloud, you can use Image Capture, which is built into your Mac, to transfer them from your iPhone over a USB connection, and put them into whatever folders you want.
Flickr should also be a realistic option unless you have an absolutely massive photo library — they now give away 1TB for free to pretty much everybody, and the iPhone Flickr app can be configured to automatically upload all of your photos to the service, although they’ll be left in the cloud. If you want local backups, you’ll have to get a third-party utility to download them from Flickr back to your computer, or transfer them separately from your iPhone before deleting them.
You can also look to other services like Google Photos or Dropbox. With Google Photos, you get unlimited storage for free as long as your photos aren’t any larger than 16MP or your videos aren’t larger than 1080p, and it integrates into Google Drive somewhat, so you could use that to sync the photos onto your own computer with the Google Drive app. Plus, the Google Photos app can automatically clear the photos from your iPhone once you’ve
In the case of Dropbox, you n’t free 2GB would probably suit you well as a conduit for merely transferring photos, so you wouldn’t have to pay for storage. You’d run the Dropbox client on your Mac, and just move the photos from the “Camera Uploads” folder on Dropbox to your own set of folders on your external hard drive. There are third-party tools that can do this for you as well — personally I use a Mac app called “Hazel” which is designed to watch folders and automatically rename, move, and reorganize files as they come in. It does everything from cleaning up my downloads folder to filing away screenshots I take on my Mac into a date-based folder structure.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on March 1, 2016 at 12:36 PM (CST)

Is there a point to having both iCloud Photo Library and iCloud Photo Stream enabled?

What you said about deleting all copies is a problem for me.  I want to delete everything off my phone….photos and videos….but I don’t want to lose them. I still want to be able to edit and keep them and I’m not sure what is the best way to handle it.  Windows had pretty good picture editing and I have not found anything yet that works as well with MAC for that…If I had I guess I could cull and edit and then save the pictures externally….deleting from all my devices….but I was hoping that the software that came with MAC would include software for this… I will look into Adobe Bridge I guess and see if it is an answer…thanks.

Posted by Shirley Sloan on March 1, 2016 at 11:52 AM (CST)

Is there a point to having both iCloud Photo Library and iCloud Photo Stream enabled?

Shirley, don’t give up on your Mac just yet. :-) I think where iCloud Photo Library and Photo Stream excel is on the “front end”. It’s really nice being able to capture a photo on the iPhone while on vacation, and have it immediately backed up and available for editing / sharing on your laptop or iPad.
One caveat, Photo Stream may be the better backup tool, because if I accidentally delete a photo from my iPhone, the backup is still available in Photo Stream. In contrast, Photo Library appears to be a true mirror that deletes all copies if I manually delete from one device.
I’ve never found iPhoto or Photos useful for managing a large library. I use Adobe Bridge to manage decades of photos, which is nice because Bridge simply accesses folders as I’ve chosen to arrange them in the Finder on the hard drive. So my workflow is to capture, cull and cleanup new photos with the Apple tools, then move the files I want to keep from Photos into my own folders as soon as possible. I can selectively copy photos back into Apple Photos if I want to share them with others.

Posted by Skyprogress on February 28, 2016 at 4:28 PM (CST)

Phone number inactive in iMessage

I recevive text messages instead of imessages from my iPhone coz the cellphone number is greyed out. y cant I receive normal I messages?

Posted by portia on February 22, 2016 at 1:16 AM (CST)

The Complete Guide to Apple TV Channels

LOTS of religious channels on Roku

Posted by Chris H on February 19, 2016 at 1:47 PM (CST)

Deleting and reinstalling an iOS app

i have the same issue the thing is my sister downloaded this app called dote shopping on my ipad so she could purchase something and she tried to log out so i could log in and make my own account and it does work i even tried uninstalling the app and reinstalling it again but every time it still has her info

Posted by diana on February 15, 2016 at 9:34 PM (CST)

Is there a point to having both iCloud Photo Library and iCloud Photo Stream enabled?

This whole thing is hideously confusing.  I want to simply put my photos and videos on an external drive, and manage them myself, ( would prefer to upload directly to FLICKR if I could edit the photos there and organize them… What I don’t want is to have to end up with a monthly charge for storage and the neccessity to hurry up and download them all again or start paying monthly charges. My pictures are important to me,  but I have no clue what I’m doing and I don’t see how I can take charge of what happens with them. I would be satisfied to go the path of least resistance and let my system handle them in the best way… but I don’t know how what that would be or how to find them again…  So far, I have to say, I’m not really loving my MAC…

Posted by Shirley Sloan on February 5, 2016 at 9:14 PM (CST)

The Complete Guide to Apple TV Channels

Just want to know if there are any gospel channels?

Posted by Preston Henry on January 26, 2016 at 10:23 PM (CST)

Restoring Text Messages from an iCloud Backup

I did a back up but wont restore texts on icloud someone please help!!!!

Posted by mimi on January 23, 2016 at 5:50 PM (CST)

Inside the betas: What's new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)

Something of note—my MacBook Pro crashed at work today.  Rare occurrence, not a huge deal—no idea why, it was in login state when I returned to my desk and displayed a message after login that ‘something’ had happened and did I want to open previous windows.  I clicked ‘no’ and then realized I had some important info in that Evernote menubar temp note gizmo… it was still there… thank god ;-)

Posted by benjitek on January 18, 2016 at 9:01 PM (CST)

Inside the betas: What's new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)

True, and that’s the thing with Evernote is that it can be used in so many different ways. For me it was primarily as a document management system — scanning in paperwork and whatnot, with notes and web clipping as secondary features.
Pocket is in some ways more suited to web clipping if you’re willing to pay for a subscription, but even Safari Reading List’s offline support is decent if it’s just a matter of saving stuff for further reading.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on January 14, 2016 at 3:34 PM (CST)

Inside the betas: What's new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)

Depends on your needs I guess.  I’m a pretty light note user in general.  OCR is more of a nicety, don’t do much document scanning myself, though it’s nice for business cards.  Apple’s Notes are still just a little to ‘light’ to be as quick and useful as Evernote.  Maybe a few versions from now, that’ll change…

Posted by benjitek on January 14, 2016 at 3:31 PM (CST)

Inside the betas: What's new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)

Yup. The funny thing is that I was a pretty hardcore Evernote fan for a good number of years — didn’t ever think I’d switch away, but when I really started evaluating how much of Evernote’s functionality that I needed, and how much of it was just starting to feel like a “digital junk drawer” for me, I re-evaluated my options, and discovered that much of what I was storing in Evernote could easily just go within a more open file system, and that I should move toward OCRing documents as PDF files, where they can be searched through just about any method, rather than relying on Evernote’s more proprietary image-based searching.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on January 14, 2016 at 3:26 PM (CST)

Inside the betas: What's new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)

Great to have choices.  I use web clipping a lot, previously tried the save-as-pdf way, found it added unnecessary non-intuitive extra steps.  Any note searching I need to do, I do within Evernote.  Scanned text is converted to searchable text which is a nice perk, and, I use tags.  If I’m searching for a note, it’s deliberate—personally have no need to do so at the OS level.  Don’t use Spotlight much, usually just on my iPhone to find an app buried in a folder somewhere…
I just turn off any Evernote features I don’t use and they disappear from the UI.

Posted by benjitek on January 14, 2016 at 3:19 PM (CST)

Inside the betas: What's new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)

I’ve actually done the switch myself, as I found Evernote was getting too busy and cumbersome for me — I definitely like Notes’ cleaner UI on both the OS X and iOS side, and the ability to password-protect notes is now just icing on the cake (my Mac and iPhone are already secured, so I’m not overly concerned about the security of what’s in Notes, and to be honest I rarely used Evernote’s encryption features either).
An added bonus in Notes is that the global iOS Spotlight search will actually do full-text search not only within Notes themselves but even within PDF attachments. Evernote has tied into the iOS Spotlight with iOS 9, but it’s search is a bit more limited in that regard.
Web clipping is something that I did like about Evernote in concept, but for most purposes clipping a link suits my needs, and if I need anything more serious than that — e.g. for longer-term offline archival purposes — I’ll save the web page as a PDF, since iOS 9 now allows for that as well.
I agree with you on the menu bar quick entry form — that’s probably the one thing I miss the most from Evernote, and I’ve been hoping that if Apple doesn’t provide a way, perhaps at least some third-party tool will come along and fill the void. I’d even settle for a dashboard widget, or integration with the OS X dashboard Sticky Notes would be a cool idea too — that feature has kind of been left behind in recent OS X versions.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on January 14, 2016 at 2:39 PM (CST)

Inside the betas: What's new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)

The security functionality of Notes is >almost< enough to get me to switch from Evernote, though there are still a couple things that still prevent me from converting:
Web page clipping: Evernote clips the entire page, after which I can mark it up, highlight passages—like an actual page in a notebook.  The iOS Notes app inserts a snippet of the clipped page and tapping it opens the site.  No markup… No highlight…
OSX MenuBar quick notes—a feature I use frequently is being able to click the Evernote menubar icon and create a quick note, or type something temporarily, like a phone number, on the fly and may not wind up being saved, very useful.

Posted by benjitek on January 14, 2016 at 1:23 PM (CST)

Quickly And Wisely Reducing Your iCloud Footprint

Why is that?

Posted by Ron Warner on January 9, 2016 at 8:11 AM (CST)

Accessing an older iCloud backup

i backuped my whatsapp data on icloud on 30th dec at 2:11am. Then last night my phone backuped automatically and it now says that size of my last backup is 238kb. I searched alot , my icloud storage also says full 5gb available. I need my backup of 30th december. is there any way to get it?

Posted by Fariha Abbasi on January 2, 2016 at 8:22 AM (CST)

Text messages being delivered to wrong iPhone

Still happening and getting worse!
It turns out, iCloud restores those extra email addresses and cell phone number to the preferences, even after you have carefully removed them.
The only way to be sure you have this fixed is to first get a unique iCloud (Apple) account for each device AND then RESET your phone.  Hope the next iCloud backup gets the right information.

Posted by tx on December 28, 2015 at 11:41 AM (CST)

Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple's home automation system

I have started playing with some of these devices. Perhaps its just me but it seems a bunch of different companies have devices that meet Homekit requirements but are Proprietary through their apps. Some require a hub while others don’t. Some have iOS apps but not homekit certified. Some items work with some hubs while others don’t.
Then you have the crap Philips pulled with blocking 3rd party lights through a firmware update.
For someone just delving into this, consumer level automation is in a disaster.
I am hoping Apple reigns in the companys through apple homekit requirements.
The diagram in the article is what is needed, The user builds a model of their home and the devices appear in the rooms. The user can zoom in on the rooms and control devices.
Apple shares some fault on this disaster. Take the nest app for example. Yeah I know Google owns it however the app is simple, appealing and easy to use. Why block out such devices,
I enjoyed the article as it sugar coats a lot of the issues with the current apps and devices and shares where apple homekit will be in the near future.

Posted by Scott C on December 23, 2015 at 4:41 PM (CST)

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