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Like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, HomeKit allows you to integrate smart-home devices from different manufacturers into one system. It works more like a smart-home hub, like SmartThings and Wink, but in this case the hub lives in the cloud. All HomeKit devices automatically “see” one another without requiring any setup. And setting up automations—preset actions that involve one or more devices—is satisfyingly straightforward, requiring only a few taps in Apple’s Home app, which comes preinstalled on iOS devices.
Unlike Alexa and Google Assistant, HomeKit is primarily a smart-home system with a voice search feature, while the other two are voice search systems (for music and random queries) with smart-home features. Many smart-home accessories are designed specifically for HomeKit, while Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility are often just an add-on feature to an existing device. The Home app for HomeKit is a much more comprehensive interface for smart-home control than the apps for Alexa and Google Assistant, though the latter two systems are catching up.
If you go with HomeKit as your smart-home platform, you aren’t necessarily trapped by your decision. Many popular HomeKit-compatible devices also work with Google Assistant and Alexa. Use HomeKit to make your thermostat turn off your lights when you leave the house, then use Alexa to dim the lights when you watch TV. We also have Alexa device and Google Assistant device guides for anyone using those systems.
If you’re ready to explore what Apple HomeKit has to offer, we’ve selected our top picks from the most popular and useful categories of smart-home devices.
Source: NY Times – Wirecutter
Keyword: The Best HomeKit-Compatible Smart-Home Devices