Apple HomeKit might not be as popular as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, but it still offers a complete smart home system for iPhone users, with automation, Siri voice control, and compatibility with a wide range of devices. Plus, buying for a HomeKit user is thankfully quite simple. Apple has a dedicated page on its website highlighting devices that are HomeKit compatible, and the retail boxes have a 'Works With Apple HomeKit' sticker on them.
Categories of HomeKit accessories include air conditioners and purifiers, security cameras, doorbells, fans, garage doors, lights, locks, switches, and other smart home equipment.
Here are some top options for HomeKit gifts for the 2020 holiday season:
Apple TV 4K
Before you look at other accessories as gifts, consider buying an Apple TV 4K. This (as well as the HomePod speaker and iPad) acts as a HomeKit hub. That way, when you are away from home you can control your HomeKit accessories remotely, using the Home iPhone app. Remote control isn't possible without a hub, but you can still control HomeKit devices from an iPhone, Mac, iPad, HomePod or Apple Watch when at home.
As well as being a hub, the Apple TV 4K is one of the best media streamers of 2020, with support for HDR, Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision. It can also play games and has Siri for voice control.
Logitech Circle ViewLogitech
If your loved one already has an Apple TV in their HomeKit system, then a security camera is the logical next step. That's because the feed of a HomeKit camera can be viewed on the Apple TV, making it easy to keep an eye on anything suspicious without leaving the sofa. The feed can also be viewed on iPhones, Macs and iPads through the Home app.
A good option is the Logitech Circle View, a compact wired security camera that is designed to work indoors and out thanks to being weatherproof. It records video at 1080p Full HD through a wide 180-degree lens. There's also infrared night vision that can see up to 15 feet into the distance, plus a microphone and speaker for two-way audio.
Hue starter kit includes three color bulbs, hub and dimmer switchSignify
Smart lighting makes for a great gift, especially if the recipient is yet to start building their own system. We say this because some systems, like Philips Hue, require a hub to connect the lights to your router (and onwards to the Home app). A starter kit that includes the necessary hub, plus four light bulbs that can be made any color, temperature and brightness, is the perfect place to get started with smart lighting.
All Hue products work with Apple HomeKit. This means you can control them using the Home app or by speaking to Siri. You can also create Siri Shortcuts to control whole groups of lighting at once, and iOS puts some convenient buttons in the Command Center for easy control.
Nanoleaf modular smart lightingNanoleaf
If you want to gift some smart lighting with more character, we recommend Nanoleaf. Instead of regular bulbs and light strips, Nanoleaf systems are made up of geometric shapes that can be fitted together in an almost limitless way. Square and triangular light panels are available, and you can add as many as you like to create a statement piece for your wall.
Smart plugs are always a good option for smart home gifts, as they bring iPhone and Siri control control to a huge range of otherwise unconnected devices. A set of three plugs from the Wemo Mini range currently costs a little under $60, making them less than $20 each.
These plugs work with Alexa and Google Home, as well as Apple HomeKit and Siri, so you can control them from the Home app or by speaking to the Apple voice assistant. Plug in a fan, heater or other non-smart device, and it can now be controlled remotely. If you're HomeKit system has a hub (an Apple TV, HomePod or iPad connected to the home Wi-Fi network) then these plugs can be controlled from anywhere in the world.
Level Bolt (formerly Level Lock)
The Level Lock invisibly makes your door smarterLevel Home
Created by a group of former Apple employees, the Level Lock is a smart lock that hides all of its components inside your door. As such, it looks like a regular key-operated lock, and takes up far less space than larger options from the likes of August.
Battery powered, the lock opens and closes as you approach and walk away, and works with Apple HomeKit, so you can control it (and check on its status) using the Home app. Its makers say the lock can last a year on a single CR2 battery, and if this runs out you can unlock it using your existing key.
Simple to install, the Level Lock needs only a Phillips screwdriver, and because it works with the existing key, it's also more landlord-friendly than some other smart lock options.
Perhaps an obvious suggestion, but with recent software updates Apple has introduced new smart home features to the HomePod. As well as acting as a hub, as explained with the Apple TV earlier, the HomePod can now declare who is at the door, using a video doorbell, facial recognition and Siri.
When someone presses your HomeKit-connected video doorbell, Apple's system then quickly checks the tagged images of your Apple Photos library to see if one of those people is at the door. If a match is found, Siri will declare through the HomePod that "[name] is at the door".
Siri on the HomePod also has a few unique features. It can recognize the voices of up to six members of the same household, then serve up personalized information (such as their calendar schedule) based on who asks.
Brilliant Smart Home Controller
The Smart Home Control by Brilliant is an all-in-one, wall-mounted controller for lights, music, climate, door locks and security cameras. There's a screen for viewing live security camera feeds (and checking who just rang the doorbell), plus controls for your smart home devices, and touch controls for quickly adjusting the lights.
Available in a range of different colors and configurations, the Brilliant device works with Apple HomeKit, so you can adjust anything connected to the controller using either the Home app or by speaking to Siri.
It's expensive for a switch, but placing one of these on the wall is guaranteed to make any room feel like it's from a home of the future.
Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door Opener
The MyQ Garage Door Opener by Chamberlain works with Siri and HomeKitChamberlain
With this device from Chamberlain you can ask Siri to open and close your garage door, or configure your HomeKit system so that the door is controlled when you activate a certain scene in the Home app. To keep your home secure, Touch ID or Face ID verification is required when asking Siri to open the door.
The MyQ garage door opener is also compatible with Amazon Key, allowing couriers to deliver packages to your garage, then lock the door again behind them.
MyQ Smart Garage Door Opener Chamberlain MYQ-G0301 - Wireless & Wi-Fi enabled Garage Hub with Smartphone
Check out The GearBrain, our smart home compatibility checker to see the other compatible products that work with Apple HomeKit platform.
Introduction of The GearBrain, The First Compatibility Find Engine for Smart Devices www.youtube.com