How to Build an Apple Smart Home

As interest in Smart Home increases we get more and more customers asking how they can built the ultimate Apple smart home.

Whether it be using products that are compatible with Apple’s HomeKit or setting up the perfect Apple compatible network around their home, we explain all below.

Apple HomeKit

When it comes to Smart Home, the first place to start would be with Apple’s very own ecosystem, HomeKit. As with Google Home or Amazon Alexa, if you’re wanting to use Apple’s products you’re going to want to choose smart home products that work with HomeKit. You can find a full list of products that work with Apple HomeKit here.

Apple HomeKit - shop.bt.com
Apple HomeKit – shop.bt.com

Remember to look for products with the ‘Works with Apple HomeKit’ symbol.

Set-up your network with Apple Networking Products

AirPort Express

Connect to your DSL or cable modem and follow the instructions on your iOS or macOS device to create your home Wi-Fi network. The built in setup assistant does all the hard work so you can start browsing the web.

Apple Airport Express - shop.bt.com
Apple AirPort Express – shop.bt.com

The AirPort Express has high-performance dual-band 802.11n support so your devices can connect to the 2.4GHz or 5GHz network.

It can also be used to extend an existing Wi-Fi network’s range. If you’ve got an existing wireless network, place the Airport Express in range of your primary base station (AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule or another AirPort Express) and open up the AirPort Utility app on your iOS device or Mac.

The AirPort Express can also plug in to any stereo or speakers in your home. Simply connect using an audio cable (sold separately), then on the Music app on your phone or Mac connect to your AirPort Express to stream your music wirelessly!

Get your AirPort Express here.

AirPort Extreme

Similar to an AirPort Express but 3x faster. The AirPort Extreme takes everything from the Express but speeds it up and slims it down.

Apple AirPort Extreme - shop.bt.com
Apple AirPort Extreme – shop.bt.com

The AirPort Extreme has 802.11ac technology built in which can reach data speeds of up to 1.3Gbps, triple the previous 802.11n technology. You also get twice the channel bandwidth meaning you have more room for data to travel on the network.

The all new design of the AirPort extreme means that it takes up 64% less desk space and the vertical design means it can store even more antennas (better signal around your home).

Get your AirPort Extreme here.

AirPort Time Capsule

Imagine an AirPort Express with up to 3TB of storage and you have the AirPort Time Capsule.

The Time Capsule works seamlessly with macOS so your Macs are always backed up.

Apple Time Capsule - shop.bt.com
Apple Time Capsule – shop.bt.com

So yes, this really does have 3x faster Wi-Fi built in, powerful beam forming antenna array, plus up to 3TB of storage so your devices are always backed up.

What’s also great is that macOS devices sync seamlessly to the Time Capsule. Simply fire up the Time Capsule app that’s pre-installed on all Macs and it will start backing up all your data.

Get your Time Capsule here.

Apple HomePod

We’ve written a full article about this here but the soon to be release Apple HomePod will be the centrepiece of your Apple smart home.

Apple HomePod – shop.bt.com

With deep Apple Music and Siri integration, the smart speaker sets out to be your Sonos replacement whilst also featuring everything we know and love about Siri from our iOS and macOS devices.

Once released, you’ll be able to control all your Apple HomeKit devices using Siri. Commands such as ‘Hey Siri, turn the kitchen lights on’ will become second nature.

Apple iOS

If you’re looking to build an Apple Smart Home we’re going to assume you own an iOS device, whether this be an iPhone or an iPad. These devices, like the Apple HomePod, can be the centrepiece of your smart home.

iOS 10 saw Apple develop their ‘Home’ app even further so it is now deeply integrating with the rest of the operating system.

Home App - shop.bt.com
Home App – shop.bt.com

Set up of your new devices can be done easily in the app, you can even segment all the rooms in your house so you have a view of all the smart home devices that are set up.

The Home app also lets you control all devices without the need for Siri.

Shop iPad here.

Shop iPhone here.

Apple watchOS

If you’ve got an Apple Watch, or want one as part of your Apple Smart Home build you’ll be pleased to hear that watchOS compliments your smart home perfectly.

Use the Home app on watchOS to control all the HomeKit-enabled devices from your watch. Dim the lights or even see who’s at your front door when Ring release their HomeKit update for the Doorbell Pro.

Shop Apple Watch here.

Works with Apple HomeKit

Lighting

Philips Hue – Shop range here.

LIFX – Coming soon to BT Shop.

Sensors/ Switches

Elgato – Shop range here.

Thermostats

Tado – Shop range here.

Cameras

Logitech Circle 2 – Shop now.

HomeKit Coming soon…

Ring Pro – Shop now.

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