The switch from Amazon’s Alexa to Apple’s HomeKit to handle our household technology needs is going mostly well. HomeKit hasn’t lost any devices or scenes and routines I’ve set up, but accessing them can be tricky. Apple has a “gap” in the device department; there’s nothing equivalent to the Echo Dot or Google Home Mini. I don’t want to buy a HomePod for the bathroom, but we like to listen to music and podcasts during our morning routine.
Another gap in the HomeKit device arena is an equivalent to the Google Home Hub. We tried having an iPad fill that role, but it’s just not the same. Google has knocked it out of the park in this area; Earl can ask the Home Hub for a recipe for something spectacular and a combination of audio commands and visual cues can take him through the recipe at his own pace. An iPad requires physical input, which is not convenient when your hands are covered in cooking oil or whatever. I haven’t found an iOS app that replaces the functionality of the Google Home Hub, so it’s back on the kitchen counter again. I’m thinking of installing a couple of freebie Google Home Minis in strategic locations in the house as well.
This takes us away from an all HomeKit setup but it helps keep costs down.
The other kicker of this conversion is that some of our home automation outlets are either HomeKit or something other than HomeKit, none of the controlled outlets we purchased will interface with both systems. I purchased a couple on Amazon that should be here tomorrow; hopefully they will work with both systems simultaneously. This way we can talk to Siri or the Google Home products when we need to.
My husband just asked that we don’t continue to use Alexa, because that seemed like it took the longest for anything to happen and we found Alexa to be the least reliable when responding to voice commands.
I’ll probably have a part three to this saga in the next week or so, but I’m learning that Home Automation is still well entrenched in the “early adopters” stream. I could never see my grandparents setting up something like this.