While many people know that the Apple Watch does a great job of keeping track of health and fitness, it can do a lot more than just that. In fact, your Apple Watch is a great option for controlling one smart home device or even an entire setup.

A number of different smart home devices have their own Apple Watch apps. But if you have any smart home accessories that are compatible with the Apple HomeKit protocol, it’s easier to control them using the Home app and Siri.

Using both features on an Apple Watch is slightly different from using it on an iPhone or iPad. Let’s see how to get started.

Home Sweet Home

First, you must already have the Home app, Installed and configured on iPhone.

Because the Apple Watch can’t run apps without the help of an iPhone yet, the watch version will display what’s already on your phone. This means you won’t be able to add devices, create and edit scenes, or set up various automations. But that’s not a big downside, as the watch really shines, providing a quick and easy experience.

Opening the Home app

There are several ways to open the Home app on Apple Watch. First, navigate to the app’s honeycomb by quickly tapping on the digital crown. You can also activate Siri with a long press on the same button and say «Open Home App».

The easiest way to access an app regularly is to place the difficulty on the watch face. Available on most watch faces, simply pressing the home icon will automatically open the app.

adding home application complication

You can also set up Apple Watch faces through the companion app on iPhone. A quick way to add the Home App service to the face of your choice is Force Touch on your phone screen. Select «Customize» and then choose where you want to make it harder.

Especially if you’ve added the Home app to the dock (this can be done by pressing the Side button under the Digital Crown once), the Home app should appear quickly after selecting it.

Give it a try:

  • If you have multiple apps, try placing the Home app next to the Clock icon in the honeycomb. Pressing the Digital Crown will automatically place the Clock app in the center of the screen on startup.
  • The difficulty of the Home app is easier to select on certain watch faces. Modular is one of my favorites.

Application usage

While pared down, the layout of the Apple Watch in the Home app is similar to what you’ll see in the iOS version of the app. First comes the different scenes, which are a group of user-customizable actions using various accessories.

You’ll notice that each HomeKit accessory appears in the order they appear on the main Home tab of the iOS app. This layout is great if you only have a few accessories, but not as fun if you use smart home devices throughout the house.

apple watch home app

Give it a try:

  • Use the Digital Crown to scroll through the entire list of devices. It’s very simple and fast than trying to use the clock screen.

With any HomeKit-enabled thermostat such as Ecobee3. you can select a specific mode — cooling, heating or automatic mode, and adjust the thermostat using the slider on the screen. You can also view the current temperature on the thermostat itself.

If you have a compatible Smart Lighting system, such as the popular Philips Hue line, the first screen will let you dim the lighting or turn it on or off completely. Swipe left to view a second screen where you can change the light to one of six preset colors.

For any power switch or lock, including the August Smart Lock, the slider can activate or deactivate accessories.

CCTV Cameras is a very new addition to the HomeKit ecosystem. There is only one on the market at the moment: D-Link Omna. With this camera installed, you can view a small thumbnail image of the camera and when it was captured. Just click on the image and you can actually see the live video feed, adjust the volume and even activate the built-in microphone to chat with anyone in the room — all from your watch!

Like the iOS app, the Apple Watch Home app only shows you if any sensors connected to your system have been triggered.

Siri won’t come back

In some ways, especially if you’re new to the smart home game, using Siri on your Apple Watch is an even easier way to control devices. This is because you are not tied to the limited functionality of the Home app on the watch.

Any Siri passphrases available on the iPhone can also be completed using the watch. If you’re new to Apple Watch, there are two different ways to activate Siri. At first, just press the Digital Crown to see a familiar screen. Plus, every time your watch screen is active, just say «Hey Siri» to automatically activate the virtual assistant.

A great feature to activate if you’re going down this route is the Activate on Wrist feature. Enable it by selecting » Settings» > «General» > «Wake screen» on the clock. Make sure the setting is enabled.

siri apple watch

With this, just a flick of the wrist will launch the Apple Watch screen. After that, you can chat with Siri without pressing any button.

Here’s a great example of the power of Siri on the watch. Though you can change the lighting about one of the six colors in the Home app, voice control gives you almost unlimited options like «Siri, change my lights to blue-gray» without skipping a beat.

Just to note, unlike iOS devices and Macs, Siri on the watch can’t talk, so you’ll have to look at the screen to confirm everything. This may be a disadvantage for some users and I hope Apple will look into this in the future. However, you may feel a tactile (small pressure on your wrist) whenever a response to your request or command is displayed.

Give it a try:

  • Here are some useful Siri controls you can try on your Apple Watch: «Siri, turn all my lights on or off», «Siri, what’s the temperature at my house?» And «Siri, set my thermostat to 73 degrees.»
  • When using Siri, speak clearly and slowly, especially if there is noise around you.

Notifications Notifications

Another nice perk of using the Home app on your Apple Watch is notifications.

Apple Watch Notifications

With the main iOS Home app, you can choose which devices you want to receive notifications on. After selecting a device in the Home app, select » More» . Then scroll down to status and notifications . If the device will send notifications, make sure the » Allow Notifications» enabled.

For example, with active notifications, you can see exactly when someone locks or unlocks a door.

Give it a try:

When to Use the Home App and Siri on iOS

While the Home app and Siri on the Apple Watch are great for quickly and easily interacting with smart home devices, you’ll want to use your iPhone or iPad when you want to complete more complex tasks.

Some of these include adding or removing a HomeKit device, setting up automation, creating different HomeKit rooms, updating your device’s firmware, and more.

Final Thoughts

While still fairly new, more and more users are discovering the capabilities of Apple’s wrist device.

The Home app on an iPhone or iPad is still probably the best way to control HomeKit-compatible devices whenever possible. But both the app and Siri on Apple Watch are great if either your iOS device isn’t available or if you want to quickly complete a simple task. And watch hardware offers a unique benefit to the HomeKit ecosystem that Amazon Alexa doesn’t have.

What HomeKit devices do you control with the Siri and Home app on Apple Watch? Let us know about it in the comments.

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