iOS 16 Home app: The new HomeKit experience


iOS 16 Home app: The new HomeKit experience

The Home app gets a lot of attention in iOS 16 with a fully updated design. Additions and changes in the revamped experience include a new UI and iconography, customizable sections, fresh wallpapers, a more seamless experience, and more.

The Home app has been ripe for improvement for a while, and this year Apple is delivering a major update to the HomeKit experience with iOS 16.

iOS 16 is currently available as a developer beta. The free public beta of iOS 16 is scheduled for release in July. Learn more about installing iOS 16 in our complete guide.

iOS 16 Home app: What’s new and how does it work?

Here’s a detailed look at what’s new in the iOS 16 Home app…

New user interface and iconography

The iOS 16 Home app default layout now has:

  • New top category buttons
  • HomeKit cameras are at the top of the app, with Scenes and Favorites at the bottom
  • Finally, you’ll see your other devices organized by room
  • Most HomeKit device icons have either been fully updated or slightly refreshed
  • This
iOS 16 home app 1

For the new top-category buttons, the new functionality includes showing all HomeKit devices, scenes, and associated data.

For example, tapping the top category “Climate” brings up my Ecobee smart thermostat, our HomeKit-enabled ceiling fans (Lutron Caseta), temperature and humidity, and scenes that contain any of these “Climate” devices.

iOS 16 Home App 2

Changes to how buttons work

One of the notable updates in the Home app is a big change in how the buttons to control HomeKit devices work.

In iOS 15 and earlier, you would tap a device tile to turn it on or off and long-press to get the more detailed control UI, with things like colors, sliders, etc. for fine-grained control.

Now the buttons in the iOS 16 Home app behave as follows:

  • Tap on the far left (circle icon) to turn devices on and off
  • Tap the middle or right side of a button to show the detailed control UI
  • Long press to view edit/customize options and device details
iOS 16 home app 3

Another new feature is the option to resize the device buttons, it’s a bit hidden but this is how it works:

Improved settings

In iOS 15, the option to access the Home app settings was pretty much buried. Now Apple has moved general settings and other customization buttons up the iOS 16 Home app.

iOS 16 HomeKit

The + icon in the top right corner contains the option to add an accessory, scene, automation, room, people or new home.

Customizable sections

A really nice improvement with the iOS 16 Home app is the ability to reorder sections. As shown in the image above, Rearrange Sections allows you to customize the overall organization. And if you choose Edit Home View, you can reorder devices in a specific category (previously available in iOS 15).

New wallpapers for the iOS 16 Home app

Another nice update are completely new wallpapers. The one shown in the screenshots above is one of them, with a total of 10 gorgeous gradient options – of course, you can use a custom photo too. All built-in wallpapers appear to be new.

  • Tap the three-point circle in the top-left corner of the Home app
  • Choose Home Settings
  • Swipe bottom
  • Beat Choose from Existing under Home Wallpaper, then the built-in options are at the top

iOS 16 Home app tidbit

More details include:

  • The Automation tab and experience are mostly the same
  • Rooms can now be found under the three dots icon in the top right corner
  • The Discover tab stays at the bottom of the Home app for new ideas
  • iPads work as downgraded home hubs

What are you most excited about in the new iOS 16 Home app? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Read more 9to5Mac tutorials:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Visit 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You May Also Like