Your smart home tech might still feel like a bunch of foreign exchange students trying to converse for the first time, but the big platforms are finally maturing enough to make them work as an automated whole.
Whereas Amazon and Google have taken a similar approach - a voice-controlled device that can operate many of your smart home gadgets - Apple's idea has been a little different. HomeKit brings together a myriad of compatible devices, enabling you to not only control them via the Home app in iOS and via Siri, but also hook them up to work together.
But what kind of gadgetry likes to party on Apple's smart dance floor? Here are our favourites so far:
1) Nanoleaf Aurora (£180)
Nanoleaf’s Aurora is a different kind of smart lighting system – and one that interior designers will find, no doubt, ‘ever so chic’. Basically, the Aurora is a modular lighting system that tessellates on your wall to form all manner of glowing geometric shapes.
You simply snap the triangular lights together (using a small chip) and then stick them to your wall. Using the Nanoleaf app – or indeed Apple Home – you can change brightness and colours. They won’t be to everyone’s taste and won’t fit in every room, but they’re pretty cool nonetheless.
2) Elgato Eve Thermo (£60)
From its name, you might have this pegged as a smart thermostat. Well it ain’t! It’s a thermostatic valve that replaces the standard valve on your radiator. And of course, being HomeKit-compatible it means you can tweak the temperature in individual rooms (wherever you have a valve) using the Apple Home app or just by asking Siri.
You can also get some insights into heating patterns or quickly get room temp at a glance. Bluetooth Smart tech – connecting directly to your phone - means you don’t need another bridge or hub in your gaff either.
3) Philips Hue White and Colour (£150)
Hue has pretty much become the de facto standard when it comes to smart lighting – and for good reason, its app lets you set all kinds of mood-based lighting scenes. Want the same ambience as a Hawaiian sunset? No problem, just bring the Pina Colada.
And with HomeKit integration, it means you can quickly switch between colours, temperature or preset lighting scenes – and automate your lighting schedules – using your voice (Hey Siri) or the Apple Home app. There’s a load of kits available, with starter packs including the Ethernet port-hogging bridge.
4) Tado Smart Thermostat Starter Kit V3 (£199, or £3.99 p/month)
Tado’s Smart Thermostat is one of the coolest-looking out there, and it lives up to its name by being more intelligent than Einstein’s dinner suit. Its location-based heating control is ace, automatically turning down your thermostat when you’re out of the house.
For £3.99 per month you can get the Tado Smart Thermostat and the new bridge, which will ‘very soon’ be compatible with HomeKit, meaning you can add Siri voice control to the already available Amazon Echo integration. If you're already a Tado user, you can also upgrade to the HomeKit-enabled bridge for free. Nice.
5) August Smart Lock $229
Fancy opening your door using your voice? Yes, like a real-life Ali Baba you can – thanks to HomeKit integration – open the August Smart Lock by just asking your smartphone.
The device looks like no other lock you’ve seen, kinda like a futuristic hockey puck, and has pretty much all the smarts you’d expect, including being able to track exactly who comes and goes (thanks to being able to create unique digital keys for each user). Like all HomeKit-compatible smart locks, we’re not exactly sure when it’s coming to the UK, but we hope it's soon.
6) Netatmo Smart Thermostat (£149)
This funky looking thermostat was designed by France’s answer to Jony Ive, Philippe Starck. In fact, we should really call it by its full name, the Netatmo by Starck Thermostat For Smartphone (sorry, Philippe).
It’s a slick affair, with a simple readout of current and desired temperature, the smart bit being that the device learns your habits and lifestyle (through app-based questioning rather than say, Tado-like location-aware settings). Being HomeKit-compatible, you can of course simply ask Siri to boost your temperature. Oh, and it also supports Amazon Echo, and, get this...Windows Phone!