Apple has just released the next major software versions. Apple Home users will also benefit from the new features of iOS and iPadOS 17, watchOS 10 and tvOS 17. Before you update your devices, we recommend that you create a backup. You can find out more at the end of the post.

StandBy: Apple Home on the nightstand

With StandBy, Apple introduces a new bedside mode for the iPhone. If the iPhone is horizontal and charging, a clock, photos or widgets are displayed. Of course, Apple Home devices can also be configured for quick access.

Activity history for HomeKit devices

Until now, every manufacturer has been cooking its own soup when it comes to displaying historical data. With iOS 17, this changes at least partially. Henceforth, there is an activity history for door locks, garage doors, contact sensors and security systems. The new HomeKit architecture is required. We have described how to activate and display the activity history in this article.

Apple Home App and Matter Updates

The design of the Apple Home app has been further adapted. Among other things, the background of the device view is no longer white but transparent, values and selection wheels are partly larger, there is a new color selection for lamps and much more. The changes are not as fundamental as in the jump from iOS 15 to iOS 16, but they are still clearly visible and the Apple Home app looks fresher.

In terms of Matter, Apple will add two popular HomeKit functions to the new Smarthome standard: Door locks can be unlocked by tapping or PIN codes in the future. However, this is supposed to be delivered with a later update.

(Hey) Siri

Siri will be even easier to activate in the future. Previously, ‘Hey Siri’ was required, but with iOS 17, just saying ‘Siri’ is enough to activate Apple’s voice assistant. At launch, the feature without ‘Hey’ is initially available only in English and must be manually activated in the settings.

In German, two new Siri voices are available directly with iOS 17. These can then be used on the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and HomePod.


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New Apple Watch App

The Home app on the Apple Watch was completely redesigned with watchOS 10 to match the iPhone’s design, which had arrived with iOS 16. Users can view compact views of cameras and filter devices and scenes by climate, light sources, security, and speakers & TVs. Sliders and selection lists are controlled easily and precisely via the Digital Crown.

Apple Home in watchOS 10

Despite the improvements, there are no new complications for the watch faces, but still only a quick access to the app. We have summarized all the information about the new Apple Watch app in this post.

Lockscreen widgets for iPad

With iPadOS 17, live activities and widgets can finally be displayed on the iPad’s lock screen. This has already been possible with the iPhone for quite some time. This means that in the future you will also be able to access your Apple Home devices directly from the lock screen on the iPad.

Lockscreen widgets for iPad

Desktop Widgets for Mac

Widgets can also be accessed more quickly on the Mac in the future by placing them on the desktop. New is the Apple Home Widgets section in the Widgets Gallery. Until now, this area was missing from the widgets on the Mac and HomeKit devices could only be integrated via third-party apps, such as Controller for HomeKit.

New control center for the tv

With tvOS 17, an improved Control Center makes its way into your living room. Among other things, this should give you even faster access to your Apple Home cameras via the TV.

Our Recommendation: Create a Backup

In general, we recommend that you make a backup on a regular basis. With Controller for HomeKit this is done quickly, we have published a detailed tutorial in this post.

Especially with larger updates, Apple likes to screw with basic HomeKit functions and the risk increases that something no longer works as expected after the update. Therefore, it is extremely valuable to have a backup ready to restore device settings, scenes, automations and more in case of an emergency.