In our weekly roundup, we take a look at interesting news in the smarthome sector. Sometimes we look beyond Matter and HomeKit and show you some exciting devices. Among other things, we took a look at the Connected universal remote and hub SofaBaton X1 to see if it can follow in the big footsteps of the Logitech Harmony remote. There’s also news from Eve Systems, Amazon Fire TV, Google Nest, Aqara, WiZ Lighting, IKEA, tado° and Meross. Also of interest is a post from our colleagues at HueBlog that discusses the possibility of Philips Hue introducing a paid subscription for some features in the future.
Worthy successor? SofaBaton X1 Universal Remote Control
In our “Beyond Matter & HomeKit” category, we take a look at interesting devices beyond Matter and HomeKit every now and then. Last week we were able to take a look at the Connected universal remote and hub SofaBaton X1.
We always had the Logitech Harmony remote control in mind when we looked at it, but its further development and sale was discontinued over a year ago. Logitech was very popular with Apple HomeKit users, for example, with the Harmony Elite remote control, but mainly because of the Harmony IR Hub and its integration options into the smart home via Homebridge. Find out in our review whether the SofaBaton X1 can follow in these big footsteps.
Eve Systems: New Matter devices and migration
Eve Systems this week released more devices with Matter Firmware pre-installed, the Eve Door & Window and the Eve Motion. In addition, the migration is now available to all users of Eve Energy, Eve Door & Window, and Eve Motion with Thread.
We recommend performing the migration only if other Smarthome systems are to be used in the future. The migration swaps the entire identity of the device and the old HomeKit code is replaced with a digital Matter. After migration, not all triggers and conditions are available. In addition, some users have problems with devices that are no longer accessible.
Fire TV devices support AirPlay 2 and HomeKit
This should certainly be interesting for one or the other, even though we personally always prefer an Apple TV.
NSO Group hacks iPhones with zero-click attacks
This week it was revealed that NSO Group hacked iPhones again with zero-click attacks, using a vulnerability in HomeKit.
The targets of the attacks are often political opponents, journalists, lawyers and human rights activists. Apple had introduced a blocking mode last year to protect users from such attacks, but it comes with restrictions on websites, apps and features.
Google Nest Thermostat supports Matter
As of this week, Google’s latest Nest thermostat supports the new Matter smarthome standard, so it can finally integrate with Apple Home.
The update will be gradually distributed to all users to provide the ability to control temperature through various Matter smarthome platforms and apps.
HomePod and HomePod mini detect smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
HomePod and HomePod mini detect smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and send notifications to iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. The feature is available now and can be activated via the Home app, provided the device has been updated to the new HomeKit architecture.
The new sound detection feature for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors is a welcome addition for all HomePod and HomePod-mini users, especially those who have not been using an expensive HomeKit smoke detector.
New presence sensor from Aqara launches
The Aqara FP2 presence sensor with mmWave technology is available since this week. The sensor can distinguish up to five different people. Installation and setup can be a bit tedious, but the sensor offers many advantages over traditional motion detectors.
The Aqara FP2 is able to perceive the smallest movements and detect the occupancy situation of specific zones within the room. However, the price is higher than conventional motion detectors. The new device was sold out within a few hours. As soon as it is available again, we will let you know.
WiZ Lighting: Now Apple Home compatible thanks to Matter
Now you can get into Apple Home with WiZ lamps and lights. After an intensive development effort, manufacturer Signify has completed Matter 135+ WiZ models already. This allows WiZ lighting products to be used in Apple Home as well. Other models will receive the update in the course of the coming weeks.
You can easily and quickly integrate the lights into Apple Home via the WiZ app. Now it’s possible to make your home even smarter. We give you an insight and overview in our current review.
IKEA plans new roller blinds with improved features
The blinds are reliable, affordable and can be integrated with all major smarthome platforms thanks to the IKEA Hub. The translucent IKEA KADRILJ roller blind is already on sale.
tado° published Heat Pump Connector
With the Heat Pump Connector from tado°, Vaillant heat pumps can be controlled via the tado° app. The device is connected to the network via the Internet bridge and can currently only be used with certain models.
The Heat Pump Connector costs around 100€ and is available exclusively in the tado° online store.
New lamp from Meross
Meross has released the MSL12DAHK Light Bulb Pro, a new version of a smart light bulb that offers several advantages. The bulb is brighter at 900 lumens and offers a wider range of colors. It has a separate antenna for a stronger Wi-Fi and has been improved for optimized network stability.
Of particular interest is the upcoming integration of Adaptive Lighting, which will be made available via a firmware update and automatically adjusts the color temperature throughout the day. The lamp is available in the manufacturer’s online store in a double pack with our discount codeSmartApfel” for under 17€.
Philips Hue with paid subscription in the future?
Our colleagues at HueBlog published an interesting post this week. Accordingly, Philips Hue could require a paid subscription for some features in the future. However, existing features are not to be cut.
While other manufacturers already offer subscriptions, Philips Hue’s products are so highly priced that we actually expect no additional subscription to be required. As always: Smarthome devices can always be used free of charge via HomeKit. We are curious if there is any truth to the rumors and will inform you as soon as there is concrete information.