Use the macOS Home App To Control Home Devices

The new Home app in macOS Mojave allows you to control lights and other devices in your Home. It is a simple extension of the Home app and HomeKit functionality that has already existed in iOS for a while. Now you can control those devices using your Mac too.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Use the macOS Home App To Control Home Devices.

So another new feature of macOS Mojave is the Home app. Now the Home app has been around for awhile on the iPhone and the iPad. You can use it to control internet enabled devices around your house like thermostats, light switches, and things like that. In fact I have this simple little plug here. You just plug it into the wall, plug in a lamp or something to it, and you can switch it on and off using your iPhone or iPad.

Now the Home app on the Mac should allow you to control these same types of devices. A device you buy should say that it works with Apple's Home kit and most of these devices nowadays do say that. Once you have a device that works with Home Kit you should be able to set it up to be controlled from your Mac, in Mojave, with the new Home app.

So you're probably not going to find the Home app in your Dock right away. So I'm going to use Launchpad to find it and run it for the first time. It should come up with a screen like this that welcomes you there and allows you to get started. So, yes I do want it to use my current location and give it the proper permissions. So now I need to use my iPhone to actually connect to the device.

So I've got my iPhone setup in Settings and will be using the same Apple ID, of course, and under iCloud I also have Home turned on so Home settings will sync between the devices. On my Mac it's System Preferences and under iCloud I also have Home turned on. So now I go into the Home app here and I can tap Add Accessory. So I press Add Accessory and I can either scan the code or I can enter it in manually. So I'm going to enter it manually. It finds the nearby accessory and I'm going to enter the code that I noted was one the device on a little sticker.

So it took awhile and a few tries probably because the device is really old. But it did eventually add it here on my iPhone and it instantly appeared on my Mac. I didn't actually have to do anything on my Mac. Now it's there. So to show it works I now plug in a typical lamp, I'm sure you've got one just like it in your home, and I can use the Home app on my Mac. Just click on it and it turns on. Click on it again and it turns off. Of course I can do the same thing from my iPhone and my iPad since it's hooked up to the same Apple ID as well.

You can do lots of other things here. For instance you can organize things by room. So you have Home here with everything on it. You've got Rooms and here I've made a room and called it Living Room. I've assigned this to it but there's actually two rooms. Kitchen and Living Room. There's nothing in the kitchen. I can Control click, go to Settings, and here I can change the name so I can call it lamp. I can go and change it from living room to kitchen and now there's nothing in the living room and there's something in the kitchen. So you can deal with that.

If you want to go further you can do things like Automation. But in order to do things like that basically you have to have a Hub. A Hub can be an Apple TV. That's typically what it is. But if you don't have Apple TV you can actually use an iPad as a Hub as well. So you can take an old iPad. Make sure it's always powered on and hooked up somewhere. So it's not something you're using and taking out of the house. You can set that up as a Hub.

That's a whole other subject. There's a lot of different things you can do and there's pretty good help to find out about all the different ways you can set this up. You can setup things like scenes. So you can setup a Good Night scene and say what you want to happen. I want the kitchen light to be turned off. But I can also say I want the hall light to be turned on. You know then instead of having the switches on and off manually I can just activate that scene. There's a lot of cool stuff that you can do with Automation and, you know, it's definitely a good idea to look into having an Apple TV as a Hub because then you can do cool things like actually use your iPhone outside the house and have it turn on and off lights inside the house even when you're not at home.