Matthias Hochgatterer’s HomeKit app for iPhone and iPad management has a brand new version with a revised layout and a separate name out there today. Version 4.0 with Dark Mode assistance and lots of customization options for HomeKit is prepared for iOS 13 and iPadOS 13. On the other side, the name change is not exactly by decision
Home+ has more to offer than Home
First, Home 4’s major changes include first-time Dark Mode assistance, seven different home screen icon choices, and loads of HomeKit accessories icon options.
The new default app icon matches the Apple Watch icon that I really like lately launched. There is even an alternative for a lamp icon representing the new Sonos IKEA AirPlay 2 speaker lamp— that’s excellent attention to detail! The app also displays sensor data sensitively on a single tile unlike the iOS 13 Home app from Apple.
All these design changes make the third-party Home app really attractive over the built-in app, and the iPad Home screen now has a great widget to control favorite accessories. Here you can read all the latest features.
Behind the name change
In 2014, Apple launched its smart home framework for HomeKit as part of iOS 8. The iPhone already used different protocols to work with smart home appliances from different companies, but HomeKit provided a single Apple structure for managing products from different companies.
However, voice control via Siri was the only user-facing unifier in HomeKit’s first year. Developers have been able to create HomeKit apps, but until 2016 Apple has not released its own app. During that time, Matthias Hochgatterer’s home app was highly regarded and considered the best HomeKit app to actually use HomeKit on the iPhone and iPad.
Apple debuted its own HomeKit controller with an integrated app using the same name, starting with iOS 10. Apple’s home app has unique privileges besides being pre-installed including quick Control Center access, but since 2016 both applications have coexisted.
At Apple this year, however, something has changed and the original Home app needs to change its name. On his blog, Matthias explains: