HomeCam by Aaron Pearce, which consolidates all your HomeKit-compatible cameras right into a easy, streamlined UI, has been up to date to model 2.zero throughout the various platforms it helps. I’ve been a fan of the app because it debuted, and this replace is a wonderful refinement of the app’s unique idea.
The worth of HomeCam lies in its elegant UI that focuses firstly in your HomeKit video cameras. Apple’s House app shows feeds from HomeKit cameras in one in every of two locations. You may add them as favourite units, in order that they present up on the backside of the House tab. In any other case, although, your cameras solely present up within the rooms to which they’re assigned the place they compete for house and a focus with different equipment and scenes and aren’t reside till tapped. I’ve been testing HomeCam with two Logitech Circle 2 cameras and an abode iota safety equipment digital camera, and the app’s design and availability on all kinds of units provides a stage of flexibility to monitoring a number of cameras that isn’t doable with Apple’s system app.
The headlining function of HomeCam 2.zero is Auto Cycle, which rotates between any variety of your reside digital camera feeds on an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. The function is extremely straightforward to start out. Simply faucet the Auto Cycle button within the app’s grid of obtainable cameras, which you’ll discover within the high right-hand nook of the primary display. Subsequent, decide the feeds you need to cycle between by tapping on them after which hitting Begin. Within the app’s settings, you’ll be able to set the cycle interval to 10, 30, or 60 seconds.
Whereas your cameras are biking, you’ll be able to work together with the entire controls for a digital camera, which I’ll cowl under. Most often, the digital camera feeds will proceed to rotate between views as you work together with controls with out disrupting the UI component with which you’re interacting. The one exception is the UI for activating equipment and scenes in the identical room because the digital camera you’re viewing, which is smart. When you activate that UI, the digital camera view pauses with out biking to the following one till you dismiss the accent and scene UI.
Within the top-left nook of the grid of obtainable cameras is a Settings button. Right here, you’ll be able to swap houses if in case you have a number of arrange in Apple’s House app. You can too rearrange and take away cameras from HomeCam, alter the Auto Cycle interval, and set a Face ID or passcode requirement for accessing the app relying on the kind of machine you might be utilizing.
Settings can be the place you’ll be able to handle alerts that slide down from the highest of the HomeCam interface. The purple alerts can monitor Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Contact, Leaks, Movement, Occupancy, and Smoke. I’ve a number of units, together with the Logitech Circle 2 cameras and Ecobee three thermostats, which are steadily triggered by movement or after they sense occupancy. To cease the almost steady stream of notifications triggered by a family of three folks, I made a decision to show off the movement and occupancy alerts. I don’t know if there’s a approach to scale back the movement and occupancy detection sensitivity for alert functions, however it could be nice if it may very well be dialed again a little bit.
I might additionally desire notification choices which are unavailable to be hidden or greyed out. For instance, I don’t have any units that may detect smoke or water leaks, so toggles that permit me flip notifications on and off for these issues are meaningless.
Every digital camera feed in the primary grid is called in line with the identify used within the House app. Cameras with reside feeds are labeled ‘Reside’ and have a small inexperienced indicator to strengthen that message, which is an enchancment from the amber colour utilized in prior variations of the app. If a feed isn’t reside, the indicator is gray, and the feed reveals how lengthy it’s been because it was final up to date, together with a static picture from the newest reside seize.
Tapping on a digital camera opens its feed in a brand new view that works in portrait and panorama modes on iPhones and iPads. Every digital camera has its personal settings, which embody particulars about it just like the producer and firmware model, an Add to Siri button that creates a shortcut motion for viewing its feed, and a toggle for including it to the app’s At the moment widget.
If different sensors can be found in the identical room as a digital camera, these are displayed within the decrease left-hand nook of the digital camera feed view. For instance, my back and front door cameras show the temperature and humidity, that are being provided by a Netatmo Climate Station that sits on a windowsill outdoors.
Every digital camera view additionally features a button within the decrease left-hand nook that opens a small popover for accessing different equipment and scenes in that room. It’s a helpful approach to activate a light-weight and get a greater go searching a darkish room, for example. Lastly, the highest right-hand nook of every digital camera view has buttons to entry a digital camera’s microphone and sound if these can be found options.
There’s extra to HomeCam than its wonderful iPhone and iPad apps, although. I’ve already talked about the Apple TV app, which is a terrific approach to monitor your digital camera feeds and works in principally the identical means because the iOS and iPadOS apps however makes use of the Siri Distant for enter. I had a little bit hassle with the Apple TV app not displaying feeds at first, nevertheless it seems that there’s what seems to be an Apple networking bug that forestalls feeds from loading if an Apple TV is related through Ethernet. As quickly as I switched to WiFi, the Apple TV app labored completely. Pearce is conscious of the problem and is investigating it.
There’s additionally an Apple Watch app, which makes you’re feeling such as you’re dwelling in a sci-fi film once you use it. It’s not the app I flip to more often than not, however even on the Watch’s small display it’s remarkably usable, and an effective way to do issues like test for a package deal you’re anticipating to be delivered. The Watch views did sometimes get caught when the Watch display dimmed, which required me to pressure give up the app to get it working once more, however I’m nonetheless amazed and impressed that the Watch app can deal with a digital camera’s reside feed in any respect.
HomeCam’s At the moment widget has been redesigned too. It now shows two mini digital camera feeds in compact mode, which is a pleasant replace. I did, nevertheless, have a difficulty with two cameras displaying the identical or flawed feeds at instances. Hopefully, that’s a bug that may be addressed quickly, as a result of the At the moment widget on my iPad Professional’s House display is a wonderful place to control my cameras periodically all through the day.
Regardless of just a few bugs, I’ve been delighted with HomeCam 2. Auto Cycle is a terrific approach to hold tabs on a number of cameras directly with out resorting to shrunken variations of your digital camera feeds. Most of all, although, by specializing in a single kind of HomeKit accent, HomeCam gives extra energy and adaptability than you may get from Apple’s House app. The performance of the app is straightforward, however the potential to show a number of feeds from totally different rooms, entry different scenes and equipment, and think about feeds on an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, or Apple Watch enhance the worth of any cameras you already use, making HomeCam one in every of my favourite HomeKit apps.
HomeCam 2 is a free replace to current customers. New customers can buy the app for $four.99 on the App Retailer.