With the increasing popularity of Apple products, it's essential to find a smart home hub that works well with the Apple ecosystem.
Smart home hubs act as a central point of control for all your smart home devices, allowing seamless connectivity and automation. While basic control can be achieved through smartphone apps like Amazon Alexa or Google Home, a smart home hub becomes necessary for more advanced smart devices and for creating a fully automated smart home experience.
In this review, we will discuss the best smart home hubs for Apple products that we have selected among dozens we tested. We focused on compatibility, ease of use, and features, to help you make an informed choice.
8 Best Smart Home Hubs for Apple Products
The Amazon Echo Show 10 is a premium smart home hub with a built-in display, offering compatibility with a wide range of smart home devices. It works well with Apple products, homeKit, and can be controlled using the Alexa voice assistant.
Our helpful review
The Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) is a significant upgrade from the 2nd Gen. It now features a swivel base for constant rotation, a new speaker setup, improved 13MP camera with advanced tracking, upgraded processors, and Amazon Sidewalk support.
- Setup: Quick and hassle-free, no need for manual configurations.
- Motion: The standout feature, the Show 10 tracks your movement, providing excellent facial tracking during calls or activities.
- 13MP Camera: Impressive quality with automatic zoom adjustments, acting almost like a personal cameraman.
- Speakers: Enhanced with two 1” tweeters and a 3” woofer, delivering louder and clearer sound.
- Processor: Upgraded main and AZ1 processors for improved responsiveness and potential future benefits.
- ZIGBEE/Sidewalk: Includes Zigbee hub and Amazon Sidewalk compatibility for future connectivity options.
- White power cord: Comes with a white power cord, irrespective of the device color.
- Large footprint: Due to rotation, careful placement is necessary, with a recommended 10” by 15” space.
Motion can be disabled using voice commands or the Alexa app, and rotation radius is customizable during setup or in the 'Motion' menu under Settings. In summary, the Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) impresses with its camera clarity, exceptional face tracking, and overall enhancements, making it a substantial upgrade.
The Samsung SmartThings Hub has long been a top pick for smart home hubs, thanks to its compatibility with Zigbee, Z-Wave, Nest, Apple and Matter products. The SmartThings app is loaded with functionality, allowing you to create various scenarios for your smart home devices.
Our helpful review: A game changer
Let me start by saying that I have been actively upgrading everything in my home to be completely automated. It started with multiple Alexa and Google devices to Hue lighting and automated garage door openers. The next thing I wanted to do was put sensors on all my doors to announce when they were open and closed. It was suggested to me to buy this Smartthings hub along with their individual sensors.
The hub arrived yesterday. I immediately unpacked it and plugged it in. I then went to my iPhone and downloaded the Smartthings app. From within the app, I added a device and was directed to the hub which I paired by scanning the QR code on the back of my device with my camera. The hub connected to my home WiFi network, new updates were downloaded and installed and I was ready to go. Really, I was paired and ready to roll in less than 15 minutes. Completely effortless.
My first project was to put a sensor on my front door and have Alexa announce when it opens and closes. I chose to do this with Alexa due to its ease of adding routines. Doing this with Google would have been far more of a hassle (as of the writing of this review) since I would have had to go through the IFFT app and probably add additional software such as BigTalker2.
So, all I had to do, after pairing the Samsung MultiPurpose sensor, was to go into Alexa, add a routine, add a device (Samsung door sensor) and then create two separate routines that announce when the door is open and then closed. I cannot begin to express my joy when I was easily able to create this routine with Alexa and to actually see it work. This hub is absolutely remarkable. Now that I have it, I plan to go crazy adding more sensors all over my home.
For those who claim this product does not work, I have to totally disagree. Setting up the hub was effortless. Pairing their sensors were immediate. Everything has been working perfectly, as expected. Best of all, once you get this hub set up, the possibilities are endless when it comes to what you can pair with it to work with Alexa or Google.
You may say that this is the "brain" of your automated home: It all begins with this product.
The Aeotec Smart Home Hub is an excellent choice for Apple users, as it works with both HomeKit and SmartThings. It supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Matter, and can act as an eero extender. Additionally, it has motion and temperature sensors and can listen for smoke alarms and glass breaking. Priced around $100, it offers great value for its features.
Our helpful review: Perfect for Bali blinds
I ordered two shades from Blinds.com by Bali, one for $750 and the other for $400, est... Anyway, SWF (Bali) mentioned that you can integrate them with Alexa by purchasing their Z-Wave Switch. However, the instructions were terrible, so I had to contact customer service. After some struggle, we managed to make things work, but then the remote wouldn't function.
In the end, I had to ditch the hub and rely on the remotes. Recently, I discovered an alternative that only took around 15 minutes to set up the blinds, and the Alexa skill works much better than Bali's, which took 30 seconds to a minute for commands. SWF should consider discontinuing those subpar hubs and opt for this alternative.
The Hubitat Elevation Model C-8 is a powerful smart home hub that supports Z-Wave Plus 800 and Zigbee 3.0. Priced at $149, it offers a wide range of compatibility and control options for your smart home devices.
Our helpful review: A great Hub
After years with Smarthings, we made the tough call to jump to Hubitat, timely with the launch of the C8. Spent a full week setting up the system and all our devices, modes and automations. No question, it is a steep curve but looking back, well worth the move.
All our z-wave and zigbee devices paired first time, and those that didn't were due to issues with the device rather than the Hub itself,. We made a point of following the HE list of compatible devices and there is a thriving Hubitat community, library of videos and articles covering all aspects of the platform.
The Hub itself is tiny. Although it can pair wirelessly with a WIFI router, we linked it with the included ethernet cable. First thing we did was reserved DCHP and set it on its own WIFI channel, something highly recommended, especially as we had a mix of z-wave and zigbee devices.Since set up, Hub has been rock solid.
The UI is poor and needs work, but meantime with a bit of effort can be customised to make it half usable. The key is the infinite flexibility of the system. Overall, this is an amazing bit of tech, not for the average homeowner but highly recommended for those avidly interested in home automation. Not cheap, but worth every penny,
Update: Hugely impressed with Hubitat C8. It has worked flawlessly over last 6 months, regular updates installed without fail, and I had one problem with dropouts or remote connection in all that time. The HE community is excellent, providing masses of useful info on the Hub and connected devices. Moving from Smarthings was a worry, but I'm so pleased we made the leap. HE is on a different level.
The Aqara Smart Hub M2 is a versatile addition to any smart home, requiring a secure 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connection. Supporting up to 128 Aqara devices with Zigbee repeaters, it boasts Zigbee 3.0 technology for stability and efficiency. With 360° Infrared Control, it manages existing IR devices via voice commands and home automations.
The hub's Ethernet RJ45 port ensures stability, while USB power allows flexible installation. Serving as a hub for home automation and alarm systems, it integrates seamlessly with various ecosystems and voice assistants, including Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Alexa, and IFTTT. The built-in speaker adds functionality for security alerts, doorbells, alarms, and customizable ringtones.
Our helpful review
The Aqara Smart Hub M2 is a fantastic smart home hub that exceeded my expectations in every way. This compact hub is easy to set up and offers an incredible range of features that make it an indispensable addition to any smart home.
There are some incorrect info online, on how to configure Aqara in general with Home Assistant (HASS). Here are solutions:
1) Set up U100 lock (if necessary) through HomeKit.
2) Sync lock with Aqara M2 Hub in Aqara app
3) Sync any additional Aqara sensors to M2 Hub.
4) Inside HomeKit, go to home settings and choose hubs.
5) Select M2 Hub and share it via Matter (once again, from inside HomeKit)
6) Paste the Matter code inside Home Assistant Matter integration
7) Enjoy full app free control of your smart home !
Follow these steps and you’ll get full offline control and still have full benefits of the Aqara ecosystem such as full HomeKey integration when paired with the Aqara U100 smart lock.
While the speaker isn’t very loud at all, the hub itself works great - some more cheat codes for you:
- Soft Reset: press button for 10 seconds
- Hard Reset: hit button rapidly 5 times
The Google Nest Hub Max is a powerful smart display that can function as the central control hub for your entire smart home. It is compatible with many smart home devices, Apple products, and offers intuitive gesture controls.
Our helpful review
This allows for all the home automation you could want. The Hub acts as a digital photo frame as well, so you can have your family photos from Google Photos showing.
This device can also play music, display photos from my google photos account, control my smart bulbs, tell me the weather, track my sleep, and work as an alarm clock. I replaced 4 devices on my nightstand with this one smart hub. the speaker quality is great!
7. Apple TV 4K (3rd Gen)
The Apple TV 4K (3rd Gen) itself is indeed an excellent choice for Apple users, as it doubles as a HomeKit hub. It supports Matter and Thread, two emerging wireless standards that aim to make smart homes more versatile and cross-compatible.
The Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen) is an affordable smart home hub that works well with Apple products. It offers compatibility with a wide range of smart home devices and can be controlled using the Alexa voice assistant.
Our helpful review
I've used the Echo Dot (5th Gen) for months and am impressed. It's a compact device with excellent features and a much-improved microphone compared to the 4th Gen. It also helped me get Apple enabled devices connected to HomeKit. The bulb is also perfect in the kids' room and they have fun with the changing colors.
The Echo Dot is remarkably versatile, handling tasks from music playback to smart home control and setting alarms. Its sound quality is surprisingly good for daily listening, especially in the kitchen or bedroom. Notably, the improved microphone eliminates the need to shout over music, a common issue with earlier models.
In a nutshell, the Echo Dot (5th Gen) offers great value, simplifying my life. Specific uses include waking me with a gradual alarm, setting cooking timers, playing music during daily routines, and controlling smart home devices. It's an affordable, user-friendly smart speaker that enhances everyday tasks.
How to Choose a Smart Home Hub for Apple Devices
When choosing a smart home hub for your Apple devices, consider the following factors:
Ensure that the smart home hub is compatible with Apple HomeKit and other Apple products you may have, such as iPhones, iPads, and HomePods.
Look for a hub that supports various communication standards like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Z-Wave, or Thread to ensure compatibility with a wide range of smart home devices.
Consider your budget and the price of the smart home hub. There are options available at various price points, from budget-friendly to more expensive models with advanced features.
Evaluate the user interface of the smart home hub, including whether it has a touchscreen, voice control, or app-based control, to ensure it aligns with your preferences and needs.
Consider any additional features you may need, such as built-in speakers, display screens, or support for multiple user profiles, depending on your specific smart home requirements.
Take these factors into consideration to choose a smart home hub that seamlessly integrates with your Apple products, and provides the functionality you need for your smart home setup.
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Top Smart Home Hubs for Apple HomeKit: FAQs
What home hub works with Apple?
Apple has several devices that can function as smart home hubs, including HomePod, HomePod mini, Apple TV 4K, and iPad. These devices act as central control points for your HomeKit-enabled devices, allowing you to manage and automate them using voice commands, apps, or physical controls.
What is the best home hub for iOS?
The best smart home hub for iOS depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you want a compact and affordable option, the Aqara Smart Hub M2 is a great choice. For a more feature-rich hub with voice assistant support, the Philips Hue 4K TV is an excellent option. And if you're looking for a versatile hub that can also control your Samsung devices, the Samsung Bixby Hub is a good pick.
What smart home system works best with an iPhone?
Apple's HomeKit is the smart home ecosystem that works best with iPhones. It seamlessly integrates with other Apple devices, making it a convenient and secure option for controlling your smart home.
What can I use as an Apple HomeKit hub?
In addition to the devices mentioned earlier, you can also use an iPad or a compatible Mac as an Apple HomeKit hub. This is a great option if you have an older iPad or Mac that you're not using, as it gives you an additional hub for your HomeKit network.
Does Apple have a smart home hub?
Yes, Apple has several devices that can function as smart home hubs. The HomePod and HomePod mini are dedicated smart speakers with built-in voice assistant support, while the Apple TV 4K and iPad can act as hubs without the need for additional hardware.
Does Google Home Hub work with Apple?
Google Home Hub is a smart display that is not natively compatible with Apple HomeKit. However, you can use the Home Hub with Apple HomeKit through a third-party service like Home Assistant or Siri Shortcuts.
How many Apple Home hubs do I need?
The number of Apple Home hubs you need depends on the size of your home and the number of smart devices you have. You can usually get by with a single hub, but if you have a large home or a lot of smart devices, you may want to consider using multiple hubs to ensure that your devices are always connected and responding to your commands.
Do I need a HomePod for HomeKit?
No, you do not need a HomePod to use HomeKit. You can control your HomeKit devices with any iOS device, including iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches.
Does Google Nest work with iPhone?
Some Google Nest devices are compatible with Apple HomeKit, while others are not. You can check the compatibility of specific devices on Apple's website.
Does Arlo work with Apple HomeKit?
Yes, Arlo security cameras are compatible with Apple HomeKit. You can use the Home app to view your camera feeds, receive alerts, and control your cameras.
Does Nest work with Apple HomeKit?
Some Nest thermostats, doorbells, and cameras are compatible with Apple HomeKit, while others are not. You can check the compatibility of specific devices on Apple's website.
Can you use an old iPhone as a HomeKit hub?
Yes, you can use an old iPhone as a HomeKit hub. This is a great way to recycle an old device and extend its lifespan.
Can I use Macbook as HomeKit hub?
No, you can’t use a Macbook as a HomeKit hub. However, you can seamlessly use a HomePod, HomePod mini, Apple TV or an iPad.
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- Best Smart Home Hubs for Apple Products (Reviews)