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How to make HomeKit see more of your gadgets with Home Assistant

The Apple Home application is seen on an iPhone screen on November 15, 2017. The Home app allows people to control accessories in their home, like living room and kitchen lights, from their phone.

Enlarge / The Apple Home application is seen on an iPhone screen on November 15, 2017. The Home app allows people to control accessories in their home, like living room and kitchen lights, from their phone. (credit: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images))

I’ve been buying and tinkering with smart home devices for years. As a result, my home network resembles a kind of Model UN of devices, bridges, protocols, assistants, and apps. I try to broker alliances, resolve disputes, and assure everybody, myself included, that this whole complicated thing is still worth it.

My salvation has been Home Assistant, a little server that gives you local control and lots of automation power. Every device in my home is connected to Home Assistant, which runs on a tiny Raspberry Pi 3B+ underneath my printer. I have a custom dashboard with all my switches, sensors, speakers, and lights. I have complete control, a custom dashboard, and infinite automations.

But sometimes, I just want to change the thermostat from the lock screen on my iPhone or tell Siri, on my phone or watch, to turn on a lamp. Yes, Home Assistant has its own app, plus a mobile-friendly website. But I also want to save my partner from learning how an entirely different, somewhat fiddly app works to access lights and switches.

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