HomeKit vs Google Home: this is how you choose the best option for your smart home

Smart homes are increasingly popular. Do you also want to make your home smarter? Then you can get started with both HomeKit and Google Home products. But what is the best choice? You can read that in this article.

HomeKit vs Google Home

Switch on the thermostat just before you get home, control your lights from your bed, or see who is at your door from the office, ideal right? This is all possible with smart home devices. It is possible to control devices on your iPhone via HomeKit, or via Google Home. But what are the differences between the smart platforms? And which application is most suitable for you? You can read that in this article.

HomeKit: Apple’s ecosystem

HomeKit is Apple’s smart home ecosystem. You can add smart home devices with HomeKit support to the Home app on your iPhone. You then control all these devices from the app. Thanks to the internet connection, lamps or the thermostat in your house can communicate with each other. There are many different devices with HomeKit support. In addition to lamps or thermostats, there are also smart doorbells and security cameras

The devices can also be operated with Siri. For example, you can set the lights to go on and the thermostat to switch on with the voice command ‘Good morning’. HomeKit can be operated with an iPhone, iPad, HomePod and Mac (Book). It is important that your Apple device is on the same WiFi network as your smart home devices.

Are you away from home – so not on the same WiFi network as your HomeKit devices – and still want to control your smart home? Then you need a HomePod (mini), iPad or Apple TV of a third generation or newer. These Apple devices are always connected to the home network and therefore work as a hub to operate devices remotely.

Google Home: Google’s command center

Google Home, as the name suggests, is the Google alternative to Apple HomeKit. The Home app is the center of your smart home. In this app you add your smart speakers and other devices, which you can then operate with your phone. In principle, the Home app works the same as the Home app from Apple. Your devices communicate with each other and can be operated remotely, as long as you are connected to the same WiFi network.

Instead of voice commands via Siri, you control the devices with Google Assistant. This also works for iOS. Or use a Google Home speaker as a ‘digital butler’, who can operate the lights, open or close your curtains and set your heating to the ideal temperature.

HomeKit vs Google Home: the differences

Both Homekit from Apple and Google Home make everyday life a bit easier, but what are the differences between the two ecosystems? HomeKit and Google Home are similar in that they are both a connection point between all the smart devices in your home. The functions are also almost the same: it is possible to control your devices with your voice with both apps. Yet there are also quite a few differences between the two.

HomeKit, for example, is especially suitable if you also use multiple Apple devices, such as an Apple Watch. It is then extra easy to give commands via Siri on your Watch. Another advantage: the iOS Home app is slightly more intuitive than Google’s Home app. For example, adding a device is easier with HomeKit, because you have fewer steps to go through.

However, there is also one major drawback: there are only a limited number of devices that support HomeKit. HomeKit supports about 450 devices in the following categories:

  • Air conditioners
  • Audio receivers
  • Security
  • Bridges
  • Cameras
  • Doorbells
  • Garage doors
  • Lamps
  • Humidifiers
  • Air purifiers
  • Windows
  • Switches
  • Sensors
  • Locks
  • Speakers
  • Plugs
  • Televisions
  • Thermostats
  • Garden sprinklers
  • Fans

On the other hand, there is much more choice in devices that work with Google Home. The number of devices that the Google ecosystem supports rises to about 10,000 devices in the following categories:

  • Alarm systems
  • Doorbell
  • Hubs
  • IP cameras
  • Media players,
  • Radiator valves
  • Robot vacuum cleaner
  • Smart door locks
  • Smart lighting
  • Smart speaker
  • Smart plug
  • Thermostat
  • Lighting

Moreover, it is not possible to buy a smart speaker with HomeKit support in the Netherlands. However, there is enough range of smart speakers from Google available. Think of the Nest mini, Nest audio, and more.

HomeKit vs Google Home: Which is the best choice?

The best choice for you mainly depends on the devices you use. Do you not have many Apple devices yourself or, for example, does a roommate have no Apple products? Then Google Home is the better choice. The Home app is supported by both Android smartphones and iPhones. If you are completely in the Apple ecosystem with an iPhone, iPad or other Apple devices, then you better go for HomeKit. This works best with Apple devices. In addition, the HomeKit is slightly safer from a privacy point of view: Google collects much more data, while Apple does this as little as possible.

For now, a lot of distinction is still made between smart home devices with HomeKit or Google Home support, but that is expected to change. Large tech companies have been working together for a while to create an open standard.

This should make it a lot easier to connect devices and integrate with your smart home. Unfortunately, it remains unclear when this open standard will be introduced. Amazon and Google are busy with Project CHIP: the smart home standard that will ensure that all smart home devices of these tech giants will soon work together.

Monthly Theme Living

This month is all about (smart) living. Below you can read more articles about our monthly theme:

  • HomeKit vs Google Home: this is how you choose the best option for your smart home

  • Tip: This is how you control every lamp with your iPhone in the Home app

  • Which smart doorbell works without a subscription? These are 4 good options

  • Filming the public road with a smart doorbell: what is allowed and what is not?

  • Tip: This is how you stream music to a Sonos speaker with AirPlay 2

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