Do you want to make your home smarter? Then you can get started with both HomeKit and Google Home. But which one is the best choice? You can read that in this article.
HomeKit vs Google Home
Control your lights from your bed, turn on the thermostat just before you get home or check who’s at your door from the office: it’s all possible with smart home devices. You can control your devices on your iPhone via HomeKit, or via Google Home. But what are the differences? And which platform is most suitable for you?
HomeKit: Apple’s ecosystem
HomeKit is Apple’s ecosystem for all your smart home devices. You can add smart devices with HomeKit support to the Home app on your iPhone. You can then control all your smart devices from the app. The devices connect to the internet, allowing them to communicate with each other. There are many different devices with HomeKit support. There are smart doorbells, security cameras, lighting and more.
The devices can then also be operated with Siri. For example, you can set that with the voice command ‘Good morning’ the thermostat switches on and the lamps come on. HomeKit can be operated with an iPhone, iPad, HomePod and Mac (Book). It is important that your Apple device is on the same Wi-Fi network as your smart home devices.
If you are away from home (and not on the same Wi-Fi network as your HomeKit devices) and you still want to control the products, then you need a HomePod (mini), iPad or Apple TV of a third-generation or newer. Since it is always connected to the network, it then acts as a hub to operate the devices.
Google Home: Google’s command center
Google Home, as the name suggests, is the Google equivalent of Apple HomeKit. The Home app is the command center of your smart home. In the Home app, you add your smart speakers and other devices, which you can then operate with your smartphone. Basically, the Home app does the same thing as HomeKit’s Home app. If your devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, they can communicate with each other and control them remotely.
Instead of voice commands via Siri, you control the devices with Google Assistant. This works for both Android and iOS. For example, you use a Google Home speaker as a ‘digital butler’, who lets you control the lights, open or close your curtains and set your heating to the ideal temperature.
HomeKit vs Google Home: the differences
Both ecosystems are comparable. HomeKit and Google Home are both a command center, a connection point between all the different smart devices in your home. The functions are also almost the same: you can control your devices with your voice with both apps.
You set scenes in HomeKit, while you set similar ‘routines’ with Google Home. Yet there are also quite a few differences between the two.
For example, HomeKit is only suitable if you also use multiple Apple devices. It is then extra easy to give commands via Siri, for example by controlling your Apple Watch to turn on the lights.
The iOS Home app is also slightly more intuitive than Google’s Home app. For example, adding a device is easier for HomeKit than Google Home, because you have fewer steps to complete. However, only a limited number of devices support HomeKit. HomeKit supports about 450 devices in the following categories:
- Air conditioners
- Air purifiers
- Audio receivers
- Garage doors
- Garden sprinklers
On the other hand, you have a lot more choice in devices that work with Google Home. The number of devices that are supported increases to about 10,000 devices in the following categories:
- Smart Hubs
- Smart TV
- Smart Speaker
- Smart lighting
- Smart thermostat
- IP Cameras
- Smart doorbell
- Alarm systems
- Robot vacuum cleaner
- Smart Plug
- Media players
- Smart Door Locks
- Radiator valves
Moreover, it is not possible to buy a smart speaker with HomeKit support in the Netherlands, while there are plenty of smart speakers available from Google. Think of the Nest mini, Nest audio, and more.
What is the best choice?
HomeKit vs Google Home Do you not have many Apple devices yourself or, for example, your roommate does not have Apple devices? Then Google Home is a better choice. The Home app is supported by both Android smartphones and iPhones. If you mainly use an iPhone, iPad or other Apple devices, then it is best to go for HomeKit. This works better with Apple devices than Google Home. If privacy is important to you, HomeKit is also slightly more secure: Google collects a lot more data, while Apple does less.
For the time being, a lot of distinction is still made between smart home devices with HomeKit or Google Home support, but that will change. Large tech companies work together to create an open standard. That should make it easy to connect devices and integrate with your smart home. It remains unclear when this open standard will be introduced, although it could be that next year.