After a lawsuit with ADT, Ring Alarm is finally available for sale but is still not compatible with HomeKit.
Apple HomeKit is a very user friendly home automation framework that makes automation things around the house really easy. Not that HomeKit’s user friendliness is a surprise; generally anything that Apple comes up with is pretty easy to use. That’s a huge part of their business model. They also keep most of their gear closed source and proprietary which makes everything run really smooth. Unfortunately this also makes compatibility with outside tech, like Ring Alarm System, fairly difficult if not impossible.
As of right now, the Ring security doorbell is not compatible with HomeKit despite publishing their intention to add the feature soon for several years. Back in November 2016 Ring released this statement on Twitter,
“We’re working on HomeKit compatibility with Ring Pro, and plan on introducing it soon!”
They continued to post similar coming soon declarations until eventually going silent around a year ago.
Some people we’re pretty upset about Ring Alarm System not delivering on this promise. Some even threating to start a lawsuit,
“We should start a class action lawsuit, I bought the ring pro because Homekit was promised when IOS10/Homekit update was released”
It’s probably safe to assume that Ring will not be releasing HomeKit compatibility anytime soon. So what are you other options?
August Doorbell Cam Pro
August’s new doorbell cam pro is one of the first doorbell cameras that will work with HomeKit. If you look at Apples list of compatible “Doorbells” August Doorbell Cam is the only product listed. Keep in mind that this is the pro version of the August lock only. Apparently, HomeKit has very strict security rules for their home automation hub and it costs companies more money to product things that are compatible. As far as the August camera goes though, we’re pretty impressive.
It comes packed with features and even includes up to 24 hours of storage for free at any given time. They have a feature called HindSight which will capture footage before the motion sensor is actually triggered. This gives you an opportunity to capture the full event. If you need extra storage the cloud video storage is relatively cheap compared to other companies. And of course, it works with Apple HomeKit.
Use an Outdoor Cam
One option is to use an outdoor camera with a motion sensor. You can angle it to see who is at your door and some of them will even come with their own intercom, which pretty much amounts to the same thing. Be careful when shopping for outdoor homekit cameras, because not all of them are going to have motion detection. The D-Link Omna 180 cam does have motion detection as an example and as an added bonus if has a 180 degree lense which makes it much easier to mount correctly. Another option would be the Logitech Circle 2. It has motion detection and night vision also, but it also has a feature to detect when a person is in its view. One you connect these cameras with HomeKit central they pretty much amount to the same thing as having an actual camera built into your doorbell.
Create your own HomeKit Doorbell Camera
If you’re really serious about having a doorbell and a camera together work with HomeKit you can always make your own with a Raspberry PI. This option is going to take a little technical know-how, but could be a really fun project once you get going. There’s some great tutorials on making your own camera that is compatible you can find around the internet that will get your started for a pretty lower price tag.
DIY Video Doorbell Supplies:
- Raspberry Pi 2 or 3
- 8Gb SD card
- GPIO breadboard
- 1 GPIO button
- Raspberry camera
- Microbot Push
All of this together will cost around $50, which is a lot cheaper than buying an actual doorbell camera that is compatible with Apple. The drawback, of course, is that it’s not going to look as good. You’ll probably want to buy a case or make one using a 3D printer.
Consider getting professional security camera monitoring for your front door. If something happens while you home or away you’ll always be alerted when something happens around your home. Get a free quote with protect america today!