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 threatening to start a lawsuit,
“We should start a class action lawsuit, I bought the ring pro because Apple 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 impressed.
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 an 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 and, as an added bonus, a 180-degree lens 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. Once 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 serious about having a doorbell and a camera 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 are some great tutorials on making your camera compatible that will get you started for a 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.
Find Apple HomeKit Compatible Devices at Protect America
If you wish to fully use your Apple Homekit to your advantage and have it integrate with as many smart devices possible, Protect America can help. Our customizable security packages include the August Smart Lock Pro, an innovative and compact device that lets you control your front door from anywhere. Trying to make your own HomeKit doorbell camera can use up a lot of your valuable time. Instead, speak to one of our security experts today to request a free quote and learn how we can protect your home at all hours of the day with our award-winning systems.