A Quick Look at the New Home App in iOS16

As reported previously, Apple’s Home app has received a rather large update, that will be coming to iOS16 once released, but because the beta for iOS16 is already available, we’re able to present some of the updates here for you, courtesy of our good friend Charles Reed. Of course, as this is the very first iOS16 beta, we’re expecting more tweaks between now and the launch, alongside the next iPhone, but judging from what we see already, things are already off to a great start.

The Home app definitely takes a leaf out of the ‘Widgets’ book, with custom tile sizes, which also includes the ability to not only have your camera feeds where you want them, as opposed to the bottom of the screen, but also combine camera feeds into a larger widget, as seen above.

Whilst the bottom of the screen has removed the ‘Rooms’ tab, you’re still able to access your rooms via the familiar dropdown menu, albeit on the opposite side of the screen. Rooms are also shown as groups on the main screen now, which is something you’d previously seen when adding devices as part of creating a Scene or Automotion.

The settings for a particular device also gain a new option –‘Show in Home View’ alongside the familiar ‘Include in Favourites’.

When it comes to the basic tiles we’re familiar with, these have been adjusted to be more oblong than square, possibly to save space, although now you only get two tiles per row, instead of three. The automations page stays largely the same at this point, it seems.

One thing that’s a perennial request from HomeKit users, is more icons for the different product categories. In the example above, for lighting accessories, not only have the glyphs been redesigned, but have been expanded from the original ten, to fifteen choices. Oddly, one glyph that has been removed is the one for floor lamps. Hopefully, this can return in later updates;

Bulb (group)
Bulb 1
Table lamp 1
Table lamp 2
Strip light 1
Bulb 2
ceiling lamp
Desk lamp
Can light
Downlight (group)
Strip light 2
BR30 bulb

Another bone of contention was the rather limited choice of glyphs available for Scenes; Now we’re given a much larger choice of glyphs, almost on a par with the ones you’d get within Siri Shortcuts. This also includes the option to colourise your glyphs, also as found in Siri Shortcuts.

Finally, a quick look at some individual room screens. Note the new temperature glyph in three of the screenshots.

Thanks to Charles Reed for providing the screenshots for this article. Charles is one of the admins for a few Apple-centric Facebook groups, including the ‘Apple HomeKit Users Group’ which currently has over 21K members.