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Apple TV isn’t just for watching films and television shows or playing games. It can also play an important role in your smart home. With Cupertino’s digital media player, you can now download and install apps to perform everyday home tasks such as checking your security cameras, monitoring your Wi-Fi network, and turning on your lights.
To get started, all you need is a fourth- or fifth-generation Apple TV, a few dollars, and your imagination.
In this article, you’ll learn about some of the most popular lifestyle and utility apps for Apple TV.
Apple TV Apps for Lighting
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that some of the most popular smart lighting systems are controllable through Apple TV. After all, many of these products offer mood lighting, which is perfect for a night with the family in the living room, or a romantic stay-at-home getaway in the bedroom. These Apple TV apps should help you set the mood, whatever it may be.
Hue TV to Control Your lights
Hue TV is a simple Apple TV app for Philips Hue users. With it, you can control all of your Hue lights using your Apple TV and Siri remote. With Hue TV, you can turn lights on or off, control bulbs individually or as a group, change the color and brightness of the lights, set your favorite scenes, and more. You can even select colors directly from your television screen that you want to mimic with your lighting!
You can purchase Hue TV for under $3 on the Apple TV App Store.
Lightbow for Philips Hue, LIFX, Belkin WeMo
Lightbow has consistently been one of the most popular home automation apps for iOS, and it’s now also available for Apple TV users. Though one of the priciest ones on this list, Lightbow is one of the few apps able to control connected light bulbs from multiple companies, including Philips Hue, LIFX, and Belkin WeMo.
The Lightbow app (around $4) offers colorful starter packs to help you to set the mood in your home. Many of these are seasonal, including ones for Halloween and Christmas, while others revolve around a theme such as the Space Exploration pack.
Additional starter packs are available by making an in-app purchase. Or you can unlock all of them by purchasing a yearly Lightbow membership.
Looking for even more customization? Consider animating a short lighting sequence, transitioning between settings through crossfades or flashbulbs, or activating a sequence using a countdown trigger.
Apple TV Apps for Networking
Without a home Wi-Fi network, you couldn’t connect to the outside digital world. That would mean no video streaming, web surfing, or, in most cases, smart appliances or devices. In other words, when your home network is down, there’s not much you can do. The following Apple TV apps should help keep your network running smoothly for many years to come.
Speedtest by Ookla has been a popular web service since at least 2006. The app provides a free analysis of internet access performance metrics. Originally only available at Speedtest.net, the service measures the bandwidth (speed) and latency of a visitor’s internet connection against servers around the world.
Have a slow connection? Speedtest will let you know.
Besides being free, the best part of Speedtest is its ease of use. Whether through a mobile device or Apple TV, Speedtest is always there for you to help you lead the way. Pick it up on the Apple TV App Store today and never wonder again about your internet connection’s relative speed.
For those looking for a more advanced networking tool for Apple TV, consider Air Discover. Described as a professional network scanner utility, the app automatically detects network devices and services. In doing so, it helps you to resolve networking issues and find unnecessary and possibly dangerous networking services in a home or office environment.
With Air Discover, you can view DNS servers, search domain names, show default gateways and VPN connections, and much more.
You can purchase Air Discover for Apple TV (around $4) from the Apple TV App Store.
Apple TV Apps for Home Security and Cameras
The Apple TV is a great new way to review your security cameras while in your home. And, because of Apple TV’s small size, you could also take it with you while travelling and monitor what’s going on while you’re away.
Canary offers some of the best smart home security systems on the market, offering both indoor and outdoor cameras. Thanks to the Canary Apple TV app, you can live stream from your camera, as well as watch the recordings saved to your timeline.
The free Canary Apple TV app also allows you to monitor every metric captured by Canary’s HomeHealth data, including room temperature, humidity, and air quality.
A Canary starter pack is priced at around $350 from the official Canary online store. It includes one Canary and one Canary Flex.
The Apple TV Nokia Home Cam app provides similar features for customers using its Home Cam. With the free companion Apple TV app, you can view HD video streams from your home with a 130-degree wide angle and high-quality infrared night vision.
You can also take advantage of the advanced kid and baby monitor features the Home Cam provides.
The Nokia Home Cam – Video & Air Quality Monitor app allows you to view up to four cameras from your Apple TV at the same time. Like Canary, you can also access real-time air quality feedback to help keep your environment free of harmful toxins.
Apple TV Apps for More Control
Would you rather limit the number of Apple TV apps you use perform various tasks? While there still isn’t a complete all-in-one smart home solution for Apple TV, there are at least two apps moving in that direction.
Looming for Easy Home Automation With HomeKit
Looming offers compatibility for some of the most popular smart home products on the market. These include Apple HomeKit-compatible devices, such as: Phillips Hue lights, August Smart locks, Nanoleaf lights, Netatmo thermostats, and more.
With the Looming Apple TV app, you can create scenes for single-tap automation for use with the Apple TV remote or with Siri.
Automation examples include:
- Turning off the kitchen light every Saturday at 8.00pm.
- Closing the window shutters every night right after sunset.
- Running the bedroom fan whenever the temperature exceeds 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Looming is around $2 in the Apple TV App Store.
Master Switch for Hue, HomeKit, LIFX, Belkin WeMo
With Master Switch, you can control lights, switches, and other smart home products from Apple’s “hobby” device, including Philips Hue, LIFX, Belkin WeMo, and Apple HomeKit.
Features include the ability to dim individual or group lights, delay on/off actions for switched devices such as air conditioners, and more. While it’s not as pretty as Looming, this app is the perfect solution for users looking for simple automations or crafting complex scenes.
Like Looming, Master Switch is around $2 on the Apple TV App Store.
Lots of Promise
As you can see, your Apple TV does a lot more than allow you to watch Netflix or your favorite movie. You can also use it to control your smart home devices such as lights, security cameras and more.
The fourth- and fifth-generation Apple TV is available through Apple with prices starting at around $150 for the 32GB model.
What are your favorite apps for your Apple TV? Let us know using the comments below.