We forgot to tell you about a tool that could be used to diagnose HomeKit weak signal issues previously, but now there is an app called HomeScan built specifically for the purpose.
Aaron Pearce, the maker of the HomeCam and HomePass apps, has today took a step forward in expanding his Apple’s HomeKit utility suite with HomeScan. It helps find signal week errors for your Bluetooth HomeKit smart home accessories. You can quickly identify weak spots and find a better place for your essential smart HomeKit accessories in your home.
If you one of those living in the future like so many of us are thanks to HomeKit and the accessories that are designed to work in and around Apple’s semi-walled garden, well, aware of how delightful things can be when they work as intended.
But unfortunately, things do not always work that way perfectly, especially when you are using HomeKit devices on a non-standard home network environment, or one that includes a lot of devices strewn across a sizeable home. Connectivity can be a real headache, as can diagnosing any issues.
To figure out that you have to pay for that. It costs $0.99 and is called HomeScan. Available to download from the App Store right now immediately.
- Improve your HomeKit accessories signal strength – Use HomeScan to optimally place your Bluetooth accessories within your home, reducing latency issues and signal interference. Peak and average signal strength allow you to diagnose existing devices, while the graph shows you signal strength over a set period of time.
- Use it with your HomePod or Apple TV – Simply place your device on your HomeKit Hub, choose the accessory you wish to diagnose then watch the signal strength shown on the display.
- Take it on the go with the Apple Watch app – Take the signal strength meter on the go with the included Apple Watch app to find the best location to put that door sensor.
- Audible readouts for ease of use – HomeScan can call out the current signal strength audibly to guide you through placing your device.
HomeScan lets users diagnose signal issues while also working to improve the responsiveness of the HomeKit iPhone connected to their homes. While not quite a magic bullet, after all, it’s a very good start towards at least figuring out where the issues may lie.
A quick recap of how HomeKit accessories connect: some accessories rely on their own protocols, such as Zigbee. For instance, the Philips Hue light bulb talks to Hue accessories over the Zigbee protocol connects to the home Wi-Fi router via Ethernet and communicates over Wireless with HomeKit clients like your iOS device or Apple TV. As long as you have strong WiFi coverage across your rooms, you are set.
If a connection is weak, it will take a while for the accessory to respond to HomeKit requests. If a device cannot connect at all, it’ll simply show up in the Home with a ‘No Response’ status.
There’s not really a good way to diagnose the issue using Apple’s built-in apps. HomeScan attempts to fill that gap by displaying a dashboard of the signal strength of Bluetooth accessories as you move around your home, in real time. Using HopmeScan, you should very much be able to notice that a connection to a sensor is poor and either move it to a new location or bring a home hub closer to it.
Technically, HomeScan will show connectivity strength for all nearby Bluetooth devices. It does its best guess to match what it finds with the HomeKit accessories registered to your home, but you can manually assign them if the automatic linking fails.
At less than a dollar, we think this would be well worth trying out, particularly when you have ever had to deal with the utter frustration an unreliable HomeKit system can be. Best deal today is, look at Elgato Eve accessories! These connect directly to iOS devices and HomeKit hubs like Apple TV and HomePod. Bluetooth range is generally quite wide but can degrade due to thick walls or interference with appliances.
(Download: HomeScan for iPhone, iPad on App Store)