We recently published a comprehensive buying guide on smart home cameras — here — and one of the big takeaways, at least for me, was that there weren’t actually that many options that work with Apple’s HomeKit. None of the most popular smart home cameras by Nest or Ring work with HomeKit, for example, and neither did Arlo’s newest battery-powered cameras. Why?
It’s unknown when or if HomeKit support will ever arrive for Nest and Ring cameras, and it’s because of a pretty obvious reason: Nest and Ring are each owned by Google and Amazon, respectively, Apple’s biggest smart home competitors. As for Arlo and other camera manufacturers, it appears that Apple making a more concerted effort to open up its smart home ecosystem. In the past, Apple required all HomeKit-supported cameras to have a wired connection. That meant that Arlo and some other prominent third-party cameras were out of luck. But, it appears that Apple is becoming more lenient on that stance.
At the end of August, it was announced that Arlo’s Pro and Pro 2 cameras, both of which are a few years old, would gain HomeKit support. And as of yesterday, Arlo rolled out an update to its high-end line of Arlo Ultra cameras to support HomeKit. (You can read the press release, here.) HomeKit support for the Arlo Pro 3, the company’s slightly newer and more affordable cameras, is still yet to roll out, but it’s expected to arrive very soon.
Other companies are taking advantage of Apple’s more lenient HomeKit stance, too. Anker’s smart home division, Eufy, just announced the EufyCam 2, it’s own updated line of smart home cameras — and the big feature is HomeKit support. The EufyCam 2 is a system of battery-powered cameras, like Arlo’s offerings, but the big differences have to do with price and battery life. You’ll be able to pre-order a two-camera EufyCam 2 bundle, which includes the required smart hub, next month for just $349. Alternatively, an Arlo Pro 3 two-camera bundle costs $500. And each EufyCam 2 camera has 360-day battery life, which is huge. Like most other security cameras, each EufyCam 2 camera can capture 1080p videos and has night vision. They’ll be compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant as well.
The big advantage of having HomeKit support for all these cameras is that it makes monitoring your smart home easier for all iPhone users. It allows them to access 24/7 live feeds straight from the Home app, instead of having to open a third-party app, and they can even use Siri voice commands; for example, you could say “Hey Siri, show me the front door” and you’ll summon a live feed from your camera right on your iPhone, iPad or Mac. If you have an Apple TV, you can access live camera feeds on your home television, too.
For a larger list of smart home cameras that work with Apple’s HomeKit, click the link below.