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Apple takes on porch pirates with package alerts. How the new security feature works

A new feature that works with Apple-compatible security cameras will notify you when a package is delivered.

Security cameras and video doorbells that work with Apple's HomeKit platform are getting a new feature later this year. 
Chris Monroe/CNET

This story is part of WWDC 2022, CNET's complete coverage from and about Apple's annual developers conference.

Having a delivery or Amazon package left at your front door used to be something we all felt comfortable with, but with package theft becoming more common, it can feel like you're at risk of losing your stuff. Instead of worrying about whether or not a driver will ring your doorbell, Apple says that security cameras that work with its platform will soon detect when a package is delivered, and alert you. 

Some video doorbells, like Nest Aware, already do this. And soon Apple will add the same type of feature to its smart home platform, HomeKit, that will allow compatible security cameras like the Eve Cam and video doorbells like the Logitech Circle View to send you alerts when a package is left at your door.

The new capability is part of updates to the iPhone and Apple TV's software. It will roll out alongside iOS 15 and TVOS 15 this fall, which is currently available as a developer beta. Below I'll walk you through what you need and how to use the feature once it's available.

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You'll need a compatible camera and an Apple TV or HomePod Mini

If you already have a security camera, you'll want to check to see if it works with Apple's HomeKit Secure Video platform. Apple has a list of compatible cameras on this HomeKit page. Scroll to the camera section and look through the list for cameras with a dot next to them. That dot indicates they work with the detection features. 

In addition to a compatible camera, you'll also need to have an Apple TV or HomePod Mini somewhere in your home and on the same Wi-Fi network. Either device acts as a hub to relay your camera feed, trigger alerts and record video and send it to Apple. 


An Apple TV or HomePod Mini act as a hub for HomeKit, ensuring you always receive alerts and your devices stay online. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

How to turn package alerts on using Apple HomeKit

The option to tell your HomeKit camera to watch and alert you of delivered packages will be found in the same spot that the option to receive alerts for animals, people or vehicles are found. More specifically, you'll need to go into the Home app, open the camera you want to enable the feature on and tap on the Settings gear.


What happens when you get a package alert?

When your camera detects a package has been left within its field of view, you'll receive a notification on your Apple devices, with a picture of the package (taken from your security camera, of course) and where it was placed.

If you're not home, you could then ask a neighbor to grab it off your porch, or if you're home, you can run out to retrieve your delivery. 

The new delivery feature is just one of many improvements Apple announced at WWDC 2021. The Apple Watch is getting a new Portrait watch face, you can now track down your lost AirPods even after you've walked away and the iPhone is getting some cool new FaceTime features, as well.\