"Insteon's HomeKit Hub still has room to grow"
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Insteon's HomeKit Hub still has room to grow
Hey, I'm Ry Crist here in the CNET smart home kitchen with a review of the Homekit enabled Insteon Hub Pro.
The Insteon Hub Pro is a smart home controller.
Now, it's got Apple Homekit built in so what that means is that you'll be able to control it on your iOS device using those controls that are baked right in to To iOS 8 and iOS 9.
Like existing versions of the Insteon hub, you'll plug it into your router and then it'll speak to Insteon devices using Insteon's proprietary dual-band network.
From there you'll be able to turn those devices on and off using your phone, or turn them on and off using Using Siri thanks to the assist from home kit.
So just for a quick demo, if I asked Siri, turn on the kitchen light.
The light comes right on.
You can also group devices in specific rooms or zones.
So if you wanted all the devices in your living room to turn off or you wanted the All the devices downstairs to turn off, you can do that all in the app.
Now, I think the app is pretty well-designed.
It's simple and it's not too hard to navigate.
It's got nice icons that you can choose for each device that are very specific.
A lot of options there, so you can kinda make it your own.
I like that they even animate some of them.
This desk fan one will start spinning whenever I turn my desk fan on, so A very nice looking app.
It was also very simple to get the system up and running.
I plugged the hub into the router and enter its info into the Insteon app and just in a few minutes, I was ready to go.
Adding devices was a little more tedious when I screwed the bulb in.
[UNKNOWN] or added a lamp switch, sometimes it wouldn't register during the adding process.
It scans and sweeps with this radar animation but I'd often get an error message or failure notification, only to find out that it actually had paired successfully.
So in the end not a huge deal but a little glitchy.
So all in all it's a simple start if you wanna get into Apple's HomeKit version of the smart home.
The problem is that it's not quite as expansive as past [UNKNOWN] products.
You can't use all of Insteon's devices with this new Hub Pro.
You can only use Insteon light bulbs and on-off switches and dimmer switches, which is great for lighting and appliance control.
But there's no support for motion sensors and leak sensors, smoke detectors, wireless thermostats, cameras.
A lot of that stuff you could do with Insteon before, it's just not here now.
However, you should be able to control other home kit enabled devices.
As Apple adds more of them under its fold.
So this is a system that could get a lot better as time goes on.
But right now, I probably recommend waiting and seeing how much better things get before buying in.
For more, including how the update to iOS 9 might make this system a lot better, check out my full review at cnet.com, along with the rest of our coverage here in the CNET smart home.
For CNET appliances, I'm Ry Crist.
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