Apple’s Home app takes a step back in iOS 13 beta

Apple’s Home app has regressed in usability in iOS 13 beta.

Zac Hall writes for 9to5Mac:

Apple is upgrading HomeKit this fall with new features like Secure Video and expanded automation, but it’s not all good news for Apple’s smart home framework. The Home app where users manage the smart home experience makes one design choice that is likely meant to make it more approachable. In practice, the change degrades the experience for a whole category of HomeKit products.

In iOS 12, each accessory is presented as its own tile even if it’s part of a single product. This can result in a single HomeKit product populating the Home app with a half dozen tiles. Apple’s Home app treats products with multiple accessories different in iOS 13. One product is one tile even if it includes two or more accessories… Any useful information has been grouped into a single tile with no sensor data. Glanceable data is gone, requiring an interaction to actually see what those sensors are presenting…

Why did Apple make this change? The idea is logical. One product should have one tile that can be expanded to show every included accessory. It reduces the tile count and clears up which accessories belong to which products in your home. The current answer being tested in each iOS 13 beta so far doesn’t appear to be the correct solution however. Glanceable information is removed and very different types of accessories are squeezed together.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple should provide users with the ability to break apart tiles into separate accessory tiles if that setup serves them better with glanceable data or just simply to allow user-defined organization schemes. Check out all of Hall’s screenshots here to see what the issue is.


  1. MDN brings up a nice idea. Something similar to how App drawers (each accessory a separate tile) and the Desktop (place any tile you’re interested in seeing) work for Android. That type of UI would also likely allow user re-ordering of the tiles. If you go further you could optionally create ‘folders’ in which to group similar accessories from different appliances.

    1. Agreed the principle of one tile for one product containing its associated accessories is the right one expecially as the number of products and accessories will rise so fast over the years. The building confusion otherwise would make the whole set up increasingly unusable. But yes some flexibility to break with the general rule to suit individual tastes and product needs, would undoubtedly be a serious bonus too for many. Hopefully that will come in the future.

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