If you’ve got smart home stuff hooked up to HomeKit, like smart lights, plugs, or locks, you know how convenient it is to control from your iPhone or iPad. But it’s also a little annoying to have to leave whatever app you’re in, then find and launch the Home app, just to check the status of something or turn off a light.
In iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, Apple has made this a lot easier. You can add HomeKit to Control Center to see a selection of your favorites right there, one swipe away, without having to leave the app you’re in. Here’s how it works.
Adding Home items to Control Center
To add HomeKit items in Control Center, you’ll need to flip a toggle in Settings.
Open the Settings app.
Tap Control Center.
Toggle the switch that says Show Home Controls.
Using Home items in Control Center
To access Control Center on an iPhone that has Face ID or an iPad, swipe down from the upper right edge. To access control center on an iPhone that has a Touch ID, swipe up from the bottom edge.
You’ll find a couple rows of frequently used Home items there along with a button labeled Home Favorites. You can see the status of those devices, or tap that Favorites button to look at all the devices you have set as Favorites in the Home app. See their status, toggle them, or long-press on controls to see more options.
Changing Home Favorites
Accessing your HomeKit devices from Control Center requires them to be in your list of Favorites. If the device you want isn’t there (or if your Favorites list is has stuff you don’t want in it), you’ll have to go into the Home app to fix it.
Open the Home app.
Tap Rooms at the bottom of the screen.
Swipe left or right between rooms until you find the device you want to change.
Long-press on the device to bring up its detailed controls.
Tap the gear icon in the lower right to access that device’s settings.
Look for the Include in Favorites toggle.
You’ll have to add devices to your Favorites in order to access them from Control Center, and you can trim your Favorites list to remove items you don’t want cluttering it up.
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I have written professionally about technology for my entire adult professional life - over 20 years. I like to figure out how complicated technology works and explain it in a way anyone can understand.