What is Apple Home? What is Apple HomeKit?

TP-Link Devices with HomeKit and Apple Home

7603f849ab4e4c7985639831f0e0e4f1Over the last year, the number of Apple Home-compatible devices has rapidly expanded, whether through official HomeKit Support or the new Matter Protocol.

We are even beginning to see the release of HomeKit-compatible cameras, such as the C225, C125, or the upcoming Tapo Smart Door Lock, first seen at CES this year.  


What is Apple Home and Apple HomeKit?

Apple manages both Apple Home and Apple HomeKit and requires that Devices undergo rigorous testing to prove compatibility and have additional features meant to streamline the Apple Home experience.

Devices using Apple’s technology will have the following certified badge, indicating that they have been tested and conform to the Standards set for the platform. 


Apple Home is the Smart Home platform developed by Apple. It aims to provide a local ‘command center’ for all your devices, regardless of brand.

Apple HomeKit is the framework and system behind Apple Home that allows manufacturers to create compatible devices that can be added to the Apple Home App.

Apple HomeKit Secure Video (HSV) is an additional tier of compatibility for cameras. When compatible, the cameras can record their footage to iCloud and use the detection algorithms of your Apple Home Hubs while maintaining an elevated level of security and privacy.


How Does Apple Home Communicate with My Devices?

Apple HomeKit uses your local network to communicate with and control your devices directly instead of requiring an active internet connection to the cloud. To accomplish this, you must have a compatible HomeKit Hub from Apple on your network.

These hubs come in many forms, and you may already have one in your home, whether it be a TV, Apple TV, or Home Pod.

Apple FAQ: Learn How to Set Up Your HomePod, HomePod Mini, or AppleTV as an Apple Home Hub




What Tapo and Kasa Devices work with the Apple Home App?

The Apple Home app is compatible with two types of devices from Tapo and Kasa:

  • Devices Designated as HomeKitCompatible or Compatible with Apple Home
  • Devices Designated as MatterCompatible or MatterCertified




Smart Plugs

P125, P125M, P400M, P135 KIT, P306

EP40A, KP125, EP25, KP125M, EP40M

Smart Cameras

C125, C225, TC73


Smart Lights

L535E, L930


Smart Switches and Dimmers

S505, S505D

KS200, KS220, KS240; KS205, KS225

Smart Sensors and Hubs

T100, T110, T300, T310/T315



What is the Difference Between Matter and Apple HomeKit?

While the Apple Home platform supports adding Matter Devices and Bridges, these devices are separate from designated “Compatible with Apple Home” devices; despite potentially similar features, such as local communication between devices.7d149e7cdb304fe3b6b7266a2a2ccc41

The Matter Protocol is a cross-industry effort to streamline IoT networking, while Apple HomeKit is a proprietary technology for connecting and controlling devices.

  • Standard vs Platform: Matter is a standard, while HomeKit is a platform. This means that any company and app can implement Matter, while HomeKit is exclusive to devices for the Apple Home App.
  • Compatibility: Matter devices will work with any Matter-compatible platform, while HomeKit devices only work with Apple devices.
  • Features: Both Matter and HomeKit offer a range of features, but HomeKit currently offers a wider range of advanced features due to how recently Matter was released.

Hubs or Border Routers such as the H100 can be used to “Bridge” your Sub-G Sensors to the Apple Home App, but this is only possible due to Apple’s support for Matter Bridging and is separate from HomeKit Compatibility.

If you are heavily invested in the Apple Ecosystem and use Apple Home for your Smart Devices, you can choose either Apple Home Compatible or Matter devices for your home.

Bridging Your Tapo Sub-G Hub and Sensors to Another Platform

*Note: Features Depend on Both the Platform and Protocol, HomeKit Devices will have different features than Matter Devices added to te Apple Home Platform.

What is Apple Home Secure Video?


Apple’s HomeKit Secure Video is an additional ‘tier’ of compatibility for cameras that requires additional features such as end-to-end encryption and is ensured to be fully compatible with the Apple Home ecosystem.

On the right, you can see the additional detection and notification features made available to cameras in the Apple Home app using HomeKit Secure Video.

Currently, two Tapo cameras are available for use with HSV, the Tapo C125 and C225/TC73, and more devices and cameras are coming soon!

(Please Note that HSV may require an additional subscription to take advantage of the features such as Cloud Storage.)


Why Should I Integrate My Devices with Apple Home?

  • Centralized Control of All Your Smart Home Devices in One Familiar Interface
  • Improved Control of Devices via Siri Integration, other Apple Devices and Voice Assistants
  • Trigger Scenes and Automations Across Multiple Brands of Devices
  • Local Control of Devices via your Existing Apple Devices, TVs, Hubs, and Speakers.


Can I Use the Tapo App to Manage My Devices?

Yes, you can first add your devices to the Tapo App and use the option in the upper right for “Add to Home” which will start the process of adding the device to your Apple Home. If you are experiencing problems when adding the device directly to the Apple Home, it is recommended to use this process. If the device is added to Apple Home first, you will see a “preconfigured” device in the Tapo app, ready to be added to your home.


Ready to Start Using Your TP-Link Devices with Apple Home?

How to Set Up Your Apple HomeKit Compatible Tapo or Kasa Devices


Other options exist for adding devices to Apple Home, whether through a bridge or proxy server. However, these configuration methods are not officially supported by Apple or TP-Link. We would be more than happy to see how you are using these services, but we cannot provide support or guarantee a device’s function when used in this way.

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Never tried Apple Home before, thanks for the article!

I did not know that any Tapo cameras supported HomeKit Secure Video. This is great news!