You know you can turn on HomeKit accessories by talking to Siri, but are you aware that you can just as easily order devices to turn on or off at some point in the future?
Here’s how to set up improvised layouts for your HomeKit accessories using the Siri command.
For temporary schedules
The Apple Home app allows you to automate when lights, heaters, fans, etc. turn on and off. But that’s for the schedules you stick to every day. It’s too bulky for something you only want to do once.
Suppose you are a little cold and turn on the space heater. But you want to make sure you don’t forget how the heater works all day and has a nasty electricity bill. You can tell Siri to turn off the heater in 30 minutes (as long as it’s powered by HomeKit, of course). Or at 2:30 p.m.
How to schedule HomeKit accessories with voice commands
Voice commands for setting up improvised schedules for your HomeKit accessories are intuitive. Basically, it’s about knowing it’s you I can do this.
For example, you say, “Hey Siri, turn on the light in the living room in 15 minutes.” This can apply to individual accessories or the whole room. Or, of course, you can say that extras / rooms are excluded.
Siri can even create an all-day schedule. You can compose verbal commands so that, say, the light turns on at noon, then turns off at 2 p.m., and then again at 5 p.m. If you really want to stretch things, the commands can be a few days in advance. You can say, for example, use “Hey Siri, turn on the kitchen at 8 a.m. next Tuesday.”
Know the limitations
What do I think if as a useful command it is not currently supported. Siri can no handle “Turn on the lamp for 15 minutes.” If you try, Siri will include an add-on in 15 minutes – the opposite of what you want. The command must be divided into two commands: “Hey Siri, turn on the lamp,” pause, then “Hey Siri, turn off the lamp in 15 minutes.”
And you can’t pre-schedule a change to your HomeKit thermostat using Siri. Also, my testing didn’t show a way to use Siri to set up music or podcasts to play at some point in the future.
But the biggest limitation in all of this is that there seems to be no way to view or edit changes to HomeKit posted via Siri. If you use verbal commands to create a temporary schedule, then it will be implemented. I can’t find a way to change that or even see what’s set. So don’t tell your naughty child about this trick – he can set up any light in the house except his to turn on at 4 in the morning and there’s no way you know that before you wake up.
Don’t use it too much
Just to be clear, this is not your only option for scheduling your HomeKit accessories. As mentioned earlier, the Apple Home app has a complete system that allows you to plan your accessories.
Verbal Siri commands only serve to add flexibility to temporary changes. If you find yourself giving the same Siri command at the same time every day, consider automation through the Home app. Unless you really like talking to your smart home.
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