How to customize the Home app in iOS 16

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Apple’s new Home app in iOS 16 has a new interface for controlling accessories. How to customize the Home app to have a personalized smart home experience.

The new Home app is different. The groupings have changed, as has the flow of control for each individual accessory on the iPhone or iPad.

Here’s how to organize and reorganize your HomeKit accessories by room, set wallpapers per room, merge multiple accessories, and set scenes in the new Home app.

How to add devices to favorites

You may have multiple accessories that span multiple rooms in your home. To keep the most important accessories in one place, Apple offers a Favorites section for those accessories.

How to add your most important accessories to favorites.

  1. open that home apartment
  2. Go to the Home page (the tab where all your accessories are visible)
  3. hold down on the accessory you want to add to favorites for a second or two until a menu appears
  4. Tap on Accessory Details in the menu
  5. A pop-up screen appears with more options for the accessories. Tap the settings icon at the bottom right of the screen.
  6. Find Add to favourites section
  7. Flip the switch ON
  8. Press the “x” top right of the menu when done

The accessory then appears in the favorites area and also remains in the room to which it was originally assigned.

How to reorganize devices in a room

Accessories added to a room are placed in the order they were added – which may not be ideal.

  1. open that home apartment
  2. Either go to the home tab or the Specific Room you want to reorganize
  3. hold down on any of the accessories in the room for a second or two until a menu appears
  4. Tap on Edit Home View from the menu. Once you tap on it, the accessory tiles will start moving and go inside wobble mode.
  5. Select and drag the device you want to move and place it where you want it in the room
  6. When you tap an accessory tile, a appears zoom in or zoom out Row of arrows in the top-right corner of the accessory tile. This will either make the tile bigger or smaller depending on the original shape.
  7. Beat Finished at the top right of the screen if you have changed the order of the accessories

Rearranging the accessory tiles within a room is like rearranging apps or widgets on your device’s home screen.

You can only move accessories within the room they are assigned to. You cannot move other accessories to different rooms in this mode.

How to change the background of any room

For further customization, you can also change the background of the room where your accessories are placed. How to change background for any photo you want.

  1. Tap the More options button (the circle with three dots) at the top right of the screen
  2. Choose Room for which you want to change the background
  3. Tap the More options button again
  4. Choose room settings
  5. A settings box will appear and you can scroll down until you see that room wallpaper section
  6. You can take either one current photo to make it your background or use one existing photo either in your camera roll or the photos that Apple offers
  7. After you have made a selection, position how the photo should look like as the background of the room
  8. Beat Sentence bottom right if everything looks good
  9. Beat Finished at the top right of the settings panel if everything is to your liking
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Choosing a room (left), room adjustment settings (middle), and background positioning (right)

Adding a personalized background to each room gives it a different feel and vibe when you control it. Backgrounds can be changed to any photo you want at any time.

How to group devices

When setting up your smart home, you may have multiple smart accessories that work together and rely on each other. This can be a smart lamp that contains a smart lightbulb and you want both to turn on at the same time.

Apple allows you to merge multiple devices so Actions are more streamlined and meaningful to use.

How to assemble multiple accessories to work together

  1. hold down on one of the accessories you want to connect to others for a second or two until the menu appears
  2. Tap on Accessory Details
  3. Tap the settings icon at the bottom right of the pop-up window
  4. Scroll down to group section
  5. Tap on Group with other accessories
  6. Tap the Accesories You want to group together
  7. Name the group it has all the accessories in it
  8. Tap on Finished at the top right of the screen when you have selected all the accessories you want to group

How to get to the accessory details (left), the accessory panel (middle) and the accessory settings panel (right)

This assembles all the accessories in the group into one accessory tile. Tapping inside this tile reveals all options for the accessory in the group.

How to disassemble a group of accessories

  1. hold down on the accessory tile until the menu appears
  2. Tap on Accessory Details
  3. scroll down to the bottom Accessory Details until you see Ungroup accessories
  4. Tap on it and confirm that you want to keep all the accessories

Each accessory then becomes its own tile again, where it can be controlled individually.

How to set scenes

Setting scenes allows you to run multiple accessories at the same time for different occasions. How to set up a scene in the Home app.

  1. open that home apartment
  2. Tap the plus icon at the top right of the screen
  3. Tap on Add scene
  4. Choose either a Suggested Scene or type custom to create your own scene from scratch
  5. Whichever you choose, tap Add accessories to select which accessories to control when the scene is activated
  6. Beat Finished top right when selecting the accessory to be controlled by the scene
  7. You can decide whether you want a specific accessory switched on or off when the scene is on. If the accessories can change colors (like a lightbulb) then you can choose what color to set it to. You can also decide which ones radio plays – or the volume is set – if you have connected a medical device.
  8. Beat Finished when everything is set

Settings to add (left), new scene options (middle), and scene icon customization (right)

If you select “Custom” when setting up your scenes, you can give them a personalized name and choose which icon goes with it. You can choose the image and color of the icon.

Keep building your smart home

The updates that Apple has rolled out to its Home app have made the application more user-friendly and intuitive, allowing you to see and control what’s happening with just a few taps and at a glance.

With the Home app you can manage an organized and personalized smart home right from your iPhone, iPad and/or Mac.

The new Home app and its features are now available in iOS 16. The updates will also come to iPadOS 16.1 and macOS Ventura.

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