Learn how to reuse an iPad as a HomeKit dashboard

Article Hero PictureLearn how to reuse an iPad as a HomeKit dashboard

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If in case you have a spare iPad of practically any make or mannequin, you’ll be able to mount it on a wall and use it to manage your HomeKit units. Here is how.

It could be an costly job shopping for, say, a 12.9-inch iPad Professional simply so you might have a touchscreen gentle swap in your den. But when you have already got a spare iPad, even one among up to a couple years outdated, then it is higher to get some use out of it than not.

And you will get glorious use by turning that iPad right into a dashboard. Mount it someplace useful, and have it all the time present you helpful data, starting from a clock to offering HomeKit buttons.

There are various completely different apps you should use if you get to deciding what data or controls to show, however no matter your wants, you’ve gotten the identical issues for the {hardware}.

True, you might prop an outdated iPad up in your desk and it might be fairly helpful. However to make a real dashboard, that you must mount that iPad on the wall.

That instantly means three issues. You must resolve what wall it could be greatest on, then bodily affix it to that, then run energy to it.

It is clearly as much as you the place you mount the iPad dashboard however you are not going to pop it up in a visitor bed room. Have it by your entrance door, have it in your front room, or have it in your kitchen.

Select a degree in your home or workplace the place it is possible for you to to see what it reveals you. And select a degree the place you’ll be able to and can faucet buttons on it.

If you must rise up to cross your workplace to press a button to activate the lights, you are not going to do this. You are simply going to make use of Siri.

Mounts for iPads

There are numerous mounts for popping your iPad up on a wall. Purely as one single instance, check out the Dockem Koala Pill Wall Mount which prices about $15 on Amazon.

This includes two small plastic tabs that you simply place on the wall, after which slide your iPad into. You do must get the place proper in order that the iPad goes in neatly, however this sort of mount helps you to simply take away the iPad, too.

Notice that the iPad is just resting in a mount, it can be removed easily. Also notice the right-angled Lightning connector
Discover that the iPad is simply resting in a mount, it may be eliminated simply. Additionally discover the right-angled Lightning connector

So for those who all of the sudden want that iPad for work, it is not an issue.

An issue is powering it. Whereas iPad batteries final a very long time, you are speaking hours reasonably than days or years.

Consequently, you must run energy to the iPad. The smartest trying approach is to have the iPad wired into the wall.

That tends to make it tougher to rapidly take away, however it additionally completely requires a educated electrician. Do not electrocute your self simply to have a HomeKit dashboard.

Alternatively, you’ll be able to simply use a Lightning cable (or a USB-C one for newer iPads). Get one with a right-angled connector in order that it suits snugly in opposition to the iPad as a substitute of protruding, and it may look neat sufficient.

Selecting your dashboard software program

9 years in the past, the reply would have been Panic Software program’s Standing Board, and there was no level on the lookout for anything. However Panic closed down that app and whereas there are actually very many dashboard apps, perhaps none are fairly as versatile, fairly as engaging, as Sound Board was.

The apps have fragmented, too. Whereas we’re taking a look at HomeKit ones, you will get a extra basic function data show, or you are able to do a really deep-dive into enterprise gross sales knowledge in your firm.

Normal function dashboards

Should you simply need a clock, calendar, and perhaps a Twitter feed, you will get Dashkit for iPad. This requires iOS 14.4 or later, and is a free obtain.

You can have a general purpose dashboard with basic information, here using Dashkit
You possibly can have a basic function dashboard with fundamental data, right here utilizing Dashkit

It is a beneficiant obtain, too, with most of its options completely accessible within the free one. There are some bugs with its calendar, which does not refresh day by day for some purpose.

However there’s additionally a professional model that prices $8 per 12 months, and among the many only a few extras you get for subscribing, is the flexibility to combine with the AppFigures enterprise service.

Enterprise knowledge

Dashkit for iPad works with this AppFigures service, however Numerics is a extra highly effective, all-round enterprise dashboard. It, too, is a subscription, and prices $99 per 12 months.

What that will get you is real-time, up to date enterprise knowledge similar to what number of YouTube subscribers you’ve gotten, or breaks down the gross sales totals for every of your devoted gross sales group.

Related data to do with your online business and what your employees have on their plates can also be accessible through Monday.com.

But it surely’s HomeKit that the iPad dashboard was actually made for.

HomeKit dashboards

You will have numerous selections for HomeKit dashboard apps, however usually that alternative facilities round both performance, or aesthetics. There are some horrible trying dashboards accessible on the App Retailer.

Since that is one thing that is going in your wall all day, it could be greatest if it regarded good.

Home+ 5
Residence+ 5

Residence+ 5

Have a look first at Residence+ 5. This can be a $14.99 app for iPad and iPhone that’s meant to interchange Apple’s Residence app, and it does so by being noticeably simpler and faster to navigate.

You could possibly run Residence+5 by itself, or you might use iPadOS’s Cut up View, having it on one facet of the display screen and Apple’s Residence app on the opposite.

Residence+ 5 is sweet for if you do numerous interacting along with your HomeKit units, when you’re working scenes or turning on lights manually. It is arguably greatest at this, and undoubtedly handiest, in its iPhone model.

You can use Split View to have, as here, Apple's Home on one side, and Home+ 5 on the other
You should utilize Cut up View to have, as right here, Apple’s Residence on one facet, and Residence+ 5 on the opposite

However have it as a dashboard in your wall and you’ll rapidly see what lights are on, what doorways are locked, or you’ll be able to immediately see the view out of your cameras.


Residence+ 5 can be a set of controls which are sufficiently big and clear sufficient, that they will act as a dashboard. HomeDash is an iPad app that prices $9.99, and which places presentation first.

It has loads of controls and choices, it may be your one-stop HomeKit management system, however it concentrates on how effectively it will probably current data and controls.

HomeDash would not have the obvious system for selecting components like gentle switches or cameras, and it takes time to discover ways to reposition components you need.

HomeDash is a good looking, customizable HomeKit dashboard
HomeDash is an efficient trying, customizable HomeKit dashboard

However you’ll be able to look on the dashboard and see the state of all of your HomeKit units and their batteries. You may get a clock and calendar, and you’ll combine views from any or your entire safety cameras.

Viz Designer

At $25, that is the costliest single-purchase dashboard, however it’s additionally by far probably the most customizable.

Viz Designer is a mixed iPad and Mac app. You get the iPad to show as many various dashboards as you need — you’ll be able to have a distinct one for each room in your home — however you utilize the Mac to set it up.

On the Mac, Viz Designer resembles a picture editor in how one can drag completely different components, resize them, and even overlay them.

Viz Designer is a Mac app that lets you design intricate HomeKit dashboards that you then display on your iPad
Viz Designer is a Mac app that allows you to design intricate HomeKit dashboards that you simply then show in your iPad

It takes time to make a dashboard

When you’ve gotten a spare iPad, it would not take lengthy to bodily mount it on the wall. It additionally would not take lengthy in any respect to search out dashboard apps.

It does take some time so that you can discover one that’s the proper mixture of exhibiting you the knowledge you want, the HomeKit controls you need, and which will not look terrible in your wall.

Even if you hit the prefect mixture of those for you, it may take weeks earlier than you are utterly completely satisfied. You’ll fiddle with layouts, and you’ll hold altering simply what data is there.

However you’ll be able to.

And what’s extra, as soon as you have had an iPad dashboard up in your wall, you may begin interested by different issues you are able to do with it — which we’ll be speaking about later.

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