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Belkin’s Linksys brand has confirmed that it is now rolling out support for HomeKit integration to users of the Linksys Velop Tri-Band mesh routers. This gives Velop users additional security controls over the smart home accessories connected through HomeKit.
The benefits of HomeKit-enabled routers are primarily related to additional security features, including the ability to firewall off accessories to prevent them from accessing your entire network. Apple describes it as the ability to “enhance security by monitoring the network activity of your Home accessories and preventing unsafe connections.”
In the Home app on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac you can customize the level of connection security for each HomeKit accessory. The most secure option will ensure that your HomeKit accessory can only interact with HomeKit through your Apple devices. Here’s how Apple explains the options:
Restrict to Home: Most secure. Your accessory can interact only with HomeKit through your Apple devices. The accessory won’t connect to the Internet or any local devices so any third-party services, like firmware updates, might be blocked.
Automatic: Default security. Your accessory can communicate with HomeKit and connections recommended by its manufacturer.
No Restriction: Least secure. This setting bypasses the secure router and allows your accessory to interact with any device in your network or Internet-based service.
Amazon’s Eero was the first networking company to add support for HomeKit routers, bringing the feature to the Eero and Eero Pro systems. Linksys was touted as a partner for HomeKit router functionality when Apple announced the platform and WWDC 2023, so today’s rollout has been a long time coming for Linksys Velop users.
The full press release from Linksys is below. If you use the Velop Tri-Band mesh routers, you can check for the HomeKit software update in the Linksys app for iOS. Linksys says this will be a “phased rollout” and that it will roll out slowly to a “limited number of users in the United States” to start.
Linksys Velop Tri-Band Mesh Routers Now Support Apple HomeKit For Added Security
A Free Software Update Offers More Secure Management of Smart Home Accessories Connected to Linksys Velop Routers
LOS ANGELES – Sept. 22, 2023 – Linksys, the connected home division within the Belkin International and Foxconn Interconnect Technology (FIT) (HK: 6088) entity, today announced HomeKit support for its Linksys Velop Tri-Band mesh routers, providing customers even more privacy and security of their smart home accessories.
Using the Home app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, Linksys Velop Tri-Band mesh router customers are able to manage secure access to their HomeKit-enabled accessories and define how each accessory is allowed to communicate inside the home and through the internet. With HomeKit support, Linksys Velop Tri-Band mesh routers can firewall HomeKit accessories, preventing them from communicating with other Wi-Fi devices connected to the home network and untrusted services via the internet.
“At a time where much of the world continues to work, live and learn from home, we’re excited to offer our customers a simple way to enhance the security of their Linksys Velop Tri-Band routers with HomeKit to offer even more robust privacy features within the home,” said Matthew Keasler, senior global product manager, Linksys. “These routers are powered by our Intelligent Mesh Technology so we can continue to additionally serve users with value-adds such as software security, health and wellness services like Linksys Shield, Linksys Aware, and more to come over time.”
Linksys customers can enjoy these added security and privacy features available through HomeKit with a free software update to their Velop Tri-Band mesh routers, which will soon be available in the Velop app for iOS and iPadOS. This feature initially will be available to a limited number of Velop Tri-Band users in the United States and later in a phased rollout to most countries worldwide. Security settings for all HomeKit accessories are available in the Apple Home app on iPhone and iPad.
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Apple is now launching refreshed AirTag firmware to more customers with a different build number from the previous AirTag firmware which had a build number of 1A291e.
Revised AirTag firmware begins rolling out to all users
The firmware started rolling out in August 2023
A few days later, it received a new build number
In September, the build number was updated again
The version now rolling out has yet another new build number
The latest AirTag firmware is now rolling out to all
According to online reports, the new AirTag firmware has a build number 1A291f.
The only difference between it and the previous one seems to be the removal of the deployment limit that the previous firmware set to 25 percent, which restricted the availability of that firmware to no more than 25 percent of active devices in the wild. With the deployment limit entirely removed, all AirTag owners should soon get the latest firmware update.
Apple does not provide release notes for these things so we don’t really know if the latest firmware enables any new feaures. So far, online reporting indicated bug fixes only.
→ How to read AirTag’s embedded NFC tag
So what’s up with the ever-changing build numbers? As MacRumors speculates, Apple’s over-the-air delivery mechanism for AirTag software updates could be why we saw several AirTag firmware releases lately, each having a different build number.
There have been several minor releases with different build numbers, and behind the scenes, those tweaks were to meter the number of people who were seeing the AirTag update at one time. […] It is not clear why Apple has metered the release of the AirTags firmware update, but it may have to do with the over-the-air distribution method.
To find the firmware version of your AirTag, go to the Items tab in the Find My app:
Open the Find My app on your iPhone, iPad or Mac
Choose the tab labeled “Items”
Select the AirTag you’d like to see more details about.
Hit the battery icon below the AirTag name to reveal the firmware version.
So how do you update the software powering your AirTag?
Apple doesn’t provide a manual update mechanism for AirTags. Instead, AirTag automatically updates itself when new firmware becomes available. For that to work, however, your AirTag and iPhone must be within Bluetooth range because the phone delivers the AirTag firmware.
This AirTag software has had a very rocky start
The latest AirTag firmware is arriving two months after the previous one brought out new anti-stalking features. On August 26, 2023, the new firmware began rolling out to some AirTag owners as an automatic update.
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The software came with a version number of 1.0.291 and build number 1A291a.
A few days later on August 31, an updated version of the AirTag firmware launched with the same version but a higher build number at 1A291c versus the previous one. And on September 7, the company replaced that firmware with yet another one carrying a build number of 1A291e.
So far, none of our Apple-branded personal item trackers have received the latest 1A291e update. Once we do get it, however, we’ll be making sure to check if the version number in the Find My app matches the latest AirTag firmware available, then report our findings back to you.
Picture this: after a long and exhaustive flight, you finally arrive at a hotel. But instead of waiting on the lines clogging the front desk to pick up a key, simply bypass the receptionist and head straight to your room safely knowing that an iPhone in your pocket doubles as the room key.
It’s precisely the kind of fantasy that Hilton has dreamed up and now working to make a reality across the vast majority of their hotels by 2024.
This is according to a Wall Street Journal report Monday. That’s right, beginning 2024 some Hilton hotels will allow for door unlocking with a smartphone, with the global roll-out expected to complete by the end of 2024…
Craig Karmin, writing for WSJ:
Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. is placing a $550 million bet that hotel guests increasingly will use smartphones to choose rooms, check in and even unlock doors.
The company plans to announce this week new technology intended for its 4,200 properties world-wide. Targeting younger travelers, Hilton is aiming to leapfrog competitors that already have rolled out new services like turning mobile phones into room keys.
Currently, Hilton’s free iPhone app (pictured top of post) supports checking-in electronically. By the end of this summer, customers will be able to use a forthcoming app update to directly select their own rooms at six brands, from the midscale Hilton Garden Inn to the luxury Waldorf Astoria.
And beginning 2024, travelers will be permitted to use iPhones and other smartphones to unlock the doors to their rooms, rolling out to most of Hilton’s hotels globally by the end of 2024.
With the proposed system, you’d no longer need the room key because your iPhone would receive a secure key code used to unlock the door wirelessly.
This is great news for the adoption of the iPhone as a physical door key replacement. Four years ago, the company had over 530 Hilton-branded hotels across the world in 78 countries across six continents. All told, the group operates or franchises a whopping 650,000 rooms worldwide.
Competition in this space is fierce and with Hilton hotels adopting digital door locks that work with a smartphone app, rival companies will be compelled to follow suit and therefore help mainstream this cool technology.
Matter of fact, Starwood is now testing virtual room keys at two of its Aloft brand hotels, with plans to offer the feature at its 150 Aloft and W hotels by the end of 2024.
And 967 Marriott hotels already offer check-in and check-out features via a mobile app, with more than 4,000 hotels globally set to offer similar services by year-end.
Consumers looking to install wireless door locks in their homes currently have several options available, such as Kwikset’s Kēvo. Pictured above, the Kēvo is a UniKey-powered wireless deadbolt door lock that connects to your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad through wireless Bluetooth Smart technology.
Earlier this year, a company called Openways announced an iPhone-controlled Okidokeys. It works over Bluetooth while supporting RFID tags to unlock the door in case you misplaced your iPhone or the battery died on you.
Other well-known names are joining the iPhone-controlled door lock market, too, including accessory maker Jawbone which announced the $199 “August” door lock designed by industrial designer Yves Behar and crafted of anodized aluminum, shipping by year-end.
It seems like just yesterday we were all relishing the end of 2023 and looking ahead to 2023. Now, 2023 is nearing its end, and many of us are preparing to enjoy the Christmas season. Adding HomeKit support to my Christmas decorations was my first introduction to HomeKit, so it’s only fitting that we kick off the season with my official guide to automating your Christmas decorations.
HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework.Required Gear
As long as these devices are signed in to iCloud, you’ll be able to manage devices and run automations while you’re away from home. It’s not required for HomeKit but is certainly highly recommended.The Christmas Tree
If you keep your Christmas decorations reasonably simple, an easy way to use HomeKit to automate them is by turning off and on of your Christmas lights with an outlet adaptor. Here are a few of the ones I recommend:
The outlet from Eve is the most expensive, but it does add Thread support to your network. To put it simply, Thread is a purpose-made mesh networking protocol for HomeKit and other types of smart home devices that create direct peer-to-peer communication. It’s self-maintaining, self-healing, and self-routing, allowing all your devices to communicate directly with each other with ease.
When you get the devices installed, you’ll then have the option to turn your tree on and off from Siri or the Home app. You can also create a HomeKit automation to automatically do it at Sunset or a particular time (I explain how to configure these automations at the end of the article).
Now, I am not allowed to touch the Christmas lights on the tree at my house, but if you are, check out Twinkly. With Twinkly, you’ll restring your tree with smart home-enabled lights. Twinkly has just added native HomeKit support to their product (Gen II and Plus models), so I’ll have a full review in the coming weeks. If the model you’re using doesn’t natively work with HomeKit, you can use HOOBS to bridge it to HomeKit. Twinkly also sells prelit Christmas trees and outdoor lights.Outdoor lightning
I mentioned Twinkly already in this article, but what if you already have some outdoor lights that you want to use with HomeKit? Here are a few products I recommend.
You want to stick with outdoor rated plugs when using outdoor lights because ones rated for indoor aren’t made to withstand extreme cold, moisture, or rain.
The concept with these plugs is the same. You plug the lights into the adaptor, and then the adaptor goes into the wall.Creating automations
Once all of your devices are in the Home app, you can interact with them in multiple ways. Of course, the easiest is to use the Home app to turn them off and back on whenever you please.
If you have a HomePod, you can use Siri to turn them off based on the device’s name: “Hey Siri, turn on my Christmas Tree lights.”
If you want a more hands-off approach, it’s ideal to let HomeKit manage the timing for you. Go to the Automations tab in the Home app, tap the + button, choose Add Automation, Choose A Time of Day Occurs, and then choose your timing. For example, an easy way to work with Christmas is to have them turn on at Sunset. You’ll then want to create a second automation to turn them off either at Sunrise or when you go to bed.Wrap up
There are a lot of fun ways to automate your Christmas decorations using HomeKit with low-cost devices. It’s easy to start small with a single HomeKit plug for your main tree and interact with it in the Home app.
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Testing is the most important stage in the process of delivery of any software product, as it not only validates the quality of the product but also provides an opportunity to the developer to improve it further.
Unit testing and integration testing are both software testing techniques, but they are quite different from each other in their scope and they focus on different parts of the software.
Read this article to learn more about unit testing and integration testing and how they are different from each other.What is Unit Testing?
Unit testing is a type of testing technique in which a single module is tested at a time. It is also known as white box testing. Unit testing checks if a small piece of code in the application is doing what it is supposed to do. In unit testing, a single module is going to be tested at a time, hence the focus of the tester is on the internal design of the application as well.
Unit testing is performed as the first stage of testing and it is generally performed by developers of the application. Parallel testing is not supported in unit testing because a single module is tested at a time in unit testing.
As a single module is tested at a time, so defects get easily identified and are locked as per module. Unit testing generally does not depend on the size of project, so it can be performed in both small and large sized projects.What is Integration Testing?
Integration testing is a type of testing in which multiple modules are tested to verify if different pieces of the modules are working together as expected. Thus, integration testing helps to validate the collection and interface modules of the product.
Integration testing is generally performed after performing the unit testing, because this testing requires the knowledge of interlinked modules and their interactions. Importance is given to the functionalities in the system interface among individual modules.
Integration testing covers only the functional testing of the product. It is often performed by test engineers and developers.Difference between Unit Testing and Integration Testing
The following are the important differences between Unit Testing and Integration Testing −
Unit testing is the testing where primarily single module is tested or it checks if the small piece of code is doing what it is supposed to do.
Integration testing is the testing where multiple modules are tested to verify that if different pieces of the modules are working together as per expectation or not.
A single module is going to be tested at a time, so the focus of the tester is on internal design of the application as well.
Multiple modules get integrated and are tested as a single module so tester focus more on integrated functionality rather on internal design of the application.
Unit testing is performed at the first stage of testing as it is performed first of all other testing processes.
Integration testing is performed after all modules get integrated are done with unit tested i.e. Integration testing is done after unit testing and before System testing.
Unit testing is also known as white box testing.
Integration testing is known as black box testing.
As unit testing as mentioned in above points performed at first stage of testing so generally performed by developers.
Integration testing is done after all modules get integrated and thus performed by Testers.
In unit testing, the detection of defects is comparatively easy as single module interaction at a time.
While in case of Integration testing, detection of defects is comparatively difficult as compare to Unit testing.Conclusion
The most significant difference that you should note here is that, in unit testing, only a single module is checked at a time; whereas in integration testing, multiple modules are tested simultaneously.
Home makes incredibly easy to manage and control your HomeKit-enabled accessories. The easy-to-use interface and the ability to let you customize the accessories as per your convenience makes Home very helpful for users.
Depending on your need or the desire to get the best out of your accessories, you can fine tune them. As for instance, you can change the location or name of the accessory, create your favorite scene or set any accessory your favorite. Let’s walk along with me to customize the accessories perfectly.How to Use Home and Manage HomeKit Accessories Perfectly on iPhone
How to Add an Accessory in Home on iPhone
First off, you need to add locks, lights, thermostats along with other HomeKit-enabled accessories to get started. Keep your accessory near your iPhone and make sure it’s powered on. Do check out the accessory manual to find out whether it requires extra hardware in order to work with HomeKit.
Step #1. Open Home app on your iPhone.
Step #2. Tap on Add Accessory.
Step #3. When your accessory appears, tap on it. If you are asked to add the accessory to network, allow it.
Step #4. Now, you need to scan the eight-digit HomeKit code on the accessory or accessory documentation using your iPhone camera. You can also enter it manually.
Step #5. Next, you will have to add some information about the accessory. As for instance, you need to add its name and the room in which it’s located in. Siri will quickly identify the accessory you have added by the name and the located in which you have added it.
Step #6. Tap on Next → Tap on Done to confirm.
Note: There are some accessories like Honeywell thermostats which need additional setup through their app.
How to Add Room in Home App on iPhone
You have the option to divide your house into two different rooms. Add some cool items in those rooms and control them with ease.
How to Customize Your Accessories in Home App
Home allows you to edit details such as name, location about your accessory.
Step #1. Launch Home app on your iPhone.
Step #2. Tap on Home tab at the bottom.
Step #3. Next, you need to touch and hold an accessory. Then, tap on Details.
Now, you can add the details about your accessory.
Name: You can name your accessory to identify it in Home and be able to control it with Siri
Location: It lets you assign a location for your accessory like a kitchen
Type: Choose what type of accessory it is. As for instance, a switch or light
Include in Favorites: Enable it to access your accessory in the Home tab, Control Center, and on Apple Watch
Status and Notifications: Enable it to check out which accessories are turned on at the top of the Home tab
How to Create your Favorite Scene in Home App
Scenes allow you to control multiple accessories at once. As for instance, “Bye” scene will let you, adjust the thermostat, turn on all the lights of your home etc.
Step #1. Open Home app → Home tab or Rooms tab.
Step #2. Tap on “+” icon. Then, tap Add Scene.
You have the option to use a suggested scene or create a custom one.
Step #3. Tap on Add or Remove Accessories.
Step #4. Tap on the accessories that you wish to add.
Step #5. Tap on Done to confirm the change.
Now, you can tap and hold an accessory to adjust its settings
In order to preview the scene, simply tap Test This Scene
To access your scene from the Home tab, Control Center, and your Apple Watch, you need to turn on Show in Favorites
In the end, tap on Done to finish.
How to Control Accessories in Home on iPhone
To turn accessories on/off, tap on Home/Room tab and tap on the accessory to turn it on/off
To control accessories like a thermostat, simply touch and hold the accessory to check out its controls. If you want to control accessory from your Apple Watch, add it as a Favorite
Check out the status and notifications to find out which accessories are turned on at the top of the Home tab
There are some accessories such as, lights and thermostats which provide features like brightness, color, and temperature controls. Just touch and hold the accessory to find and adjust additional features
How to Share Control of Your Accessories in Home App on iPhone
You can invite your friends to control your Home accessories. Make sure your friend’s iPhone is running iOS 10 and signed into iCloud.
Step #1. Open Home app → Tap on the Home tab at the bottom.
Step #2. Tap on Rocket button.
Step #3. Next, you need to tap on Invite.
Step #4. Now, enter the Apple ID of the person and then tap on Send Invite.
How to Accept Invite to Control Accessories
When anyone sends an invite to control accessory, you will get a notification in the Home app.
Step #1. Open Home app on your iPhone.
Step #2. Tap on rocket icon.
Step #3. Tap on Home Settings.
Step #4. Tap on Accept and then tap on Done.
Now, you can tap on the rocket button then tap on the name of the Home to control it.
How to Delete Home Data and Reset Accessories on iPhone
You may need to delete Home data and reset accessories when moving to a new home.
Step #1. Launch the Home app on your iOS device.
Step #2. Next, tap on Home tab.
Step #3. Tap on the tiny rocket icon at the top right corner of the screen.
Step #4. Next, you need to scroll down to bottom. Then, tap on Remove Home.
Step #5. Tap on Delete at the bottom to confirm.
To reset your accessories, look for the button on the accessory or check the manual.
How to Troubleshoot HomeKit Accessories Issues from iPhone
Just in case HomeKit accessories are not working properly, follow these tips to fix them.
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Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of chúng tôi who has a keen eye for news, rumors, and all the unusual stuff around Apple products. During his tight schedule, Jignesh finds some moments of respite to share side-splitting content on social media.
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