Ecobee camera update adds Apple HomeKit support — and perhaps a cheaper subscription


Ecobee’s SmartCamera has received a firmware update that will curiosity Apple customers who’re feeling a bit burnt-out on subscriptions. The digital camera, which doubled as an Alexa speaker when it launched this April, usually has the usual sensible digital camera options: you may stream video from it to your telephone free of charge, and with a $5-a-month subscription you may have it report video and notify you of any motion (or simply human motion, in case you choose). However immediately’s replace provides Apple HomeKit Safe Video help, and it might offer you one other, cheaper option to report and retailer that footage.

When you’re a bit unfamiliar with the service, you’re in all probability not alone. HomeKit Safe Video was launched at WWDC in June of 2019, however to this point only a handful of cameras help it. Like Ecobee’s service, it allows you to stream video to your iOS units free of charge, supplied you’ve got an Apple TV, HomePod, or stay-at-home iPad that may act as a HomeKit hub.

If you wish to report video, you’ll have to pay for Apple’s 200GB iCloud subscription, which prices $2.99 a month. However that’s cheaper than Ecobee’s service, and likewise contains further house in your iCloud backups, Apple Photograph Library, and so forth. You gained’t have to fret about all that recorded footage consuming up your iCloud storage. As a HomeKit Safe Video consumer myself, I can let you know that Apple doesn’t depend the video in the direction of your storage restrict (although the service solely retains recorded clips for 10 days, versus Ecobee’s 14 days).

If you have already got a tool that may act as a hub, $2.99 a month versus $5 a month might appear to be deal, and in case you already pay for further iCloud storage the service is included in your invoice. It’s a little bit of a more durable promote in case you even have to purchase an Apple TV, HomePod, or iPad, although. If you wish to report multiple digital camera, you’ll additionally see much less financial savings: Apple requires the $9.99-a-month 2TB iCloud storage plan to report as much as 5 cameras (Ecobee or in any other case), which is identical worth you’ll pay for limitless recording on a number of Ecobee cameras.

Earlier than deciding to modify to HomeKit and ditch the Ecobee app, you need to know that Ecobee tells The Verge that Apple’s Dwelling app doesn’t help the digital camera’s potential to pan and tilt (different HomeKit cameras have the identical limitation, too). You would possibly wish to preserve the Ecobee app round for that, or buy a cheaper HomeKit camera to begin with. I personally use Homekit Safe Video to handle my Logitech Circle 2, and it really works effectively for its main function: not having to pay an additional month-to-month payment to see what horrible catastrophe my cat has triggered throughout the evening.

Beautiful. Thanks, HomeKit Safe Video.



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