Customize the new Home app in iOS 16

There’s a big redesign coming this fall for Apple’s HomeKit Home app with iOS 16. I recently previewed all the new features arriving on the smart home platform, but I wanted to do a quick tutorial on one of my Favorite New Features: Customization.

In the new Home app, the options for customizing how your smart home devices, Rooms and Favorites are displayed on the screen have been vastly improved. You can rearrange your Home view to put your most used rooms at the top, or specify that your favorites or camera feeds are the first thing you see when you open the app.

You can also rearrange the individual buttons for your devices, such as lights, door locks, and awnings — just like arranging apps on an iPhone’s home screen. This means that your most used smart bulbs or door lock can sit in a more convenient place that your thumb can tap quickly and you can place two related items closer together.

There are new icons to help identify a lamp based on its type (table lamp or ceiling lamp, for example) or to quickly distinguish other devices such as shades and smart plugs. Scenes – which allow multiple devices to change status at once – now have more icons plus the ability to choose a color for each scene. And finally, there are new wallpaper choices to give the app some personality.

You must be running iOS 16 to use the new Home app; the app is available on all Apple devices, including the iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch. It’ll be released this fall, but there’s a public beta that you can download today if you can’t wait.

Here’s how to get started customizing your Home app in iOS 16 on an iPhone.

How to rearrange your rooms and groups on the Home View page.

Customize the home screen

Home View is the screen that opens when you first launch the Home app. You can also open it by tapping the Home icon in the bottom menu bar. Home View is where all the controllable devices in your HomeKit home appear, organized into Rooms and Favorites. There are also Scenes and Camera Groups here. You can now rearrange these to better suit how you use the devices.

Rearrange sections in your Home view

  • Open the Home app on your iPhone.
  • Tap the three dots in the top right corner to open the menu.
  • Select Reorder Sections.
  • You will see a list of all the rooms and groups (cameras / favorites / scenes) displayed in the home view.
  • Tap and drag the three horizontal lines next to a room or group and drag your selection to the desired position in the home view.
  • Touch Doneand your Home view will be rearranged.

You can now rearrange device buttons and tiles just like you can rearrange apps on your iPhone’s home screen.

Edit tiles in your Home view

  • Open the Home app on your iPhone.
  • Tap the three dots in the top right corner to open the menu.
  • Select Edit home view. (You can also long press a button/tile and select Edit home view.)
  • All tiles go into “shuffle mode”.
  • Drag a tile to the desired position on the screen. It must remain in the designated space.
  • You can rearrange any tile on the home screen, including the new shortcut buttons at the top, the scene tiles, and the camera tiles.

You can also resize any tile in the home view if it’s below the room.

  • To do this, tap the tile when it is in shuffle mode.
  • A resize arrow will appear in the top right corner.
  • Tap it to make the tile large and again to make it small. There are two size options.

You can now banish that forgotten smart plug by hiding a device from the Home View.

Hide a device from the home view

If your Home View is full of many devices that you rarely use in the app, you can hide them to keep your Home View a bit tidier.

  • Open the Home app on your iPhone.
  • Long press a device tile and select Remove from home view.
  • The tile disappears from the Home view, but still appears in the individual Room view.
  • To bring it back to the Home view, find it in the Room view, long press and select Add to Home view.

Icons abound in the new Home app, especially for customizing Scenes.

Customize icons in the Home app

Customizing the icons for your devices and scenes makes it easier to quickly find what you’re looking for. In the new Home app, there are now 15 options for lighting icons (compared to 10 before), while other categories have redesigned icons to make it clearer that the icon represents, for example, a ceiling fan or a table fan.

The biggest change in terms of icons is in Scenes. There are now over 100 new icons, compared to just 12 in previous versions. You can pick out a roaring fireplace, birthday cake, book, or ghost emoji to show what your Scene will bring to your home. In addition, you can now assign one of 12 colors to your scene.

Change the icon for your lamp or other devices

  • Open the Home app on your iPhone.
  • Long press the device whose icon you want to change.
  • Tap Accessory details from the pop-up menu.
  • Press Settings icon in the lower right corner (or swipe up from the bottom).
  • Tap the current icon.
  • A menu of icons appears.
  • Select the new one.
  • Tap Done.

Change the icon for your scene

  • Open the Home app on your iPhone.
  • Long press the scene button you want to change.
  • Tap the icon.
  • A menu with icons and colors appears.
  • Select the icon and color you like.
  • Tap Done.

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