Ecobee’s SmartCamera has received a firmware update that will curiosity Apple customers who’re feeling slightly burnt-out on subscriptions. The digital camera, which doubled as an Alexa speaker when it launched this April, typically has the usual sensible digital camera options: you possibly can stream video from it to your telephone without spending a dime, and with a $5-a-month subscription you possibly can have it report video and notify you of any motion (or simply human motion, when you want). However at the moment’s replace provides Apple HomeKit Safe Video assist, and it could offer you one other, cheaper method to report and retailer that footage.
When you’re slightly unfamiliar with the service, you’re in all probability not alone. HomeKit Safe Video was launched at WWDC in June of 2019, however up to now only a handful of cameras assist it. Like Ecobee’s service, it permits you to stream video to your iOS gadgets without spending a dime, supplied you could have an Apple TV, HomePod, or stay-at-home iPad that may act as a HomeKit hub.
If you wish to report video, you’ll must pay for Apple’s 200GB iCloud subscription, which prices $2.99 a month. However that’s cheaper than Ecobee’s service, and likewise consists of further house to your iCloud backups, Apple Photograph Library, and so on. You received’t have to fret about all that recorded footage consuming up your iCloud storage. As a HomeKit Safe Video consumer myself, I can inform you 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 could look like a very good deal, and when you already pay for further iCloud storage the service is included in your invoice. It’s a little bit of a tougher promote when 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 similar 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 must know that Ecobee tells The Verge that Apple’s House app doesn’t assist 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 major function: not having to pay an additional month-to-month price to see what horrible catastrophe my cat has triggered throughout the evening.