You may install a spare iPad on a wall and use it to control your HomeKit gadgets if you have one available, regardless of the brand or model. How? Read on.
Purchasing, let’s say, a 12.9-inch iPad Pro just so you could have a touchscreen light switch in your den would be an expensive endeavor. However, if you already have a spare iPad, even if it’s only a few years old, it’s preferable to utilize it than not.
And you can utilize the iPad as a dashboard to great effect. Install it somewhere convenient, and set it to always display information that is helpful to you, such as a clock or HomeKit buttons.
Regardless of your needs, you must take the hardware into account when choosing the data or controls to display. There are numerous different apps available for this purpose.
You need more than just an iPad.
It’s true that an old iPad may serve as a desk holder and be pretty practical. However, you must mount that iPad to the wall in order to create a proper dashboard.
That implies three things right now. You must first choose the ideal wall for it, physically attach it to that wall, and then run power to it.
Of course, you get to decide where to attach the iPad dashboard, but you won’t put it in a guest room. It can be kept in the kitchen, the living room, or by the front door.
Select a location in your home or business where you can see what it displays. Additionally, pick a location where you may tap buttons on it.
You won’t turn on the lights if you have to stand up and walk across your office to accomplish it. You’ll only make use of Siri.
iPad wall mounts
There are numerous mounts available for hanging your iPad from a wall. Take the Dockem Koala Tablet Wall Mount, which sells for under $15 on Amazon, as just one example.
This consists of two tiny plastic tabs that you place on the wall before inserting your iPad. Although this type of installation allows you to remove the iPad with ease, you do need to place it correctly so that it fits in neatly.
So it’s not a problem if you suddenly require that iPad for work.
It has an issue at its core. The battery life on an iPad is quite long, but it’s more like hours than days or years.
You must therefore run power to the iPad. The iPad being hooked into the wall is the best-looking solution.
That makes it more difficult to remove it fast, but an electrician with training is essential necessary. Don’t kill yourself with electricity simply to get a HomeKit dashboard.
You can also just use a Lightning cord as an alternative (or a USB-C one for newer iPads). If you get one with a right-angled connector, it won’t stick out as much and will fit snugly against the iPad.
Selecting your dashboard program
There was no need in seeking elsewhere because nine years ago, Panic Software’s Status Board would have provided the solution. However, Panic shut down that app, and while there are now several dashboard apps, perhaps none are as functional or appealing as Sound Board was.
Also fragmented are the apps. While we’re looking at HomeKit ones, you can choose between a general information display and a highly in-depth analysis of your company’s sales statistics.
Dashboards with a general purpose
Dashkit for iPad is a good choice if all you need is a clock, calendar, and possibly a Twitter feed. This can be downloaded for free and requires iOS 14.4 or later.
Using Dashkit, you may create a general-purpose dashboard with some basic data.
It’s a generous download, too, with the majority of its features always accessible in the no-cost version. Its calendar has some issues and, for some reason, doesn’t update every day.
The option to link with the AppFigures business service is one of the very few advantages you receive for subscribing in the $8 per year pro version, which is also available.
Dashboards for HomeKit
There are many options available for HomeKit dashboard apps, but usually the choice is between utility and aesthetics. The App Store has a number of dreadful-looking dashboards.
It would be best if it looked nice as this will be on your wall all day.
First, take a look at Home+ 5. This $14.99 iPad and iPhone app, which is designed to replace Apple’s Home app, accomplishes this by being substantially simpler and faster to use.
Home+5 can be used independently or with iPadOS’s Split View feature to run on one side of the screen while Apple’s Home app runs on the other.
When you engage often with your HomeKit devices, such as when creating scenes or manually turning on lights, Home+ 5 is a smart choice. It’s possibly the most effective at this and most practical in its iPhone edition.
Apple’s Home is shown here on one side, and Home+ 5 is shown on the other using split view.
However, if you have it mounted on your wall as a dashboard, you can instantly observe which lights are on, which doors are closed, or the direct view coming from your cameras.
In reality, Home+ 5 is a set of controls that can serve as a dashboard because they are large and obvious enough. The iPad software HomeDash, which costs $9.99, prioritizes presentation.
It may serve as your one-stop HomeKit control device and has a ton of controls and settings, but it focuses on how nicely it can display information and controls.
It takes some practice to figure out how to reposition desired pieces in HomeDash because its selection mechanism for things like light switches and cameras isn’t the most intuitive.
HomeDash is a stylish HomeKit dashboard that can be customized.
However, you can quickly check the status of all your HomeKit gadgets and their batteries on the dashboard. A clock, a calendar, and views from any or all of your security cameras can all be integrated.
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Designer for Viz
This single-purchase dashboard is the priciest at $25, but it is also the one that can be customized the most.
A combination iPad and Mac program is called Viz Designer. You can set up as many distinct dashboards on the iPad to display, one for each area in your home, but you put them up using the Mac.
When using Viz Designer on a Mac, you may drag various pieces, adjust their sizes, and even layer them on top of one another.
You can create complex HomeKit dashboards using the Mac program Viz Designer, which you can then display on your iPad.
Making a dashboard requires time
It doesn’t take long to physically install an iPad to the wall if you have a spare. Finding dashboard apps is also quite quick and easy.
Finding one with the ideal functionality for displaying the data you require, the HomeKit controls you desire, and one that won’t look hideous on your wall takes some time.
Even if you manage to combine these in the ideal way for you, it will still take weeks before you feel entirely content. You will tinker with the designs and alter the specifics of the information that is presented.
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