Total Connect vs. Apple HomeKit

Total Connect and Apple HomeKit are both compatible with the Honeywell Lyric Controller. Both services are great for use as part of a smart home setup. However, Total Connect is based around a Honeywell Security System, while Apple HomeKit covers a more diverse range of products.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security systemBoth Total Connect 2.0 and Apple HomeKit provide easy access to a user's Honeywell Lyric Controller System. Both services allow a user to arm and disarm their system, view the current status of their system, and control any smart home devices that have been set up with the panel. So in a sense, Total Connect 2.0 and Apple HomeKit are actually very similar. However, there are some key differences between the two.

Total Connect 2.0 is an interactive service platform designed exclusively for use with Honeywell Security Systems. Virtually any Honeywell System with an IP or cellular connection can be used with the Total Connect 2.0 Service. Once the system has been paired, the user can access Total Connect 2.0 through either a web browser or the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App by logging-in to their Total Connect account. The user can then perform all of the aforementioned commands through the service. But unlike HomeKit, Total Connect 2.0 does not support any voice commands, unless a user has an Amazon Alexa device and the Honeywell Total Connect 2.0 Skill.

Apple HomeKit is a network of smart home devices that can be controlled through an iOS device. When a Honeywell Lyric Controller is used with HomeKit, they will pair across a WIFI network. The Lyric will then need to remain connected to WIFI to receive commands from HomeKit. In order to control the Lyric through HomeKit remotely, a HomeKit Hub must remain on-site with the Lyric at all times. This Hub can be an Apple TV (Gen 4 or higher) an iPad, or an Apple HomePod. As long as the Lyric and the Hub remain powered on and connected to the same WIFI network, remote control will remain possible. HomeKit supports a wide range of devices including security systems, smart home devices, and more. Once everything is configured, a user can have the SIRI voice assistant send commands to the system. This can be done both on-site and remotely. By using HomeKit, a user can also operate any smart home scenes that have been set up with the Lyric Controller. Please note that Apple HomeKit will not work with Android devices, but the Total Connect 2.0 Mobile App for Android will.

There are a few main reasons why a user will want to continue to use Total Connect 2.0 even if they have Apple HomeKit. For one, HomeKit is dependent upon a WIFI connection. If the internet used by the system becomes unavailable, then HomeKit will not work. But Total Connect will continue to work when the WIFI goes down, as long as the system has a cellular communicator that has been installed and activated. HomeKit also has various restrictions regarding sensors. HomeKit will not provide notifications for life-safety or environmental zones, but Total Connect 2.0 will. It is also impossible to bypass sensors through HomeKit. This means that if a user has faulted sensors and they want to arm their system through HomeKit, they will be unable to do so. HomeKit will also not provide any reason for why an arming command won't go through successfully. This can be especially frustrating if a user is trying to arm their system using a SIRI voice command.

Total Connect 2.0
Apple HomeKit

Arm and Disarm

Yes Yes1 - HomeKit Hub (Apple TV Gen4+, iPad, HomePod) required if not on same WIFI network as Lyric
View System Status
Yes Yes - HomeKit Hub (Apple TV Gen4+, iPad, HomePod) required if not on same WIFI network as Lyric
Control HomeKit Smart Home Devices
No, unless device is also Z-Wave Yes
Control Z-Wave Smart Home Devices
Yes No, unless device is HomeKit compatible
Security Cameras
Yes - TC Cameras Only Yes - Must be HomeKit compatible
Yes Yes
Automated Rules
Yes Yes
Alarm Alerts
Text, Push and Email Push Notifications Only2
iOS Devices
Yes Yes
Android Devices
Yes No
Compatible Systems
Most Honeywell Systems Honeywell Lyric Controller Only
Communication Path
WIFI and/or Cellular WIFI Only
Notification Types
All System & Sensor Events No Non-Alarm System Events, But Does Send Arm/Disarm. Only Specific Sensor Events3
Bypassing Sensors
Yes No
Voice Commands
Yes (Amazon Alexa) Yes (SIRI)

1As long as system is in "Ready" state.

2Only zones set for Entry/Exit 1, Entry/Exit 2, Perimeter, Interior Follower or Interior w/ Delay as the Response Type will cause a specific zone alarm push notification on HomeKit. All other audible alarm events, including those caused by life-safety zones, will only cause a general Lyric System Alert in HomeKit.

3System tamper, low battery and power loss troubles and sensor tamper, low battery and loss of supervision troubles won't generate any HomeKit alerts. Only zones set for Entry/Exit 1, Entry/Exit 2, Perimeter, Interior Follower or Interior w/ Delay as the Response Type will provide HomeKit push notifications on open/close status changes.

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Yes, that is correct.
Thanks for this post as this was very helpful. There was one statement in the article that implied a user could use both Total Connect and HomeKit if the system is a Lyric system, is that true?

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