Apple's iOS 10 makes iPad a 'Home Hub,' expands HomeKit appliance support

Posted:
in iPhone edited June 2016
Apple is getting serious about HomeKit. Two years after introducing the automated home platform on iOS 8, the company this week announced new support for a host of connected appliances, as well as a forthcoming iOS 10 setting that turns iPad into a smart home hub.




Apple SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi revealed a slew of new HomeKit features onstage at the Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, including a dedicated Home app set to launch with iOS 10 this fall.

For iPad users, Home comes with system settings for connecting with iCloud and an option to transform the tablet into a hub. As seen above, the "Home Hub" setting lets users set up home device automations, like new Scenes macros, and grants remote access to individual accessories, presumably through iCloud. Currently, users without a third-generation or newer Apple TV have to purchase a third-party hub, which in many cases requires one or more separate apps.

Apple also promises "more powerful user permissions" when using either Apple TV or iPad as a Home Hub, but has not yet elaborated on what services or functions that entails. A link included in the iOS 10 beta points to a support document covering general HomeKit setup and methods for troubleshooting problems.

In addition to the standalone Home app, Apple is looking to expand HomeKit's reach into the home automation market. When the next-generation platform launches, users can look forward to support for at least five new connected device categories: air conditioners, air purifiers, cameras, doorbells and humidifiers. At the WWDC keynote Apple offered the example of streaming audio and video from a smart doorbell that doubles as a security monitoring system.

Federighi during yesterday's presentation said almost every major smart home device manufacturer is either shipping a HomeKit-enabled product or has announced support for the platform. Further, contractors in the U.S. and China are building HomeKit appliances directly into new homes. The decision to integrate with HomeKit ultimately rests in the hands of manufacturers, but it appears Apple is pushing hard for wider availability in hopes of getting its home automation project off the ground.

The new HomeKit and iOS 10 Home app are due out this fall.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,699member
    I want this but also a HUB like the echo.   An Apple "Insanely great" product would do what the Echo does but 2 or 3 times better.   WHEN???
  • Reply 2 of 13
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,292member
    Makes total sense in new homes. Only.
  • Reply 3 of 13
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 902member
    eightzero said:
    Makes total sense in new homes. Only.
    I have replaced every light switch and my thermostat in my 1971 home without any major retiring. Caseta switches and ecobee thermostat. Works great. In fact, upon seeing Apple double down on HomeKit, I ordered some new Caseta switches for exterior perimeter lighting so I can schedule exterior lighting to automatically come on as the sun goes down.

    Its not terribly difficult. I DIYed the whole project. 

    Biggest problem is expense. 

    lolliverpscooter63[Deleted User]jbdragonrepressthis1983nolamacguycornchipjony0
  • Reply 4 of 13
    lolliverlolliver Posts: 314member

    This is great news for HomeKit. Now I just have to wait until there are a few more HomeKit compatible devices on the market here in Australia. We have things like the Phillips Hue and a few smart locks but I'd prefer to have the smarts in the switches for lighting like the Caseta switches mentioned by @polymnia

    I think it will take a while for the home automation market to come together cohesively and I think Apple's slow and steady approach will pay off in the end.

  • Reply 5 of 13
    eightzero said:
    Makes total sense in new homes. Only.
    You know, it IS possible to change a lightbulb yourself.
  • Reply 6 of 13
    @polymnia - You said "I can schedule exterior lighting to automatically come on as the sun goes down.". How would you schedule this in HomeKit?
  • Reply 7 of 13
    I'm confused, why won't the iPhone also be a powerful HomeKit hub as well? More Apple users own those than iPads or AppleTVs.
    1983
  • Reply 8 of 13
    libertyforalllibertyforall Posts: 1,286member
    Probably use Philips Hue or similar...
    @polymnia - You said "I can schedule exterior lighting to automatically come on as the sun goes down.". How would you schedule this in HomeKit?
  • Reply 9 of 13
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    eightzero said:
    Makes total sense in new homes. Only.
    absurd nonsense. I have a 160 year old house. ways I do or could use HomeKit:

    light bulbs
    blinds
    thermostat
    door locks
    garage door 
    outlets
    ceiling fans

    ...what am I doing wrong with my old house??
  • Reply 10 of 13
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,254member
    ceiling fans

    Are you talking about ceiling fans already HomeKit enabled or is there a retrofit solution? I'd love to find a device that I can wire into an existing fan that would allow me to not have to use the terrible remote (the only way) to control it (and have to buy the obscure size batteries that are used to power it)...
  • Reply 11 of 13
    lolliverlolliver Posts: 314member
    cornchip said:
    ceiling fans

    Are you talking about ceiling fans already HomeKit enabled or is there a retrofit solution? I'd love to find a device that I can wire into an existing fan that would allow me to not have to use the terrible remote (the only way) to control it (and have to buy the obscure size batteries that are used to power it)...
    I agree. it would be great if there was a way to install a new control unit on the wall that was HomeKit enabled. All I have seen so far is the option to replace the ceiling fan itself with a new HomeKit enabled device.
    cornchip
  • Reply 12 of 13
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,254member
    lolliver said:
    cornchip said:
    Are you talking about ceiling fans already HomeKit enabled or is there a retrofit solution? I'd love to find a device that I can wire into an existing fan that would allow me to not have to use the terrible remote (the only way) to control it (and have to buy the obscure size batteries that are used to power it)...
    I agree. it would be great if there was a way to install a new control unit on the wall that was HomeKit enabled. All I have seen so far is the option to replace the ceiling fan itself with a new HomeKit enabled device.
    ugh. LAME. Maybe I can convince the guys at work to help me develop one. 
  • Reply 13 of 13
    poortalspoortals Posts: 2unconfirmed, member
    As an update, note that a Poort encloses an iPad as a fixed or portable appliance, over a kitchen outlet. www.poortals.com If you partner that iPad/Poort with a HomePod, you may have a best-of-breed network streaming backbone that no competitor can match. iPads add an independent Web interface to smart homes, over and above the egregious commercial ecosystem of Amazon/Echo. Quality will be remembered long after price is forgotten.
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