HomeKit support for third-party remote controls coming in iOS 12 and tvOS 12

Posted:
in iOS edited June 12
HomeKit didn't get any huge mentions during WWDC last week, but it did pick up one major new feature: support for remote controls that aren't Apple's Siri Remote.

Remote Control HomeKit Support


The new support was mentioned during Apple's "deep dive" session on HomeKit, specifically highlighting how manufacturer's remotes could interface with HomeKit and the Apple TV. Also mentioned was Siri support through a remote, but what that may mean for third party devices isn't clear at this point.

Information is still scarce on exactly what can be done with remotes. At present, it isn't clear whether they can be any IR/RF device, or if it is limited to just interfacing with the Apple TV.

Assuming any device could be added, this opens a lot of possibilities for smart home users. TVs, ceiling fans, and more would be capable of being added to the Home app.

Using a third party remote with HomeKit support, scenes like "watch a movie" become even more useful. In conjunction with the IR features of the remote, HomeKit could dim the lights, close the blinds, switch the receiver input, turn up the receiver volume, and turn on the TV.

Remote support has been a commonly requested feature, with many turning to the unofficial HomeBridge platform to add IR blasters and remotes into HomeKit accessories themselves.






In other HomeKit news, macOS Mojave will soon add support, along with Siri and the Home app.

HomeKit has been growing rapidly, with many new products announced earlier this year at CES 2018. Those products have just started hitting the market, including the First Alert Onelink Safe & Sound smart smoke/CO detector and speaker.

iOS 11.4 also brought support for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit enabled speakers. AirPlay 2 was originally expected to launch with iOS 11, but was significantly delayed while Apple worked out the kinks. Now, HomePod and Apple TV can be controlled within the Home app, or through Siri. AirPlay 2 also supports multi-room playback, where audio from your iOS or tvOS device can be sent to many speakers simultaneously. Third-party speakers have already jumped on board the AirPlay 2 bandwagon, and many will be updated to support it in the near future such as the Libratone Zipp (review) and the Onelink Safe & Sound (review).

Remote support will be coming this fall as part of iOS 12, tvOS 12, and macOS Mojave.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 458member
    Now if HomeKit would just support zWave devices...
  • Reply 2 of 6
    max203max203 Posts: 4member
    What about Bluetooth Mesh support?
    Anyone who knows when Apple Homekit will support it?
  • Reply 3 of 6
    Wow. That is not a good example of quality Mac apps. The swiping left and right was very choppy. The slide up panel looked completely foreign on the Mac. It looks like an iOS app running on the Mac. I would have much rathered Apple sit down and use some of their engineering might to just write a Mac App.
  • Reply 4 of 6
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,719member
    I've been using Harmony remotes with my Apple TV’s for year's including with my Apple TV 4’s.  Much more than using the touch control remote of Apples.  That's a 3rd Larry remote.

  • Reply 5 of 6
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 126member, editor
    jbdragon said:
    I've been using Harmony remotes with my Apple TV’s for year's including with my Apple TV 4’s.  Much more than using the touch control remote of Apples.  That's a 3rd Larry remote.

    I used Harmony remotes as well, but stopped with the Siri remote. Siri is amazing, and super sucks not being able to user her with the Harmony. That should all change now!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 6
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 126member, editor

    greg uvan said:
    Wow. That is not a good example of quality Mac apps. The swiping left and right was very choppy. The slide up panel looked completely foreign on the Mac. It looks like an iOS app running on the Mac. I would have much rathered Apple sit down and use some of their engineering might to just write a Mac App.
    It is a first beta. It will not be so choppy when it finally releases. It cant be judged this early.
    watto_cobraAlex1N
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