Apple purges 'Doorbell' category from HomeKit accessories page

Posted:
in iPhone
Apple has quietly removed the entire "Doorbell" category from its roster of current and future HomeKit accessories, suggesting that once-promised upgrades by August and Ring are at least in purgatory.

August Doorbell Cam Pro


The change appears to have happened sometime this week. Only one item was listed under the category, the August Doorbell Cam.

When Apple introduced the Home app for iOS 10 during WWDC 2016, video doorbell support was prominently demonstrated, hinting that a flood of compatible products might be around the corner. The company indicated that people would be able to watch live feeds, use an intercom, and even unlock their door, all from a Home app notification.

August and Ring soon promised to upgrade their doorbells, but years later neither has delivered software upgrades. The latter even reaffirmed its commitment to upgrading the Ring Pro and Floodlight after its takeover by Amazon, even though Amazon's Alexa is a rival smarthome platform.

It's not clear what hurdles have prevented HomeKit support. One possibility is the heavy encryption Apple demands, since while the platform now supports both software and hardware for that task, it could be that August and Ring have had trouble minimizing lag.

Doorbells are typically expected to deliver audio, video, and other data with as little lag as possible. A long gap could at best make for an awkward social situation, and at worst mean that a criminal gets away without his face on camera.

AppleInsider has contacted Apple regarding the matter.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    Apple did the right thing here.
    igorskyairnerd
  • Reply 2 of 25
    I went with google and their Home as well as Nest line of products. Google didn't just introduce a standard but support it through quality products as well as showing third parties what they can do with the standard. Apple released a standard but rely solely upon third parties to support it. There are barely any products and what is out there just does not work which is what a smart device and accessories needs to do with the general public.
    aylkpatchythepirateols
  • Reply 3 of 25
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 422member
    The "lag" excuse is a bunch of bullshit. I use a Logitech Circle 2 and there's less than 1 second of lag.
    jbdragonmaltzwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 25
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 422member
    I went with google and their Home as well as Nest line of products. Google didn't just introduce a standard but support it through quality products as well as showing third parties what they can do with the standard.
    With all due respect there are plenty of Homekit-compatible products that surpass their Nest counterparts, so Apple certainly doesn't need to release branded products themselves. What needs to happen is that consumers need to start voting with their wallets and spend money on HomeKit products so that manufacturers get the message. I only buy products that are already HomeKit compatible and never rely on any unenforceable promises of future support.

    It maddens me when my Twitter timeline is filled with people asking Nest when their HomeKit support is coming. Breaking news: it never will! You know what? Go reward a company like ecobee, Honeywell, Logitech, etc. for putting in the work and bringing HomeKit support.
    edited July 2018 jbdragonpatchythepiratemike1StrangeDaystjwolfwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 25
    I think most of these home automation standards will have challenges, although not as bad as the old days when your option was only X10. 

    Sometimes HomeKit won't be able to see my devices status and just give me a blank reading. This happens with my ecobee and hue lights. I can just imagine that there are some issues with streaming video in HomeKit with security in place that was created outside of the devices native app. 

    Its also frustrating to see an abundance of Amazon Alexa devices for sale that supposedly work as well as Homekit. I'm not comfortable giving Amazon freedom to enter my house though. 

    Maybe Apple is going to sell their own devices for video. They still use the iSight name with iPhones. 

    aylkwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 25
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,115member
    The vast improvements to every aspect of Apple maps since it launched has been stunning.
    I went with google and their Home as well as Nest line of products. Google didn't just introduce a standard but support it through quality products as well as showing third parties what they can do with the standard. Apple released a standard but rely solely upon third parties to support it. There are barely any products and what is out there just does not work which is what a smart device and accessories needs to do with the general public.
    Congratulations, for giving an ad company that makes money from selling its customers data complete audio and video access to your home and all your coming and goings. Some of us have some principles against that kind of thing, but you sure showed it to Apple.
    patchythepirateigorskyairnerdcaladanianwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 7 of 25
    maltzmaltz Posts: 127member
    What in the world?  A doorbell is one of the most obvious, least privacy-invasive home automation things there is!  I'm shocked that A) there aren't more of them and B ) that Apple would decide to nix the whole category.
    edited July 2018 patchythepirateJWSCcaladanian
  • Reply 8 of 25
    doggonedoggone Posts: 176member
    I have the Ring doorbell and I don't necessarily see what use there would be in getting onto the home network.  The app works well by itself and notifications are handled well.
    It is a shame that Ring was bought by Amazon since I do not trust their use of data.  Unfortunately, I bought the device about 2 months before and cannot do anything about it now.
    patchythepiratewatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 25
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,476member
    igorsky said:
    The "lag" excuse is a bunch of bullshit. I use a Logitech Circle 2 and there's less than 1 second of lag.

    Because it lacks encryption, on the fly software based encryption is not easy. The reason for encryption is so you do not have to worry about a man in the middle attack and gains access to things you may not want them to have access to. Hardware based encryption is much faster but requires lots of power from a batter operated device. Now if you have an old style 24 VAC door belly system then you could run it off the 24 VAC but not everyone had those anymore. I removed mine and went to wireless battery operated a long time ago.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 25
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,476member
    doggone said:
    I have the Ring doorbell and I don't necessarily see what use there would be in getting onto the home network.  The app works well by itself and notifications are handled well.
    It is a shame that Ring was bought by Amazon since I do not trust their use of data.  Unfortunately, I bought the device about 2 months before and cannot do anything about it now.

    if you want to see who is ringing your doorbell when your not home it has to connect to your wireless network in your house. This is one of the features that Ring and others heavily advertise. We all know Amazon bought ring so they can offer the service to drop packages inside your door if you give them security access to your house like the door lock and camera so they can send you a picture of your package being delivered. 
    airnerdwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 25
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    There’s a “doorbell” category?

    Like, just for doorbells?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 25
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 422member
    maestro64 said:
    igorsky said:
    The "lag" excuse is a bunch of bullshit. I use a Logitech Circle 2 and there's less than 1 second of lag.

    Because it lacks encryption, on the fly software based encryption is not easy. The reason for encryption is so you do not have to worry about a man in the middle attack and gains access to things you may not want them to have access to. Hardware based encryption is much faster but requires lots of power from a batter operated device. Now if you have an old style 24 VAC door belly system then you could run it off the 24 VAC but not everyone had those anymore. I removed mine and went to wireless battery operated a long time ago.
    It absolutely does have encryption.  HomeKit compatibility requires some of the toughest encryption around, which likely contributes to the slow adoption rate.
    edited July 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 25
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,846member
    igorsky said:
    I went with google and their Home as well as Nest line of products. Google didn't just introduce a standard but support it through quality products as well as showing third parties what they can do with the standard.
    With all due respect there are plenty of Homekit-compatible products that surpass their Nest counterparts, so Apple certainly doesn't need to release branded products themselves. What needs to happen is that consumers need to start voting with their wallets and spend money on HomeKit products so that manufacturers get the message. I only buy products that are already HomeKit compatible and never rely on any unenforceable promises of future support.

    It maddens me when my Twitter timeline is filled with people asking Nest when their HomeKit support is coming. Breaking news: it never will! You know what? Go reward a company like ecobee, Honeywell, Logitech, etc. for putting in the work and bringing HomeKit support.
    Looking to add an Ecobee thermostat to my Home Kit collection before winter. Already have expanded my Wemo gear since they released the hub and now support Home Kit. I'm also using an iHome outdoor switch for my pool filter.
  • Reply 14 of 25
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 422member
    mike1 said:
    igorsky said:
    I went with google and their Home as well as Nest line of products. Google didn't just introduce a standard but support it through quality products as well as showing third parties what they can do with the standard.
    With all due respect there are plenty of Homekit-compatible products that surpass their Nest counterparts, so Apple certainly doesn't need to release branded products themselves. What needs to happen is that consumers need to start voting with their wallets and spend money on HomeKit products so that manufacturers get the message. I only buy products that are already HomeKit compatible and never rely on any unenforceable promises of future support.

    It maddens me when my Twitter timeline is filled with people asking Nest when their HomeKit support is coming. Breaking news: it never will! You know what? Go reward a company like ecobee, Honeywell, Logitech, etc. for putting in the work and bringing HomeKit support.
    Looking to add an Ecobee thermostat to my Home Kit collection before winter. Already have expanded my Wemo gear since they released the hub and now support Home Kit. I'm also using an iHome outdoor switch for my pool filter.
    I have four ecobees at home, great thermostat. I'm using lights from LiFX and Vocolinc (about $20 a bulb on Amazon), switches from iDevices...all HomeKit compatible.  There are plenty of choices out there despite the doom and gloom.  Spend money on companies that give a shit about the platform you're using.
    edited July 2018 StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 25
    Another category that is severely lacking is sprinkler controls. Bother Orbit and Rachio were supposed to have HomeKit integration as announced almost a year ago. Orbit even advertised with the HomeKit logo on their box. But there's been absolutely nothing but crickets from those companies other than to say they are waiting on Apple. Meanwhile Eve just released a hose control, which I really fail to see the usefulness of...
    roundaboutnow
  • Reply 16 of 25
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 422member
    Another category that is severely lacking is sprinkler controls. Bother Orbit and Rachio were supposed to have HomeKit integration as announced almost a year ago. Orbit even advertised with the HomeKit logo on their box. But there's been absolutely nothing but crickets from those companies other than to say they are waiting on Apple. Meanwhile Eve just released a hose control, which I really fail to see the usefulness of...
    Some sprinkler systems (like mine) are controlled through a faucet.  So if you're able to control a faucet then you can, in effect, control your sprinklers. The only negative about the Eve product, which I assume they'll fix with an update, is that currently the controller doesn't show up as a HomeKit trigger so you can't use it in automation. To your point about the other manufacturers...why can Eve release a product but the large companies like Orbit and Racchio can't?  That's why I call bullshit on squarely blaming Apple for any of this.

    Sorry for all the posts but I really love to geek out on this HomeKit stuff  :D
    edited July 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 25
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,069member
    nunzy said:
    Apple did the right thing here.
    WTF are you talking about? Can you stop blindly parroting silly comments like this? Or are you truly a troll account?
    tjwolfwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 25
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,069member
    I went with google and their Home as well as Nest line of products. Google didn't just introduce a standard but support it through quality products as well as showing third parties what they can do with the standard. Apple released a standard but rely solely upon third parties to support it. There are barely any products and what is out there just does not work which is what a smart device and accessories needs to do with the general public.
    Yeah that’s nonsense. Apple supports HK. It doesn’t produce hardware for it but that’s not its business model to so do.

    Meanwhile, Google still continues to fail at supporting HomeKit for its Nest products. 
    watto_cobraRayz2016
  • Reply 19 of 25
    IreneWIreneW Posts: 135member
    nunzy said:
    Apple did the right thing here.
    WTF are you talking about? Can you stop blindly parroting silly comments like this? Or are you truly a troll account?
    Yes. Just ignore.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 25
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 646member
    doggone said:
    I have the Ring doorbell and I don't necessarily see what use there would be in getting onto the home network.  The app works well by itself and notifications are handled well.
    It is a shame that Ring was bought by Amazon since I do not trust their use of data.  Unfortunately, I bought the device about 2 months before and cannot do anything about it now.
    Not for watch users.  All we get are alerts, can't do anything with them.  Then you have to pick up your phone or ipad, launch the app and hope you get it before the person leaves so you can talk to them. 


    The entire reason I went with Ring Pro was because of Homekit.  Since it hasn't happened I haven't expanded my Ring purchases, though I would like to add two of their outdoor cams.  Won't do so until it works with the ecosystem I have chosen.  I also wonder if a lawsuit is in Ring's future, since I specifically went with Ring Pro based on their assurances it would work with Home Kit.  
    watto_cobra
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