August's HomeKit support for smart doorbells not coming anytime soon

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 14
Once promised, Apple HomeKit isn't coming to August's smart doorbells anytime soon. That includes the newly-announced View, representatives told AppleInsider at the SXSW festival in Austin, Tex.

August View


It's a long-term "possibility" and August "would love to do it," one of the representatives said. In the meantime, "August remains committed to offering platform agnostic products. We are working with Google and Amazon and plan to have integrations with the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa live once the View is available for purchase on March 28, 2019," August told AppleInsider. "We continue to work with Apple to explore integration opportunities with our doorbell cameras."


One of the issues though is that the company wants the same seamless doorbell/lock interaction found in its iPhone app -- people who have both a Doorbell Cam and a Smart Lock can check their camera, use the intercom, and unlock a door all from the same screen.

HomeKit, in theory, should offer similar interactions. Currently, when a camera detects motion and sends a notification, smart actions are displayed allowing you to control different accessories such as turning on the lights. Third-party developers have told AppleInsider that this functions the same way with HomeKit doorbell cameras, allowing you to talk and unlock the door right from the notification interface.

August's proprietary iPhone app.
August's proprietary iPhone app.


The other issue is that HomeKit is simply harder to develop for than platforms like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, August indicated. It did say however that it's in regular talks with Apple. Apple's tight standards for security and small internal team have made it somewhat difficult for third-parties to properly integrate their accessories in a timely fashion.

In the meantime the company teased the possibility of watching live View and Doorbell Cam feeds on Google's Smart Display platform. Alexa live view support already works for Doorbell Cams.

August-branded gear could potentially land among in-home delivery services like Amazon Key, and some form of announcement is coming in the next few months. "In-home delivery is a space that we continue to invest in," one person said when asked about Key specifically. That service already makes use of smartlocks by Yale, owned by August's parent company Assa Abloy.

The View, shipping later this month, is August's first battery-powered doorbell, able to run 3 to 6 months on a single charge. That makes it easier to install, and August has reworked its design to make it more conventionally doorbell-like. It also has a higher-resolution 1440p camera and a better field of view than the Doorbell Cam Pro as well as many other smart video doorbells on the market. With a higher-resolution video stream, it makes it easier to zoom in to identify objects and people picked up by the camera.

The slimmer design also allows it to fit into small locations, another primary objective for the August team.

Even though August has struggled to integrate HomeKit into the View, other companies have been able to accomplish it. AppleInsider went hands on with the Netatmo HomeKit video doorbell earlier this year and Robin Telecom has already started shipping its ProLine model that has HomeKit baked in.
patchythepirate

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,271member
    Wasn't going to buy that crap anyways.    I'm moving away from cloud accounts for basic things.   I don't need some company storing who comes up to my door.    A Micro SD card is 20 bucks for 64 GB of data.  The only reason for a cloud account is to monetize what's going on in peoples home.   It's not about offline storage ...you could easily use something like Chonosync to duplicate what's captured to a Dropbox/Box/Sync folder and have offline storage.  

    I not paying you $200 to be the damn product.  
    bonobob
  • Reply 2 of 10
    I suspect a more likely issue is the fact that currently Apple only allow cameras with wired power connections. Since the August Smart Doorbell is a battery powered device it therefore would not be currently allowed.

    @Hmurchison
    The soon to be released Netatmo smart doorbell is both wired and includes an SD card for local storage - hence no cloud account required. This is HomeKit compatible. I plan to get one of these myself although I may use an FTP server although it also supports Dropbox. Of course to some extent my choice is dictated by the fact that August have so far failed to address international markets and even though they are now owned by Assa Abloy a Swedish firm _still_ have not released anything outside the US. Netatmo is a French company.
    edited March 13 hmurchison
  • Reply 3 of 10
    NotsofastNotsofast Posts: 389member
    It's long past time for Apple to offer home security cameras for Doorbells, etc.  I know Apple doesn't want to scare aware companies by introducing competing products, but home security is just too important to leave it in the hands of Amazon, Google and the rest of the field, especially as their offerings are not only excluding HomeKit, but they are buggy, poor overall quality, and about as ugly as you can get in terms of design.  
    patchythepiratedws-2ecarlseencaladanian
  • Reply 4 of 10
    dkhaleydkhaley Posts: 39member
    Both August and Apple have a role to play in this.

    August (and other Smarthome manufacturers) need to realize that customers don't want to have 20 apps on their phone for the different devices they want to control.

    Apple also needs to reconsider it's approach. Certain apps just have functionality that's not included in HomeKit. The August app can tell me if my door is closed (as opposed to locked but open). The Hue app allows me to fade in lights over several minutes. Apple must be more aggressive in enabling new functionality. As for supporting certain wireless devices, that seems like a no-brainer.
    ecarlseenhmurchisoncaladanianpatchythepirate
  • Reply 5 of 10
    Apple needs to step up their game with HomeKit in many areas. There are a lot of things I would like to do with it, but just can't because of various limitations. There are frequent issues with scheduled tasks not running for unknown reasons. I really want to do more with home automation and Apple is the only company I trust to be the hub of something like that, but HomeKit looks / feels and has the capabilities that I'd expect from some other company's alpha-test level product. It's frankly just bad by any standard and light-years away from what I would expect from Apple.

    patchythepirate
  • Reply 6 of 10
    Notsofast said:
    It's long past time for Apple to offer home security cameras for Doorbells, etc.  I know Apple doesn't want to scare aware companies by introducing competing products, but home security is just too important to leave it in the hands of Amazon, Google and the rest of the field, especially as their offerings are not only excluding HomeKit, but they are buggy, poor overall quality, and about as ugly as you can get in terms of design.  
    In just about any other IoT area I'd disagree, but with this one I'm with you 100%. Home or facilities security stuff needs to come from a highly-trusted brand in terms of reliability, privacy, security, and ease of use. There aren't many companies that fit that bill.

    caladanianpatchythepirate
  • Reply 7 of 10
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,271member
    I suspect a more likely issue is the fact that currently Apple only allow cameras with wired power connections. Since the August Smart Doorbell is a battery powered device it therefore would not be currently allowed.

    @Hmurchison
    The soon to be released Netatmo smart doorbell is both wired and includes an SD card for local storage - hence no cloud account required. This is HomeKit compatible. I plan to get one of these myself although I may use an FTP server although it also supports Dropbox. Of course to some extent my choice is dictated by the fact that August have so far failed to address international markets and even though they are now owned by Assa Abloy a Swedish firm _still_ have not released anything outside the US. Netatmo is a French company.

    I read your comment and thought "August wouldn't be dumb enough to not include a wired connection like Ring offers".   Yup ...battery only.  What a brain-dead decision.   There's no way I'd recommend this over a Ring which can do battery operation or wire into existing system/chime.   

    Meanwhile the Netatmo is coming with MicroSD and personal cloud support and HomeKit.   This doorbell is not going to compete well.  Consumers have a natural battery anxiety whether it be an EV, mobile device or sensor.  I'm just not going to micro-manage a bunch of batteries. 
  • Reply 8 of 10
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,006member
    No HomeKit, no buy. It really is that simple.
    hmurchisonpatchythepirate
  • Reply 9 of 10
    Technology is about reliability and return on investment: NOT NIFTY. I am happy with my own RFID remote control deadbolt.
  • Reply 10 of 10
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 801member
    Wouldn’t it be great for Apple to make a combined mesh wifi home network with built-in security cameras and homepod abilities?  One system that would kill a lot of birds?
Sign In or Register to comment.