iOS 15 improves HomeKit device integration, introduces HomeKeys and more0
Along with all the other exciting iOS 15 features, Apple has just announced some great new developments for HomeKit devices.
With the new update, homeowners who have set up many Apple devices around the house will enjoy a whole new level of integration between gadgets, for improved interconnection and integration.
With a new feature called HomeKeys, homeowners who have HomeKit smart locks installed will be able to unlock their front door with a simple tap of their iPhone (or Apple Watch), for a secure and easy entry into their home.
Once they're inside, they'll be able to collapse onto the couch and relax by watching some (Apple) TV. But very soon, they won't be needing a remote to do that at all: they will be able to simply go "Hey Siri" and ask the trusty virtual assistant (now turned housemaid) to play something on the Apple TV, and she'll do it—completely hands-free.
Apple makes it easier to watch movies together
Along with technology integration, Apple has also done some work on "people integration" by finding new ways to bring family and friends together for movie night.
Very soon, Apple TV will feature a new collection of movies and TV shows aimed at entertaining the whole family, rather than catering towards individual tastes.
This new row will be called "For All of You" and will be based on combining the household members' different genre preferences to find something everyone can enjoy together for movie night.
If being physically together to enjoy video or music together isn't a possibility right now, Apple is also introducing SharePlay. This lets family and friends join in a group call on FaceTime while watching content together in sync. You'll be able to either cast the content onto your Apple TV, or watch it on the same device as your video call, in PiP (picture-in-picture) format.
The HomePod mini
Starting this fall, the HomePod minis will support wireless connection to the Apple TV 4k in order to act as external speakers. Small but powerful, a couple of these could certainly bring an extra punch to your favourite shows. It isn't clear yet whether the new setup will support stereo sound or not.
Along with all that, the HomePod mini will begin supporting lossless audio and Apple Music come this fall.
Homepod mini is going (more) global
The Home Pod Mini is also seeing a significant global expansion, as Apple is bringing it (along with Voice Recognition) to Austria, Ireland, and New Zealand this month, and Italy by the end of this year.
Additionally, third-party HomeKit accessory manufacturers will be able to integrate Siri into their devices.
Matter: Third-party devices will get HomeKit integration
Knowing that it's unlikely for homeowners to outfit their home entirely with Apple smart devices in the near future, the company has prudently taken a step towards allowing other devices into the HomeKit ecosystem, by creating a new smart home interoperability standard Apple is calling "Matter."
Matter will allow other compatible devices to be controlled through Apple's Home app, alongside Apple's own devices working through HomeKit.
Apple brings the Home app to Apple Watch
For those who sport the indispensable Apple Watch, you may be thrilled to discover that Apple is integrating HomeKit smart home appliance control into the tiny computer strapped to your wrist.
Using their smartwatch from Apple, homeowners will be able to control their Apple TV, HomePod mini (etc.), and—one of the coolest things, in our opinion—they can immediately see who is ringing their HomeKit-enabled doorbell from anywhere in the house.
This story is part of:WWDC 2021 (17 updates)
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