Apple was one of the first companies to embrace the smart-home industry, but it has been, on the whole, a quiet commitment. HomeKit, Apple’s original answer to the smart-home revolution was a humble platform that ran behind the scenes on your handset, acting as a base for third-party smart-home apps.
This lack of a unified approach was not popular, but Apple is looking to make amends. The company has just released Home, which will run in conjunction with iOS 10 and features all the plethora of smart-apps that were managed by HomeKit, homogenized and streamlined into one.
Here are five ways that Apple’s Home will change the way you light your house.
1) Home features a single user interface
HomeKit was a hodgepodge of different interfaces and control panels, but Home feels like a single, easy to access app from which to control your lighting. The many different third party apps that HomeKit used are still there, but they all now share commands.
2) Home puts Siri front row centre in smart-home control
With Home Siri can interact with your smart devices. She can turn off and dim lights, lock doors and close electronic blinds. You can also group together devices into one room, so you can, in theory, control all the devices in one room with a single verbal command.
3) You can share lighting control with somebody else
With HomeKit it was very difficult to share and merge accounts if you wanted to hand control to your significant other, housemate or children. Changing from one user to another was an almost impossible task, involving sending invitations and changing settings. Home has solved that problem by making the process very easy. Sharing is now a part of the app’s abilities and happens at the touch of a button.
Apple's Home app being launched in conjunction with iOS10.
4) You can control your lighting through your Apple television
The harsh reality of twenty first century living is that the television is now the centre of the home. Apple’s new app allows you to control your smart lighting via the Siri button on your Apple TV remote. It’s not an earthshattering development, but to be able to turn off the lights whilst watching a movie, without moving, is certain to be popular with committed couch potatoes.
5) Home can interconnect HomeKit gadgets
Home can create an interplay between different HomeKit smart devices, meaning you can set a smart living room light switch to not only turn on your lights, but also raise the blinds or lock the door as well.