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Two years’ after the HomeKit platform’s launch with iOS 8, Apple finally look set to release a unified ‘Home’ with iOS 10, to improve the home automation experience.
HomeKit is an Apple framework allowing control of compatible smart accessories (like lights, locks, heating, sensors, etc.) from iOS. The idea of the platform is to integrate control of all these devices to a convenient central hub, with a unified interface that can ‘talk’ to all the devices at once. Currently this functionality is dependent on third-party apps, specific to each accessory, with central control possible only through Siri. Since HomeKit was announced, users have been keen for Apple to create an app to make the experience even easier. It’s a little surprising that HomeKit has gone almost two years without its own app.
An Amazon review from an Apple employee – verified by MacRumors – is the source of the news, confirming “the next version of iOS due this fall will have a standalone ‘HomeKit’ app.” Apple has already trademarked an icon for such an app, with rumors suggesting it may simply be named “Home.”
If true, this is great news for those already using HomeKit-enabled accessories. It also could signal that Apple is finally ready to make a bigger deal of interconnected smart accessories. HomeKit hasn’t had much attention from Apple since it debuted, and it remains a relatively confusing subject for the average consumer to crack. We’ll be on the lookout for confirmation of this one when WWDC rolls around in June – stay tuned.