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HomeKit at CES 2019: brands flock to Apple’s smart home system

HomeKit announcements dominate the trade show

Apple doesn’t exhibit at Las Vegas’ biggest annual tech showcase, CES. Despite this, its presence was definitely felt this year – and not just because of the massive billboard it used to taunt its rivals. 2019 is the year that HomeKit hit the big time, with a boatload of announcements that new and existing products would finally support Apple’s home automation app.

Perhaps the most surprising announcement (and the one that made the headlines) is that long-time smartphone rivals Apple and Samsung had come to a deal in which iTunes content and AirPlay 2 support would be added to Samsung smart TVs.

Beyond that, a number of other smart TV manufacturers – including big names Sony and LG – announced HomeKit support for their devices. As reported by MacWorld, all manner of other smart device makers finally jumped on the HomeKit train too, including “GE, Vizio, Belkin, Arlo, Ikea, TP-Link” and more.

This is a big deal for Apple, and more specifically it’s a big deal for Siri’s capabilities across iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, Mac, and HomePod. Apple’s HomeKit system is an excellent way to control smart devices around the home, either through the Home app or with a verbal command to Siri.

The Home app comes pre-installed with iOS

However, for a few years now HomeKit has been lagging behind smart home rivals like Google Home and Amazon Alexa in terms of product support. Too few brands integrated properly with HomeKit for it to be a viable all-in-one smart home solution for many people. This slew of announcements at CES seems to be turning the tide, which can only be good news for Apple fans with smart home ambitions.