Years after announcing HomeKit, Apple finally announced an all-in-one smarthome solution. It’s an app called Home, and it lives on your iPhone’s home screen.
The Home app will come with iOS 10 and essentially puts controls for all of your HomeKit-connected devices in one place. You can also set up routines that will trigger a number of activities. So you could build a “Good morning” routine that makes your shades go up, a peppy song to start playing, and lights to turn on.
But what’s actually really cool is that Siri is integrated into the app. So you can just tell Siri to do the morning routine without going into the app, and all of your gadgets will do what you want them to. This appears to be Apple’s first step towards competing with the Amazon Echo and Google Home. No word on an Apple device for the home. Apple TV will work as a home hub if you want to control you home from afar.
In addition to the new Home app, Apple also announced that a bunch of new gadgets will work with HomeKit. That includes air conditioners, connected door bells, and locks. Inevitably, it still feels like Apple is playing catch up with connected home systems like Samsung SmartThings. Then again, Apple is famous for waiting and making better versions of everything.