Apple’s super-stuffed developer’s presentation today brought new announcements for wearables, an overhauled iOS interface, and a new macOS with the debut of Big Sur. But Apple dropped a bunch of updates coming to the Apple tech we use in our homes — a place we’re now spending more time than ever.
The big push here was the ease with which you can use multiple products with the least amount of trouble, as you might with features like Airplay to push a video from your phone to your Apple TV or using the Home app to control the various smart devices around your space. Apple says it has open-sourced HomeKit to prioritise privacy and ease of use, so that when you add a smart device and set it up through the iOS 14 Home app, it’ll automatically suggest various automation options.
Apple has long supported smart bulbs that can change to nifty colours. But with iOS 14, it’s adding something called Adaptive Lighting, which can be used to change the colours you see in specific rooms automatically based on your preference.
The company is also rolling out a beefed-up system for home security cameras that will let users specifically designate the zones they want to monitor while excluding activity outside of those zones. So, for example, you can opt to only be alerted about activity within that designated area. Another security measure being added is facial recognition for close contacts you’ve tagged in your photos.
This feature will extend to Apple’s own products as well. HomePod will alert you about who is at the door, while Apple TV will display a video overlay from your security camera in the corner of your streaming screen. The company said that all cameras connected with the Home app will be linked to tvOS 14 as well as supported through the control centre.
Apple TV got a few exciting updates of its own in tvOS 14. Multi-user support is coming to Apple Arcade from the control centre to pick up where you left off. The company has also announced coming support for Xbox Elite 2 and Xbox adaptive controllers for Apple Arcade. With picture-in-picture support on the way, Apple will also introduce AirPlay sessions.
As for news on the Apple TV+ front, well, the news was pretty slim (though it will be available on Sony and Vizio smart TVs later this year). But! We did get a trailer for the forthcoming Isaac Asimov sci-fi joint Foundation, which will arrive sometime in 2021.