Apple held their annual worldwide developers conference today in San Francisco, and made some major announcements regarding all four of their software platforms.
And they introduced a brand new app for HomeKit users called Home. Considering we carry a lot of products for the home… we were excited.
HomeKit was designed to be a single platform all connected home devices can use to create a seamless experience. However, it still required users to use individual apps for each of their connected home devices. Meaning you may have had to open several different apps when going to bed to do things like: turn off the lights, lock the door, adjust the thermostat, and more.
The new Home app looks to solve that problem by having a singular place to go to control all of your HomeKit-enabled accessories. It’s a bit late to the game, with a number of third-party apps that already do the same thing. But with Apple integration, it’s looking to do it better than others out there.
The Home app lives right on the Home screen (fancy that) of your iPhone and iPad running iOS 10—and it can even be accessed through Control Center. So you can quickly control your devices without opening up the app or even unlocking your device. You can even access and interact with your devices using the Home app from your Lock screen notifications.
You can control each device individually in the app—or run a Scene which performs multiple actions at the same time with just one tap. For example, if you’re about to go to bed, choose the “Good night Scene”, and your lights will turn off, door will lock, and shades will lower, all at the same time with just one tap.
The new Home app will be available on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. And while a native Apple TV app wasn’t announced, your Apple TV will still serve as a secure point of automation and remote access. Since it’s always connected to your home network, you can use it and your iOS device to remotely access your devices—like turning your lights on or off while on vacation—or set up a geofence, so your garage door automatically opens when you arrive home.
The Home app should arrive with iOS 10 this fall when the new software is released.
For all the coverage from WWDC 2016, check out our other posts on watchOS 3, iOS 10, macOS, and tvOS.