Apple is reportedly developing an iOS app called “Home” that will enable you to manage its upcoming HomeKit compatible accessories. Home is expected to be released with the iOS 9 update.
What are HomeKit and the Home app?
HomeKit is Apple’s answer to the Internet-of-Things (IoT). Apple introduced HomeKit at last year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). HomeKit includes wireless door locks, controlling garage doors, and smart thermostats similar to Nest’s Learning Thermostat, among other home accessories.
Using Siri or the Home app you can remotely control parts of your home directly from your iOS device. This is going to be a revolutionary feature from Apple and will change the way we currently manage our homes.
Although HomeKit was announced last year—which generated quite a buzz—it has since faced several setbacks and development delays. However, according to a 9to5mac report, Apple has quietly continued work on both the HomeKit and the Home app to make them a reality.
The Home app is reportedly “fairly basic” in its functionality and is currently represented by a house glyph on a dark yellow background.
Here is a list of what features we can expect from the Home app, as per 9to5mac.
- Wirelessly discover and install compatible HomeKit devices
- Create a virtual representation of rooms in a home for easy and better connectivity to HomeKit devices
- Utilize the Apple TV as a hub to connect several HomeKit devices in a home
- Provide an array of screens to help users find latest HomeKit devices and apps
When Will It Be Available?
It may not be available for some time, as Apple is reportedly testing it with employees first. Sources speculate that Apple might be delaying a public release because of very limited functionality as of now.
It’s uncertain whether Apple will officially announce the Home app in its upcoming WWDC next month. It’s also possible that it will make users manage HomeKit services with Siri and other accompanying App Store apps and keep the Home app for continued internal testing.
There were rumors that Apple may delay the HomeKit launch until fall, but they recently confirmed that they would announce the launch this June.
“HomeKit has been available for just a few months and we already have dozens of partners who have committed to bringing HomeKit accessories to market, and we’re looking forward to the first ones coming next month,” said Trudy Muller, an Apple spokeswoman.
However, Apple hasn’t made it clear where the accessories will available for purchase. Sources have previously revealed that Apple is working on developing its own HomeKit hardware as well, but no timetable has been provided yet.
So, what do you think about the Home app? Do you think there will be any more surprises in store at this year’s WWDC? Please feel free to share your opinion below.