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WWDC 2018 – What to expect from HomeKit

With WWDC 2018 just around the corner and Apple set to announce iOS 12, WatchOS 5, MacOS with lots of new features to help with our lives, I am hoping that Apple gives some attention to HomeKit in the latest software updates to bring some much-needed features.

Apple first announced HomeKit in 2014 with a promise of major smart devices and accessory to work with it and whilst it has come along way since the 2014 release, it has been slow in terms of adoption and features.

I personally use HomeKit in my home with numerous smart devices and thanks to Apple removing the need for the HomeKit chip more smart devices have been hitting the market, but it still has a few limitations in terms of support and these are some of my thoughts on improvements to HomeKit;

HomeKit Must Read: How to group accessories

Control HomeKit devices from a Mac with Siri

Whilst HomeKit devices can be controlled via Siri on an Apple Watch running WatchOS 4 or an iPhone running iOS 11, Mac users are not able to control HomeKit devices and simply get a response “Sorry, I cant help with HomeKit from here” I am often working at my MacBook Pro and want to turn the heating up or change the light settings and not able to do so, instead having to reach for my iPhone to send this command to HomeKit via Siri.

Whilst Apple has not publically commented, rumours are suggesting that Apple will enable HomeKit support on MacOS at WWDC 2018 along with the latest version of MacOS

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More HomeKit device iconsHomeKit accessories group in Home app

Within HomeKit you can edit the Icons that are displayed for your HomeKit connected accessory or devices and the current choice is pretty limited. Currently, you can only choose from lamp, bulb, light shade or a desk lamp icon and for others like power points or motion sensors, the icon cannot be changed.

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Yes, I do appreciate that a number of device Icons would not have any value from being changed like fans for example. However, for things like plugs connected to TV’s, it would great to change the Icon to a TV or a computer depending what was plugged in.

Overhaul the Room tab layout.HomeKit room

One of my biggest bugs with the Home app in HomeKit is the rooms tab. In order to navigate to a room in the room tab, you need to swipe left or right. If you a number of rooms in my case 10 with HomeKit devices, it’s not fast.

Apple would be better updating the Home App room tab to display all the rooms on one screen and then allow the user to select which room they want to access. This would make it easier and quicker to access rooms and interact with smart accessory’s.

Better smart camera support in HomeKit

The final improvement I would like to see with HomeKit at WWDC 2018 would be better support for Smart cameras. I use the Logitech Circle 2, OMNA 180 and the Netatmo Presence in my home and whilst I use the apps that are shipped with the smart camera for playback, I would like to HomeKit support more options for interacting with HomeKit enabled smart Cameras.HomeKit accessory scan

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So for example, you can set alerts in HomeKit for motion detected, but when you click the notification you only get the live feed. It would be great if HomeKit could display the historic video to show you what triggered the motion event.

Another improvement for smart camera support would be a dedicated tab for smart cameras to bring all the cameras into one place. Whilst you can set them as favourites and have them on the Home App Home tab, it would still be good to have a dedicated tab for Smart cameras

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So that is my take on improvements to HomeKit and what I would like to see at WWDC 2018, what are your thoughts?

 

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Jon Ratcliffe
I am Jon R and the editor of Active JR that covers wearables, fitness tech and smart home. I have a huge passion for technology having worked in the sector for over 18 years and I like combining this with fitness. My reviews will talk about how the product works in reality and not just what the marketing departments want you to think.You can contact Jon on Twitter @ActiveJR1

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