Technology giant, Apple, has announced the launch of its new ‘Home’ app at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, California.
The new app, titled ‘Home’, will roll out onto iOS 10 update on both phones and Apple watches this autumn, and will be a central place for controlling all smart home devices that are HomeKit certified (Apple’s wireless protocol for connecting devices).
Currently, there is a few dozen products that work with the HomeKit platform, but Apple are expecting almost 100 more to come out this year.
Possible uses for the app include, being able to turn a light on or off, or view the feed from a doorbell camera on the front of their house. Users can also establish “Scenes” such as ‘I’m home’, ‘Good morning’ or ‘Good night’. For example, selecting ‘Good Night’ could lock the door, switch off the lights, and turn down the temperature.
Additionally, users can control products using voice commands through Siri by saying things like “turn on the lights in the garage”, or even “good morning” to unleash a variety of commands that’ll run simultaneously.
Ever since Apple launched the HomeKit platform over two years ago, it has been missing a way to centrally control devices. Developing the ‘Home’ app to streamline control of its home automation products signals a move from Apple to take on competitors including Amazon and Google, and position itself as a serious contender in the market.
Previously, to control devices through HomeKit, users had to manually access each device with individual, third-party apps and set every one to do a specific task at a specific time.