Apple announced the all-new Home app for its HomeKit smart home platform at WWDC this week. The new app will arrive with iOS 16 later this year and has a completely new design. Apple said the app has been architecturally rebuilt from the ground up making it more efficient and reliable, especially for homes with multiple extensions.
The navigation system has also been redesigned to make it easier to find, organize and control appliances, a new category section for climate, lights, speakers, TVs and water (sprinklers and faucets), and security will let you access these devices in one place. This would make it easier to turn off all the lights or lock all the doors, even if they are in different rooms.
You can now see your entire home on the Home tab, rooms now join Favorites on the home screen. The new multi-camera view will display four security cameras on the main main tab, with more available as you swipe sideways. This horizontal action will make it easier to get to what you want instead of having to scroll through a lot of accessories and multiple camera views.
Accessory tiles also get a redesign to use shape and color to indicate the status of each device. And you will be able to control it directly through the icon, with detailed control gained by clicking on the name of the accessory
There are new HomeKit lock screen widgets to help you access your accessories faster and see the status of devices.
Apple also gave a shout out to Matter, The The new smart home connection is important, which enables devices to work together across platforms. The issue is slated to release later this year, likely around the same time as iOS 16 drops. Apple said the new operating system will provide support for the standard for the Home app.
During the keynote, Corey Wang said that Apple contributed HomeKit as “the foundation of this new standard” and that Matter supports some of the core principles of HomeKit, including the highest levels of security and privacy. She also hinted at how Matter can help HomeKit users integrate more categories of devices into their smart homes, allowing them to choose from the most compatible smart home accessories and control them with the Home app and using Siri. So far, HomeKit is missing a number of categories in the smart home, including vacuum cleaners and pet feeders.
iOS 16 will be available to developers as a preview starting today, with a public beta release next month, and the full version arriving this fall. It will be supported on iPhone 8 and later iPad (5th generation and later), iPad mini (5th generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), and all iPad Pro models.
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