Apple's HomeKit Isn't As Cool As We'd Hoped

Apple's HomeKit Isn't As Cool As We'd Hoped

At today's WWDC conference, Apple revealed a number of impressive features, including a Spotlight update and iMessage perks. But HomeKit, Apple's take on home security, wasn't particularly impressive — at least not yet. 

HomeKit is a new software development platform that will allow developers to create apps that can an iOS device into a remote control for features in the home. Think of being able to turn your air conditioner on with your iPhone and your toaster on with your iPad. It's certainly an interesting concept to create a development platform for, but Apple hasn't announced their own stake in it yet. 

Rather than make their own home security and smart home products, HomeKit will be a certification framework, supporting the products of other companies. So you won't be living in an all-white iHome anytime soon. 

When HomeKit is in action, the homeowner will be able to set up "scenes to control home devices," said Apple executive Craig Federighi. Some "scenes" like this already exist: there are apps that allow you to remotely turn on your AC as it is (and they aren't all that impressive.) 

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HomeKit will focus on new devices and make the smart home process more unified. Because its all being developed under the Apple umbrella, your toaster will turn on in a similar way to your coffee maker, it'll be a cohesive process. 

Obviously, security is the major question when it comes to HomeKit. Federighi said that they developed a very elaborate security process, which guarantees "only your device can unlock your house." 

In order to really consider HomeKit a win, Apple has some serious work to do—and they're still behind. Google has already acquired Nest Labs, and is now looking into the security camera company Dropcam. I'm holding out for Apple-branded home security products: iLock, iWindows, iDoor, but they doesn't seem to be en route just yet. 

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