Buried in all of today’s WWDC announcements, Apple has covered some HomeKit updates. The news ranged from HomePod updates to Siri arriving on third-party devices like ecobee. And we heard a brief explanation of Apple̵
Oddly enough, quite a few of the announcements around HomeKit weren’t really centered around HomeKit. Apple took the time to introduce new features to Apple TV, such as the ability to pair your HomePods to serve as stereo speakers. Apple TV is also getting a new “For All of You” feature that recommends something to watch for the whole family.
Apple also showed the ability to see camera feeds on an Apple TV, even multiple streams at once. And WatchOS will also have the ability to stream video doorbell footage. The WatchOS home app will soon incorporate HomeKit features such as the ability to control intercom or accessories.
HomeKit itself got a few short demonstrations, such as Homekeys, which can unlock a smart lock with an iPhone or Apple Watch tap. But buried in those fast-moving demos was a wink-and-miss announcement: Siri is getting out on Apple. More specifically, Siri will make its first appearance on third-party devices later this fall.
Apple demonstrated someone yelling “Hey Siri” to an ecobee. Ecobee thermostats can currently serve as Alexa devices and already have speakers and microphones for just that function. But now it looks like ecobee will pick up Siri as an option as well. Apple called “third-party” devices, but didn’t specify what to expect.
The company also mentioned Matter, the new smart home standard that promises to fix everything that’s wrong with smart home. Google, Philips Hue and others have already promised support, and Apple is joining in. But the question was, “how much?” For example, Philips Hue will not fully integrate Matter into its apps; you can only control Philips Hue products.
Apple says it will be the opposite, with full integration for Matter in the Home app. That means you should be able to control any Matter-certified device from one app, a boon for anyone who hates hopping from smart home app to smart home app. All features will come later this fall when Apple releases OS updates.