Apple announces HomeKit integration with new Matter smart home standard
The alternative headline is perhaps that hell has frozen over? It sure feels like it, as Apple has dropped the news at WWDC it is actually contributing to the new collaborative Matter smart home standard. A few weeks ago at Google I/O we heard plenty from Google about the new standard launching later this year. We weren’t necessarily expecting to hear Apple joining the party. After all, Apple is very good at doing its own thing.
Nevertheless, Apple has contributed HomeKit to Matter, which is a huge deal. The idea of Matter’s seamless operation of smart home products from different manufacturers is supposed to make it easier to build a smart home. Google and Samsung were already on board, along with the likes of Philips Hue. The inclusion of HomeKit is basically the final piece of the puzzle. Matter still allows companies like Apple to develop on top of it, so honestly, the smart home space should be getting pretty exciting by the end of this year.
As the icing on the cake, Apple briefly showed off its newest Home app for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. The new app is easier to navigate, whether you have a large smart home with a lot of devices or you’re just starting out. It promises to be easier to set up and has an updated layout, new categories, and more. The more part we’ll have to wait until we get our hands on it to check out.
Why does any of this Matter? — see what I did there? Simply put, Matter will only be a success if everyone buys into it. Currently building a smart home is a fragmented mess, and HomeKit is just one part of that. There are standards that already exist, such as ZigBee, but they’re flawed. With the support of all the biggest players in the business, Matter might just finally break down the walls.