Apple’s smart home vision is getting more cohesive and interconnected
Apple has announced it will support the new industry interoperability standard called Matter to offer a more cohesive and interconnected smart home experience to users. Support for Matter will go live in iOS 15 later this year, and users will be able to control all connected devices using the Home app. Google and other leading smart home vendors have also recently announced support for the Matter initiative.
Along with Matter support, Apple has announced a couple of additional features to improve the smart home experience. These include a feature called Home Keys, which will let you unlock your home with your iPhone or your Apple Watch. The new SharePlay feature, which will make its way to FaceTime later this year, will also be available on supported smart home devices to help you watch shows in sync with your friends. Furthermore, the “Shared with you” feature that Apple detailed during its presentation regarding the Messages app will also be available on Apple TVs, allowing you to easily view shared content without checking your phone.
Additionally, Apple has announced that you’ll soon be able to ask Siri on the HomePod Mini to play something on a connected TV completely hands-free, which is definitely a much-needed feature. Speaking of Siri, Apple says that third-party manufacturers will be able to Siri support on their devices, resulting in a more seamless smart home experience.
As for the HomePod Mini, you’ll soon be able to use it as a speaker for your Apple TV 4K, play lossless audio via Apple Music, and more. The HomePod Mini will also be available in Austria, Ireland, New Zealand, and Italy later this year.
Other noteworthy announcements include the updated Home app on the Apple Watch, which will feature a new tap intercom feature to help you broadcast a message, access accessories, and see the video feed from HomeKit-enabled doorbells. Supported doorbells and cameras will also receive a new package detection feature that will alert you whenever you receive a delivery. Lastly, when you’re viewing a camera feed on a supported device, you’ll soon be able to see nearby accessories and turn them on. For example, if you’re viewing your camera feed of the backyard, you’ll be able to see toggles for accessories that are in the vicinity, such as your backyard smart lights.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Apple as the creator of Matter. We regret this error.