As we all know, Apple Inc. is going to unveil the iPhone 7 on Wednesday in San Francisco. At the event, the U.S. tech behemoth is expected to release iOS 10, the company’s new operating system. iOS 10 will include the new Home app, which will offer a simple and secure way to set up, manage and control smart home products in one place. With the help of Apple, our world is feeling more and more like the one George and Jane Jetson introduced us to in the 1960’s.
The new Home app is designed for controlling HomeKit products, which have been rolling out over the past couple years. The app allows users to control lights, heating/cooling, doors, shades, and plugs/switches from a single app. Users will be able to control HomeKit products by using Siri, Apple’s voice assistant.
The Home app is integrated into iOS 10, and accessories can be managed individually or grouped into scenes so they work together with a single command. They can be managed remotely.
According to the iPhone maker, Siri can detect “the types of HomeKit-enabled products you have in your home as well as their status.” This allows users to easily manage and control their smart home products using Siri.
On its website, Apple Inc. states that HomeKit is a framework for communicating with and controlling connected accessories in a user’s home.
Users can manage and discover HomeKit products in their home and configure them using their iPhone. They can group actions together and trigger them using Siri.
With HomeKit, users can create actions to connect and control appliance settings in different combinations. For example, they can create a scene called Leaving home that will turn off the lights, lock doors, and lower the thermostat — all with one command.
“HomeKit works through the apps that control each of your home products. It sits backstage, enabling the apps to interconnect. So you can make your home products work together and control them in more ways, right from your device. And privacy is built in. HomeKit data is always encrypted, so the only people who know when you’re setting your lights to turn off or your thermostat up are the ones in your household,” according to the company’s website.
Apple Inc. said that support for HomeKit continues to expand globally, with some 100 home automation products integrating HomeKit this year. The company added that home builders – including Brookfield Residential, KB Home, Lennar Homes and R&F Properties – will be integrating many HomeKit devices into new homes.
iOS 10 comes with a heap of new features and innovations. Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, said in a statement that “iOS 10 is our biggest release ever.”
The operating system includes “a native app for Home automation and beautifully redesigned apps for Music, Maps, and News that are more intuitive and more powerful, making everything you love about your iPhone and iPad even better,” Federighi added.
Microsoft has formed a partnership with Liebherr to develop new generation of refrigerators and freezers. The smart refrigerators will not only cool food, but will allow help customers shop online and manage food.