Updates on Apple’s smart home from WWDC 2021

The most anticipated WWDC 2021 announcements from Apple for iPhone, Mac, and more

But Apple is taking a different tack with its smart home strategy than it does its main platforms, such as iOS and MacOS, where the company both builds the hardware and controls the software.

Apple is taking a different approach with its smart home strategy than it does with its main platforms, such as iOS and MacOS, where it builds the hardware and controls the software.
The WWDC event this year showed that Apple’s smart home strategy relies heavily on encouraging third-party hardware makers to adopt Apple’s platform, which it calls HomeKit.
New features include a way to unlock your front door with an iPhone through a digital key in the Wallet App and Siri integration with third-party gadgets.
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Apple introduced several new features for its smart home initiative at its annual WWDC conference, including a way to unlock your front door with an iPhone through a digital key in the Wallet App.

Instead, Apple’s smart home strategy relies heavily on encouraging third-party hardware makers to adopt Apple’s platform, HomeKit, which aims to simplify the process of getting gadgets from various companies to work together seamlessly.

For example, Apple didn’t release an Apple-branded smart lock, but it did promote a smart lock that uses Apple’s software and integrates tightly with the iPhone’s Home and Wallet apps. Other HomeKit-enabled gadgets include air conditioners, video cameras, motion sensors, doorbells and lights.

For Apple, this strategy aims to position iPhone and Apple Watch as controllers for a wide variety of in-home functions, making them more valuable to current customers and discouraging them from switching to an Android phone when it is time to upgrade. Apple’s smart home strategy could also boost Apple TV or HomePod sales, as these devices can be used as the smart home’s hub.

‘Hey Siri’ comes home
Perhaps the biggest smart home announcement at WWDC for iOS 15, which will be released this fall, is that Apple said it planned to open up Siri, its voice assistant, to work with third-party smart home gadgets such as Ecobee’s Smart Thermostat later this year. Soon, users will be able to say “Hey Siri” to non-Apple gadgets — matching an ability that Google’s Assistant and Amazon Alexa were already capable of.

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