All new HomeKit and HomePod features in iOS 15

Cupertino, October 5, 2021

Apple / Screenshot by Sarah Tew / CNET

Apple's latest operating system, iOS 15, landed on devices today. It includes more updates for the overlooked HomeKit ecosystem, including the long-felt Siri updates. Here's a look at what you'll be able to do with your iPhone and HomeKit in the new iOS.

Ask Siri to do things later

Ask Siri to control smart devices in your home at a specific time, such as turning off lights in 10 minutes

Siri will eventually be able to do things later. You can ask Siri to do something like "turn off my bedroom lights at 7:00 PM" or something that depends on an event like "turn off all the lights when I leave." Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa can already do this, and Siri recovers these delayed ordering options.


Netatmo Smart Video Ringtone will support HomeKit Secure Video.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

HomeKit secure video

Support for detecting packages with HomeKit Secure Video

HomeKit secure video compatible rooms and ringtones will be able to identify packages in the new iOS. HomeKit Secure Video requires an iCloud plan, HomeKit compatible security camera, and HomePod, Apple TV, or iPad as your home hub. All HomeKit Secure Video data is encrypted end to end.

The update also includes the ability to add unlimited cameras with your iCloud Plus account, depending on your subscription. ICloud Plus plans start at $ 1 a month for 50GB and room support and go up to $ 10 a month for unlimited room support and 2TB of data.

HomePod Mini as Apple TV speakers

Select a single or a pair of HomePod mini as the default speakers for the Apple TV 4K for rich room sound and clear dialogue

A single HomePod Mini or a pair of HomePod Minis can now be the default speakers for the Apple TV. Previously, you could use the HomePod Minis as a stereo pair for Apple TV, but the default integration makes it much easier.


HomePod Minis can work as a stereo pair for Apple TV.

Chris Monroe / CNET

Updated media checks

Media playback commands automatically appear on the lock screen of your iPhone when a HomePod mini playing music is nearby

It will now be easier to control your HomePod or HomePod Mini from the lock screen when you are nearby and it is streaming. HomePod already has the useful transfer function to transfer music from iPhone to HomePod Mini, hovering over it.

Adjust the bass level

Set a lower bass level to enjoy music without disturbing your neighbors

You can now further adjust the HomePod and HomePod Mini speakers with a lower bass level. Dolby Atmos (space audio) and lossless music have been tested in beta this year, but do not appear on the iOS 15 update list.

Control Apple TV with Siri

Ask Siri to turn on Apple TV, start playing a favorite movie, and control playback while watching

In addition to setting HomePod Minis as the default speakers for Apple TV, you'll now be able to start playing content and controlling playback with Siri. Google Assistant and Chromecast, as well as Alexa and Fire TV, also have this feature.


You can stream audio and music calls by placing your iPhone on top of the HomePod Mini.

Chris Monroe / CNET

Smarter volume adjustment

Siri automatically adjusts its speech level according to the camera environment and the user's volume

Like recent Nest and Alexa devices, Siri will automatically adjust its volume when it responds to you based on both the amount of ambient noise in the room and its own speech volume. Alexa can whisper or cry.

Siri in several places

Extend access to your HomePod throughout your home by enabling Siri voice control on compatible HomeKit accessories

HomeKit developers can now enable "Hey Siri" in third-party products by routing requests through a user's HomePod or HomePod Mini. You'll be able to do things like ask Siri to send a message, set a reminder, or broadcast an intercom message on these devices. This could include devices such as smart thermostats and other speakers.

Home keys

Add home keys to the Wallet on your iPhone and Apple Watch, then simply tap to unlock a HomeKit-compatible lock for seamless access to your home. Home keys are available in the Wallet app with other important items, such as car keys and credit cards

You will be able to tap to unlock compatible door locks Home level, August and Yale Assure the line.

SharePlay (coming later this fall)

SharePlay will allow you to share video or audio via FaceTime calls. Multi-device support means you'll be able to connect via FaceTime to your iPhone while watching videos on your Apple TV or listening to music on your HomePod.

To update your HomePod or HomePod Mini to iOS 15, go to Home settings in the Apple Home app.

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