Spring will be here soon, which means it’s time to start thinking about the summer of iOS 15 and macOS 12 beta after WWDC. From my point of view, HomeKit is at a real crossroads for Apple. It’s a platform I’ve invested thousands of dollars in. However, it’s time to take it to the next level with extended product categories, increased automation with Machine Learning and increased stability – especially with HomeKit Secure Video. Here are some things I want to see in HomeKit with iOS 15.
Weekly HomeKit is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks and everything to do with the Apple smart home frame.
So as we look at what’s coming from Apple, here’s how I’d like to see your HomeKit in iOS 15 improved to become an even better platform.
Extended product categories
HomeKit has slowly expanded its categories over the years, but there are a number of obvious categories that are missing. The first is vacuum cleaners. I’ve been using Roborock and Neato vacuum cleaners for a while and I have Neat built into HomeKit using the HOOBS bridge, but I’d like to see Apple deny the need for a robotic vacuum cleaner bridge.
The second category is that of coffee machines. I’m not a “fancy” coffee person and I’m as happy with McDonald’s coffee as I am at Aeropress, but I’d like to streamline the process every morning. I would provide a HomeKit compatible coffee machine that a motion sensor can trigger after 5 in the morning, so that when the sensor detects movement, it will start producing coffee. If we really wanted to go crazy in the future, it might somehow connect to the Apple Watch, so when it detects that you’re coming out of sleep, we could go ahead and start making coffee.
The third new category I would like to see a move to appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines and dryers. Controlling and monitoring these categories in the HomeKit would take home automation to a new level. You could see it so that your washing machine is preloaded with clothes, but it would only work between certain hours so as not to use all the hot water in the house.
Machine Learning Automation
HomeKit automations are a useful way to automate the use of smart devices around the house. However, I’d love to see machine learning applied to all the data that HomeKit generates to make recommendations for new automations, new products, and more use. If HomeKit sees me opening the back door and using Siri to turn on the lights, it should start doing this for me. If HomeKit sees me running the vacuum at some point, I should suggest creating a program to do it automatically. If HomeKit sees that they use a lot of energy for heating or cooling at times when there is very little movement in the house, they should suggest new changes to our heating program. It’s about monitoring the data in the Home application and then making my house smarter from a high level.
HomeKit is a very reliable platform until it is. There are times when the automations do not run or when the movement is not recorded in the HomeKit Secure Video or when Siri does not respond to a light ignition command. Another frustration is when devices are moved to a “default room” after they have already been allocated to another room. All of these frustrations add to the situations where the benefits of a smart home can be offset by the frustration of wondering why it doesn’t work properly. Ideally, with HomeKit in iOS 15, I’d like to see a way to get into the Home app and send feedback that something didn’t work right. I would then have the option to upload my recent Home application logs so that Apple engineers can see why something happened or not.
Reliability can be especially important with HomeKit Secure Video when you rely on HomeKit to record videos. HomeKit Secure Video works great most of the time in my home, but there are times when it becomes “offline” for no apparent reason. For videos, working great most of the time is not enough. It has to work That’s great always.
A redesigned HomeKit app for iOS 15
The current design of the Apple Home app has served us well, but since most people have gone from a handful of smart home projects to possibly dozens of them, the current design shows its age. I’d love for Apple to use some of the home technology in the HomePod mini to recognize where I’m at home and provide a personalized experience based on my camera.
End HomeKit and iOS 15
These ideas are just some of the things I would love to see Apple offer HomeKit in iOS 15. What’s on your wish list? I would love to see the comments and ideas below.
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