This is the time of year when Apple announces a lot of updates and improvements to everything in its ecosystem, HomeKit is also part of this list. Although some of the things we hoped to see have not yet materialized, there were still some welcome surprises;
What many would consider the biggest update in iOS 15 is the announcement iCloud +, which will push access to HomeKit secure video (HSV) for multiple users, in essence. Currently, the minimum iCloud account for a single room to work with HSV is the 200 GB plan, so the free and 50 GB plans available do not support HSV, with the top 2TB plan allowing up to 5 rooms with HSV. With iCloud +, everything has been changed in favor of the user, a 50 GB plan now having access to 1 HSV camera, the 200 GB plan offering 5 HSV cameras and the 2 TB plan offer UNLIMITED HSV rooms! Quite neat and at no extra cost to the user, as the price remains the same for each level.
HomeKit and Video Doorbells will also receive an upgrade with parcel detection, being added to the list of types of smart detection, which currently includes the detection of people, pets and vehicles. Packet detection is something that many non-HomeKit video ringtones have had for some time, so it's good to see that Apple is finally getting there.
HomeKit has also improved with Apple TV, so you now have the option to view multiple streams on a single screen, as well as the ability to control nearby accessories directly from the live stream from your cameras, which has been added to HomeKit in iOS14.
Apple will finally open up Siri functionality to select third-party manufacturers and their devices. This will allow devices such as the Ecobee 4 Thermostat to listen and respond using Siri, although this will still require a HomePod or HomePod Mini in the home, as Siri on these devices is just a relay, with Siri technology not fully built into these. dispozitive. This is something that Amazon's Alexa has been around for a long time, so this is a step forward for wider access to Siri.
Smart lock support has taken a step forward, with the ability to add a "key" to your door in your Apple wallet. This is also a feature that is being launched for some Hyatt hotels around the world. Although the U1 chip is not specifically mentioned in this feature for smart locks, the same basic update for the car's digital keys will use the U1 chip, so it's fair to assume that this could be the case for locks, given the iPhone 11 and later versions include the U1 chip. A variety of manufacturers have signed up to this initiative, including Schlag and Read.
The supposed unifying protocol - known as material - also received a brief mention stating that both HomeKit and Matter certified devices will appear in the Home app, although a little more has been done on this topic.
As iOS15 gets better, with the help of beta testers and developers, expect more news and updates about iOS15 regarding HomeKit.
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