This week at WWDC, Apple unveiled a brand-new Home app for its HomeKit smart home platform. The new app, which has an entirely new appearance, will be released alongside iOS 16 later this year. The software has been rewritten from the ground up, according to Apple, making it more efficient and dependable, especially for houses with several gadgets.
A new Categories area for temperature, lighting, speakers and TVs, water (sprinklers and faucets), and security has been added to make it simpler to identify, manage, and operate items. Even if they are in different rooms, this should make it easier to switch off all the lights or lock all the doors.
In the House tab, you can now see your complete home, and Rooms has joined your Favorites on the main page. On the main Home page, a new multi-camera view will show four security cameras, with additional available as you scroll sideways. Rather of scrolling through a plethora of accessories and camera perspectives, this horizontal movement will make it easy to find what you’re looking for.
Accessory tiles have also been redesigned to employ form and color to show device status. You’ll be able to operate them immediately from the icon, with further control available by pressing the accessory’s name.
New HomeKit lock screen widgets make it easier to access your accessories and check the status of your gadgets.
Apple also mentioned Matter, a new smart home communication standard that allows devices to communicate with one another across platforms. Matter will be released later this year, most likely around the same time as iOS 16. The Home app will support the standard in the upcoming OS, according to Apple.
Apple provided HomeKit as the “basis of this new standard,” according to Corey Wang, and Matter supports some of HomeKit’s essential concepts, such as the greatest levels of security and privacy. She also hinted at how Matter will assist HomeKit customers in integrating new device categories into their smart homes, allowing them to select from a wider range of compatible smart home accessories and operate them using the Home app and Siri. HomeKit currently lacks a lot of smart home categories, like robot vacuums and pet feeding.
iOS 16 will be available as a developer preview beginning today, followed by a public beta next month and a complete release this autumn. The iPhone 8 and later, as well as the iPad (5th generation and later), iPad mini (5th generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), and all iPad Pro devices, will be supported.