As the first batch of Apple’s HomeKit-compatible products get ready to ship, we’re starting to learn a little bit more about how the company’s smart home platform will eventually work.
Despite early rumblings that Apple wouldn’t be rolling out a Home-dedicated app, it looks like we could get just that.
According to a 9to5Mac report, Apple may be working on a Home app that will work with HomeKit-compatible gadgets, such as electrical outlets, garage openers and smart thermostats.
The app, which could potentially launch alongside iOS 9 at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, would allow users to remotely control parts of the home. The Home app will reportedly include virtual rooms that users can access to set up, organize and connect HomeKit-based gadgets.
Even though the app was spotted in iOS 9 builds for Apple staffers, the report notes it may not be ready to be shown at the conference and could be held. It could also have been designed for “internal use” only.
While 9to5Mac has a solid track record for unearthing Apple news before it is announced, there’s been no indication — before now — that Apple had plans to rollout an app to act as a control center. A Home app could make it more like Apple’s HealthKit, which brings all of a user’s personal fitness data from wearables and other apps into one control center.
HomeKit, first announced by Apple at the 2014 WWDC, is at its core a framework that makes sure everything works together. Not surprisingly, the app may also include Apple TV integration that would allow it to act as a smart home hub. It’s unclear, of course, how involved Apple TV could be in the platform.
While Apple has not yet responded to a request for comment, we know a few tidbits about Apple TV integration already. To start, previously-announced HomeKit products will need to work with Apple TV when it comes to using Siri remotely (i.e. if you are asking your phone to dim the lights while at the office). But an Apple TV isn’t required to control devices at home if you’re accessing the Wi-Fi network there and asking Siri for help.
We don’t know if we will see a Home app launch at WWDC (or ever, for that matter), but Mashable will bring you the latest updates as they unfold at the conference.
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