Apple Works to Fits A Smart Home Under A Single Roof
Apple has been playing all around everywhere for a couple of years until now. And it will continue in taking up its position in the future too. The first proclaimed WWDC was the HomeKit in 2014. The big iOS 8 was unveiled as a part of it. But it wasn’t much of a consumer-facing solution. There wasn’t any need to make sure if hardware and software developers were tailoring their technology to the company’s mobile operating system.
It would be a full two years after which the two major iOS releases. This it would happen before Apple put its stamp on the consumer experience with the Home app for iOS 10. With Home, the functionality is built into the operating system’s DNA via Control Center.
The company took its time here because a smart home is hard to build. It’s big and broad, circumscribing a huge variety of devices and functionality. And it’s littered with the bodies of failed attempts that just couldn’t get the job done. After all, it’s a lot to ask for a single unified solution designed to control a door lock, air conditioner and window shades all at the same time.
Apple was only the one to step forward and take on the challenge which no other positioned could do. Already the company has a massive install base, along with a trio of devices. These (iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV) provide different methods for interacting with the system. The latter of which serves as a permanent in-home hub. So users can interact with the functionality even from a great distance.
Home is a compelling next step. Over the past two years, the company has laid the framework for its connected home strategy through Homekit. The iOS 10 functionality finally started to deliver them in a single room. Functionality built into the Control Panel, a familiar translucent overlay. Though it still takes a bit of swiping to access. Perhaps betraying the fact that the company doesn’t consider this as a mainstream feature for the moment.
Most will likely interact with the functionality through that channel. The actual app is most useful during the setup process. This lets users group products into different rooms, create geofencing ( like lights in your room turn on when you enter), and put together scenes. It packs different functionality with a single button press (you can turn off the lights and close the curtains when it’s time to go to bed).
It may be predicted that most casual users won’t be all that interested to design complex scenes. But there’s definitely value for those who demand complete control or just enjoy the work of developing different scenarios. It will be interesting to see if Apple doubles down and makes the whole set up even more customizable.
The notion of the smart home has been around for quite some time. But past instances have either been cost prohibitive or far too fragmented. Home isn’t yet the catchall solution on which Apple is banking. Rather it does feel like a compelling step towards cross-device unification as our walls and desks made with ever more connected products.
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