Buried in all the WWDC announcements today, Apple covered some HomeKit updates. The news ranged from HomePod updates to Siri arriving on third-party devices like ecobee. And we heard a brief explanation of Apple’s plans with the Matter Smart Home standard.
Oddly, quite a few of the announcements centered around HomeKit weren’t actually centered around HomeKit. Apple took the time to debut new features for Apple TV, like the ability to pair your HomePods to serve as stereo speakers. Apple TV will also get a new “For All of You” feature that recommends something to watch for the whole family.
Apple also showed off the ability to see camera feeds on an Apple TV, even multiple streams at once. And WatchOS will get the ability to stream video doorbell footage as well. The WatchOS home app will soon pickup HomeKit features, like the ability to intercom or control accessories.
HomeKit itself got a few brief demonstrations, like Homekeys, which can unlock a smart lock with an iPhone or Apple Watch tap. But buried in those quick-moving demos was a blink-and-miss announcement—Siri is stepping out on Apple. More specifically, Siri will arrive on third-party devices for the first time ever later this fall.
Apple demonstrated someone calling out “Hey Siri” to an ecobee. Ecobee thermostats can currently serve as Alexa devices and already have speakers and microphones for just that feature. But now it looks like ecobee will pick up Siri as an option too. Apple mentioned “third-party” devices but didn’t specify what we should expect to see.
The company also mentioned Matter, the new smart home standard that promises to fix everything wrong with Smart Home. Google, Philips Hue, and others already promised support, and Apple is in on the action. But the question has been, “how much?” Philips Hue, for instance, won’t fully integrate Matter into its apps; you’ll only be able to control Philips Hue products.
Apple says it’s going the opposite, with full integration for Matter in the Home app. That means you should be able to control any Matter-certified device from one app, a boon to anyone who hates hopping from smart home app to smart home app. All the features are coming later this fall as Apple releases OS updates.