With WWDC fast approaching, I am most excited to see what platform improvements Apple makes to HomeKit to continue making it the best place to build your smart home. So here’s my HomeKit wishlist for iOS 15.
HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework.
Table of contents
Solve the no response error
One of the most frustrating aspects of HomeKit is when devices drop offline for a while. Solving it often requires a reboot of the device, but other times it fixes itself on its own. I would love to see the root cause of this frequent problem addressed by iOS 15 and the HomeKit platform.
I’ve heard various rumors of what’s causing the problem and it goes back to mDNS bugs. I am not fully aware of what the problem is, but it needs to be resolved.
Firmware update platform
I have many random apps on my iPhone only for updating the firmware of various HomeKit devices I have. I’d love for Apple to build a system for vendors to push updates to their devices directly over HomeKit. Unfortunately, I rarely open these apps, so I can quickly get behind on firmware updates. In an ideal world, you’d have the option to auto-install the updates as well as make them optional if you prefer.
One of the benefits of HomeKit is having a single place to manage all of your devices for your smart home, so this would centralize it even more.
New device types
I’d love to see HomeKit come to vacuum cleaners in the future. I own a couple of robot vacuums, and the technology has come a long way in recent years. Now, it’s possible to completely get rid of a traditional vacuum and rely only on robot vacuums. I am currently using my Neato vaccum with HomeKit by bridging it with Homebridge. Being able to trigger it from the Home app and via Siri has shown me that this device type makes a perfect fit.
Another addition that I would love to see is HomeKit enabled washing machines and dryers. Being able to monitor these devices from the Home app and start/stop them remotely would be beneficial.
While I love how HomeKit bridges devices from different manufacturers, I would love to see Apple get into the market with its own branded accessories. Especially now that Thread technology is becoming popular, it would be an ideal time for Apple to get into the market to help build out Thread networks inside of the home.
Apple doesn’t need to make something in every category, but I would love to see smart outlets, indoor cameras, and lightbulbs as first-party products.
A brand new Home app
The design of the Home app has served us well for many years, but as the number of devices in a home grows, it quickly falls apart. Switching rooms is still cumbersome, and the favorites accessory section ends up being a long list of accessories.
In a new version of the app, I’d love to see some attempts are being able to tell what room I am in based on my proximity to a HomePod mini. Another idea is to segment the favorites area by types of devices or rooms with the ability to change it with a tap dynamically.
Improvements to HomeKit Secure Video
I had written about this previously, but it’s time for HomeKit Secure Video to take the next step in functionality. I want an option for 24/7 recording, improvements to reliability for motion detection, and the option to expand past five cameras.
What else do you want from HomeKit?
These are a few of the things on my wishlist, but everyone’s use of HomeKit isn’t the same as mine, so I’d love to hear what you want to see in the comments below.
HomeKit is the best place to build your smart home because of Apple’s commitment to privacy and the tight integration into the rest of Apple’s products, so I hope we see some notable improvements at WWDC 2021.
Previous HomeKit Weekly Articles
- An e-ink temperature display brings a classic appearance to a smart home
- Eve Energy with Thread support is my go-to recommendation for smart outlets
- Ecobee SmartCamera strikes the right balance of price and premium build quality
- Indulge your weather obsession with the Netatmo Weather Station
- VOCOlinc T Guard Smart Lock unlocks HomeKit automations at your door
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