Apple HomeKit Aims to Make Your Home Smarter

We're closer to the Jetson's smart home than ever. Apple wants to help make your house smarter by making it easier for smart home  to integrate with the iPhone and iPad. As part of the upcoming iOS 8 upgrade announced at its Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple is giving developers HomeKit, a new common protocol for smart home devices.

According to Apple, HomeKit delivers secure pairing and the ability to easily control individual or groups of devices throughout the house--including integration with Siri.

The introductory partners include some big names, including iHome, Philips, Texas Instruments, Withings, Sylvania, Haier, Schlage, Marvell and more. That means your iPhone will soon be able to communicate with locks, lights, cameras, doors, thermostats, plugs and switches through a secure environment.

MORE: 13 Amazing Smart Home Gadgets

Apple promises developers will be able to integrate Siri voice commands. So you could say something as simple as "Get ready for bed," which would then trigger multiple actions. That could include closing the garage door, bringing down the lights, locking the front door and turning down the thermostat. 

There's no explicit word on which products this will impact first, but we imagine the launch partners are already working on upgrading their devices or making them compatible. Notably missing from the list of partners is Nest. The company was recently acquired by Google for $3.2 billion.

In addition to HomeKit, Apple announced a new programming language called Swift and improved graphics rendering through Metal. The iOS 8 release in beta is available for developers now, and will be commercially available to the public in the Fall. 

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Anna Attkisson
Anna Attkisson is the editorial director at Tom's IT Pro. After getting infected with the tech bug at Wireless World and Cellular Business magazines as an intern in 1998, Anna Attkisson went on to dabble in a sorts of publications covering everything from children’s fashion to cars. During the last 9 years she’s returned to her roots where she’s been writing and editing for Laptop Mag and Tom’s Guide, before moving on to Tom’s IT Pro. Follow Anna Attkisson at @akattkisson.