Домой Strategy Business Will HomeKit and HomePod get any attention at WWDC?

Will HomeKit and HomePod get any attention at WWDC?


homepod-espanol-mexico

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

Apple’s WWDC 2019 presentation kicks off a weeklong conference Monday at 10 a.m. PT in San Jose, California. We’ll likely see the debut of iOS 13, the new MacOS and even new hardware. In the background of all that anticipation is a lurking question about HomePod, HomeKit and the Siri-powered smart home. Does Apple still care about competing in that corner of the market? 

Apple’s HomeKit platform and HomePod smart speaker are admittedly behind when it comes to intuitive smarts and useful features. Common complaints include the lack of support for third-party music services and far fewer smart home integrations. HomeKit is also siloed. you can’t use Siri or HomePod to control Google Nest products or Ring devices, both of which are popular with consumers.

Siri on HomePod isn’t at the top of the voice assistant podium, either, as she had trouble competing with Google Assistant and Alexa in our testing and can’t differentiate between multiple users’ voices. It’s doubtful we’ll see a bounty of updates to either, since this conference is typically MacOS and iOS-focused.  

However, there are a few things Apple could do to breathe new life into its lackluster speaker, and they could be announced next week. Here’s a quick rundown of the rumors out there giving HomePod fans hope.

Multiuser voice recognition

This is something both Google and Amazon already include in their smart speakers, and something Apple would be wise to quickly adopt. Right now, there isn’t a voice training option for HomePod users. That means anyone can say «Hey, Siri» and control your HomePod. Earlier this month, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman published an article with an extensive list of updates Apple planned to reveal, according to «people familiar with the plans,» and on that list was multiuser HomePod support. 

Adding voice training creates a multiuser environment, where Siri can respond to purchase requests, calendar queries and anything else with personalized results to each member of the household. This feels like an easy update, given that Siri has been able to identify its owner’s voice since iOS 9, locking out other voices that don’t match. It doesn’t seem a stretch to add support for recognizing more than one person. That would add functionality and value to Apple’s HomePod experience, not to mention a layer of security for purchases via voice.

Ring integration

Ring integration for HomeKit is another piece missing from Apple’s smart home puzzle and something Ring and HomeKit users have been asking for year after year. Ring is one of the most popular smart home brands out there, and when Amazon acquired it last year, we feared Ring products might never make it to HomeKit. 

ring-spotlight-cam-4

Chris Monroe/CNET

Apple has since ditched the requirement for companies to include a physical MFi security chip and instead adopted software-based authentication. That means more products are able to offer HomeKit compatibility without changing their hardware or raising retail prices, and it’s rumored the Ring Video Doorbell Pro and Spotlight Cam could be ready for HomeKit rollout. A Twitter user posted a screenshot of Apple’s MFi Licensed Accessories webpage with the two Ring products categorized as HomeKit-certified.  

Adding HomeKit compatibility to Ring products would make a lot of Ring and Apple fans happy. It could also mean more intuitive ways of answering your Ring doorbell and viewing camera feeds from the Home app, which brings us to our next wishlist item.

Updated Home app

Also on Bloomberg’s list of expected announcements is an updated Home app to accompany iOS 13. If Ring comes to HomeKit (as it seems likely to do given that it appears to have passed certification) it makes sense to update the way the Home app works with security cameras and give Ring users the option to view camera recordings from the Home app. 

img-0321

You can see the Dining Room HomePod in the HomeKit accessory list in the Home app.


Screenshot by Megan Wollerton/CNET

If that happens, what does it mean for the pay-to-view systems Nest, Ring and many others rely on when it comes to automatically recorded clips and cloud storage? 

With its HomeKit platform slowly but surely opening up to more manufacturers, Apple could become a big enough player to push companies to expand their free video clip storage, though Google and Amazon haven’t had much luck in that regard yet.  

Regardless of what happens with video, an updated Home app seems like the least Apple could do to maintain the HomeKit platform. Apple’s Home app is fine, but Google’s Home app is more intuitive and better-looking. As complicated as the smart home can sometimes feel, Google offers a clean app that doesn’t feel cluttered. Apple needs to follow suit.

Apple for Android?

This one isn’t a rumor, but it’s an interesting possibility to consider. Could an updated Home app bring us a version for Android phones, too? Chances are slim, but opening up the platform even further would be a welcome change of pace. There are plenty of people out there (myself included) who live life with one foot in each camp, owning hardware from both ends of the operating system universe. 

HomePod Mini

This one is not so much a rumor, but an item from my own personal Apple wishlist. There’s no concrete evidence that a HomePod in any smaller or more affordable form is on the horizon, and WWDC isn’t primarily a hardware-focused event. Still, I think Apple would be wise to see the value in a HomePod model that puts HomeKit and Siri in the homes of Apple users who don’t want to spend $300 on a smart speaker.

Google and Alexa’s smaller speakers prove that they can handle calling, music with good sound quality, voice commands and many other tasks as well as their larger counterparts per dollar. Apple shouldn’t fear the small smart speaker, but I wouldn’t hold your breath for a pint-size HomePod. 

Of course, there’s always the chance of a surprise announcement be it hardware, software or streaming services. We’ll keep track of everything happening at WWDC and round it all up for you as the conference progresses.





http://www.cnet.com/


Now playing:
Watch this:

iOS 13 leaks hint at future products and the latest iPhone…





7:52


$269

http://www.cnet.com/

CNET may get a commission from retail offers.





Source link

ОСТАВЬТЕ ОТВЕТ

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Must Read

Apple to Jump on 5G Bandwagon in 2020 | Tech Buzz

By John P. Mello Jr. Jul 30, 2019 2:53 AM PT Apple's 2019 crop of iPhones haven't been released yet but there's already talk about...

Where Have All the Forests Gone?

Earlier this month, researchers published a report discussing global forest coverage. While that alone might not be eminently noteworthy -- a lot of...

Tesla’s Failings Overshadow Its Impressive Successes | Tech Buzz

Launching a new car company and getting it to global scale isn't something that happens often, and it has been a long time...

Turning the BYOD Lemons Into Lemonade, Read a full podcast transcript at http://briefingsdirect.blogspot.com, or download a copy at http://bit.ly/HBotTG. More podcasts at http://www.briefingsdirect.com. Sponsor:...

"Many organizations have experimented with numerous approaches," said Tom Kendra, Dell Software's vice president and general manager for systems management. "Now we've gotten...