This week Apple announced expanded HomeKit appliance support, as well as an iOS 10 setting that turns the iPad into a smart home hub.
Apple SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi revealed a slew of new HomeKit features onstage at the Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, including a dedicated Home app set to launch with iOS 10 this fall.
For iPad users running iOS 10, Home comes with systems settings for connecting with iCloud and an option to transform the device into a hub. HomeKit settings on the iPad lets users set up home device automations. Currently, users who do not have a third or fourth generation Apple TV have to purchase a third-party hub.
Apple also promises “more powerful user permissions” when using either Apple TV or iPad as a Home Hub, but has not yet elaborated on what services or functions that entails.
In addition to the standalone Home app, Apple is looking to expand HomeKit’s reach into the home automation market. When the next-generation platform launches, users can look forward to support for at least five new connected device categories: air conditioners, air purifiers, cameras, doorbells and humidifiers.